IF MUSIC PRESENTS YOU NEED THIS-A JOURNEY INTO DEEP JAZZ VOL. 2

IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2.

For the best part of four decades, Jean-Claude Thompson has been one of the leading lights of London’s vibrant and eclectic music scene. He’s been one half of production duo The Amalgamation Of Soundz since 1990. They’ve released critically acclaimed albums, compilations, countless singles and remixes a plenty. Amalgamation Of Soundz also played a memorable DJ set at Glastonbury back in 2005. That was no surprise.

For many a year, Jean-Claude has been a top DJ, and is a familiar face in London’s club scene. He’s travelled far and wide DJ-ing, flying the flag for his genre-defying, jazz-tinged sound. Recently, when he’s not been involved in production nor DJ-ing, Jean-Claude has been busy with a variety of new projects.

This includes hosting radio shows on NTS and Soho Radio. Jean-Claude also finds time to run a record shop IF Music, and curate a series of compilations. The most recent compilation that Jean-Claude curated was IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 for BBE.

IF Music Presents You Need This-A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 is the latest and much anticipated instalment in BBE’s deep jazz series. This is no ordinary deep jazz compilation though. Instead, IF Music Presents You Need This-A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 is a triple album that was released on heavyweight vinyl. It features eight eclectic slices of deep jazz. There’s something for everyone on IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2.

The music on something for everyone on IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 veers between soulful and spiritual to free jazz. There’s obscurities, rarities and hidden gems that will have eluded even the most dedicated and determined collector. These tracks are sure to appeal to a wide range of record buyers.

This ranges from hipsters discovering jazz for the first time, to DJs, dancers and veteran collectors. IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 is sure to appeal to a wide range of record buyers. They’re in for musical feast.

Opening IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 is the Billy Bang Sextet’s Abuella. It’s taken from the Billy Bang Sextet’s third album Live At Carlos 1. It was originally released by Soul Note in 1987. One of the highlights is Abuella, which features the Billy Bang Sextet at their very best. They combine a myriad of Latin percussion with bursts of rapid fire drums and Billy Bang’s inventive violin solos. Together, they play leading roles in the sound and success of a near fourteen minute melodic avant-garde epic. 

Forty years ago in 1977, Sestetto Giorgio Gaslini released their debut album Free Action. This was the first of two albums they released on Dischi Della Quercia. However, for many, Free Action, which featured five movements, was their finest hour. So it’s no surprise that Claude-Jean decided to choose two tracks from Free Action. The first is V Moviment, whose introduction, some listeners will notice, seems to owe a debt gratitude to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Soon, though, horns lead the way and improvise. Before long Sestetto Giorgio Gaslini reach new heights. They play with freedom, fluidity, power and inventiveness during the first of two tantalising tastes of Free Action.

In 1979, American jazz trombonist Dick Griffin released his sophomore album Now Is The Time on the Trident label. It featured a talented band that included drummer Freddie Waits, bassist Calvin Hill, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan plus pianist, flautist and vocalist Donald Smith. One of the highlights of Now Is The Time is the title-track. It’s a deeply soulful and beautiful slice of spiritual jazz.

During her career, Tina Marsh was a stalwart of the music scene in Austin, Texas. She founded and lead the Tina Marsh Creative Opportunity Orchestra. Tina Marsh constantly championed eclectic big-band jazz that often, headed in the direction of avant-garde. That was the case on the two albums the Tina Marsh Creative Opportunity Orchestra released. This includes Benediction, which was released by Dennis Gonzalez’s Daagnim Records. Nowadays, copies of the original Benediction LP are almost impossible to find. So the inclusion of the two tracks from Benediction is to be welcomed. The first is the title-track Benediction. It veers between ruminative and contemplative before skipping and breezing along. Elements of spiritual and contemporary jazz combine before Benediction heads in the direction of avant-garde. Latterly though, Benediction takes on an ethereal and spiritual quality. It’s a true hidden gem, that’s a reminder of a musical pioneer Tina Marsh at her creative zenith.

Bradley Parker-Sparrow was born in the Windy City of Chicago, in 1954. By 1979, owned his own recording studio and Sparrow, the group he form and lead were about to release their debut album Latin Black. It was an ambitious double album, that was released on Bradley Parker-Sparrow’s own label Sparrow Sound Design. The highlight of Latin Black, was Latin Black Funk. It’s offers the septet the opportunity for invention and innovation on a twenty-two minute, genre-melting Magus Opus. It takes a series of twists and turns, as Sparrow spring surprises as they switch between and combine fusion and free jazz. This results in an ambitious, captivating, dramatic and melodic musical adventure.

Back in March 1970, the George Russell Sextet headed to Estrad, Sodertalje, in Sweden to play a concert. Joining the all-star sextet on three tracks that night, was Norwegian tenor and soprano saxophonist Jan Garbarek. Fortunately, the tapes were running and captured the George Russell Sextet’s performance. It was eventually released by Soul Note in 1982. Two of the album’s highlights were Theme and Souls which combined, last just over sixteen magical minutes. While everyone plays their part in the success of this free jazz epic, it’s saxophonist Jan Garbarek that steals the show. He unleashes blistering, braying, blazing solos at what was the start of his long, illustrious and successful career. 

Pursuit is the second of two tracks from the Tina Marsh Creative Opportunity Orchestra. It featured on their sophomore album Benediction. Percussion gives way to the big-band jazz and Tina Marsh’s scatted vocal. She used her voice as an  instrument, with her wordless lines conveying literal effects and emotions. Sometimes, she passes the baton to the horns, who enjoy their moment in the sun. However, it’s Tina Marsh that plays a starring role and whose star shines the brightest on Pursuit.

Closing IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 is Giorgio Gaslini’s III Movimento. This is the second track from Giorgio Gaslini’s 1977 album Free Actions. It features Sestetto Giorgio Gaslini in full flight. It’s a joy to behold, as the braying saxophones head in the direction of free jazz and dance around a funky double bass that underpins the arrangement. The result is what’s without doubt, one of the compilation’s highlights. Jean-Claude has saved the best until last.

IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 features eight tracks. They range from soulful and spiritual to free jazz. There’s obscurities, rarities and hidden gems that will have eluded even the most dedicated and determined collector. 

To track down these eight obscurities, rarities and hidden gems would prove expensive. Several of the albums the tracks on IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 are taken from are extremely rare. Copies don’t come up forsake very often, and when they do, they change hands for large sums of money. However,  Jean-Claude Thompson lovinging curated IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 is a tantalising taste of the music on these six albums. 

While the Billy Bang Sextet, Sestetto Giorgio Gaslini, Dick Griffin, Tina Marsh Creative Opportunity Orchestra, Sparrow and George Russell Sextet are far from household names, they were all talented musicians who were capable of creating ambitious, innovative and inventive music. Proof of that can be found on IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2. It’s a lovingly curated compilation which BBE recently released on heavyweight vinyl as a triple album. For anyone interested in jazz, then this will be a welcome addition to their record collection.

It doesn’t matter if it’s hipsters dipping their toes in the world of jazz, DJs, dancers or veterans of jazz compilations past, IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2 is tantalising taste of inventive and innovative deep jazz from yesteryear. 

IF Music Presents You Need This–A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 2.

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