Friday, July 24, 2020

McQ's Best Of 1969 Vol 7 - D. Small's Jazz Odyssey

Look, when it comes to jazz, I know next to nothing, at least compared to the few strands of random trivia I've come to grasp about rock.

But after revisiting many of 1969's most highly regarded jazz works, one thing was clear about - 1969 jazz was as adventurous and exploratory as hell.

Included below is a three-hour mix of the year's jazz that struck me most, with a few short efforts from R&B artists who were in a jazzier frame of mind in 1969 thrown in to break up the crushing weight of the amazing 20-30 minute compositions from the likes of Miles Davis, Don Cherry, George Russell and Pharaoh Sanders.

And as the two sets' subtitles imply, Set 1 is the far more relaxed and soothing of the two.

Here's the Spotify link.

Set 1 (Carrie, The Functioning Agent)

1. Compared To What - Les McCann (8:43)
2. Shhh / Peaceful - Miles Davis (18:15)
3. There Was A Time - Dee Felice Trio (2:59)
4. Dindi - Wayne Shorter (9:36)
5. The Human Abstract - David Axelrod (5:35)
6. Eternal Rhythm, Pt. 1 - Don Cherry (17:49)
7. My Spiritual Indian - Eddie Palmieri (6:40)
8. Tryin' Times - Roberta Flack (5:08)

Set 2 (Carrie Off Her Meds)

9. Two For Two - John McLaughlin (3:43)
10. Mu - Sun Ra (4:28)
11. Blase - Archie Shepp (10:27)
12. Blind Willie - Sonny Sharrock (3:11)
13. Chromelodeon 1 - Harry Partch (2:29)
14. Frelon Brun - Miles Davis (5:37)
15. Bring It On Home To Me - Aretha Franklin (3:45)
16. Peace Piece - John McLaughlin (1:49)
17. Rock Out - Art Ensemble Of Chicago (8:36)
18. Electronic Sonata Events 8 - 14 - George Russell (26:34)
19. All The Way - James Brown (3:41)

20. Memphis Underground - Herbie Mann (7:09)
21. The Creator Has A Master Plan - Pharoah Sanders (32:47)

Meet the Jazz Odyssey Ensemble:

Les McCann: We're starting super easy on this mix, letting Les McCann and Eddie Harris's legendary Montreal Jazz Festival performance of Gene McDaniel's Compared To What (a song that had been recently popularized by Roberta Flack on her 1969 debut First Take) kick things off. 

Miles Davis: More coming soon!

Dee Felice Trio: More coming soon!

Wayne Shorter: More coming soon!

David Axelrod: More coming soon!

Don Cherry: More coming soon!

Eddie Palmieri: More coming soon!

Roberta Flack: More coming soon!

John McLaughlin: More coming soon!

Sun Ra: More coming soon!

Archie Shepp: More coming soon!

Sonny Sharrock: More coming soon!

Harry Partch: More coming soon!

Aretha Franklin: More coming soon!

Art Ensemble Of Chicago: More coming soon!

George Russell: More coming soon!

James Brown: More coming soon!

Herbie Mann: While not always beloved by critics, flutist Herbie Mann's Memphis Underground (Solid Recommend) is one of the best selling albums in jazz history, a crazy accessible merger of jazz and soul. Most of its five songs are covers of classic soul staples (Chain Of Fools, an incendiary Hold On, I'm Comin'), but to represent, we're going with the record's one original composition, the utterly delightful title track

Pharoah Sanders: We close our 1969 Jazz Odyssey with one of my three favorite compositions on the entire mix, former Coltrane disciple and tenor saxophonist extraordinaire Pharoah Sander's 30 minute magnum opus The Creator Has A Master Plan from his gorgeous 1969 release Karma (Strong Recommend). Starting with a breathtaking, afro-pop infused melody before gradually evolving into overwhelming, unhinged cacophony, it just felt like it was the only track with which to logically end this mix.

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