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23 reviews/ratings
CANNONBALL ADDERLEY - Somethin' Else Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE - Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE - A Love Supreme Post Bop
DAVE BRUBECK - Time Out Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS - Kind of Blue Cool Jazz | review permalink
CHARLES MINGUS - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
KING CRIMSON - In The Court Of The Crimson King Jazz Related Rock
MILES DAVIS - Milestones Hard Bop
WES MONTGOMERY - The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery Hard Bop
KING CRIMSON - Lizard Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - In a Silent Way Fusion
GRANT GREEN - Idle Moments Hard Bop
SONNY SHARROCK - Ask the Ages Eclectic Fusion | review permalink
JOHN COLTRANE - My Favorite Things Hard Bop
FRANK ZAPPA - Hot Rats Jazz Related Rock
ROBERT BALZAR - Overnight Post Bop | review permalink
ROBERT BALZAR - Alone Hard Bop
ROBERT BALZAR - Tales Post Bop | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - Islands Jazz Related Rock
SONNY ROLLINS - Saxophone Colossus Hard Bop

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Bop 8 4.63
2 Jazz Related Rock 4 4.50
3 Post Bop 3 4.33
4 Cool Jazz 2 5.00
5 Fusion 2 4.00
6 Vocal Jazz 2 3.75
7 Eclectic Fusion 1 4.50
8 Progressive Big Band 1 5.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 2008 · Post Bop
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This Robert Balzar Trio CD is very interesting. It is the product of collaboration of its usual members and a well-known virtuoso guitarist John Abercrombie. Considering that the greatest thing about their other albums is wonderful blend of beautiful piano, inventive drums and masterfully played bass, one will agree that adding a guitar to this equation can only yield something great. And more so, it certainly is not A guitar, it's THE guitar of one of the most thoughtful and musically sensitive guitarists out there. (There's a lesson on improvisation taught by Abercrombie on Youtube, I suggest that you watch it, you will be amazed by the way he approaches his playing)

CD starts off by a piece, that is quite sharp and mellow at the same time. Abercrombie clearly establishes his role in this ensemble and keeps it for the rest of this record composed of both his and Balzar's compositions (with the exception of one standard). Pieces are written very well and guitar really fits them.

I'm not really able to choose my favourite track, they are all great, but apart from the first one, I have to mention "Remember Hymn" and "Night".

Again - this album will not shake the foundations of music but it has such a beautiful atmosphere and is so well executed, you have to give it a try.

DEAN WATSON Imposing Elements

Album · 2012 · Fusion
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To start off with the bad things, I have to say I don't really like fusion. For me, its aesthetics make it look as though it can't decide whether it will fall into jazz, or prog (Porcupine Tree-esque prog to be precise in this case) category. If I could advise something to this artist, what to do to better fit my taste - Please, do something more clear in genre, either prog or jazz (which I would like the most).

But now time has come for the good things - if you are not familiar with this artist, I have to make sure you know at least one thing about him - he plays every instrument on this record himself. Yes, that's right, pretty impressive, isn't it? Sheer musicianship glows from every lick and phrase played and one can only admire artist like this.

Whole album is very pleasant to listen. Every track has it's own kind of sound and you don't feel like listening to the same things for whole album. You feel like going on a musical trip. Which is great - I like my music to be unpredictable in some way. But this also means, I cannot choose my favourite track (although I love the guitar on Push Too). My favourite track would be the album as a whole.

To summarize: I like Dean's style, I like his approach to composition and I'm really dazzled by his skills and what he achieved in this great record, but to be really blown away, I need something either more jazzy, or proggy.

You remind me of peaople like Steven Wilson and I'm really looking forward to your next work and I'd love to hear it even if you don't follow my recommendations.


Album · 1991 · Eclectic Fusion
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Sonny Sharrock was such a great guitar player. According to wikipaedia, he considered himself to be a horn player with "one fucked-up axe" - this description sums up his style very well. But don't worry, even though his other quote says his main intention was to make first four rows bleed from their ears, his music is certainly not cacophonic. There are only a few moments that could cause some harm to your sense of aesthetics (it's still avantgarde after all), but it's so sensitively executed you're going to love them anyway.

Ante Scriptum: This is kind of an experiment, since I'm going to describe the songs as I listen to them. Free jazz deserves free writing, doesn't it?

Album opens with a swift number called Promises Kept. We are quickly told what I tried to say in the first paragraph, only with music. Apart from Sharrock's guitar, other notable moments are bass and drums solo.

Then we're going to calm down a little with Who Does She Hope To Be - a slow one for a change. Being a guitarist myself, I cannot but admire the timbre of Sharrock's guitar in this composition. Those familiar with Santana, Beck or even Clapton: You might think of them during your listen.

