Not posted for a while. I’m currently researching for a historical novel. Well I should be, but sometimes music gets in the way, as only music can. Which is generally in a good way. I’ve been managing to fit in some real DJ work lately. That is – two decks and a bag full of vinyl, as opposed to a memory stick of MP3s. Having said that I still practice the way of the virtual selector. Below are some of my more recent mixes. So get in touch with your magical jazz bone by playing one of these, or even better all of them.
If like me you love American “film-noir” and French “New Wave” then you will know what a huge effect the music has on the atmosphere of such films. And, unsurprisingly, the music most associated with these movies is jazz. This mix represents a selection of music from fifties and sixties films that I love. It features tracks from Miles Davis, Joseph Gershenson, Andrzej Trzaskowski, Alex North, Krzysztof Komeda and more.
So, sit back, close your eyes and imagine you are sitting in a smoky club in Paris. Up on the bandstand Miles Davis is blowing horn and at the next table Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jeanne Moreau are smoking Gauloise and drinking Absinthe. Fade to black….
I have to admit it! I have been rather lax with this blog of late. I have not been keeping you up to date on my latest musical mixes. Well, there is rather a backlog of other stuff you absolutely must check out, if you are a jazz music fan. So check out all the mixes below. If you like them, let me know, I love to get feedback.
A landmark is an object or feature of a landscape or that is easily seen and recognized from a distance. Landmarks can enable you to establish your location. For me, landmarks can mean more than one thing. For instance, I have always associated music with place. When I first moved to Leeds in the UK, I went out looking for music and the landmarks for me were the clubs that played jazz, latin and soul. Club nights like the Cooker and Casa Latina where you could hear Curtis Mayfield segued into Pharaoh Sanders via Marcos Valle. Predominantly, those heavyweight nights were run by Leeds Dig collective. DJ Lubi Jovanovic, Gip Dammone, Chico Malo and DJ Ez. These nights were landmarks in Leeds musical heritage and made a huge impact on my musical consciousness. This mix is dedicated to them and hopefully gives a little flavour of those incredible times.
Leeds Cityscape by Lizzie Prestt
In November 2011, UNESCO officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day brings together communities and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots. Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace and dialogue among cultures.
This year I will be taking part in International Jazz Day by spinning some of my favourite tunes on Ness Radio along with some of the world’s best jazz DJ’s.
I hope you will take some time out to listen and support one of music’s greatest artforms. Not only will you hear music that moves your feet, you will also hear music to move your soul. In my selection, expect to hear John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Art Blakey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Charles Mingus and many more. So please give the music a listen, as Art Blakey said: “Music washes away the dust of every day life”.
A bit like waiting for a bus, you are expecting a DJ2tee mix, then suddenly two come at once! Volume One features music for millennials or perhaps made by millennials. All the tracks are bang up to date with post-modernist vibe. It starts with a winning groove from beat scientist Makaya McCraven, son of jazz drummer Stephen McCraven (Sam Rivers, Archie Shepp) and Hungarian folk singer Agnes Zsigmondi. Justin “Justefan” Thomas features on vibes. The vibes continue with Mexico’s Incognito Traveller followed by master drummer Herlin Riley. Delta Saxophone Quartet create beauty – GTQ create funk. Mosaico get hip with some beat vocals – Larry Stabbins of Working Week fame, channels Coltrane. Beautiful vocals from Dionne Bennett complement Jason Rebello’s pianoistics. Florian Pellissier covers Harold McNair’s The Hipster, then we end with an excellent track from Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez.
Volume Two features some old favourites and some new favourites. Generally, a more straight-ahead jazz feel to this mix, although we begin with a funky session from African Roots of Jazz featuring current hip cat Carlos Niño. Next up a couple of big bands, firstly trombonist Scott Reeves Orchestra, then the Swiss Jazz Orchestra featuring Mike Mainieri & Peter Erskine. Following that some modernism from Empirical’s new album “Connection”. Then we get into an elephantile vibe from sax player Derf Reklaw (The Pahrohs), possibly dedicated to the next artist Hannibal Lokumbe. Ian Shaw then vocalises sweetly on a cover of Traffic’s Low Spark of the High Heeled Boys followed by our finale an amazing track from Open Source Trio featuring Bulgarian pianist Momchil Atanasoff.
My new mix is a tribute to Roy Ayers, one of my favourite musicians. Roy was born in 1940 and hails from South-Central Los Angeles. Roy started recording as a bebop sideman in 1962 and rose to prominence when he joined jazz flutist Herbie Mann in 1966. In the early Seventies Roy formed the band Ubiquity and became one of jazz-funk’s leading proponents. My musical choices on some of the many tracks Roy wrote or played on as a sideman. I have avoided the usual favourites, but I couldn’t resist Everybody Loves the Sunshine! At seventy-five Roy is still going strong and I can personally vouch that his live act is stunning. A true giant!
I have always known Yusef Lateef’s music from back in the day. But, recently I have been rediscovering what a musical phenomenon he really was. For those not familiar with Lateef here’s a short biography.
Yusef Abdul Lateef, October 9, 1920 – December 23, 2013) was an American multi-instrumentalist, & composer. Although working predominantly in the idiom known as Jazz, Lateef wanted to be known as a musician rather than a “jazz” musician. Lateef’s main instruments were the tenor saxophone and flute, but he also played bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, xun, arghul and koto. He was a true innovator studying “Eastern music” and blending it with western influences to create a new genre. Yusef “played world music before world music had a name.”
Well if you want to hear why I love his music, I have posted a mix on Mixcloud which gives a little of his essence. I am only really disturbing the surface of a deep well of brilliance, so I advise you to search out his albums and discover for yourselves what a musical genius he was.