VA “Spiritual Jazz Vol II: Esoteric, Modal and Deep European Jazz 1960-78″ Jazzman Records
Jazzman Records has put together a second, otherworldly compilation spilling with incredible influences brought together in Europe during the 60’s and late 70’s: Spiritual Jazz 2: Europe. Who could imagine that Choir had such a wonderful place within Jazz? Not to mention the uncanny amount of Moroccan influence and not only in the percussion but in the seemingly endless progressions of scales used throughout the recorded performances.
To picture this music in juxtaposition to 60’s and 70’s in the United States is unpredictably understandable. The idea and craving for freedom is very present. The free form waves used throughout, the saxophones that spill emotions never spelled out with letters but balanced so much more adequately with music make for a moving compilation. At times relaxing, at other times challenging, this compilation embellishes the essence of what Jazz music is.
Not because this is classical jazz, but rather, because of the idea of jazz itself. To me, jazz has always been something free, something that has no beginning and has no end. Jazz is almost literally feeling the other participants and embarking on a journey. Jazz, in essence, has never been afraid. This compilation is nothing short of fearless.
Take “Temple Dancer”, a track that clearly showcases the awesome amount of traditional Arabic influence within the record: Spain should be thankful. This track is one of my favorites, especially considering that it is a live performance, one that was captured perfectly. Once “Temple Dancer” ends, another one of my favorite tracks begins.
“Archangelo” indisputably reminds me of French progressive Avant-garde band Magma. The mixture of Choir with free form Jazz along with Moroccan roots gives for an amazing assortment of tastes that dance around the musical pallet. The structure of the choir along with the doom-like melody are immediately overtaken by alley-cat jazz that takes the listener from larger than life awe to swaying down a European street tossing around smoke from the end of a cigarette.
This compilation is one I will be returning to quite frequently since it has so much mixing and mashing going on. It isn’t something to be missed and certainly something to be compiled. Thank you Jazzman Records for this heady, worldly trip through Spiritual Jazz.