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Favorite Jazz Artists

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798 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 104 3.69
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 61 3.99
3 Hard Bop 50 3.84
4 Post Bop 50 4.13
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 31 3.74
11 Bop 28 4.04
12 Funk Jazz 26 3.60
13 Progressive Big Band 25 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 12 4.04
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

GEORGE RUSSELL George Russell Sextet Featuring Don Ellis & Eric Dolphy ‎: 1 2 3 4 5 6extet

Boxset / Compilation · 1969 · Post Bop
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“George Russell Sextet” is a compilation album that pulls from three of Russell’s albums from the early 60s, “Ezz-thetics”, “Stratus Seeker” and “the Outer View”. Much of what goes on in today’s jazz world can be traced back to George Russell and his sidemen such as Eric Dolphy, Don Ellis, Dave Baker and Steve Swallow. Listening to these tracks you can hear today’s abstract approach that walks a thin line between post bop and the avant-garde. Much like today’s players, sometimes Russell and his crew are in the pocket, and other times quite free. Likewise, they have room to play both inside and outside the chord changes. This is creative music that avoids clichés or expectations.

The album cover promises the appearance of Don Ellis and Eric Dolphy, which is only partially true. While Ellis does appear on every track, Eric is only on three, but the other tracks feature brilliant saxophone work from under-rated horn men such as John Pearce and Paul Plummer. Possibly just as important, Steve Swallow is the bassist on every track and he turns in his usual powerful performance. Hearing the young Ellis is interesting as his playing changed a bit over the years. In his youth, his playing was very bright and extroverted, and displayed a very noticeable Dizzy Gillespie influence.

This is a great selection of tracks that flow together very well for a compilation album. The music ranges from a very out there rendition of Charlie Parker’s “Au Privave”, to a funky blues original by Russell called “Blues in Orbit”. Elsewhere on here, Dolphy turns in the most intense reading of “Round Midnight” ever, and altoist John Pearce breaks a few land speed records on “The Stratus Seekers”. As mentioned earlier, much of what goes on in today’s scene can be traced back to these albums. If you are not familiar with Russell, this compilation is a great place to start.

MARKUS REUTER Markus Reuter, Fabio Trentini, Asaf Sirkis ‎: Truce

Album · 2020 · Jazz Related Rock
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Although he is also a composer and instrument inventor, in the rock world Markus Reuter is mostly known for his Robert Fripp influenced guitar work in King Crimson related projects such as Stick Men and The Crimson Projek(Ct). On his new album, “Truce” Markus sets out on his own with Asaf Sirkis on drums and Fabio Trentini on bass for some fearless free form avnt psych-rock improvs. The Fripp/Crimson influence is still there, but you can also hear some of the same guitarists that influenced Robert, such as Pete Cosey, Terje Rypdal and Sonny Sharrock. Asaf and Fabio are an excellent rhythm section, and its often Trentini’s hard driving Bill Laswell influenced dubbish melodic bass lines that keep these jams together.

The opening track, titled the same as the album, is the top number with its energetic beat and clearly stated guitar onslaught. On this one Markus makes his case for being one of the top soloists in today’s crowded guitar pyro-technique field. From here the band plows into a couple of slow jams and then on to some somewhat scattered wanderings here and there. On “Let Me Touch”, Fabio tries to get the band back in the groove with a limber Jaco style bass line, but the guitar responds with a less distinct and heavily processed sound. There are good moments all the way to the end, but the tight focus of the opener never really returns.

The make or break for “Truce” is how much you enjoy hearing three very talented rock fusion musicians totally winging it without any pre-determined compositions. Its not easy pulling off a session like this and these three do about as well as anyone could hope to.

CHARLIE PARKER The Magnificent Charlie Parker (aka The Genius Of Charlie Parker #8: Swedish Schnapps)

Album · 1955 · Bop
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God bless Record Store Day, not only does it help support one of civilization’s finest institutions, ie your local record store, but it has also been encouraging labels to re-release classic vinyl albums that many of us thought would be forever unattainable. If you had told me a few years ago that I would soon be able to buy pristine copies of Charlie Parker LPs, I would have thought you plumb crazy, but then, here we are with another outstanding Record Store Day release in the form of “The Magnificent Charlie Parker”. This album was originally released in the mid-50s on the Clef album and it contains much of Clef’s Parker singles from 1951 when Bird was playing at his best. It’s a wonderful collection of singles all arranged in logical succession with no weird volume or sound quality leaps as you go track to track. Those who are familiar with some Parker CD collections will know what I mean by incongruent track succession.

