Various Artists

Jazz Satellites, Vol. 1: Electrification

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Jazz Satellites, Vol. 1: Electrification is a startling collection of grooves old and new that focus on the extrapolation of jazz from its electric origins in the post-Bitches Brew era of Miles Davis and from the earlier, dizzying spiritual and harmonic influence of Coltrane's free modal explorations. This compilation examines some of those from past to near-present; and while the choices are eclectic to say the least, the sequencing and selection are impeccable. There are the spiritual assemblages like Alice Coltrane's "Universal Consciousness," Don Cherry's "Brown Rice," and Sun Ra's "Satellites Are Spinning," on the one hand, and the out jazz soundworlds of Ornette Coleman ("Science Fiction") and Norman Connors ("Twilight Zone") and Teo Macero ("Equals"). There is in-the-day jazz-funk ranging from Eddie Henderson's vanguard "Mars in Libra," Davis' own "Rated X," and Herbie Hancock's "Nobu," as well as the jazz-inflected rock of Krakatau ("Bullroarer") and Jan Garbarek ("Karin's Mode"), both form the ECM stable. But most surprising is the inclusion of tracks by those acts influenced by these sounds who took them to entirely different places, such as the Pop Group with their skronky funk on "3.38," and the tranced-out drum and Tibetan trumpet improv of David Tibet's 23 Skidoo on "The Gospel Comes to New Guinea." This is a compelling, at times maddening collection that will provide untold hours of curious, metaphysical listening for anyone who dares to take it on its own terms.

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