Joe Harriott-John Mayer Double Q Indo-Jazz Fusions 1 & 2

Recorded a third of a century ago in 1966 & 1967, this reissue proves Harriott and Mayer fused jazz idioms and Classical Indian music into a world music equivalent of the Third Stream experiments of a decade earlier. Simultaneously orderly and adventurous, Mayer’s compositions will enthral admirers of the MJQ and the Charles Lloyd group of this period (as well as providing roots to later experiments from Shankar and Shakti to Cornershop and Kula Shaker). While some unison passages between Mayer’s harpsichord and Chris Taylor’s flute tend to be cloying and trite, Harriott’s alto sax is consistently dazzling, notably his blues variations on the second session where his conviction and scope recall Cannonball Adderly. His playing inspires the trumpet and flugel horn of Shake Keane in “Partita” on the first session and Canada’s Kenny Wheeler on the second. Despite Wheeler’s economic lyricism and Harriott’s virtuosity, it’s the atmospheric blend of John Mayer’s violin and Diwan Motihar’s sitar in “Multani” and “’Song’ Before ‘Sunrise’” that show a fresh idiom in full blossom. While tacky moments like “Gana” and “Acka Raga” are mercifully brief, this welcome two-albums-on-one CD reissue presents some obscure yet vibrant music, the best of which sounds timeless despite some cheesy moments. (Redial)