Side one opens with four tracks that feature a young Miles on trumpet, as well as Max Roach on drums. Miles’ playing at that time was very clean and precise, revealing the influence of Clifford Brown, as well as Miles’ classical background. All of these tracks are great, with “She Rote” being the ultimate in bebop styled abstraction and modernity. The last two cuts on this side are exotica pop numbers with a vocal choir and small orchestra arrangement. by Gil Evans. Side two features Red Rodney on trumpet, possibly Parker’s most cohesive and inspiring sideman outside of Dizzy Gillespie. This group also features a young John Lewis on piano before he became known as a purveyor of 3rd stream chamber jazz.

Every track on here is excellent and its nice that the song choices lean away from show tunes and more towards bebop originals that really bring out the witty urban flavor of one of jazz’s most creative eras. I think there are only about 3000 copies of this available, so grab it while you can.

THE BEAT (THE ENGLISH BEAT) Wha'ppen?

Album · 1981 · Dub/Ska/Reggae
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The Beat’s (English Beat in the US) first album, “I Just Can’t Stop It”, was a high energy ska punk barn burner infused with politically savvy lyrics, and it was a huge success in England and all around the entire world. Conventional wisdom would dictate that they should keep the same formula for their follow up album, but instead The Beat decided to challenge themselves, and their followers, by changing course for their follow up, “Wha’ppen”. The Caribbean rhythms from drummer Everrette Morton were still there, but instead of just high speed ska, The Beat delved into a wide variety of additional ‘riddims’ including dub, calypso and various hybrids that were their own creation. Likewise, their lyrics delved more into personal relationships and a certain malaise where disappointment in relations intersect with political concerns creating a more somber mood. Critics were quick to pan this album claiming The Beat had lost their way, but the band had not lost any creativity or integrity with this second opus as repeat listens reveal an interesting mix of island rhythms and art pop ambitions. The art pop leanings were no accident as band leaders Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger were just as much into David Bowie as they were into the Skatalites.

Yes, “Wha’ppen” is not the exuberant dance fest of their first outing, but as a deeper listening experience, in many ways it is the better album, critics be damned. If I may indulge a bit here, I had just lost a girlfriend when this album came out and it became the perfect soundtrack as I came to terms with the fact that it was indeed all over. I wonder what the guys in The Beat were going through that pushed them in this direction, possibly similar failed partnerships, disillusionment with musical stardom, restless youth back home dealing with terminal unemployment and the growing menace of a possible nuclear war. All of these concerns come together in the lyrics in which personal troubles combine with political apprehension in ways that make it hard to separate the two.

It may sound like this album is just one big downer, but it is not. The song writing is excellent and the syncopated Jamaican rhythms celebrate life no matter what the obstacle. I think many critics missed the boat on this one, its definitely not a repeat of the first album, but it is one of the best art pop albums of the 80s, easily challenging the best work by Bowie, Prince or The Police during this same time period.

FREDDIE HUBBARD Keep Your Soul Together

Album · 1973 · Fusion
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Following leads set by Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis, jazz fusion with a bit (or a lot) of psychedelic production became a trend for a short while with varying degrees of success and/or failure for different artists. Freddie Hubbard’s 1973 release, “Keep Your Soul Together” is not exactly a particularly ‘trippy’ outing, but still there is a subtle touch of that ‘cosmic’ space that was hip at that time. Like Freddie’s career itself, this album is very eclectic ranging from laid back pop to frantic free form flights, all tied together with some spacious reverb and tasteful use of electronic effects.

Side one opens with “Brigitte”, a medium groove laid back ballad that might have you thinking this album is one of Freddie’s more commercial outings, but things pick up more steam after this opener. Side one closes with a lengthy workout on the album’s title track which is soul jazz topped with heated fusion solos and driven with interesting rhythm change-ups and horn arrangements. Side two continues the energy buildup with “Spirits of Trane”, a high speed post bop track played with a free jazz abandon. The album closes with, “Destiny’s Children”, which is classic Miles’ styled angry funk rock with the required screaming horn solo. Is it possible that this one is a slightly sarcastic shot at the dark prince.

With only four tracks for the whole album, one can easily surmise that there is plenty of solo room for the players as each number gets stretched out. All the soloists are good, but none can match Freddie who is in top form throughout and shows why he was/is the best trumpet player of his generation. This isn’t one of Hubbard’s best albums, it lacks a certain consistency in vision, but there is enough good 70s style jams on here to make it worth checking out.

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    Check out this arrangement by our new site member, Pedro Collares:http://www.jazzmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=26675&title=an-arragement-for-big-band-of-a-brazilian-samba... and here is the thread about how to embed videos:http://www.jazzmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=18547&title=how-to-embed-videos-in-a-post-on-jma js2020-04-06 18:44:19
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    You're welcome, I'm working on a Chopin prelude in E minor that has eighth note triplets against regular eighths. 
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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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