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John
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Favorite Jazz Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

790 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 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 - Sun Ra And His Astro Infinity Arkestra : 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 103 3.69
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 60 3.98
3 Hard Bop 49 3.84
4 Post Bop 49 4.12
5 Soul Jazz 40 3.40
6 World Fusion 39 3.60
7 Big Band 37 3.84
8 Eclectic Fusion 35 3.76
9 RnB 33 3.62
10 Jazz Related Rock 30 3.77
11 Bop 27 4.02
12 Funk Jazz 26 3.60
13 Progressive Big Band 24 4.08
14 Nu Jazz 23 3.39
15 Pop/Art Song/Folk 21 2.81
16 Funk 21 3.90
17 Third Stream 19 3.84
18 Exotica 18 3.44
19 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 18 3.39
20 Post-Fusion Contemporary 13 3.46
21 Cool Jazz 12 3.75
22 Dub/Ska/Reggae 11 4.00
23 Blues 10 3.80
24 Jazz Related Soundtracks 10 3.95
25 Vocal Jazz 10 3.75
26 Latin Jazz 9 3.89
27 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 8 3.38
28 Swing 8 4.00
29 Latin Rock/Soul 6 3.75
30 21st Century Modern 6 4.33
31 African Fusion 5 4.00
32 Acid Jazz 4 3.50
33 Classic (1920s) Jazz 2 4.50
34 Dixieland 1 3.50
35 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.50
36 Bossa Nova 1 3.50
37 Jazz Education 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

BRIAN SCANLON Brain Scan

Album · 2019 · Post Bop
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Brian Scanlon is one of those musicians who you have probably listened to before, but didn’t realize who you were listening to. A long time session saxophonist, Brian has recorded with stars like Bob Dylan and Randy Newman, appeared on TV soundtracks such as The Simpsons and Family Guy, as well as movies like “La La Land” and “Crazy Rich Asians”. After a 32 year career Brian finally decided to record his first album as leader and packed “Brain Scan” with mostly his original tunes. Brian counts Coltrane and Parker as major influences, and you can also hear a good bit of Sonny Rollins and some Eric Dolphy too. Scanlon plays both tenor and alto and is a bopper at heart, always swinging, but he also works in plenty of RnB and soul on his eclectic debut.

The album opens with two modern abstract post bop tracks with Latin and fusion influences. Brian’s son, Avery, turns in a Holdsworth flavored electric guitar solo on the opener. “Re-entry” follows with some funky soul jazz that sounds like an instrumental version of a classic Steely Dan track, particularly in the guitar scratching of Andrew Synowiec. After a well written melodic ballad the band goes full tilt bebop on “I Hear Something” and a major overhaul of “Harlem Nocturne”. Scanlon turns down the heat for the closing numbers, with “My Right Foot” providing some bluesy grooves.

I’m not sure why Brian waited so long to step out as a leader, this should have happened long ago. He is an excellent writer and his constant melodic invention recalls his favorite sax mentors, but Scanlon also provides his own very smooth delivery and relaxed sound that is unique to him.

DIZZY GILLESPIE The Small Groups 1945-1946 Original Recordings

Boxset / Compilation · 1970 · Bop
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If you are looking for that unmistakable sound of early bebop on vinyl and don’t want to spend a bundle, then you might want to keep an eye out for, “Dizzy Gillespie: The Small Groups {1945 - 1946}”, on the Phoenix label. This is an excellent compilation that came out in the 70s and shows up in used stores and the internet for very reasonable prices. The music on here comes from five different recording sessions, every track features Dizzy, while other tracks feature varying bebop greats such as Charlie Parker, Al Haig, Sonny Stitt, Curly Russell and more.

Side one opens with a band that is more in a pre-bop swing style, but when we hit track five, Sonny Stitt and Al Haig have stepped in to push things in a more modern direction. The big revelation all through this side is Chuck Wayne’s jaggedy swinging guitar lines. Alice Roberts guests to sing a bluesy “A Handfulla of Gimmie”, and “Blue ‘N’ Boogie” features a young Dexter Gordon on tenor sax. Side two features Charlie Parker and starts off with a band that is competent, but not quite up to what Bird n Diz are capable of. For the second half of this side, Al Haig takes the piano chair and Curly Russell picks up the bass and now we are in abstract cubist bebop heaven. The recorded sound on “Salt Peanuts” is perfect for this era, unfortunately, the next three tracks fall off a bit in the high end department, but are still enjoyable and musically superb, the best tracks on the record.

JOEY DEFRANCESCO In The Key Of The Universe

Album · 2019 · Post Bop
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With a title like "In the Key of the Universe", and promotional advertising that plays up Pharoh Sanders' contributions on saxophone, it would be easy to think that Joey DeFrancesco is trying to cash in on the current 'spiritual jazz' revival on his new album. Its true that there are some tunes on here that reference Sanders' past as the originator of the spiritual modal jazz style, but none of this is gratuitous or insincere, and there is also such a wide variety of music on here that the modal jams are just a part of what goes down. Also, Sanders only appears on a couple tracks, elsewhere on here the very capable Troy Roberts supplies the tenor, alto and soprano sax work. In short, 'In the Key' is one of Joey's better albums and is rife with inspired solos and top notch song writing.

