Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Spiritual Jazz Volume II
About a month ago, Jazzman Records released what I think is the best record (so far) of 2012, being the second volume of their highly impressive Spiritual Jazz series. Where the first volume in this compilation series focused on spiritual jazz gems from within the American underground scene during the late sixties and seventies, volume two pays tribute to some of the rarest spiritual gems to come out of Europe during the same period. The double-vinyl record covers much ground, featuring groups from a vast array of diverse European countries including Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia, Finland, and others. At times, there are hints of the countries cultural influence found within a track like Pedro Iturralde's Spanish jazz masterpiece "Las Morillas De Jaen" and the Bulkan modal composition from Yugoslavia's Dusko Goykovich, while other recordings like Finnish pianist and composer Heikki Sarmanto's powerful large ensemble recording of his "Duke and Trane" piece, doesn't abandon completely any trace of traditional Finland music however seems to find it's inspiration from the spirit of both Duke Ellington' Sacred Music concerts and John Coltrane's classic A Love Supreme album. Overall, Spiritual Jazz Volume II is a brilliant compilation that begins to help shed light on some of Europe's most powerful, yet unfortunately highly underappreciated home grown jazz pieces. Both jazz scholars and music lovers will enjoy this compilation, as it once again proves that the culture, essence, and influence of jazz music goes well beyond the Atlantic sea.
Heikki Sarmanto - "Duke and Trane"
Dusko Goykovich - "Bosna Calling"
To purchase the Spiritual Jazz Volume 2 compilation, click here.