The latest in episode in Jazzman’s Spiritual Jazz series digs deep into the archives of numerous European record labels to reveal a brace of gems recorded by African American master musicians like Sahib Shihab, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Sun Ra, Noah Howard, Grachan Moncur III, Eric Dolphy et al while working in Europe during the Sixties.
Despite the civil rights struggle and the growth Black consciousness the music of these masters was consistently marginalised in the USA. However, in Europe they discovered an open a receptive audience and a host of young musicians eager to both work with them and learn. After the repressive racism of the States some found Europe liberating and settled there. Sahib Shihab was one such player who left the States behind and definitely made his mark on the Scandanavian jazz scene. Anyone familiar the UK jazz dance scene will be familiar with Shihab’s killing baritone sax and flute outings. Both the opening track with Shibab and Pierre Carvalli ‘Stude Nr 1 Fur 12’ and ‘The Call’ are typically inspired.
Jazzman’s ability to dig deeper is never in question. I’m still vibing on Ra & June Tyson welcoming us to their spaceworld, singing “the sound of joy is enlightenment” and if you want a touch more enlightenment look no further than Billy Gault’s ‘Mode For Trane’. Never heard that before nor the intense percussive Latin inspired masterpiece of ‘T & W’ by Frank Wright… a tenor player who can be FIERCE!
Don Cherry’ ‘Humus’ freaked me out as it takes one of my favourite tunes from his ‘Relativity Suite’ LP and gives it an alternative life. ‘Ole’ is a Coltrane classic that’s given me ’nuff pleasure over the years and Noah Howard’s version is a percussive and refreshing take that builds beautifully.
I could go on but suggest you simply check out the Soundcloud link and then the buy these records/Cd. Support your local Jazzman!