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Bayeté (Todd Cochran) - Worlds Around The Sun (2014) review

Bayeté (Todd Cochran) "Worlds Around The Sun" (Omnivore Recordings, 2014)

               I generally hesitate to review jazz music. To do that you really ought to be an aficionado with extensive knowledge of the genre, and I’m just not that. But I’ve spent plenty of time listening to records by the likes of Coltrane, Monk, Mingus, Miles, as well as things like B-3 grooves and the Blue Break Beats series, etc. This underappreciated gem from 1972 puts me in mind of all of that, and then some. While there isn’t a note on here that you would call easy listening, some of the tracks are steady enough to sound good over the speakers of an urban coffee shop during the morning rush. Other pieces are more challenging, freeform wailing in a way that could bring knowing looks from fans of the likes of Albert Ayler. One selection is a moody number that could have worked as a soundtrack theme to an art film about inner city culture in the late 60s/early 70s. But it’s not a straight jazz album. The political “Free Angela” is driven by a chanting vocal, was later covered by Santana, and could have fit on a Gil Scot-Heron album. And “I’m On It” is far-out funk/soul/rock a la Shuggie Otis. All these records pass through my mind as I listen to this: A Love Supreme, Mingus Ah-Um, On the Corner, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, Inspiration Information. Look for it mid-March.

Review made by Brian Greene/2014
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