Thanks to the suggestion of my great friend Dill, this weeks sitar-tastic track is from the Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet’s Indo-Jazz Fusions album.
In 1966, at the behest of record producer Denis Preston, Anglo-Indian John Mayer and Jamaican Joe Harriott put together a double quintet, half jazzmen and half traditional Indian musicians. The group, recording under the name of Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet, released three albums: Indo-Jazz Suite, Indo-Jazz Fusions and Indo-Jazz Fusions II.
I heard the music when it first came out. An imaginative teacher of mine (name forgotten) used to open his classroom up one lunchtime a week to play an LP to anyone who cared to attend. The idea was to open ears to sounds beyond the pop music of the day. The music, as I recall, was mainly Jazz and I can vividly remember just 2 albums, one of the Indo-Jazz records and Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation by Ornette Coleman. (The Ornette Coleman album embodied by a Jackson Pollock painting on the front cover).
The track I’ve chosen from the five on the Indo-Jazz Fusions album is Partita. It is the longest but, to my ears, the unhurried development of the tune suits both the Jazz and the Indian aspects of the music