DeFrancesco's rapid fire solos take the Coltrane idea of 'sheets of sound' to new levels on the Hammond B3. This is used to good effect on the energetic post bop of "Awake and Blissed", and then given a double dose on the bebop barn burner, "It Swung Wide Open". The next couple tracks feature Pharoh, who still sounds as great as ever, as he takes a somewhat laid back and mature approach to classic material such as "The Creator has a Master Plan". Some other highlights include a couple of mystical samba lounge outings and a few hard groove blues numbers.

On the two closing tracks, Joey caps things off with something we don't hear often enough, really interesting melodies set to non-cliche chord changes. Both of these songs would make for great vehicles for others to try out their creativity on. The production is a little heavy on the reverb, which sounds fine on the groove numbers, but a bit heavy handed on the uptempo ones.

GIL EVANS The Gil Evans Orchestra Play the Music of Jimi Hendrix

Album · 1974 · Progressive Big Band
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When The “Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix” came out in the early 70s, it was a big deal, and for good reason too. Attempts to merge heavy rock and orchestral music were still a new thing then and many attempts at such a merger were often a clumsy mess. Gil was given much well deserved praise in that he quite successfully took the music of Jimi Hendrix and gave it a big band treatment that somehow managed to capture the best of both the rock and big band jazz worlds. Flash forward several decades to today and this album still holds up, but since it became a blueprint for others to follow, its rockin big band sounds are hardly unusual anymore. Late night entertainment shows such as Saturday Night Live and David Letterman have been featuring big bands playing classic rock and RnB tunes for some time now and several tracks on the ‘Evans Plays Hendrix’ album sound like they would fit in well during a commercial break while Paul Shaffer or G.E. Smith is trying to keep the audience hyped.

Opening track, “Angel”, is probably the one closest to a late night break rave up, especially since it features the sax melody and solo of David Sanborn, the owner of one of the most imitated horn sounds on late night TV. “Cross Town Traffic” and “Foxey Lady” are the other two that also fall more in this direction. “Castles Made of Sand” is the first track to really head in an interesting and alternative direction as Evans introduces counter melodies that hang like dissonant clouds and totally transform the song. “Up from the Skies” is essentially a jazz song to begin with, which might explain why it works so well as Evans once again produces an appealing murkiness that takes the track towards exotic Sun Ra territory. “1983 - A Merman I Should Turn to Be” is also given an interesting facelift as it becomes a spaghetti western movie theme. The least successful track is “Voodoo Chile”, whose melody is played by Howard Johnson who sounds like he is humming through his horn producing a non-appealing kazoo type sound.

This is a Gil Evans album, so the performances and orchestrations are outstanding, its just that this album probably would have aged better if he had gone more in the experimental direction, and less in the rockin direction.

DEWA BUDJANA Dewa Budjana, Tohpati : Janapati

Album · 2019 · Third Stream
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Dewa Budjana and Tohpati are the two top guitarists in Indonesia’s thriving fusion scene, and on “Janapati”, they join forces for a musical extravaganza backed by a full orchestra. Even the album title refers to their union as it is comprised of syllables taken from both of their names. With two well known guitarists on board, one world probably expect a non-stop shred fest, but instead, the music on here is often created with lush orchestral passages which leave space for their solos, mostly on acoustic guitars. The orchestral music itself draws on both Indonesian and Western melodies, and bears some resemblance to late 19th century classical romanticism, but much of this very robust ensemble work is actually more reminiscent of Broadway spectaculars and panoramic film scores. The orchestra hits you full blast when the CD first opens, and continues to dominate for much of the album. It is a well recorded bright orchestra sound that is just massive in its scope and presence.

On a couple tracks they set the orchestra aside for some great guitar duets. 'D Romance" features some of the best fret work as they open the song with intertwining classical melodies that open into a jazzy middle section. The electric version of title track, “Duology”, is a high energy rocker that carries the most all out shredding. “Duology” also appears again later on the album, this time in an acoustic format. In some ways, the electric version may seem out of place on this album, but I would imagine fans of both guitarists wouldn’t have minded hearing some more jams in that style.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 day ago in 2019 avant-garde & free improv albums
    Yong Yandesen and friends    "Hungry Ghosts"https://nakamalabel.bandcamp.com/album/hungry-ghosts snobb2020-01-16 22:16:58
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    Maciej Sadowski performs rough and tumble exploratory fusion similar to the genre's early days:https://maciejsadowskikwadrat.bandcamp.com/album/jazz-dla-zwierz-t-animal-jazz snobb2020-01-16 12:33:53
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    Stick Men and David Cross live in South America:https://stickmen.bandcamp.com/album/panamerica-disc-2-suites-argentina-peru-uruguay-chile snobb2020-01-15 22:44:47

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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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