Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Over the last three years I presented the show 'One Step Beyond' on CUR1350, the Cambridge University student radio station. When I was starting out I tended to mix tracks by different artists, with no particularly rhyme or reason other than that I felt they were worth playing, but I soon started to use the 2-hour slot for a more in-depth focus on particular artists or genres or movements, mixing biography, music, analysis and (as time went on) polemic. The presentation is a little duff at times, though it gets smoother later on - which means that the rants get longer! In any case, there's quite a bit of rare stuff on here, mainly jazz and free jazz.
During the show's second year, I was joined by fellow student Noa Corcoran-Tadd, who also had his own solo shows, including a very interesting soundscape project called 'Seventy Loud Years', mixing music and spoken word (political speeches, film clips, etc) in an alternative history of the twentieth century. It was a nice surprise to find genuinely experimental stuff on student radio, which too often seems to be a training ground for the mediocrity of local radio, with all its Alan Partridge-esque trite awfulness, or the equally trite environs of BBC airtime fillers. It's a far cry from 'the finest emerging minds of the new generation', blah blah - a space for radicalism and experimentation and so on - it seems that's not the way things run anymore. It's also a far cry from the college radio scene in the U.S., where covering jazz and experimental musics has been part of the schedules for years, where playing something other than the latest chart pap/pop is regarded with respect rather than with bemusement or contempt. In any case, I stuck with it, and if the quality of the spoken word segments varies, the music stays good.
Individual shows are posted in two parts, as 128kbps MP3s: they're all posted on multiply (http://fatgut.multiply.com), which seems to be the best web-host for this sort of thing (i.e. it has the largest capacity and is the easiest to navigate), though it does require (free) registration before you can listen to and download the tracks. The chronological list of shows begins below (to be continued in subsequent posts). For me, the best 2007 shows were the Alice Coltrane and Andrew Hill tributes, the John Coltrane and Archie Shepp shows, the Jazz/Classical Music survey, and the brief history of Electronic Music.
FIRST YEAR: 2007
(1) BROADCAST DATE: 1st December 2006
SHOW TITLE: Pilot Show
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A one-hour try-out broadcast; my first time on air.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Gil Evans Orchestra, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miles Davis, John Zorn, Sun Ra, Peter Brotzman
DOWNLOAD LINK: None: see explanation in description of next show
(2) BROADCAST DATE: 17th January 2007
SHOW TITLE: Alice Coltrane Tribute
SHOW DESCRIPTION: I think this is the first proper show I did (after a rather shaky pilot which I'm not going to post - despite the fact that it has a decent selection of tracks, the presentation is pretty awful!). Alice Coltrane had just died, so I decided to do a tribute programme, which included tracks from the albums 'Universal Consciousness', 'Journey in Satchidanda', 'Ptah the El Daoud', 'Lord of Lords', 'World Galaxy', & 'Cosmic Music'. The first MP3 is only half-an-hour, rather than an hour long, because I forgot to flick an on-air switch and so the programme introduction (and one track) was lost!
ARTISTS PLAYED: John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/73/One_Step_Beyond_1712007_-_Alice_Coltrane
(3) BROADCAST DATE: 31st January 2007
SHOW TITLE: Michael Brecker Tribute
SHOW DESCRIPTION: For the second show, I again paid tribute to a recently deceased musician: this time, someone else very much connected with John Coltrane (in terms of stylistic influence, if not direct contact) - saxophonist Michael Brecker. A hugely prolific recording artist, both as sideman and leader, I tried to encompass some of the range of his career: from Mel Lewis to Joni Mitchell and Funkadelic to Pat Metheny. Again, the first hour was cut short somewhat by me forgetting to press the 'on air' switch!
ARTISTS PLAYED: Brecker Brothers, Mel Lewis, Funkadelic, Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, Steps, Jaco Pastorius, Sarah Jane Cion, Michael Brecker
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/76/One_Step_Beyond_31-1-2007_-_Michael_Brecker
(4) BROADCAST DATE: 7th February 2007
SHOW TITLE: Misc
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Things from the easier side of jazz/soul.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Miles Davis, Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Palmieri, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sam and Dave, Dudu Pukwana, Hugh Masekela, Gary Bartz, Jimmy Smith, Quincy Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Amon Tobin, Roy Ayers, Bobby Hutcherson, Medeski Martin and Wood.
