We present a deep, deep podcast from Dayo Adewuyi this time around as we touch upon a mix steeped in spiritual jazz and beyond. From modal to avant-garde to straight up firing, this is a glorious selection from what has to be some of the best record shelves in London, and from a man who’s been a regular fixture in London club land since the 90s.
A regular contributor to Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood forum (Check out his weekly Monday discussion posts for a lowdown on what’s going on musically and politically each week), he’s also provided us with a wonderful write up (below) on all of the tunes featured in the mix dropping a little bit of background info on each piece selected. All recorded from the original vinyl, he’s also dedicated the mix to his beautiful wife Modupe who celebrated her birthday recently.
All that’s left for us to do is say a massive thanks to Dayo for squeezing this in to his busy schedule and to point you in the direction of this site, which amongst other things features more of his jazz mixes in the form of his “Strictly Jazz” series. Definitely worth a listen if you like digging that little bit deeper. In the meantime, get inside this!
Stream and download follows. Until next time.
TRACKLIST AND DAYO’S COMMENTS
1. Joe Malinga’s Mandala feat. Clifford Thornton “Tears”
Tears For The Children Of Soweto | Label: Canova | Year: 1980.
“Thought to start proceedings with some mesmerizing South African Free Jazz as this is where my head is right now. This features one of the original Dons of the Avant Garde movement – the late Clifford Thornton, on valve trombone. It’s an excellent lp all round; the modal jazz number “Usizi” is also shockingly good – it always weirdly reminds me of Stan Tracey’s “Starless and Bible Black” for some unexplained reason”
2. Bob Reid feat. Roxianne. De Montaignac “Spiritual Vibrations”
The Emergency LP | Label: Kwela Records | Year: 1975.
“This is another Avant Garde record I’m seriously into again at the minute. Bob Reid recorded this set live at the Modern Day Black Opera in Paris in 1975. The combination of Roxianne’s emotional vocal wailings – with sparse recitation from Freddie Roach – accompanied by Oliver Lake‘s fierce blowing of the alto saxophone; Bob Reid on bass and Argentine Gustavo Kerestezachi on piano does my head in every time!! Deep Jazz Music.“
3. Eddie Harris “Exempt”
That Is Why You’re Overweight LP | Label: Atlantic | Year: 1976.
“In my humble opinion, Eddie Harris is/was one of the most underrated Jazz artists ever. I have a fair few of his records and they are all ace. He was never scared to take risks – and experiment. I have Norman Jay to thank for introducing me to this album back in the very early 90s; he always used to play the Rare Groove classic “It’s Alright Now” (Big Tune). However, on getting into the album – properly – I discovered that it isn’t a one track album. The track I’ve included is now – arguably – my favourite: I love the way it goes from Modal – in the beginning – to avant garde and then ending up in a sort of (cheesy) big band affair. It really works for me. The fusion track “Tryin Ain’t Dyin” on the album isn’t bad either.”
4. James Moody “Roadrunner”
Heritage Hum LP | Label: Perception | Year: Not Stated.
“Beautiful modality from a classic album. The late James Moody is on saxophone & flute; the great Michael Longo – who recorded a number of classic jazz dance albums – is on piano; the legendary (late) Sam Jones is on bass and the hugely respected Frederick Waits is on Drums. “Heritage Hum” on the lp is also fierce!”
5. Elvin Jones “Yes”
Poly-Currents LP | Label: Blue Note | Year: 1969.
“It’s somewhat rare to hear a Modal Jazz track – with avant garde leanings – lasting under 3 minutes. This one is short, beautiful and to the point! A great line up as well: Elvin Jones – of course – is on drums; George Coleman – who did a lot of side man work for Blue Note – is on Tenor Sax while Pepper Adams is on Baritone Sax. Joe Farrell is on Flute and Candido Camero – of “Thousand Finger Man” fame (he also recorded a couple of records for Blue Note) – is on Congo.”
6. Wayne Shorter “Tenderfoot”
Second Genesis LP | Label: VJ International | Year: 1974.
