"Every now and again you come across a record or a piece of music that you think 'WHAT!!!!! HOW DID I NOT WRITE OR PRODUCE THIS!!!!!!' That's Hamburg for me!!! "HOW DID I NOT WRITE OR PRODUCE THIS!!!!!!" And what makes it worse is that if I were ever to sonically represent Hamburg, I think this would be exactly how I would do it.
Just listening to 10 seconds of this song is a journey, but this particular 10 seconds for me is like the wardrobe door to Narnia: you can go anywhere, be anywhere, do anything, be whoever you want to be... The drumming, the artistry, the mix and how he blends and bends tradition and future. It's mind-boggling to me and all in less than 2 minutes of music. In this song, Patrick expertly and concisely tells a story... but in a slightly unnerving turn of events it's whatever your story is if you were in Hamburg." - Romarna Campbell
"Been revisiting some seminal scenes from the Grime DVD era. So many I could have selected but take this: Jendor* just glides over the Skepta riddim from the moment he catches it, one handed just before it hits the ground. Laid back calm, controlled, smooth as. A lesson in the less is more of radio/rave MCing - five schemes each anchored on a single rhyme sound. He does a lot in a minute and a half, easing in with a of sleepy one line flows then, with a quick neck snap, switches gears. The 10 seconds I chose are pure cruise control, nah it’s a slow motion power slide, the g-force distorting all sense of space and time. It’s neo dodging bullets, pure ones and zeros. Hold tight Ambrose, I borrowed his copy and doubt I ever gave it back, this clip got lots of pay. Jendor, unblinking, still hypnotises me."
*yeah they got his name wrong in the credits- Brother Portrait
"Having previously listened to countless versions of this Carla Bley classic, I thought I knew what to expect from this take. Kuhn even chooses to work with the ‘footloose band,’ as if playing Paul Bley’s theme tune wasn’t a big enough indication. When I heard these ten seconds, my kitchen sink was sent flying up the garden.
Kuhn’s early music occupies the stark space between the normal and the absurd, and these ten seconds represent that space perfectly." - Tom Morley
"That huge shift in colour over that infectiously joyous vamp departing from the key centre of the piece (C-) to this much brighter key (E major - the chord changes to B7sus for all y’all fellow nerds) The result for me is this huge lift and feeling of weightlessness and I feel like I’m flying - inside at least.
Quite a cool record for a number of reasons, but perhaps most notably as it’s one of two records where Roy Haynes is subbing in for Elvin Jones and as only a master can, he manages to slot into this uniquely identifiable rhythm section whilst bringing this tighter more pushy feel to it, contrary to the more loping, laid back feel of Elvin. Anyway, I hope it brings as much joy to everyone as it does to me - I can never beat the urge to beam and wiggle uncontrollably when I hear this!" - Rupert Cox
Curtis Mayfield - The Makings of You (0'20" - 0'30")
Curtis Mayfield - Curtis/Live! aka Live at the Bitter End (1971)
"A big caveat is that I definitely don't have a favorite ten seconds of music. And tomorrow this decision would most likely be different :)
This ten seconds with Curtis singing and the audience reacting is such beautiful chemistry. For me the experience of "hearing" music that exchanges, communicates purpose and sincerity is rare. To immortalise moments in time, that live on and on, especially when live is quite a feat.
A lot of my favourite ten seconds of music accompany life in moving and the whole experience is recorded. Sometimes the song escapes me. Just bass rumbles and tinny highs from another room.This was quite hard, so I'll let this one go now! - Nadeem Din-Gabisi
Marvin Gaye - Flyin' High In the Friendly Sky (2'51" – 3'01")
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (1971)
"This is the 3rd track from Marvin Gaye’s seminal album. This concept album was his interpretation of what he perceived to be the degradation of both society and the planet during a particularly tumultuous time in American history.
Even though Gaye’s turmoil is indisputable, the sheer beauty of this album is stunning and for me is one of the greatest bodies of work ever made, a total masterpiece that I feel is most appreciated in its entirety. The width of the sound of this album still astounds me. Layers upon layers but still with discernible space.
