A classic men’s pork pie hat from the 1940s. Construction: felt wool. Hatband: petersham ribbon. Leather sweatband on inside. Manufacturer: Bond. Note that the ‘bow’ in the back of the hat conceals a small button on a string which winds around the hat: in windy weather the button would be attached to the lapel of a jacket to keep the hat from blowing away.

Lester Young, the great tenor saxophonist, wore one when he was with with Billie Holiday.

Gardenia floating on a sacred lake of tears, pork-pie hat flattened by the weight of the world.”
Kamau Daaoud

Two months after ‘Prez’ died in March 1959 aged just 50, bassist Charles Mingus wrote an elegy dedicated to him for his album Mingus Ah Um. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat has since become a jazz standard, and not just for bassists as this downloadable compilation from my archives shows. The artists in playing order are Charles Mingus, Marcus Miller, Andy Summers, Jeff Beck, Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, John McLaughlin & Christian Escoude, Ralph Towner, Pentangle, and Joni Mitchell.

This is the third in a mini-series of jazz standards compilations .
1. Round Midnight is here.
2. Blue in Green is here.

A couple of weeks ago, sometime around midnight, I posted a bonus compilation which has been downloaded quite a few times. Given that I have a number of other oft repeated titles in my jazz archives, I figured another one tune compilation was about due.

Blue In Green was written by …erm … Miles Davis or Bill Evans. It was the third track on Miles’ Kind of Blue, released in 1959. Bill Evans was the pianist on that album, and on his Portrait in Jazz recorded in the same year and released the next the tune is credited to ‘Davis-Evans’. Twenty years later, Evans said in a radio interview that he’d written it all himself.

Both have now passed on, but what we irrefutably do have is a wonderful tune which bears repeated listening. And that’s what I’m offering you today.

01. Miles Davis – Blue In Green
02. Bill Evans Trio – Blue In Green
03. Charlie Mariano – Blue in Green
04. Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison, Jack DeJohnette – Blue in Green
(Note: DeJohnette, the drummer, plays the piano on this track.)
05. Shirley Horn – Blue In Green
06. Mick Goodrick & Joe Diorio – Blue In Green
07. John McLaughlin Trio – Blue In Green
08. Gary Burton & Stephane Grappelli – Blue In Green
09. Cassandra Wilson – Sky and Sea (Blue In Green)
(Note: Cassandra Wilson wrote the lyrics.)
10. Miles Davis + various arists – Blue In Green
(Note: from the album Miles From India, a pan-global collaboration.)
11. Arild Andersen – Green Shading Into Blue

Chet Baker died one month after this sublime performance …

Reich’s legacy is unique. Few artists can claim to have re-calibrated how we listen.”

Today, October 3rd, is Steve Reich’s 80th birthday.

Some of you may ask “Who?”

Reich literally created a new language and modern music extends that pattern.”

None of us stands alone: we emerge into a world with an element of predestination and happenstance, framed by our DNA and environment.

In a fascinating article entitled Balinese Music and Steve Reich, he is quoted as saying that his time in Ghana was one of the seminal formative experiences of his career, and he acknowledges learning the basics of interlocking parts from Africa and Bali.

His interest in Ghana was partly sparked with the release of John Coltranes’ Africa/Brass in 1961, “a legendary classic, as innovative and as challenging as it was when it was released so many years ago…”. The drummer was Elvin Jones who was influenced by African drummers ….

Having absorbed these influences, Reich realised that composers are better off creating “a music with one’s own sounds that is constructed in the light of one’s knowledge of non-Western structures.”

Yet his own music has been an influence on  disco, ambient musicians such as Brian Eno, who produced David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy of albums, guitarists as diverse as Pat Metheny (video) and Steve Hillage, who influenced the Orb, friends of Radiohead who number Reich among their fans.

The man (on the right) deserves our applause, as well as his own …

01. Omusus Da Fe Mmusu (fr. Ghana)
02. Ugandans – Acholi Bwala Dance
03. Ugandans – Acholi Enanga
04. John Coltrane – Africa (Part1)
05. Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon – Disco
06. Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Disco
07. Brian Eno – In Dark Trees
08. David Bowie – Weeping Wall
09. System 7 (Steve Hillage) – I Seem To Be a Verb
10. The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds (Radiohead mix)
11. Ugandans – Dingy Dingy Dance

And gamelan from whence some of his music came….

Jakartans can see/hear Iwan Gunawan’s ‘Ensemble Kyai Fatahillah’ playing Six Marimbas next Tuesday (11th) at Komunitas Salihara at 8pm.

We all need space, room to live, to share, to be alone, to think, to dream ….

Those of us living in an urban environment face problems in finding ourselves,in understanding that we are infinitesimal specks in the grand scheme. Some fear that knowledge, and others wish to embrace it.

During the annual Earth Hour millions of people switch off their lights and realise that there is a night sky. Mariners know it, and have done ever seen humans first starting migrating and steering by the stars. Away from concrete in rural areas, on cloudless nights sit atop a high hill or on a deserted beach one can gaze upwards in awe and wonder.

That’s what the Prophets did.

In more recent times, as our species has turned away from Mother Nature towards technology, talk has turned to ‘conquering’ space, outer space, out there. Satellites now clutter Earth’s outer atmosphere, while astronomers count the stars in unimaginable light years through ever larger telescopes and search for alien life forms.

