[Hope] – ‘Joy! – Volume 1: Jazz’ (1969-1973)



Stream the mix while you read; download at the bottom of this post.

Joy can be hard to come by in dark days.  Happiness, contentment, not worrying about the end of the world, those are hard enough to come by.  Unmitigated, unabashed joy, even for brief moments: a precious scarcity.  And yet, it’s an animal necessity to feel joy, for the soul as food for the body.  To exercise our capacity for joy in the face of hatred, greed, and fear is essential.  If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance one of the most reliable sources of joy in your life is music.  A lot of different music feeds our souls–and in some ways, sometimes it’s the heartbroken sounds, the haunted, the quiet and still, that we need when things are the most uncertain.  But sometimes when you feel lost in the dark you need the brightest light you can find.

Joy!‘ will be a series searching for those bright lights, and the myriad times, places and forms in music they can be found.  This first volume focuses on Jazz from 1969-1973, a time of immense upheaval and uncertainty and injustice not unlike our own.  Jazz had grown and mutated almost beyond recognition, and in these years it seems almost anything was possible.  At the core of it all is the primacy of the rhythm, as Jazz connected with other Afrodiasporic musical forms that were similarly flourishing, especially funk and R&B.  Some musicians and fans resisted, some derisively called music like this “pop” and retrenched into closed-minded purism and obscurism.  But for my money, Jazz was at its most vital and exciting when it tore down any wall it encountered, let go of virtuosity (at least for its own sake) and followed the promise of the groove wherever it lead.  Certainly Jazz had rarely been so perfect a vehicle for expressions of radical joy in decades, and managed to marry artistic adventure with rediscovered popularity, for a brief time.

I don’t know where ‘Joy!‘ will go from here.  Musicophilia has shared a great deal of joyful music over the years, but that’s never before consciously been the lens through which the music is gathered and mixed.  All I know is, I need joyful music more than ever these days, and I’m hoping it’ll do all who listen some good to get a dose of it now and then.  So any ideas–times, genres, places–I’d love to hear suggestions/requests (though many are beyond my expertise).  Don’t hesitate to reach out–it’s always a great thing to know folks are listening.

Download/stream the mix below the tracklist. As always, please, buy this music, support the artists, support the shops and labels that get this music out there for us all to enjoy. Without your direct support, music will become a streaming commodity that can’t support artists, won’t create community, will isolate us rather than bring us together–and, in a streaming-only world, can disappear at any moment. Buy music to make it last–don’t rent it.

Various – ‘Joy! Vol. 1 – Jazz’
Part I

01 [00:00] Dorothy Ashby – “By The Time I Get to Phoenix” (‘Dorothy’s Harp’ 1969)
02 [03:30] Ornette Coleman – “Rubber Gloves” (‘The Complete Science Fiction Sessions’ 1972)
03 [06:50] Miles Davis – “On the Corner (Take 4)” (‘The Complete On The Corner Sessions’ 1972)
04 [12:00] Return To Forever – “Children’s Song” (‘Light As A Feather’ 1973)
05 [14:45] Ramsey Lewis – “Kufanya Mapenzi (Making Love)” (‘Funky Serenity’ 1973)
06 [20:00] Mahavishnu Orchestra – “You Know, You Know” (‘The Inner Mounting Flame’ 1971)
07 [25:00] Bobbi Humphrey – “I Love Every Little Thing About You” (‘Dig This!’ 1972)
08 [29:20] Pete Jolly – “Plummer Park” (‘Seasons’ 1970)
09 [33:30] Nina Simone – “O-O-Child” (‘Here Comes The Sun’ 1971)
10 [36:40] Pharoah Sanders – “Thembi” (‘Thembi’ 1971)

Part II

11 [43:45] Herbie Hancock – “Fat Mama” (‘Fat Albert Rotunda’ 1969)
12 [47:35] Les McCann – “The Harlem Buck Dance Strut” (‘Layers’ 1973)
13 [53:25] Keith Jarrett & Jack DeJohnette – “Pastel Morning” (‘Ruta and Daitya’ 1973)
14 [55:20] Gabor Szabo – “Mizrab” (‘Mizrab’ 1973)
15 [64:50] João Gilberto – “Valsa (Como Sao Lindos os Youguis)” (‘João Gilberto’ 1973)
16 [68:00] Lee Konitz – “Background Music” (‘Spirits’ 1972)
17 [72:00] Cal Tjader – “Curacao” (‘Agua Dulce’ 1971)
18 [77:30] Randy Weston – “Marrakech Blues” (‘African Cookbook’ 1969)
19 [83:45] Frank Zappa – “Peaches En Regalia” (‘Hot Rats’ 1969)

[Total Time: 1:27:10]

Download ‘Joy! – Volume 1: Jazz (1969-1973)’ Here (204 MB)

Stream here:

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