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/79/One_Step_Beyond_7022007
(5) BROADCAST DATE: 14th February 2007
SHOW TITLE: Misc
SHOW DESCRIPTION: This show saw a focus on extended, high-energy tracks, with some rare and beautiful interludes. The music played included the frenetic free jazz of the Cecil Taylor group, in a rare recording with tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler; the big band splash of the Gil Evans orchestra; a rarely-played track from Wayne Shorter's experimental album 'Motto Grosso Feio'; a straightahead workout by Freddie Hubbard; a moody slab of Ellingtonia from Charles Mingus; a dark and exciting piece from the David S. Ware Quartet; and, to conclude, more free jazz, this time from Ayler's work as leader rather than sideman.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Cecil Taylor, Wayne Shorter, Bennie Maupin, Alice Coltrane, Gil Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Charles Mingus, David S. Ware, Albert Ayler
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/82/One_Step_Beyond_14022007
(6) BROADCAST DATE: 21st February 2007
SHOW TITLE: Misc
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A focus on music from the 60s and 70s in this show, leaning towards the avant-garde side of things but with plenty of room for the blues (in a rare Jimi Hendrix recording and a track from vocalist Leon Thomas) and some elegant-stripped down jazz, as Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy play Billy Strayhorn. Elsewhere, the Beatles’ only ever instrumental track, a bitesize chunk of Miles Davis’ Bitches’ Brew Sessions, some mighty thunder from Larry Young’s White House-levitating Love Cry Want, and, to end it all, a sizeable chunk of Keith Jarrett’s legendary ‘Koln Concert.’ (Incidentally, you'll have to wait about 3 minutes for the 1st track - I was late into the studio!)
ARTISTS PLAYED: Music Inc., Mal Waldron/Steve Lacy, Sun Ra, Miles Davis, Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society, Brotherhood of Breath, Art Ensemble of Chicago (with Fontella Bass), The Beatles, Herbie Mann, Leon Thomas, Jimi Hendrix, Larry Young, Keith Jarrett
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/85/One_Step_Beyond_21022007
(7) BROADCAST DATE: 28th February 2007
SHOW TITLE: Misc (incl. Leroy Jenkins Tribute)
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Leroy Jenkins died of lung cancer the weekend before this programme went out, and the show opens with a brief tribute. Elsewhere, a mixture of different things, including a couple of tracks from David Murray, as well as different versions of the standard ‘My Foolish Heart’, from the Bill Evans trio and from John McLaughlin on solo guitar (in a performance that shows his debt to jazz guitarists like Tal Farlow, a side of him you don’t see too much of). Also, Wayne Shorter’s brilliant quartet, live at the Barbican Hall, and something from the world’s best-known jazz bag-pipe player!
ARTISTS PLAYED: The Revolutionary Ensemble, David Murray, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa, Aphex Twin, Rufus Harley, Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter Quartet
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/88/One_Step_Beyond_28023007
(8) BROADCAST DATE: 7th March 2007
SHOW TITLE: Misc
SHOW DESCRIPTION: From what I can remember, this one had tracks from: the Mingus’ Big Band’s Latin take on Mingus’ compositions, ‘Que Viva Mingus!’, Danilo Perez’ album ‘Motherland’, a musical portrait of his native Panama, some solo violin and viola tracks from Leroy Jenkins, ‘Anthem of the Trinity’ from Terry Riley’s overdubbed solo keyboard album ‘Shri Camel’, part of Gavin Bryars’ ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’, a live 1980s track from Art Pepper, something from a Jean-Luc Ponty plays Zappa album, and a live Seamus Blake track. Shame I can’t find the MP3 of the show.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Mingus Big Band, Danilo Perez, Leroy Jenkins, Terry Riley, Gavin Bryars, Herbie Hancock, Art Pepper, Jean-Luc Ponty, Eric Dolphy, Seamus Blake, Keith Tippett
DOWNLOAD LINK: None: this one seems to have got lost in the archives.
(9) BROADCAST DATE: 25th April 2007
SHOW TITLE: Andrew Hill Tribute
SHOW DESCRIPTION: This show was a 2 hour tribute to pianist Andrew Hill, who had died just 5 days before. Music played is from the albums 'Point of Departure', 'Black Fire', 'Andrew!!', 'Compulsion!!!', 'Lift Every Voice', 'But Not Farewell' and 'A Beautiful Day.'
