Roy Hargrove and Randy Weston Remembered at Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Congress
Musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Karriem Riggins, Roberta Gambarini and George Cables, were amongst the hundreds who convened at Jazz at the Lincoln Center this week, to pay tribute to the late trumpeter and bandleader Roy Hargrov, in concert. Over the course of a five hour show, the revolving cast presented the breadth of music close to the late musician’s heart; from traditional jazz balladry and big band power, to hard-driving post-bop and forward-thinking fusion, leaving no stone unturned come the conclusion of the set. The show brought Jazz at the Lincoln’s Center’s two-day Jazz Congress to a close and videos from the performances can found here.
Earlier that same day a panel discussed the far-reaching influence of late pianist Randy Weston, a ‘man of the world’ in the words of host Willard Jenkins, whose work extended beyond the music he wrote and played, to activism and scholarship. Revisit the informative discussion here.
The Repeat Listen: Souleance – Tribute to Gal MacDermot
Tasting Notes: The Alchemist – French Blend vol. 1 & 2, Tom Caruana – Pepperland Instrumental Collection, Damu The Fudgemunk & Raw Poetic – Instrumentals from The Reflecting Sea, Emapea – Seeds, Roots & Fruits, Peanut Butter Wolf – Peanut Butter Breaks
After the passing of widely respected film and theatre composer Galt MacDermot late last year, French duo Souleance felt it imperative to pay tribute to his work. They did so as various hip-hop producers have done previously: by turning to his eclectic recorded catalogue for samples, breaks and dialogue. Only this time, the focus of the resultant work was entirely on MacDermot; no feature vocalists, and arrangements that highlight the charm, groove and warmth of the source material MacDermot and his collaborator crafted.
The beat tape, 33 minutes in length and featuring 17 fully-realised beats with three skits, is a joyous journey through maestro MacDermot’s sonic world. The beats are playful, groovy and rewardingly varied, with some harking back to golden era production styles and others involving quite contemporary programming and synth patches. Stand out tunes include the unusually structured funk workout, Valentine, where Hammond stabs strike like lightning over a tight funk groove and JB’s-esque guitar lick. Thanks You Mr MacDermot places the boys’ appreciation right there in the title, and musically decorates a quirky percussion loop with a a filtered synth bass, melodic electronics and keyboard.
This beat tape captures the same warmth and passion that surges through the works of MF Doom, Damu The Fudgemunk, Tom Caruana and countless others, who’ve taken source material close to their heart and reframed it in such a way that it takes on new meaning, adding another strain of connectivity between ourselves as listeners and the original music. Check out MacDermot’s awesome back catalogue on Discogs.
Berlin-based producer Eva Geist releases the dreamlike Urban Monogamy 12” on Hivern Discs today. With hushed vocals, bubbling synth bass, percussion and a synth-line recalling North African and Middle Eastern melodies, the title track is an inspiring meeting point of ideas and influences, burning slowly and dimly as it draws the listener into it’s hazy aesthetic. The track has also been remixed by Velvet Season & The Hearts of Gold.
Ivan ‘Mamão’ Conti, the drummer known for his work with Azymuth and his numerous solo albums, is soon to release his new record, Poison Fruit. In anticipation of it, Far Out recordings have dropped two beautiful tracks, including Encontro – a blissfully smooth Latin American jazz cut with shimmering percussion, electric keyboards and bass and wandering synth lines.
Widely admired tenor saxophonist Chris Potter has joined forces with Edition records for his forthcoming release, Currents. Fronting a newly-assembled combination, he stated in this new behind the scenes/live session video that he was ‘itching to get back into groove land,’ hence the heavy presence of drums and electric bass heard within it. Filmed and edited by Jim McGorman, the video captures the band in full flight, as well as hearing Potter’s thoughts on the development of jazz music.
Voodoo Black, the Manchester-based hip-hop crew consisting of Mouse Outfit-affiliated MCs Dubbul O, Ellis Meade and Sparkz with DJ/producer Cutterz released a new video for their track Gettin Dum  this week. Elements of the video appear to have been shot behind the scene at last year’s Boiler Room x North Face event, while other take to the rooftops, for a spot of Manchester-inspired blue sky thinking. Check out the video below and keep your eyes peeled for Kill Miami’s forthcoming collab with The Mouse Outfit (feature MCs TBA) which is slated to drop a few days before his set at Inner City Waves.
Finally, L’Impératrice’s new video for LÀ-HAUT tips a cap to the stop-motion plasticine work of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, while also featuring contemporary choreography and a narrative which finds Raya Martini’s character escaping the desk job and shedding her workplace mask, to explore the technicolour French countryside. The vibrantly-coloured, artistically-inclined visual was put together by a sizeable team, led by directors Aymeric Bergada du Cadet and Damien Moulierac. A wonderfully quirky accompaniment to the band’s contemporary synth-pop sound.