The title is clear enough. Since its genesis American improvised music, otherwise known as jazz, has been decisively shaped by the input of African, Caribbean and non-western music in general. Therefore, the very idea of showing how these elements have continued to shape the art form during its evolution makes perfect sense.

In any case Jean-Claude of the If label and his co-curator Victor Kiswell are spot on with their selections. Starting the 8 track compilation with a gem such as violinist Billy Bang’s 1978 classic “Illustration,” with its scintillating, politically charged rap, is a smart move, one that is later consolidated by songs from legendary francophone West Indians such as the superb Martiniquan pianist Michel Sardaby, Moroccan-born French drummer Armand Lemal, gifted Dutch composer-clarinetist Theo Loevendie, prodigious Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi and South African saxophonist Joe Malinga. 

All of the above bring enormous polyrhythmic as well as melodic, often choral, richness to the enduring U.S model, thus making for the right kind of globalization.

Various – World Jazz Grooves [If/BBE]

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