Spirit Jazz Mix by Frankie Koeller

Graham LeBron
04 05, 2015

I first met Frankie Koeller half way across the world in Manchester, England at the Night and Day Cafe. It was 2009, he was playing bass in Papercuts and and I was playing guitar in Port O'Brien when the two bay area bands just happened to have a show together. He struck me immediately as an affable guy, someone I'd want to be friends with -- and in conversation, it turned out we both not only lived in Oakland but we DJed at some of the same bars. Over the years since then, our paths have crossed innumerable times at shows and record stores, and we've DJed together at Bar 355 as well. For this playlist, Frankie has lovingly curated a smooth, spiritual, sparkly mix of downtempo, cosmic jazz. It is perfect for a sunny afternoon, or a rainy Sunday morning like the one today as I lay in bed listening and writing this. Here's what Mr. Koeller has to say about these songs, and be sure to catch his DJ night, Cold Burrito, at Bar 355, every 3rd Thursday.

1. Greetings to Saud (Brother McCoy Tyner) - Pharoah Sanders (1973)

From a later album with some songs recorded live in San Francisco with the great Joe Bonner on piano. Starting to doze off a little..

2. Love Theme From Spartacus - Yusef Lateef (1961)

This is more of straight Hard Bop piece rather than a Spiritual Jazz thing. Oboe replaces African Percussion and the dreams are starting to open up...

3. Journey to Satchidananda - Alice Coltrane (1970)

Maybe the quintessential Spiritual Jazz masterpiece. Crazy drones, harps and hypnotic sax playing. Colors changing...

4. Earth - Joe Henderson (1974)

More of the same cast of characters with Alice Coltrane on harp. HEAVY drum and bass head bobbing groove with help from Charlie Haden. Deep in it now...

5. Lord Help Me To Be - John Coltrane w/ Alice Coltrane (1968)

Released after his death and slightly unsettling. The dream is turning into a nightmare kinda...

6. Song For My Lady - McCoy Tyner (1973)

One of my favorite piano players. This song goes back and forth between bliss and schizo paranoia. Looking for a way back...

7. Shadows - Lonnie Liston Smith (1975)

Falls under the Cosmic Jazz umbrella but fits this playlist nicely with lots of synths and Rhodes through tremolo pedals. I found a path that will hopefully lead us back home...

8. La Sorella - Marion Brown (1968)

Very free but still beautiful. Sounds like waking up...

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