Jim Brooks
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8 reviews/ratings
DEDALUS - Dedalus Fusion | review permalink
HANS KOLLER (SAXOPHONE) - Kunstkopfindianer Eclectic Fusion | 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

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 5 4.20
2 Eclectic Fusion 2 4.25
3 Post Bop 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews


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.


Live album · 2006 · Fusion
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The following is a review that I originally published on the sister website of Jazz Music Archives, Progarchives, on 1/15/17:

Missus Beastly's "Bremen 1974" is, in my opinion, their best release. This may be hard to believe, considering that it is a live recording from 1974 that was not released until almost 30 years after their final studio album. But this is an incredible, jammy, jazzrock recording that should get more attention.

I'm not really a huge fan of Missus Beastly's other releases, including their wildly different debut, but this one really grabs me. It's loose, yet tight at the same time, and is the only recording of splendid guitarist Eddy Marron's participation in the band. His excellent guitar work soars on this release and leaves one to wonder what the band's subsequent releases may have sounded like if he had stayed on. The album features 3 long, jam-heavy tracks, each one different from the other. The songs incorporate jazzrock, ethnic flourishes, psychedelia, and funk into a masterful live performance. Highly recommended for fans of German jazzrock from that era! 4 stars.

TOTO BLANKE Electric Circus

Album · 1976 · Fusion
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The following is a review that I originally published on the sister website of Jazz Music Archives, Progarchives, on 2/28/19:

German guitarist Toto Blanke (1939-2013) came to prominence as a member of the excellent avant-jazz rock outfit Association P.C. "Electric Circus," Blanke's second solo effort, is quite different from his first, "Spider's Dance." While his first album consisted of Anglo-American style jazz-rock (which was very good), "Electric Circus" finds Blanke incorporating the ground-breaking sounds of his home country at the time.

Blanke not only handles the guitars on this album, he also plays a ppg synth, ppg sequencer, moog taurus, as well as the banjo. As you may guess, the modern (at the time) synths, sequencers and moog make this quite different from your average fusion LP. Joining Blanke is his former band mate from Association P.C., Jasper van't Hof on keyboards. Also in the mix is American bassist Dave King, who also played with Embryo and the Curt Cress Clan, as well as others. Drums and percussion duties were handled by Edward Vesala of Finland.

The result is an interesting blend of jazz rock and Krautrock. Blanke's guitar (and Banjo) playing is magnificent as ever, but "Electric Circus" is not a guitar album. The synths take center stage on most tracks, layered over spacey, Kraut grooves. Experimental in nature, the album captures the best of both of the worlds it straddles. Recommended to those who like experimental music like Et Cetera / Wolfgang Dauner and other like-minded Teutonic musicians. 4 stars.

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