Gaye had been distressed by letters home from his brother who was serving in the Vietnam War as well as the treatment of returning Veterans; many had developed serious Heroin dependency and felt disaffected returning to America after what they had endured in Vietnam.
The lyrics are beautifully simple, close and resolute :
‘And I go to the place where the good feelin awaits me
Self destruction in my hand
Oh Lord, so stupid minded
Oh and I go crazy when I can't find it
Well I know I'm hooked my friend
To the boy who makes slaves out of men’
This album and in particular James Jamerson’s playing lit a fire in me. When I was 16 and preoccupied with Electric Bass I got this album having already learnt the Bass line to the opening track What’s Going On? I could not believe that basslines could be so soulful and yet so imaginative and melodic at the same time. I would listen to that album everyday for the best part of a year when travelling to and from college.
Jamerson is one of the most important, inventive and singular bass players ever.His playing on the entire album is endlessly innovative and even by today's highly evolved levels found on the instrument his Bass Playing continues to challenge the common perception of the traditional ‘supportive’ role of the bass player let alone at a time when the majority of the ‘popular music’ bass playing still involved a lot of root and 5th movement.
Constantly embellishing his lines with more of the approach of an improviser expanding them you can hear that he was in essence a Jazz musician. A pioneer with the gift of establishing and building on lines, which were melodies within themselves and never making the obvious choices (Darling Dear by the Jackson 5is a ludicrous bass line for a pop song but just incredible).
On Flying High as well as the whole album his lines intertwine full orchestral arrangements, cushioned by celestial choirs, woodwind and percussion. I love his freedom, he’s feeling his way and channeling something devotional, the bass is soaring, loud and personal it finds its way through the cacophony to the front…. and that’s a rare and joyous place for the low end to be.
Steve Buckley & Chris Batchelor - The Shortest Day (1'47"-1'57")
Steve Buckley & Chris Batchelor – Life As We Know It (1999)
"I picked this record because of the way it deals with the composition/improvisation dichotomy. It seems like a huge amount of planning and thought went into this album, yet space has been created around these compositional structures for brilliant moments of improvisational spontaneity and freedom. I love the clarity of the voice-leading from these ten seconds too - it's harmony in the purest sense of the word. I'm also a big fan of records that are made for the sake of making records; it would probably be a huge and potentially impossible undertaking to reproduce this music live."- Ivo Neame
"If anyone has spoken to me about music for more than five minutes, I have probably mentioned my love for Andrew Hill - he’s my biggest man-crush. There is just something he possessed as a bandleader which immediately made musicians come outside of their regular scope. They were essentially like clay in his hands but never in a way that was dictated. There is a sort of lineage of pianists, who you can hear exhibit this and I think you can hear that line going back from Hill, to Monk, and to Duke.
The excerpt I chose comes from “Judgement!” Recorded January 8th 1964, making it one of the first contributions, to what I’d consider one of the greatest years for so called “Jazz” & 20th century art, period. These 10 seconds come from the very end of the track. You could expect the tune to just end but instead, the band all collectively launch into this hauntingly intense vamp in a way that feels, completely spontaneous, and organic. They just throw in this brand new idea out of nowhere and I love how nobody is playing the same thing in a “see? I’m listening to you” kind of way. Instead, everyone commits to their own idea with this collective intensity! Making this one of the baddest outros I’ve ever heard on an album.
So yeah, check this guy out if you haven’t. I’m convinced every time somebody listens to Andrew Hill, the Icecaps freeze back, the ozone heals itself, and little orangutan families can return to live happily in the rainforest." - Patrick Boyle
Ahmad Jamal Trio - It Could Happen To You (0'29" - 0'39")
Ahmad Jamal Trio -
Complete Live at the Spotlite Club (1958)
"What made me fall in love with Ahmad Jamal's music is how he was able to take a common standard that 100's of jazz musicians already played and make it undoubtedly unique.
