El Paraiso Records has made a name for themselves as a label that welcomes freedom of expression and freedom of improvisation in the projects they support and release. From Causa Sui’s Pewt’r Sessions to Mythic Sunship’s Another Shape Of Psychedelic Music to Papir’s Stundum to Chicago Odense Ensemble to Ellis Munk Ensemble, these albums have foundations built on collaboration, improvisation, musical connectivity.
The latest release from El Paraiso Records, London Odense Ensemble’s Jaiyede Sessions, Vol. 1, follows in previous releases footsteps. Rooted heavily in both Electric Miles vibes and early fusion, as well as the more experimental aspects of German Krautrock and early 70s electronic experimentation, London Odense Ensemble lays some stunning groundwork here. Jaiyede Sessions, Vol. 1 is mind-expanding and locks into heady, cosmic vibes.
The collaboration between Causa Sui’s(and El Paraiso label heads) Jonas Munk and Jakob Skott, as well as London-based musicians Tamar Osborn(saxophonist, composer, multi-wind instrumentalist) and Al MacSween(keyboardist and founding member of Kefaya), and frequent El Paraiso Records collaborator Martin Rude(Sun River, Martin Rude & Jakob Skott Duo, Rude Skott Osborn Trio) is nothing short of stunning. Five heady tracks of jazz-inflected, acid-drenched bliss courtesy of musicians working at their absolute highest levels. Coltrane(Alice, not John), Pharaoh Sanders and Eleventh House all make their presence known. But so do artists like Popol Vuh, Terry Riley, and the cosmic buzzes of Mort Garson. This is a smorgasbord for the mind, man.
The album opens on the one-two punch of “Jaiyede Suite, Pt 1” and “Jaiyede Suite, Part 2”. These feel like the heart of these recording sessions; locking into Hancock’s Mwandishi vibes with dreamy late-60s psych and even touches of early 70s ECM. Combined these two tracks are over 17-minutes of absolute heady, sonic bliss. “Sojourner” is a look out onto the sanguine ocean; celestial keys pulsate like early 70s Terry Riley while crystalline guitar shimmers in the background. Tamar Osborn adds gentle flute while an almost island sway reveals itself in Skott’s percussion. Put on some headphones, have another heady pint, and let yourself go. Likewise with album closer “Celestial Navigation” which is like dipping your toes into the cosmos. I’m reminded of Miles’ In A Silent Way, but with a heavier lean into the spaced-out bliss of Krautrock.
Of course the centerpiece here is the 15-minute “Enter Momentum” which takes its time forming and shaping into the sonic behemoth that it is. I imagine if cats like Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh, and Kluster had decided to give us their idea of jazz fusion it would sound sort of like this cosmic jam. It’s like Headhunters gone the route of celestial funk. I can hear the influence of Herbie’s landmark Mwandishi trilogy here. And Al MacSween’s keys bring the A Rainbow In Curved Air vibes, had Riley been inspired by players like Corea, Zawinul, Hancock and Larry Young. This epic piece of funk, Komische, and fusion is worth the price of admission alone.
Jaiyede Sessions, Vol. 1 is yet another masterful contemporary classic. El Paraiso Records showcases yet again some of the best forward-thinking musicians making epic cosmic jams. A collaborative spirit runs throughout this 44-minute journey, with Osborn, MacSween, Munk, Rude, and Skott laying down some serious spatial jams. Impetus 52 continues the Odense, Denmark journey that started over a decade ago, giving us yet another album for cosmic journeys, heady deep dives, and far out trips.