Groove Towards Your Star: A Guest Playlist Curated by Azhaar Saffar for The Illicit Grooves Radio Show

On the very first play of Azhaar and Global Wave’s Snowboy produced track Original Love it was immediately obvious that it would go straight onto the playlist for the The Illicit Grooves Radio Show.  On hearing and reviewing the whole of the Original Love album it was equally clear that not only was this a special collection of songs from a talented musician, singer and songwriter but also here was someone who we had to approach to curate a guest playlist for the show.

Azhaar is a nomad who draws inspiration from her journeys and travels.  It was following the river of music into the jungles and to the oceans of Latin America where she composed the songs which became Original Love.  She has jammed with Costa Rica’s Minister of Culture, taught violin in remote fishing villages, worked with the Bribri tribe and performed with street bands in Nicaragua.

Azhaar n Ivan 2 denim

Her Groove Towards Your Star playlist reflects the music which has inspired her as a musician, songwriter and performer and features the artists she listened to whilst studying classical violin at the Royal Northern College of Music Conservatoire in Manchester, UK/EU.  Azhaar’s musical pedigree includes performing at the Montreaux Jazz Festival and sharing the stage with legendary JB Pee Wee Ellis.

Take a look at Azhaar’s playlist and what she has to say about each track.

ARTIST SONG ALBUM
1 FLORA PURIM/CHICK COREA/AIRTO MOREIRA SOME TIME AGO RETURN TO FOREVER
My earliest influences. When I heard Flora’s voice and this music a whole new musical journey began. I think they’re responsible for me leaving the classical music path behind! Chick Corea wrote great songs for women and for Jean Luc Ponty too!
2 REGINA CARTER HIGHER GROUND MOTOR CITY MOMENTS
Another lady jazz violinist. She is so cool! We violinists are all very distinctive. I think its because of the infinite tones of the instrument. I believe you have to be a little crazy to play this instrument. We start out sounding like devils but with perseverence the violin can sound like an angel!
3 CHAKA KHAN YOU GOT THE LOVE STOMPIN AT THE SAVOY
Powerful, raw live funk with one of the greatest soul singers in my opinion. I think Chaka means fire! And Rufus were at their best live!
4 SERGIO MENDES MOANIN BRASIL 68
The Brazilian Quincy Jones: Sergio Mendes never stops producing great music. He’s been going strong since the ‘60’s! He was definitely a big influence on Sirius B . And I felt one of my ‘teachers’ of production on ‘Original Love’
5 NICOLA CONTE Cosmic Peace SPIRITUAL GALAXY
I feel we’ve taken a similar ‘galactic’ path in music. From bossa nova to spiritual fusion jazz. Another producer and innovativor that I love and admire.
6 JOYCE KID NATIONAL ANOS 80
I first saw singer/songwriter/guitarist Joyce at the Glastonbury Festival and stopped in my tracks…..A magic moment! The next time we saw her was in Rio de Janeiro, after having formed Sirius B.
7 SANTANA FUTURE PRIMITIVO CARAVANSERAI
I think this album is one of Santana’s more psychedelic, spiritual journeys. I got to play with one of his percussionists in Costa Rica. The man was a master ‘rhythm maker’ and completely mad!
8 JANE BUNNET & MAQUEQUE MAMEY COLORADO MAQUEQUE
I was at a cross roads in my life when I heard Maqueque at a Jazz festival in Chicago. This Cuban-fusion- female -group Rock! Their performance inspired me to come back to the UK and make my album. I hope to personally thank them one day. The string arrangements are amazing too!
9 SIRIUS B SONHADOR (featuring Snowboy) OURO BATIDO
From Sirius B, my previous band’s 3rd album. Snowboy was our very special guest on this track, on congas! He was also hugely supportive of Sirius B and we were honoured to have appeared on Sunday nights at the Jazz Café with Snowboy and Adrian Gibson spinning the best jazz dance and Perry & the Jazzcotech dancers tearing the night up and the stage! This song was never really picked up on; but it’s just a personal favourite of mine. I’m dedicating this one to Snowboy
10 GIL SCOTT-HERON LADY DAY & JOHN COLTRANE PIECES OF A MAN
Lyrics are really important to me. I love the poetry and integrity of this man. There are many poets on both the Welsh side and Arabic side of my family! And I can’t stop playing this song!
11 STEREO MC’S FEVER (Steve Hillage remix) FUTURE WORLD FUNK
I was a big fan of the Stereo’s! Then I met Cliffy and Russ of Future World Funk. They remixed our song High n Dry . This gem was on the same album. Well, I had to include some Middle Eastern fusion!
12 CYRILLE AIMEE IT’S A GOOD DAY IT’S A GOOD DAY
Another artist I discovered at the same Chicago Jazz Festival! Hailing from the same town as Django Reinhardt, she has gypsy jazz elements in her music.. I love that music too. Especially on the violin!!This song makes me feel my nomadic roots, so I sneaked it in at the end of this musical remix journey!

You can here Azhaar Saffar’s Groove Towards You Star guest playlist on The Illicit Grooves Radio Show on Starpoint Radio broadcast on Saturday the 2nd of June from 11am-1pm (GMT)

The podcast of the show will also be available on Soundcloud here at 2pm (GMT) on the same day as broadcast as will a podcast of Azhaar’s playlist available here.

You can listen to the archive of guest mixes and playlists here.

You can listen to Arema Arega’s playlist from the previous week’s show here.

june 2018 guest mixes

 

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