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John
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Favorite Jazz Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

772 reviews/ratings
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - The Louis Armstrong Story, Volume I: Louis Armstrong And His Hot Five Classic (1920s) Jazz | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Agharta Fusion | review permalink
EARTH WIND & FIRE - Gratitude Jazz Related RnB | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Speak Like a Child Post Bop | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention) Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Crossings Fusion | review permalink
PARLIAMENT - Mothership Connection Funk | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Thrust Funk Jazz | review permalink
SUN RA - Angels and Demons at Play Progressive Big Band | review permalink
SUN RA - Atlantis Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
SANTANA - Santana Latin Rock/Soul | review permalink
FUNKADELIC - America Eats Its Young Funk | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Live At The Fillmore East Fusion | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - V.S.O.P. Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Get Up With It Fusion | review permalink
JIMI HENDRIX - Electric Ladyland (Jimi Hendrix Experience) Jazz Related Rock
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Nefertiti Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Big Fun Fusion | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 102 3.69
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 60 3.98
3 Hard Bop 48 3.84
4 Post Bop 46 4.13
5 World Fusion 42 3.67
6 Soul Jazz 40 3.40
7 Big Band 36 3.85
8 Eclectic Fusion 35 3.76
9 Jazz Related RnB 33 3.61
10 Jazz Related Rock 30 3.77
11 Funk Jazz 26 3.60
12 Bop 26 4.04
13 Nu Jazz 23 3.39
14 Progressive Big Band 23 4.09
15 Funk 21 3.90
16 Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 20 2.75
17 Jazz Related DJs/Electronica/Rap 18 3.39
18 Exotica 18 3.44
19 Third Stream 17 3.85
20 Post-Fusion Contemporary 12 3.50
21 Cool Jazz 12 3.75
22 Dub/Ska/Reggae 10 4.05
23 Vocal Jazz 10 3.75
24 Jazz Related Soundtracks 10 3.95
25 Jazz Related Blues 9 3.72
26 Latin Jazz 8 3.94
27 Swing 8 4.00
28 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 7 3.43
29 Latin Rock/Soul 6 3.75
30 21st Century Modern 6 4.33
31 Acid Jazz 4 3.50
32 Classic (1920s) Jazz 2 4.50
33 Jazz Education 1 3.50
34 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.50
35 Dixieland 1 3.50
36 Bossa Nova 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

ROB RYNDAK Rob Ryndak & Tom Lockwood : Gratitude

Album · 2019 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
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Apparently Rob Ryndak met Tom Lockwood when Lockwood bought a house in Ryndak’s neighborhood. When Rob went over to greet Tom they discovered that they were both pro musicians and educators with similar interests in jazz and world music. Soon Tom was performing in Ryndak’s band and the rest is history as they eventually decided to record an album together. The resultant CD, “Gratitude”, shows the two combining their song writing and performing talents into a diverse set of tunes that combine contemporary jazz, pop, RnB, hard bop, Latin and Caribbean grooves. To assist in their endeavor they brought in a variety of instrumentalists who help give each track its own distinct sound and tone color. Rob plays piano and percussion, while Tom handles all manner of woodwind instruments, to that they also added musicians on bass, drums, guitar, cello, trumpet, percussion, vibraphone and additional piano. Ryndak in particular creates creative orchestrations with his mini orchestra, particularly on the ballad like title tune, “Gratitude”.

Throughout the album, Ryndak’s tunes lean more towards the art pop side of things, while Lockwood’s favor swinging hard bop and Latin jazz. The first track is a Ryndak composition, while the second belongs to Lockwood, the tracks alternate this way for the rest of the album which makes for a nice musical blend. Bob’s song, “Just as They Are”, seems to reference a well known Latin folk song, but I will not give away which one, you will have to hear that for yourself. Most of the tunes are fairly concise and to the point, but there is still room for some great solos from Lockwood, Brian Lynch on trumpet, Sasha Brusin on guitar and Steve Talaga on piano. “Gratitude’ is more or less a jazz album, but there is plenty of melodic material that easily crosses over to fans of all manner of sophisticated instrumental music.

STRATUS LUNA Stratus Luna

Album · 2019 · Jazz Related Rock
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Stratus Luna is a very youthful ( band members’ ages range from teens to early 20s) instrumental prog rock/fusion band from Brazil who have just released their debut album featuring music with a strong maturity that would lead you to believe you are listening to accomplished veterans. A good reference point for Luna’s music could be early 70s jazzy progsters such as those in the Canterbury scene, or even closer, famed Dutch quartet, Focus. The similarity to Focus is furthered by the band’s size (quartet), the way they alternate melodic guitar passages with Hammond B3 buildups and the fact that keyboardist Gustavo Santiago also doubles on flute. The 70s influence is there, but Luna also adds modern and personal influences from the worlds of electronica, post rock and Brazilian fusion.

Every track features those sort of eclectic arrangements favored by the prog rock crowd, but this is today’s prog, a little more streamlined and less indulgent than their 70s forebears. Ricardo is quite capable of intense fusion solos on the guitar, but he often favors a more melodic approach reminiscent of Phil Manzenera or David Gilmour. Some album highlights include, “O Centro do Labirinto” which features a classic huge Mellotron chorus that builds through upward spiraling chord progressions as it reaches for the heavenly beyond. “Zarabatana” is based on alternating sections of Brazilian fusion and Indian ambiance. “NREM-1” is free floating electronic soundscapes and “Pandas Voadores” features a sort of rock flavored swing feel. It also helps that the recording quality and production on here are excellent, the sound of Stratus Luna in the studio is massive.

