The latest installment in Jazzman’s Spiritual Jazz series, Volume 9, focusses on legendary label, Blue Note. Collecting music from eighteen, long out-of-print LPs. Music largely from the Post-Bop era. Recorded between 1962 and 1969. Compositions and improvisations that incorporate ideas from the Avant-Garde. Mix them with Gospel, Hard Bop, and Modal harmonics. Rhythm, and Blues. Ensembles range from quartets, quintets, sextets, and septets. From nine, ten, up to nineteen musicians and vocalists. Sessions featuring a rotating core of virtuosos, like drummer Elvin Jones, pianists Duke Pearson, and McCoy Tyner. Saxophonists Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, and Wayne Shorter. Trumpeter Lee Morgan. Bobby Hutcherson on vibes. Some ranks bolstered by euphonium and trombone. Choirs and orchestras. Guest appearances by artists such as Jan Hammer and Herbie Hancock. Andy Bey, Airto and Flora Purim. The recordings complied here present an immersive experience. The process of deep listening, meditative, and transcendental. The outside world can tend to disappear.
Vibraphone, and marimba play as cymbals shimmer and crash. The b-line walks. The sax starts to swing.
Double bass strings twang. Rhythms tapped out on high-hats. A blue horn blows. Barking out notes in stop-start quick-fire clusters. Limbering up. Then the sticksman does the same.
Saxophones sing a simple song of love and happiness, before hitting a more complex rap. Blasting beatific beat poetry. Blam blam blam blam blam. Before the keys have their say. Telepathically linked with the rhythm.
West Side Story timpani. Rolling big band after-midnight Noir.
Strings and woodwinds soundtracking clearer skies breaking cloud. Making like the last of the rain. Horns gratefully stretching into a new day.
Folk strum explodes into chorus. A storm of tumbling drums. Brass punches.
Music runs, jumps, leaps and flies.
A Piano repeats its refrain like a mantra. Gathered instrument voices pushing together. Reaching for their highest heights.
Nine maestros forge a side-winding low slung Funk. Keys banging out while the flute floats on. Vibraphone dancing like Josephine Baker, or Honi Coles and Cholly Atkins.
All of it free. Perhaps the only time its players really felt that way.
Expressing inner urges and a Universal rhythm.
Shaking some action.
Mixing church harmonies, Brazil and MPB.
Spy themes circle. Music moving from whispers to shouts. Screams, and back again.
Syncopation. Busting loose.
Emptying anguish. Filling up on joy.
Reeds sassily showing off. Funkily strutting.
Percussion an Afro-Caribbean groove.
You can order Spiritual Jazz Vol.9: Blue Notes, Parts I & II directly from Jazzman.