Jim Brooks
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All Reviews/Ratings

10 reviews/ratings
DEDALUS - Dedalus Fusion | review permalink
HANS KOLLER (SAXOPHONE) - Kunstkopfindianer Eclectic Fusion | review permalink
GEORGE RUSSELL - Electronic Sonata For Souls Loved By Nature Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
HEIKKI SARMANTO - Counterbalance Fusion | review permalink
KALEIDON - Free Love Fusion | review permalink
TOTO BLANKE - Electric Circus Fusion | review permalink
MISSUS BEASTLY - Bremen 1974 Fusion | review permalink
HANS KOLLER (SAXOPHONE) - Nome Eclectic Fusion | review permalink
WOLFGANG DAUNER - Dream Talk Post Bop | review permalink
SOUNDS OF LIBERATION - New Horizons Fusion | review permalink

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 6 4.17
2 Eclectic Fusion 2 4.25
3 Avant-Garde Jazz 1 4.50
4 Post Bop 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 1972 · Fusion
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Philadelphia's Sounds of Liberation created an excellent, yet obscure, jazz/fusion LP. The year was 1972 and the doors of creativity that were kicked open in the late 1960's had not yet been closed by the increasingly corporate music industry. The music scene was still fertile and the Sounds of Liberation were keen on capitalizing on the opportunity to create something unique. New Horizons is an intoxicating mixture of jazz rock/fusion, free jazz, and African music. All of this is wrapped in a slightly psychedelic aura. The opening track, "Happy Tuesday," even has a Krautrock vibe to it. The 19-minute song features a driving, repeating rhythm accented with African percussion instruments, while the rest of the band jams along. A wonderful trip! The rest of the album does not disappoint, continuing on a similar sonic path. The performances are excellent and the recording and production is decent for an independent release of that time. A highly recommended lost fusion classic!

GEORGE RUSSELL Electronic Sonata For Souls Loved By Nature

Live album · 1971 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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George Russell's Electronic Souls Loved by Nature is one of the severely underrated jazz releases from the late 1960's/early 1970's. I, personally, would put this up there with Miles Davis' Bitches Brew as far as its inventiveness and uniqueness for the time. The recording is actually from April of 1969 (not released until 1971), which predates the Bitches Brew sessions by about 3 months! This is a very European sounding release, due to the musicians involved in it hailing from Norway, most notably the young Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal. The use of tape noises and sound collages with a live band, and recorded in a live setting was innovative for 1969. The musicians performed the piece impeccably and with conviction. There are two, side long tracks that combine cool, repetitive jazz grooves, free jazz, and touches of jazz rock, mostly due to Rypdal's occasional Hendrix-inspired shredding. It has a kind of psychedelic vibe, but in that dark, Norwegian style in contrast to Bitches Brew's very American sound. This one should really be recognized for what is - a groundbreaking jazz classic.


Album · 1964 · Post Bop
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Wolfgang Dauner's first LP under his name is an interesting beginning to an extremely eclectic output of jazz and jazz fusion. He is joined by two musicians that would work with him for many years to come: drummer Fred Braceful and bassist Eberhard Weber. Listening to Dream Talk now, after hearing much of his experimental late 60's early 70's material that came afterwards, one cannot but think how tame the music sounds. A closer listen, however, reveals that Dauner was already experimenting and not doing "straight" jazz. The music is in the early, more grounded, arena of Avant-Garde jazz. All the musicians are locked in subconsciously, creating a loose feel, yet contain elements of structure and melody. All three artists perform impeccably, and my remastered CD version sounds excellent. Weber's bass is high in the mix, giving it a warm, and even modern sound when compared to many recordings of the era. Definitely an enjoyable album to listen to, even if it doesn't leave you disorientated like some of his other work does! Four stars.


Live album · 2017 · Eclectic Fusion
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After discovering Hans Koller's impressive 1974 release, "Kunstkopfindianer," I came across this live recording of the same line-up for that album. This CD release is on the B.Free label, which is listed as a bootleg label on Discogs, yet the parent label, Be!Sharp, is not listed as such. Bootleg or not, the sound quality on this release is excellent. The packaging states that it was recorded May 15, 1974 in Cologne, Germany "from the original tapes in pristine audio," and it certainly sounds that way. This was apparently taped for a radio broadcast. Along with Koller are Wolfgang Dauner on keys, Zbigniew Seifert on violin and alto sax, Adelhard Roidinger on bass, and Janusz Stefanski on drums.

This live recording draws from the material on the album "Kunstkopfindianer," but, like any good live performance, expands the boundaries of the studio recordings. The avant-garde/free jazz aspects of "Kunstkopfindianer" are further explored here, making it a more challenging listen than the studio versions. That's not to say it isn't good, you just need more attention and patience when listening. "Nome" (the song) is a whopping 40 plus minutes long, a huge leap from the mere 6 1/2 minutes of the studio version. The remaining 35 minutes consist of 3 other tracks from the studio album and some needlessly included announcements.

As would be expected, the musicianship displayed here is top-notch, and, as mentioned above, the recording is impeccable. Overall, a wonderful document of a great group of musicians at the top of their game. If you like "Kunstkopfindianer" or Dauner's experimental jazz and fusion, then this is a must-hear. 4 stars.

HANS KOLLER (SAXOPHONE) Kunstkopfindianer

Album · 1974 · Eclectic Fusion
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I came across this album while searching works by Wolfgang Dauner in Discogs and decided to give it a listen. I was happy I did, for this is an excellent example of experimental fusion from that era.

While the album is under saxophonist Hans Koller's name, it is heavily influenced by Dauner's experimental work of that time period. This is really more of a band project, with Koller being just one of the equally important members. Koller, the elder statesman in the group, was in his early 50's at the time, and I give the man credit for releasing music like this at this point in his career. I haven't heard much of his earlier work, but what I did listen to was firmly in the bop tradition. "Kunstkopfindianer" is something quite different.

I would describe this album as a mix of fusion, avant-garde/free jazz, and hard bop. The free jazz/avant-garde aspects of the music never goes too far before becoming grounded by some element of structure and melody. All of the musicians give superb performances, and all but drummer Janusz Stefanski contribute compositions. Stefanski does, however, lay down some incredible, at times ferocious, drum-work throughout the LP. Dauner is his usual genius on the keys, while bassist Adelhard Roidinger is all over the place (in a good way) on his instrument. Koller delivers a convincing performance in the mix, like he'd been a free jazz master all of his life.

I truly enjoy listening to this album and would recommend it to those who like Dauner's experimental work, such as Et Cetera. I give it a solid 4 1/2 stars - an obscure, yet essential album of experimental 70's jazz fusion.

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