The latest episode of my Red Bull Music Academy Radio show, "Across 135th Street," presents an autumnal soundtrack for all y'alls consisting of a few of my favorites from the Impulse Records catalog. Most of these date from the iconic jazz label's mid-'60s heyday, though I couldn't help but include a couple of tracks released in the '70s as well. And yes, I realize that I could have done many more more hours of all-Impulse everything and not even delved that deep into the catalog's many great moments. All the more reason to do future installments. Listen and read more about the show below. And as per usual, in lieu of a regular playlist I’ve posted corresponding album cover art in the image gallery above for you to peruse while you listen. Enjoy!
Impulse Records was one of the most storied and important jazz labels of the 1960s – a haven for different generations of forward thinking musicians as reflected by its slogan (“The New Wave of Jazz is on…”). In “Impulse-ive Moods,” the latest episode of his “Across 135th Street” program, Jeff “Chairman” Mao selects a few personal favorites from the label’s catalog. While the spiritual big poppa of Impulse artists, John Coltrane , is of course represented (with Live at Birdland ’s “Your Lady”), so too is the work of his collaborators ( Elvin Jones & Jimmy Garrison ’s baritone-sax heavy “Half and Half”) and the new breed experimentalists Trane mentored ( Albert Ayler ’s meditative “Our Prayer”; Archie Shepp ’s take on Duke Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss”). Elsewhere, Yusef Lateef springs Middle Eastern sounds on a receptive South Philly crowd, Charles (“Such nimble fingers” – © Guru) Mingus drops that bass to the delight of Gang Starr Foundation fans, Roy Haynes snaps skulls and snares, and Pharoah Sanders spreads love the Impulse way.
CLICK THE THUMBNAILS ABOVE FOR IMAGES FOR EACH TRACK IN THE SHOW