Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Courtney Pine Revived & Bowie Talkin' All That Jazz

Courtney Pine's debut album for a quid? Couldn't resist. Of course I owned the vinyl when it came out, which was 1986...and Courtney was our Coltrane - he was! We could only watch in awe as our man, a young black man, in a suit, delivered his version of what was then contemporary London Town! He was slimmer then - we all were. He was also the only one to make the cover of the NME. Well how has it aged? Fine, to my surprise. As We Would Say sounds particularity good. OK, in the writing stakes he was no Wayne Shorter or Coltrane, but after 31 years and in the context of all that went before Journey To The Urge Within holds its own with no small help from the likes of Julian Joseph on piano, Gary Crosby's bass and Mark Mondesir's drumming. 


So today I came across an interview Pine conducted with David Bowie in 2005, asking him about the influence of Jazz in his life. Turns out our David had some impressive names to drop. I'd never heard Bowie talking about Jazz before but I've often wondered if he got the 'Wham bam thank you mam' line in Suffragette City from the Charles Mingus track. It's more likely he nicked it from the Small Faces tune of that name, of course. 

To continue the Mingus connection, when asked for the one Jazz tune that really moves him, Bowie goes for Hog Callin' Blues from the album that Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am was also on, Oh Yeah. A man of taste! This also happens to be one of LJ's favourite tunes. Just listen to Roland Kirk tearing the roof off the studio...


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