The fact that he plays recognisable tunes means that he is able to manipulate the listener as they expect the song to go a certain way but when you least expect it instead of the melody there is space. The effect of the space on the listener is that we subconsciously fill it with what we thought he would play. He applies this to riffs too as he will repeat a memorable phrase setting us up to hear it again but suddenly an unpredictable silence is presented. This means that I am constantly on edge wondering when he'll next surprise me by not playing." - Deschanel Gordon
"The first song that comes to mind for me is Familiarity, the opening track to the Punch Brothers album ‘The Phosphorescent Blues’. The song has three distinct sections, and this is the last part, coming out of a rather epic build in the track, tonnes of vocal /instrumental reverb and a cacophony of texture grows to a frantic climax and then ebbs away, leaving us up close and personal with the guitar and mandolin, drawing us right in, taking us into the coda of the piece.
There are many things I love about this track, but this moment (we are now in G major), when the second chord is Am/G (6:16) is just the most delicious, glorious of musical moments. Anyone who lets me bang on about songwriting knows how much I love 2 minor over 1, and something in the context of this song makes it all the more poignant and delicate. This band are masters both at their instruments but also in their delivery; every dynamic is exact and measured, and their time-keeping is unreal. I kind of can’t keep myself together when I think of this song because it’s just breathtaking for me. (Side note- I saw the Punch Brothers at the Barbican as part of LJF 2018, and they did this as an encore and came to the front of the stage to play it completely un-amplified. To this day my heart is still a little broken from that moment. Just-magic.
"Aquele Abraço wasn’t a song that caught my attention until I listened to this very version! The guitar in the beginning of the song is already very groovy but theeen.... the percussion comes in at 00:36 and (although it’s an acoustic version), the groove sounds so fat it makes me want to get up and dance every time. I would say it’s one of these songs that happened to be there for me in many hard times and made me feel that “Life’s good…!”. Hearing all the people singing along and shouting creating a messy vibe makes this recording so genuine and honest which is what I appreciate so much about it. In fact, I’m going to listen to it right now to remember the sun here in cloudy London, Abraço x" - Irini Arabatzi
"One afternoon when I was around 15 and my brother was back from University, I could hear him freaking out in another room listening to a record. He was shouting through to me that I had to come and check this out, he put the needle back to the beginning of this particular track and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. McCoy takes the first solo and the band starts ABSOLUTELY tanking it, it felt like I might take off out my seat with them. The moment where Coltrane enters for his solo is so transcendent we could’ve both easily been in tears (note this is the 10 seconds i chose), the propulsion throughout the whole tune is really overwhelming.
Later that week I brought a musician friend back to listen to the record again and had the same experience, even now listening over nothing has changed. I think anyone can learn a lot from how this band play together but if nothing else it at least taught me that its okay to slap the shit out of the cymbals in the name of making good music." - Ewan Moore
John Coltrane - I Want to Talk About You (6'55"-7'05")
- Live at Birdland (1964)
"In John Coltrane’s short life he produced a great deal of music, most of it was ground-breaking, spiritual, soulful and often, absolutely fucking transcendental. How do I pick 10 seconds of the master’s music over the many moments of beauty and fire? As a fairly heavy-going sax player myself some might think I’d choose something equally acerbic like Brotzmann or Frank Wright and of course the great Albert Ayler, all of whom are incredibly important to me. But the grandmaster of all is still Coltrane and he made plenty of hard-hitting music later in his career, but my choice comes from 1963’s Live at Birdland album which was the first Trane record I bought when I was about 17 or 18. It contains pure magic from beginning to end and some of his best tunes including the sublime and sad Alabama and the incredibly uplifting The Promise and of course it kicks off with the classic Afro Blue.
The song I choose is funnily enough a somewhat sickly sweet romantic ballad I Want to Talk About You, a track that when I first bought the album, I didn’t like much. However, I grew to appreciate Trane’s reinvention of standards including this one. What stands out most about this version is the solo that Trane takes about 5 minutes in, it’s one of the very rare times you will hear Coltrane playing without any trace of other instruments, unadorned, pure and beautiful. The solo takes off in an almost opposite direction to the rest of the song but the particular 10 seconds that kicks my arse is between 6:55 and 7:05 where the theme is hinted at and he throws in some guttural runs and little overtone squeals that are incredibly subtle. To choose a mere 10 seconds of it doesn’t do the solo any justice at all and I could probably wax on about any 10 second snippet. In it you hear Trane’s unadulterated tone and you can see the inspiration on one of my others hero’s Evan Parker, it could almost be part of one of Evan’s extended technique 20 minute solo’s. It’s still my favourite Coltrane album and possibly my favourite moment in music full stop."