Is there life on Mars?

Jazz musicians are not immune from thinking about the unknowable in our lifetimes, so here’s a selection of tracks which I hope you Earthlings will enjoy.

01. Arve Henriksen – Viewing Infinite Space
02. Natalia Mateo – Tonight I’ll Sleep in Space
03. Bill Frisell – Telstar
04. Django Bates – Life on Mars
05. Alan Lee – Flying Saucer
06. Modern Jazz Quartet – Visitor From Mars
07. Magnus Öström – The Moon (And the Air It Moves)
08. Jeff Beck – Space Boogie
09. Mick Goodrick & Joe Diorio – Space Walk
10. Simcock-Garland-Sirkis – Space Junk
11. Tohpati Bertiga – Lost In Space
12. Neil Cowley Trio – Weightless

No, that’s not a typo in the title, but I did start a search for covers of the Thelonious Monk classic tune   which is the most recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician.

Midnight is a magic hour, both a start and a finish and is generally quiet, except for drunken revellers at weekends and December 31st. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it less prosaically …

Midnight! The outpost of advancing day!
The frontier town and citadel of night!
The watershed of Time, from which the streams
Of Yesterday and To-morrow take their way,
One to the land of promise and of light,
One to the land of darkness and of dreams!

And jazz musicians have found ways to express it in different time signatures.

01. Port Said – Countdown to Midnight
02. Mary Lou Williams – Midnight Stomp
03. Eddie Lang & Lonnie Johnson – Midnight Call Blues
04. Tuba Skinny – Midnight Blues
05. Rod Harris Jr. – Midnight Blue
06. Trisum – Guitar in the Midnight
07. Al di Meola – Bianca’s Midnight Lullaby
08. Ralph Towner – Midnight Blue….Red Shift
09. Cosmic Groove Orchestra – Midnight Tango
10. Bruford-Levin Upper Extremities – Cracking the Midnight Glass
11. Terri Lyne Carrington w. Nguyên Lê – Burning of the Midnight Lamp
12. Julian & Roman Wasserfuhr – Midnight Walk (Track incorrectly labelled)

If you really want to hear sixteen different versions of the Monk classic, click here

There is something very wrong in a society which needs to segregate women from men, because of the actions of a few misogynists.

In Jakarta, commuter trains have a women only carriage at each end. TransJakarta buses have women only compartments at the front guarded by a conductor. There are even a couple of women only buses, as IndoJazzia recently found to his cost. It was barely a quarter full, but no admittance was allowed.

Positive discrimination is just that: discrimination

So why is IndoJazzia offering this downloadable compilation of women jazzers?
a. Because we can?
b. Because they inspire?
c. Because they are virtually unknown in this country?
d. Because … watch, listen to the compilation,  and you decide.

01. Sidsel Endresen – Western Wind
02. Monica Vasconcelos – Out Of The Doldrums
03. Meshell Ndegeocello – Good Day Bad
04. Charenee Wade – Ain’t No Such Thing As Superman
05. Andrea Wolper – The Girls In Their Dresses
06. Lea DeLaria – The Ballad of Sweeney Todd
07. Carla Bley w. Julie Tippetts – Indonesian Dock Sucking Supreme
08. Luciana Souza – Free at Last
09. Maria Pia De Vito – God Must Be A Boogie Man
10. Rigmor Gustafsson – The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines
11. Sidsel Endresen – Travelling Still

Bonus Download

Hatfield and the North – Central ITV Studios, Nottingham 29 03.90 is a very rare treat.

The band is a legendary part of the ‘Canterbury Scene‘ … Robert Wyatt, Soft Machine, Caravan, Bill Bruford et al.  A bootleg of a rehearsal for a TV show in 1990 has recently surfaced and with French jazz pianist Sophia Domancich  on keyboards for just this one gig, the band display their jazz improvisational skills not heard before or since.


The voice is the most primeval of instruments, from grunts to gasps, sighs to shouts, and ululations to utterings, emotions and the rhythms of life can be conveyed without the absolute need to bang or blow, scrape or strum.

For some, it’s a cultural thing, from the throat singers of Tuvan (Mongolia) to convicts on a chain gang singing a work song such as the recording by John and Alan Lomax  of a man identified as Lightning and a group of his fellow black inmates at Darrington State Prison Farm in Texas in 1934.

Then there are the scat and vocalese singers, and a-capella groups who take the place of and/or add their voices to ‘traditional’ instruments to ‘imitate’ missing instruments.

Choirs, such as the ensemble of Japanese bank clerks, teachers and children assembled by Geinoh Yamashirogumi, are more communal (and more expensive) than solo singers who play with themselves via multi-tracking.

If you enjoy this compilation, do feel free to voice your appreciation in the comment box below.

01. Bobby McFerrin – Wailers
02. Boris Savoldelli – Crosstown Traffic
03. Jacob Collier – Flintstones
04. Petra Haden – Psycho Main Title
05. Ella Fitzgerald – Little Jazz
06. Flying Stork w. Norma Winsone – Mother Lou
07. Maria João – Fábula
08. Lightning – Long John
09. The Persuasions – There’s A Train
10. Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Ulepa
11. Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Khwishi Khwishi
12. Sonam Chungjung & Sonam Lamo – Natar yulgay namkar
13. Trilok Gurtu – Trilok’s Solo
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