“Another jazz artist noted for his Blue Note recordings is the great Wayne Shorter. Really been playing a couple of his stuff again of late. He recorded this Bop session for the excellent VJ label (Eddie Harris recorded a few records for the label in the 60s). And for me, Art Blakey steals the show with his intermittent drum solos (mind blowing!). But that is to take nothing away from the other members of the (heavyweight) line up who also do a fantastic job: Cedar Walton is on Piano, Bob Cranshaw is on Bass and Wayne Shorter is on Tenor Sax. Great album front sleeve as well; not too dissimilar to Donald Byrd’s “Slow Drag” album sleeve.”
7. Brigitte Fontaine & Areski Belkacem “Les Menage”
Les Eglantines Sont Peut~etre Formidables LP | Label: Saravah | Year: 1980.
“I always have time for a bit of Brigitte Fontaine and her [wacky] brand of Avant Garde (she recorded music with a host of free jazz artists in the 60s, 70s & 80s). She is one of the true French greats. I bought this record about 10 years ago and it took me a good while to get into it. And even though I do say so myself, I think this is a fantastic track; Brigitte and Areski speaking exotic beautiful french spoken word along to Mimi Lorenzini‘s acoustic guitar ‘serenading’ away in the backgrounds is just awesome. Dedicating this one to Jarred who absolutely freaked out whilst it was playing in his studio the other day.”
8. The Curtis Counce Group “The Butler Did It”
Carl’s Blues LP | Label: Contemporary | Year: 1960.
“I’m a big fan of the legendary Contemporary label. It’s somewhat underrated in my view; some great jazz artists – Chico Hamilton, Shelly Manne, Hampton Hawes etc…to name just a few – released some top quality records on the label. This is something I picked up in the late 90s at the now defunct Reckless Records. Even though the make up of the group is a quintet (featuring the likes of Gerald Wilson and Harold Land), this is an unaccompanied drum solo featuring legendary drummer Frank Butler, hence the track title which alludes to his name. Pure drums of passion. Elvin Jones-esque!”
9. Leon Thomas feat. Freddie Hubbard “One”
A Piece Of Cake LP | Label: Palcoscenico | Year: 1980.
“This is a personal favourite of mine. A Leon Thomas live European date with a Freddie Hubbard guest appearance. This has a great jazz dance & avant garde slant which swings very nicely with Leon’s trademark yodelling. And a very salient message in the music as well. There’s a great version of on the album as well.”
10. Jimmy Gourley “Comon’ Ovah”
Graffitti LP | Label: Promophone | Year: 1977.
“Some more French left field avant garde. The late American Guitarist Jimmy Gourley recorded this album in France in the late 70s. I usually play the vocal Latin bomb “Grafitti” – which I put on one of my Strictly Jazz mixes – but the one I’ve included here really cooks as well. Great guitar work from Jimmy along with the great Henri Texier running things on Double Bass. Beautiful!”
11. George Duke feat. Josie James “The Way I Feel”
Don’t Let Go | Label: CBS/Epic | Year: 1978.
“So into this track again right now. I’ve loved it forever and a day. I love the way it starts off slow and then explodes into a percussive work out with Brother Leon “Ndugu” Chancler on drums, Sheila Escovedo on Conga; George Howard – of course – on keyboards and Josie James (underrated Vocalist) complementing it nicely with her sublime voice. BIG TUNE.”
12. Ray Mantilla Space Station “Caminos de Machu Pichu”
Synergy LP | Label: Red Record | Year: 1986.
“Lovely Peruvian Jazz. Emotional music. I never tire of this one.”
13. The Zimbo Trio “Consolacao”
RGE LP | Label: Philips | Year: 1965.
“I’ve really been into my Bossa’s again of late. This is something I found again in my collection. Strong Latin! The Zimbo Trio also recorded a great version of “Berimbau” which is worth checking out.”
14. Norman Connors “Kwasi”
Saturday Night Special | Label: Buddah | Year: 1975.
“Some great drummers are inadvertently featured in this mix: Art Blakey, Frederick Waits, Frank Butler, Leon “Ndugu” Chancler… thought to end the mix with music from legendary jazz drummer Norman Connors, who for my money – along with Herbie Hancock (who plays acoustic piano on this track btw) – is one of the most complete artists ever. Name it… Disco, Boogie, Jazz, Funk, Soul… he’s done it all. For me, that’s what its all about. His drumming on this track is insane.”