MARTIN FREEMAN AND EDDIE PILLER PRESENT JAZZ ON THE CORNER TWO.

Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two. 

Label: Acid Jazz.

Anyone with even a passing interest in the Acid Jazz will have heard of Eddie Piller. He has been a stalwart of the scene for over thirty years, and during that time, the fifty-six year old has been a DJ, promoter and founded the Acid Jazz record label in 1987. This was the start of new chapter in Eddie Piller’s career.

Over the next few years, the Acid Jazz scene blossomed, and in 1992. Eddie Piller found himself writing, remixing and playing flute on Mother Earth’s album Stoned Woman which he also produced. By then, Eddie Piller was an experienced producer and his career continued apace. 

So would Eddie Piller’s career as a compiler, which began in 1989 when he and Giles Peterson compiled Totally Wired (A Collection From Acid Jazz Records).

Since then, Eddie Piller has compiled numerous compilations for a variety of labels, including critically acclaimed compilations for Blue Note, BGP Records and Acid Jazz. Nearly thirty years later, and he’s still compiling new compilations.

By 2016, Eddie Piller was about to add a new role to his impressive CV, when he asked his friend and fellow musical aficionado Martin Freeman to join him in hosting a jazz radio show. Little did they know how popular that show would when they started playing some of their favourite jazz cuts.

It was a case of anything goes during On The Corner, with the hard bop of Lee Morgan and Art Blakey, followed by soul-jazz, jazz-funk and the original acid jazz to the post modern spiritual jazz of Kasami Washington. The new radio show proved hugely popular, and week after week, the pair were inundated with emails and tweets. That was when they knew that they couldn’t leave things there, and began thinking of where they went next?

Eventually, they decided to release a compilation with each of them choosing eleven cuts each on Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner which was  released by Acid Jazz in April 2018. The compilation was such a success that the pair began working on the followup, which has just been released.

Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two, which has just been released by the Acid Jazz label and is a two CD set. The two compilers have each chosen twelve of their favourite tracks. Disc one features Martin’s Picks and disc two features Eddie’s Choices. The twenty-four tracks on Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two feature contributions from familiar faces, old friends and new names and choosing the highlights isn’t going to be easy.

Disc One-Martin’s Picks.

Opening the compilation is The Magilla a track from Stanley Turrentine’s 1967 album for Blue Note Records, The Spoiler. This Duke Pearson composition was one of the highlights of what was an eclectic album, and showcased one of the most distinctive tenor saxophonists in sixties jazz.

In 1966, Nina Simone released I’m Gonna Leave You as a single on Phillips. It was taken from the album High Priestess Of Soul which was arranged and produced by Hal Mooney. Accompanied by a big band, she delivers an impassioned and swinging version of Rudy Stevenson’s song that is truly timeless.

Lonnie Liston Smith and The Cosmic Echoes released Expansions on Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman label in 1975. One of the highlights of the album was Summer Days. It’s a slice of funky soul-jazz that breezes along and is a reminder of those long carefree Summer Day of yesteryear.

Roy Ayers Ubiquity released the album A Tear To A Smile on Polydor in 1975. Sadly, the album wasn’t as successful as previous albums. However, it featured the title-track with its tough, funky sound and a peerless vibes solo from Roy Ayers. It was easily the standout track on this album. Despite this, it’s often overlooked by compiler and is a welcome addition to the compilation.

Much of Horace Silver’s career was spent signed to Blue Note Records who released his album Silver ’N’ Wood in 1976. It was an album of hard bop that featured two four part suites. This included Tranquilizer Suite Part 4: Perseverance and Endurance. It’s one of the highlights of what wasn’t one of Horace Silver’s strongest albums but is a reminder of one the great jazz pianists of his generation.

Closing side one of Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two is Chico Hamilton’s Conquistadores (The Conquerors). It’s taken from his 1965 album album El Chico, which was predicted by Bob Thiele and released on Impulse. It finds sextet fusing elements of Latin jazz, Bossa nova, and avant-garde on this oft-overlooked genre-melting track.

Side Two-Eddie’s Choices.

Emanuel K Rahim and The Kahliqs open disc two with Al Amin (The Knower), a track from their 1972 album Total Submission. It was released on Joe Fields’ Cobblestone label and features an impassioned and emotive vocal from Ralph Sawyer.

Gene Ammons’ Jungle Strut is a favourite of many compilers and has appeared on a number of compilations over the years. It was released as a single by Prestige in 1970, and featured on the album Brother Jug! It’s a soul-jazz classic and Jungle Strut is the highlight of the album.

In 1968, George Benson signed to A&M Records and released Shape Of Things To Come which was his first album produced by Creed Taylor. Most of the tracks on the albums were cover versions, including the title-track which was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. It’s reinvented by this all-star band and George Benson adds fleet fingered flamboyant flourishes on his guitar. 

Leaving This Planet which was released on Prestige in 1974, is regarded as one of Charles Earland’s finest albums. It was an ambitious double album where the bandleader and producer switched between Hammond organ, keyboards and synths. Charles Earland’s finest moment on this groove-oriented soul-jazz album was the title-track, which not only showcases his skills as a keyboardist but a vocalist as he combine passion and emotion.  

The Lyman Woodard Organisation released their debut album Saturday Night Special, on Strata Records in 1975. It featured Creative Musicians, an uplifting song about self determination where jazz, funk and Latin music melt into on a track from this contemporary jazz  album everyone should hear once in their life.

Closing Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two is Patrice Rushen’s Haw-Right Now. It’s taken from her debut album Prelusion, which was released on Prestige in 1974 when she was just twenty. It was an instrumental album that combines post bop with elements of fusion and one of the highlights was  Haw-Right Now which closes the album on a high.

Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two will be of interest anyone who has listened to their radio show over the last few years. It features the type of music that the two tastemakers have been playing over the last few years. There’s twenty-four tracks from familiar faces and new names. 

This includes contributions from giants of jazz like Stanley Turrentine, Nina Simone, Horace Silver, Roy Ayers Ubiquity, Chico Hamilton and George Benson. Then there’s tracks by Lonnie Liston Smith and The Cosmic Echoes, Gene Ammons and Charles Earland who sadly, didn’t enjoy the widespread success that their considerable talent deserved. However, their music is appreciated by many music fans and the inclusion of their tracks will hopefully introduce their music to a wider audience. That’s the case with hidden gems from  Emanuel K Rahim and The Kahliqs and The Lyman Woodard Organisation which are welcome additions to the compilation.

Just like the first instalment in the series, Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two combine familiar tracks, deep cuts, hidden gems and cosmic jazz rubbing shoulders on this latest lovingly curated compilation which is one of the finest jazz compilations of 2020 so far.

Martin Freeman and Eddie Piller Present Jazz On The Corner Two.

3 Comments

  1. I have the older albums for a while now I’ve featured tracks from time to time. Haven’t got through the new collection yet. Eddie Piller is very funny in real life. I met him at a music festival.

    • I’ve a quite a few of the older compilations and have the Acid Jazz Records box set. There’s some great stuff on it. I loved the Acid Jazz era, and still love the music.

      • It was a great period. Have a listen to Dave Maskell’s latest album. Acid Jazz volume 5 it came out last year. 2019.

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