ISAAC HAYES The Isaac Hayes Movement (aka Superstarshine Vol. 31)

Album · 1970 · Jazz Related RnB
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“The Isaac Hayes Movement” is Isaac’s third studio album and is also the immediate predecessor to his highly acclaimed soundtrack masterpiece, “Shaft”. A lot of the diverse elements that would make “Shaft” such a powerful statement are all here, just not as fully developed yet. There are four songs on “Movement”, and each one has its own distinctive flavor. Album opener “I Stand Accused” is one of those long confessional soul ballads that opens with a detailed spoken soliloquy, a technique used by Hayes before, and also favored by artists like Barry White, James Brown and Betty Wright. In this very convincing spoken word segment, Isaac confesses to his best friend’s girlfriend that he is madly in love with her. Its all here; passion, complication, human frailty and no doubt an inevitable heartache and broken friendships. Side one ends with more modern psychological drama in the form of “One Big Unhappy Family”, a story of a ‘good’ family by all appearances who do their best to hide their emotionally bankrupt lives. This one carries its message with sublime chord progressions and subtle orchestrations, all Hayes trademarks.

Side two opens with more heartache in the form of Burt Bacharach’s “I Just don’t Know what to do with Myself”, like most Bacharach creations, this one is top notch both musically and lyrically. All three of these opening songs are great, but the real masterpiece comes with Isaac’s sprawling arrangement of George Harrison’s “Something”. Its on this track that Hayes’ shows the diversity that will go on to make “Shaft” such a success. During the 12 minute multi-movement “Something” opus, Isaac combines, psychedelic pop, classical orchestral arrangements, soul balladry, big band rave ups, progressive rock, free form jazz rock freak outs and more. It’s a very early 70s sort of creative creation as it slowly builds and finally culminates in a raging electric violin solo by John Blair. If you are looking for Isaac Hayes at his most creative, “Something” has got it.

MARIUS GUNDERSEN Brazilian Guitar Music by Marco Pereira

Album · 2019 · Third Stream
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Something wonderful happened in the world of music starting sometime in the 1920s and continuing to today and that is the merging of jazz and European classical traditions to create new modern hybrids. Its hard to think of a composer past the 1920s that wasn’t influenced by jazz’s sophisticated syncopated rhythms, and certainly jazz musicians had no chance to escape the classical influence as more than likely most of their advanced lessons centered around Chopin, Bach and the rest. In today’s musical universe, other musical components can enter the picture as well, such as Indian ragas, Indonesian Gamelan and Latin American traditions. Its within that merger of classical, jazz and Brazilian practices that we find the new album by Marius Noss Gundersen, “Brazilian Guitar Music by Marco Pereira”.

The title says it all, Gundersen’s new album is a collection of compositions for classical acoustic guitar written by Marco Periera, who’s classical compositions are inspired by Brazilian song forms. In the album liner notes Periera expresses his gratitude to Marius for producing the first album entirely devoted to Marco’s music. Marco also includes very helpful notes for every track on the album, which is nice because very few of us are going to be familiar with all of the Brazilian traditions he is referencing, so its good to have some program notes as a guide if you want to learn more.

The compositions are excellent, deep enough for close and repeated listening, but also pleasant enough to be attractive to people who might not know a thing about Latin jazz or contemporary classical music. Marius’ guitar playing is impressive as he tends to bring out the delicate side of this rather difficult instrument. Listening to how well he can control volume as an aid to expression proves that he is definitely in that upper echelon of guitarists. Fast passages sound unrushed and handled with ease, this CD is a treasure chest for fans of nimble finger picking in any style. So many good tracks on here, but some standouts include, “Estrela da Manha” with its mystical mixolydian chord changes, “Bate-Coxa” has an almost Carribean sounding celebratory style, and album closer, Baiao Cansada” with its modernistic Lydian melodies.

ERIC DOLPHY Musical Prophet : The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions

Boxset / Compilation · 2018 · Post Bop
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In early July 1963 Eric Dolphy went into the studio and recorded several new tunes as well as a couple of covers. He worked with a variety of ensembles ranging from mini big band to smaller combos, as well as several duets with bassist Richard Davis. Several tracks were selected from that session and released on the album that came to be known as “Conversations”. Several years after Eric’s death, more of the session was released under the title “Iron Man”. Recently the good folks at Resonance collected all these recordings together, plus some other odds and ends and a few alternate takes and released the whole thing as “Eric Dolphy Musical Prophet”, and needless to say, this sucker is bursting with goodness.

Its nice to have all these recordings in one place now because the previous albums were sometimes frustrating in what was kept and what was left out, now its all here in one package. The variety on this CD is admirable. For those who like Eric’s bebop side there’s “Jitterbug Waltz” and “Iron Man”. Dolphy displays his ultra modern compositional style with “Mandrake” and “Burning Spear” and his duets with Richard Davis show a deep meditative side that results in chamber music of concert hall quality. There is one track taken from a different recording session, and that is “A Personal Statement”, an avant-garde tone poem that features vocalist David Schwartz vocalizing lyrics about Jim Crow laws in the US south.

For Eric Dolphy fans and those interested in the more experimental side of 60s jazz, this collection is essential. Of most interest to many of us is how advanced many of Eric’s compositions were. Listening to how he shifts time signatures and tempos while playing both inside and outside of the chord changes we hear much of what is happening in jazz today. Eric was not really a ‘free player’, and he was also far from conventional, instead, Dolphy had unique takes on composition and tonality that were decades ahead of his time.

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Warthur wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Hey dude,

You've banned me from the forums but I can still access the review submission system and site interactions.

If that is intentional then fair enough but if not I thought it'd only be honest to give you a heads up.

Warthur wrote:
more than 2 years ago
js - please clear some space in your PM inbox, I'm trying to send you something.

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