Monday, April 2, 2012

Cool Running Orchestra - Tribute to Marley

What hs contemporary jazz got to do with Bob Marley? What sense is there in adding another to the long line of cover albums, when this concept often an 'Easy Rider', has long been a hoary Chestnut (for instance, the Twist of Marley CD)? Not to mention the fact the making a complete 'homage' album is far from being a risk-free enterprise, because comparison with the version everyone know often gives rise to the verdict: well... not as good as the original.
Okay, so why do it? In BCM circles the reggae idea was first floated in 2006 during a long car journey, when we were bringing Hamid Drake back from Austria to record in Budapest. After the improvised duo concert with the outstanding swiss pianist Iréne Schweizer, somewhat to my surprise, he moved onto reggae for nearly three hours. It is little know that this 56-year-old american drummer, with dreadlocks down to his ankles, for many years played as a session musician with the greatest reggae stars before he became famous on the contemporary jazz scene. Since then from time to time, amongst musicians associated with BMC Records I have raised the possibility of creating an unusual reggae project. It turned out that far more jazz musicians have reggae roots than I Thought, and many of them get a buzz from the genre's freaky approach. It also became obvious that the common denominator was clearly the music of the king of reggae, Bob Marley. Of the french pair on this recording 15 xeras ago the saxophonist Christophe Monniot played with his own reggae group as that warm-up band of the illustrious exponents of the genre, so it was no coincidence that reggae motifs also appear on his later jazz albums. On the latest CD by his old fellow musician Manu Codija the style also gets a look-in, in the form of two Bob Marley arrangements. Neither is the affinity for reggae of the two Berlin musicians a new fad: the pianist Carsten Daerr wrote his own memorial piece to Marley for an earlier trio album, and in a duo he plays dub versions and reggae fied transcriptions of Bach with the singer Michael Schiefel. The two hungarian musicians are no strangers to the language of reggae either. Besides having two joint albums with Hamid Drake behind them, saxophonist Viktor Toth has written several compositions in the genre, and thanks to his mother's record collection bassist Mátyás Szandai also grew up on the music of Bob Marley... from the CD cover

Artist: The Cool Running Orchestra
Album: Tribute to Marley
Year: 2011
Label: BMC
Runtime: 53:22

1.  Is This Love 6:00
2.  Could You Be Loved 8:47
3.  No Woman No Cry 6:25
4.  Rastaman Frustration 4:30
5.  Jammin' 5:58
6.  Nap-Nap 3:59
7.  Redemption Song 6:46
8.  Natural Mystic 6:35
9.  Is This Love (Unplugged) 4:19

Michael Schiefel (Voice, Electronics)
Christophe Monniot (Alto, Baritone and Sopranino Saxophones)
Viktor Toth (Alto Saxophone)
Manu Codija (Guitar)
Carsten Daerr (Piano, Organ, Fender Rhodes, Melodica)
Mátyás Szandai (Double Bass)
Hamid Drake (Drums)


  1. Thanks very much!

  2. Hamid Drake is always greatm - I look forward to this. Thx!

  3. Please re-up this superb album
    Thanks a lot from Chile



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