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New Discoveries in Modal Jazz

It wasn't so long ago that the discussion of modal jazz outside of select circles in San Francisco and London seemed to be relegated to the white-bearded record collecting crowd. You know, those cats who sensed something big happening when Miles Davis recorded Kind of Blue, when John Coltrane recorded A Love Supreme.

Sure there were those youngsters reared on Herbie Hancock's modal-work. But the idea of developing a following for the fringes of modal jazz outside of that certain, aged camp seemed impossible. A choice selection or two on a hip compilation, and Jazzman Records' exhaustive survey,Spiritual Jazz: Esoteric, Modal, & Deep Jazz From The Underground, seems to have changed that. Suddenly, one time Sun Ra cohort, the Egyptian drummer Salah Ragab, saw his obscure "Neveen" encourage DJs 'round the globe to rethink what was once considered too "learned" to play in a club. Welcome to the funky side of modal jazz.

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