The interest in the jazz flavoured tracks I featured back in the day has been HUGE. The Blog brings you more.
The first selection featured cuts I can identify being aired on the BBC London Saturday lunchtime show between March and July 1979.
For those of you – too young to remember back that far or so old the memory is not what it used to be – explanation or memory jolt is required. The forty was literally 40 minutes of jazz flavoured tunes that more often than not fell outside what the music police ruled was “real” jazz.
Jazz music has a broad church better protected than any other style of music. The protection is from the army of fans so enthusiastic and dedicated to their jazz rhythms that imposters had better beware. However, as we all know, one persons jazz can represent to the protectionists, an example of dark forces in action determined to undermine “real Jazz”. It is now not as feudal as it used to be thank goodness.
You cannot beat an is it jazz debate. Love it.
The second selection is from July 1979 to January 1981
Sausalito – Grover Washington Jr. (Live Version).
Many Steps Along The Way – Joe Sample
For The Public – Heath Brothers
Happy Song – Ronnie Foster.
Jazz Carnival – Azymuth
Sunbeams/Quiet Moments – Lonnie Liston Smith
Lion Dance – Hiroshima
Lasana’s Priestess – Donald Byrd
Babbitt’s Other Song – Lonnie Smith
Mysterious Vibes – Sunburst
Grand Prix – Fuse One
Sugarloaf Express – Lee Ritenour
Keep Smiling – Gabor Szabo
Spellbound – Earl Klugh
Chicago Dawn – Bobbi Humphrey
Westchester Lady – Bob James
ABOUT SOME OF THE TUNES.
Grand Prix from Fuse One is the perfect example of Jazz Fusion collectives in the 80’s. The band line up included Joe Farrell, John McLaughlin, Paulinho Da Costa, Lenny White, Larry Coryell, and Stanley Clarke – all first division players in their own right. Stanley Clarkes bass dominates Grand Prix, written by Ronnie Foster whose track Happy Song is also featured in this selection.
Keep Smiling is a Bunny Sigler tune from the real hot hit time of Philadelphia International. He worked on this delicious version by Gabo Szabo that also features Dexter Wansell on synthesiser. Gabo, born in Budapest had his roots in Hungarian folk music. He honed his jazz playing after moving to America and the tune and the player are a perfect mix.
Another cover is Mysterious Vibes originally, a Donald Byrd produced track for the Blackbyrds. On the album, Action from 1976 it turned up on one of those hideously expensive Japanese imports by a band called Sunburst. The exchange rate in those record buying days meant a week wages almost disappeared with just one purchase. My wallet still aches and it burst into tears when burglars took the whole collection.
Westchester Lady got its title from the area Bob James lived in at the time – Westchester County, New York State.
We will have more jazz funk forty selections on the blog in future weeks. I have just realised that three of the tracks in this list where featured on my compilation Jazz Funk 5 as part of the Mastercuts series.