ARTISTS PLAYED: Andrew Hill
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/117/One_Step_Beyond_25-4-2007_-_Andrew_Hill
(10) BROADCAST DATE: 2nd May 2007
SHOW TITLE: Sonny Sharrock
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Two hours of guitarist Sonny Sharrock, prompting one person to call up the studio (in the midst of the Sharrock-feature 'Satan', from Byard Lancaster's 'It's Not Up to Us') and ask "what is this weird music?" I don't think he was amused. The programme covers Sharrock's career, from Herbie Mann to Don Cherry, Linda Sharrock, Last Exit and 'Ask the Ages.' "I go out on stage, and my intention is to make the first four rows bleed from their ears." Indeed.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Marzette Watts, Byard Lancaster, Pharaoh Sanders, Herbie Mann, Don Cherry, Linda Sharrock, Last Exit, Sonny Sharrock
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/120/One_Step_Beyond_02-05--2007_-_Sonny_Sharrock
(11) BROADCAST DATE: 9th May 2007
SHOW TITLE: Freedom of the City 2007
SHOW DESCRIPTION: One day at the 2007 Freedom of the City Festival, held at the Red Rose in Finsbury Park, London. Performances by the trio of Alan Wilkinson, Joe Williamson and Eddie Prevost (more in a free jazz mode); Unit (a Vietnamese-English rock group dipping their toe into free improv); and another trio - Matt Davis, Matt Milton and Bechir Saade (quiet, minimal electro-acoustic improvisation - 'the new London silence'). To fill out the programme, additional (studio) recordings by Milton and Saade.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Alan Wilkinson, Joe Williamson, Eddie Prevost, Unit, Matt Davis, Matt Milton, Bechir Saade
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/123/One_Step_Beyond_09-05-2007_-_Freedom_of_the_City_2007
(12) BROADCAST DATE: 16th May 2007
SHOW TITLE: John Coltrane (1965)
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A focus on what, for me, is perhaps the most crucial year in the musical life of John Coltrane - 1965. The year Malcolm X was killed, this was also the year when Coltrane really started to move over towards the free jazz that his conservative former fans so decried; the year that saw the break-up of the 'Classic Quartet' of Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garison and Elvin Jones, giving the music a tension that ensured, paradoxically, that these were some of the richest performances they ever gave; the year that saw Coltrane collaborating with avant-garde musicians such as Pharoah Sanders, Rashied Ali and Donald Rafael Garrett; and, most notably, the year that he recorded his most controversial album, the free-jazz big-band masterpiece 'Ascension'. The first hour of the programme sees one take of 'Ascension' played in full, followed by excerpts from other 1965 recordings in the second hour ('Om' and 'Live in Seattle'), and lengthy discussions of the motivations behind, and the implications of, Coltrane's music at this time.
ARTISTS PLAYED: John Coltrane
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/126/One_Step_Beyond_16-05-2007_-_John_Coltrane_1965
(13) BROADCAST DATE: 23rd May 2007
SHOW TITLE: Albert Ayler
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Classic Ayler material including 'Spiritual Unity' (what a record) and 'Live at Greenwich Village' (listen to Don and Albert launch off after half-solemn flamenco-tinged strains of melody) with a few traces of the less-classic later work ('New Grass'), and a stonking blues track from 'Music is the Healing Force of the Universe', featuring Bobby Few on piano and Canned Heat guitarist Henry Vestine.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Albert Ayler
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/129/One_Step_Beyond_23-05-2007_-_Albert_Ayler
(14) BROADCAST DATE: June 2007
SHOW TITLE: McCoy Tyner
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Two complete albums by the influential pianist most famous for playing in John Coltrane's 'Classic Quartet', made after Coltrane's death. The first is 'The Real McCoy', from 1967, released on Blue Note Records, the 2nd 'Sahara', from 1972, on Milestone Records. Also heard is a brief extract from 'Extensions' (1970, also Blue Note).
ARTISTS PLAYED: McCoy Tyner
DOWNLOAD LINK: None: somehow this show got lost in the archives.
(15) BROADCAST DATE: 7th October 2007.
SHOW TITLE: New Releases/ Tributes
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Music from recent jazz releases & re-issues, including 'River: The Joni Letters' by Herbie Hancock, 'Night of the Purple Moon' by Sun Ra, and 'The Hilversum Session' by Albert Ayler. The 2nd hour of the programme features tributes to alto saxophonist Mike Osborne and free improvising trombonist Paul Rutherford.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Albert Ayler, Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra, Trio of Doom, Ric Collbeck (feat. Mike Osborne), Iskra 1903 (feat. Paul Rutherford)
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/1/One_Step_Beyond_1_-_7th_October_2007.
