243

Gilles Peterson & Norman Jay: Desert Island Mix

By

Sign in to view read count
"Desert Island Discs", that peculiarly conservative British institution is here applied as a question to two of England's coolest DJ's. "Okay boys you're going Crusoe, just what records will you take? Limited to, ooh, about a CD's worth of tracks".

Gilles is first to raise his hand, laying down a near-flawless mix of funk and soul which gives way (I can't tell just where) to cutting edge drum'n'bass. As mainman of the Talkin' Loud label and radio show host, Gilles has promoted and preached for some of the greatest past and future talents in the now outrageously broad church of "jazz". He's signed Terry Callier, Galliano, Urban Species and pushed the envelope of drum'n'bass, most noticably with Roni Size's Reprazent. This music retains it's choppy menace, though some would argue other parts lack grit. He layers film soundtrack sounds with ethereal voices, piano and breaks to hit the sublime spots. Some drum'n'bass records weld this level of experimentalism, of the abstract, to seriously threatening urban soundscapes and rap. Much of the first post acid-house dance music to enjoy mainstream success has traded its bite for coffee table accessibility. (Trip-hop being a serious casuality, Tricky being one of the only real survivors). But basically, this is a jazz thing, and that's never a bad thing. No-one does this stuff better than Gilles, unless you're prepared to seek out the Yardbird Suite or Dingwalls and find lesser known practitioners of the art who're equally sharp.

Our next man on the springboard has also been seen as an exponent of vintage acid jazz for some years. Here he corrects the slight misconception by displaying some rare 70's disco gems. The strings of 'Windy City Theme' by Carl Davis & Chi-Sound Orchestra kick off Norman Jay's disc and sweep us right back to Studio 54. Norm visited NY to go clubbing as a teenager in the 70's, and it's from here that he covers the territory which came after. Hip-hop (Red Cloud & Digital Hemp) to electro (Key-Matic) and back again. Norman still believes in the lifestyle he caters for, after decades covering London streets on a chopper, still hopeful for that chance find in the backstreet record haunts and thrift shops. This is the man who actually coined the phrase "rare groove" with his 'Original Rare Groove Show' of the 80's. The last issue of The Face in that decade contains a group snapshot of the magazine's then idea of hip young England, and there's Norm on the front row. Though having built him up, I did think his judgement was slipping into 80's hell on track 8: Hall & Oates' 'Maneater'. But the offending track is failing to fight its way out from under a tough (in the modern sense) r'n'b workout. And as he testifies in the liner notes, Norman's groove is still in the heart.

| Record Label: Journeys by DJ | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "R Train On The D Line" CD/LP/Track Review R Train On The D Line
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Rough Boundaries" CD/LP/Track Review Rough Boundaries
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Under the Influence" CD/LP/Track Review Under the Influence
by Doug Collette
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Natural" CD/LP/Track Review Natural
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!