"Autumn In New York is the beautiful opening track of the album Basic Blythe, and Arthur Blythe’s incredible alto sound on this still gives me goosebumps after years. These ten seconds are at the midpoint of the track, the apex of Blythe’s patient wind up toward the most intensely split top notes, perfectly set up by Bob Friedman’s tasteful chamber strings arrangement and John Hicks‘ poised comping. I imagine that they must have been so excited and happy in the studio to have created this." - Chris Batchelor
"The first time I heard this song I stopped dead in my tracks. In the dead of night, it gripped me with its strangeness. The singing is uncanny, mesmerising…long high notes that make me shiver.
Led by Kees Boeke, Tetraktys is my favourite band. In the world. Kees told me that this anonymous Chantilly Codex ballade, recorded in a church in Tuscany, came out after just one take.
After the mind-bending dissonance at minute 3.14 comes an episode of unique, unearthly beauty. Moon music. The pulse stops….two pauses…..an augmented chord dissolving to a minor chord…then drifting back into tempo…..simple and lucid, but unbelievably strange in its context. Time completely altered.
Who dreamt up these sounds, six hundred years ago? " - Fred Thomas
"This ten seconds always takes me by surprise, even though I grew up with this album, thanks to my uncle being an amateur trumpeter. I still find myself startled and amazed by how tight yet how comic and joyful this steaming band just interrupts the cooking groove, which resembles stopping a steam train only to start over full blast right over again.
Reggie Lucas guitar solo is nothing short of insanity and I have literally never heard any guitar player making soundscapes near these, it is beyond music to me, it is just total transcendence. Only years after hearing this album did I learn that this was an afternoon show on tour in Japanand the band did a second show in the evening called "Pangaea" - can you imagine? What a force of nature!" - Guido Spannocchi
"So many of these to choose from, but my taste here runs to the moment when a singer or instrumentalist hits on that lightning crack of action which lights up the sky and moves everything up a notch. Cropper's whipcrack lick at approx 0:08 here enables said magic, as the gears crank up and set the stage perfectly for Redding's unforgettable vocal.
I first heard this a little kid, my next door neighbour back then was an old Northern soulie with a magnificent record collection that I was allowed to dip into. Maybe this particularly deft fretboard slide is one of the things that made me want to take up the instrument. 200 years later and I still can't play this lick and make it sound good, but there you go." - Phil Todd
"So I picked this 10 seconds of music from Without a Net because I believe that it sums up the whole album. I like to think and feel that the the Music got so powerful that it causes someone to shout “Oh my God!” The groove between Brian Blade and John Patitucci is immense. I simply love this album and can’t recommend it enough." - Daniel Casimir
"I choose Sam Rivers' 'Beatrice'... There's one phrase in particular. The build is so lush and it reaches a sweeping state like the breeze climbing up a hill and finally cascading over the top of that mound. It catches the pieces of that peak and unfurls it into the air and away... in my 'over-imaginational' mind at least."- And Is Phi
"Title track of the CTI album recorded back in 1971 featuring Herbie Hancock on Rhodes, George Benson on guitar, Hubert Laws on flute, Jack DeJohnette on drums and Airto Moreira on Percussion, and many other great musicians.
There is an emotional and spiritual richness in Freddie’s sound. It is smoked with blues and tells a tale of a soul that has suffered deep despair and hardship. The pilgrim has not only survived to tell the tale but now knows how to ride the waves. This intro from the low E on Ron Carter's bass and the way the piece develops with the ostinato riff never fails to lift my energy. Beautiful!
I was blessed to sit in with Freddie at a club called the Rhythmic in Angel and I got him to sign ALL of my vinyl and CDs. He told me stories about each album and musicians on various dates. This was his favorite one and it won him a Grammy. - Byron Wallen