With Noa Corcoran-Tadd
(16) BROADCAST DATE: 14th October 2007
SHOW TITLE: Misc
SHOW DESCRIPTION: An eclectic selection of tracks, with some loose underlying themes guiding the listener through, as they journey from Japanese nu-jazz to 1970s space-fusion to the Kronos Quartet's encounter with world music to new releases from Evan Parker and Terence Blanchard.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Soil and ‘Pimp’ sessions, Quasimode, Sleepwalker, DJ Spooky, Julian Priester Pepo Mtoto, Don Cherry, Collin Wallcott, Kronos Quartet, Dewey Redman, Evan Parker/Matthew Shipp, Terence Blanchard
(17) BROADCAST DATE: 21st October 2007
SHOW TITLE: Archie Shepp
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A look through the career of fiery free jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp, whose music has always been poised between tradition and innovation, the old and the modern, the challenging and the accessible, and draws on a diverse range of influences and idioms, from African music to free jazz, funk, soul, and the blues.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Cecil Taylor, New York Contemporary Five, John Coltrane, Archie Shepp
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/7/One_Step_Beyond_3_-_21st_October_2007.
(18) BROADCAST DATE: 28th October 2007
SHOW TITLE: ‘Jazz’ Guitar
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Another eclectic selection of tracks, this time centred around the idea of jazz guitar, while acknowledging the fact that it is pretty hard to define what 'jazz guitar' actually is! From the jazz-rock fusion side of things to the more blues-based approach of James Blood Ulmer to the 'post-modern' approach of Bill Frissell, what all these artists share is a sense of adventure and innovation, and a refusal to be boxed in by generic conventions.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Jimi Hendrix/Larry Young, Tony Williams’ Lifetime, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Carlos Santana/John McLaughlin, Jaco Pastorius, Music Revelation Ensemble, James Blood Ulmer, Jeff Beck/ Jan Hammer Group, John Zorn & Naked City, Cuong Vu
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/10/One_Step_Beyond_4_-_28th_October_2007.
(19) BROADCAST DATE: 4th November 2007
SHOW TITLE: Jazz/Classical Music (Part 1)
SHOW DESCRIPTION: The first of two programmes looking at attempts, from musicians and composers working in both genres, to fuse jazz and classical music. Today's show features works by classical composers who incorporated jazz elements into their music: Milhaud, Gerswhin, Antheil, Stravinsky, and Leonard Bernstein. And we finish with pieces by jazz composers: Duke Ellington, and the 'Third Stream' compositions of John Lewis and Charles Mingus.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Jacques Loussier Trio, Darius Milhaud, George Gershwin, George Antheil, Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, John Lewis/MJQ, Charles Mingus
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/13/One_Step_Beyond_5_-_4th_November_2007.
(20) BROADCAST DATE: 11th November 2007
SHOW TITLE: Jazz/Classical Music (Part 2)
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Following last week's look at classical composers' attempts to incorporate jazz elements into their works, and similar experiments from the jazz side with the 1950s 'Third Stream' movement, this show will focus on encounters between the two genres in a more avant-garde context in the second half of the 20th century. Artists include AMM, Anthony Braxton and Ornette Coleman.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon, Krzystof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Jimmy Giuffre, AMM, Anthony Braxton
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/19/One_Step_Beyond_6_-_11th_November_2007
(21) BROADCAST DATE: 18th November 2007
SHOW TITLE: Electronic Music: From Stockhausen to Squarepusher
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A look at electronic music, from the early experiments of avant-garde classical composers, to 1960s, 70s, and 80s rock, pop, and ambient, and finally the 'I.D.M' of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. Lots of fascinating oddities and some pretty compelling stuff along the way.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Clara Rockmore, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Schaffer, Edgard Varese, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, Louis and Bebe Barron, Raymond Scott, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Kraftwerk, Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/22/One_Step_Beyond_7_-_18th_November_2007.
The following two shows were presented solo by Noa Corcoran-Tadd
(22) BROADCAST DATE: 25th November 2007
SHOW TITLE: Fragmentation: Jazz in the ‘90s
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A consideration of the musical area in between the emerging canons of the 70s and 80s and the releases of today. Rather than attempting to establish a new canon, this week's programme considers the multiplicity of ways in which 'jazz' ideas have been approached.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Steve Coleman, Clusone 3, Masada, Uri Caine, Cassandra Wilson, Carla Bley, Squarepusher, Wayne Shorter/Herbie Hancock, St Germain, Ornette Coleman, Django Bates, Dave Douglas
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/25/One_Step_Beyond_8_-_25th_November_2007
(23) BROADCAST DATE: 2nd December 2007
SHOW TITLE: Solo
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Two hours devoted to soloists of differing persuasions – from the concentrated live improvisations of Evan Parker and Keith Jarrett to the complex compositions of Luciano Berio and Charles Dodge. Plus some leavening from bassists Pastorius and Weber and others.
ARTISTS PLAYED: Anthony Braxton, Jaco Pastorius, Charles Ives, Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Charles Dodge, Eberhard Weber, Steve Reich
DOWNLOAD LINK: http://fatgut.multiply.com/music/item/30/One_Step_Beyond_9_-_2nd_December_2007