Little Rock comes next, marking a return to the territory of the first track. The territory of fast rhythms and beautiful tone of Sharrock's guitar. I like those moments when he gets stuck a little bit - not only they prove this is fully improvised, but for the good of us, guiarists, it also proves he's human.

As We Used to Sing reminds me of Zappa a little bit, listen to the intro and you'll know why. Sharrock's guitar enters like some kind of hurricane - it blows, rumbles and turns, while allowing you to accompany it to a heavenly beautiful eye of the tornado. Sax comes next in a similiar fashion and drums and bass take over the role of the rumblimg typhoon. Next, next comes the soothing and calming sound of the wind, that's blown away all its crushing might. And the bass takes us elsewhere...

Beginning with a drum solo, next comes Many Mansions. It kind of reminds me of a hellmarch, don't ask me why. Also, do I here some Mingus over here? Yeah, Mingus' big band marching in the underworld, that might be it. Saxophone is wild and the rhythm is very unusual and somewhat stucky. Like when you play a CD and you quickly press play and pause all the time. Sharrock comes in the next bit of this track showing us how well he can deal with this kind of atmosphere. His playing here must've influenced many hard prog guitarists.

Like a monk playing in some ancient monastery, drummer begins the last number once more, it's called Once Upon A Time. His solo is very coulourful and full of exotic feeling. Sharrock enters soon with a tenderhearted motif, accompanied by the sax. Compostion starts to sail into the waters of nostalgic ballad, bidding farewell to old memories and maybe even the listener himself. It's executed very cleverly - with somewhat frenetic drum ostinato and calm and melancholic playing of both lead instruments. And finally, it all sails away to fade out.

This album is simply great. It's marked as avantgarde but don't let it turn you away if you don't like this genre. It has a beauty to give to anyone.

MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue

Album · 1959 · Cool Jazz
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Ah, yes. This is THE one. The Dark Side of the Moon, Citizen Kane, The New World Symphony of jazz - one of those few etalons that sometimes appear in arts and don't get their wings melted when they reach the sun of perfection.

And one can't be really surprised, just look at the line-up - always wonderful Miles Davis whose trumpet can be soothing and sweet as well as sharp as a knife and powerful as the horns of Jericho. My favorite Miles Davis' moment is the beginning of Blues in Green and his first blows there. Then there is Mr. Coltrane with his volcanic improvisations full of eruptions of emotions and lava of tones, that goes perfectly with Cannonball's wonderful sense for melody. The contrast between them can be perfectly heard in the first piece - So What. There, as well as on the rest of this record, they are supported by very sensitive style of Bill Evans' piano that is going to be shown off later on in the album. Every touch he makes, every notes he plays - it's all so great. And let's not forget the great bassist and drummer who keep all of this going, and Wynton Kelly who plays the piano on the bluesiest of the tracks.

I know, I know, I haven't really told you a lot about this album. You don't even know how it sounds, you probably don't even know what genre of jazz it is, but maybe that was my goal from the very beginning - now you have to give it a listen. Because as a great man once said: "Writing about music is the same as dancing about architecture." and I'm sure it applies to reading as well. That's why I strongly recommend you to stop now and put this record into your CD/LP player.


Album · 1970 · Jazz Related Rock
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What a marvel this album is! Not only it has a huge value for progressive rock, whose timbre and rhythms it enriched with jazz aesthetics, it even has a lot to say about jazz itself. There are not many records this influential.

Two flagships of the album - "Cirkus" and "Lizard" - both introduce very innovative approach to rock compostion, with the latter being the most ambitious of the album. We are presented a great merging of classical music (everybody thinks of Ravel when listening to this), rock and (free)jazz.

You may not like progressive rock, you may not like classical music, you don't even have to like jazz, but I can guarantee that after finishing this one, you will sit with your mouth open, thinking: "This Fripp guy, he is awesome."

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in What to play?
    Man, thanks! Serenade for a Cuckoo especially was a wonderful suggestion!
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in What to play?
    Hi, I've joined this band that is currently looking to jazz-up its repertoire. They already play Take Five and I have been tasked with finding more. Do you have any advices for something intermediately advanced to play? I've been thinking about St. Thomas and Moanin'.Also: Feel free to share your stories on this topic .)Thanks!EDIT: To clarify: There is a guitar, a piano, a flute, a bass and drums (plus possible singer) BlueNote2013-06-24 13:24:19
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in 2013 obscure avant-garde tenor saxophonists
     great idea :))


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A Love Supreme Post Bop
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Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
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The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
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Blue Train Hard Bop
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My Favorite Things Hard Bop
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