Matt

Matthew T
Forum Admin Group · Jazz Reviewer
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 20 hours ago

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All Reviews/Ratings

190 reviews/ratings
MILES DAVIS - In a Silent Way Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles Post Bop | review permalink
HERMETO PASCOAL - Slaves Mass World Fusion | review permalink
STEELY DAN - Aja Jazz Related RnB | review permalink
STEELY DAN - Pretzel Logic Jazz Related RnB | review permalink
STEELY DAN - Countdown to Ecstasy Jazz Related RnB | review permalink
STEELY DAN - Can't Buy a Thrill Jazz Related RnB | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Kind of Blue Cool Jazz | review permalink
RAY BARRETTO - Acid Afro-Cuban Jazz | review permalink
ALEGRE ALL-STARS - Lost and Found, Volume III Afro-Cuban Jazz | review permalink
MCCOY TYNER - The Real McCoy Post Bop | review permalink
RUBÉN BLADES - Tiempos Afro-Cuban Jazz | review permalink
DEXTER GORDON - A Swingin' Affair Hard Bop | review permalink
JOHN COLTRANE - My Favorite Things Hard Bop | review permalink
TALVIN SINGH - OK Jazz Related DJs/Electronica | review permalink
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy Classic (1920s) Jazz | review permalink
HENRY THREADGILL - Henry Threadgill & Make A Move ‎: Everybodys Mouth's A Book Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
HANK MOBLEY - Workout Hard Bop | review permalink
FRANK SINATRA - A Swingin' Affair! Vocal Jazz | review permalink
TIPICA 73 - Charangueando con la Típica 73 Afro-Cuban Jazz | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Afro-Cuban Jazz 35 4.59
2 Vocal Jazz 31 4.34
3 Hard Bop 26 4.54
4 Jazz Related RnB 15 4.27
5 Post Bop 11 4.50
6 Dub/Ska 10 3.95
7 World Fusion 7 4.57
8 Jazz Related Blues 6 4.58
9 Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 4 3.63
10 Original New Orleans Jazz 4 4.63
11 Avant-Garde Jazz 4 4.38
12 Classic (1920s) Jazz 4 4.88
13 Cool Jazz 3 4.67
14 Bop 3 5.00
15 Bossa Nova 3 4.67
16 21st Century Modern 3 4.33
17 Exotica 3 3.83
18 Fusion 3 4.00
19 Post-Fusion Contemporary 3 4.00
20 Soul Jazz 2 4.75
21 Jazz Related Soundtracks 2 4.25
22 Acid Jazz 2 3.75
23 Big Band 1 5.00
24 Dixieland 1 4.00
25 Latin Jazz 1 4.50
26 Jazz Related DJs/Electronica 1 5.00
27 Swing 1 4.50
28 Progressive Big Band 1 4.50

Latest Albums Reviews

WILLIE NELSON My Way

Album · 2018 · Vocal Jazz
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This time Willie Nelson is doing Sinatra for his latest “My Way” who has always been of his favourites and is the second album for the prolific octogenarian this year. Buddy Cannon is back again but only co-producing this one with Matt Rollings who also in addition contributes piano, wurlitzer, B-3 organ, horn arrangements and string arrangements being almost identical in input for Willie’s last album of a similar nature in 2016, “Summertime, Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin” and there is also another of Gershwin’s numbers included for this album. Only one guest is included being Norah Jones who these days makes fairly regular appearances with him appearing on the Live album with Wynton Marsalis “Here We Go Again” in 2011 and also popping up on his 2013 release of duets “To All The Girls”. Micky Raphael on harmonica is the only band member from his prior album for this year “Last Man Standing” to cross over for this one. One other interesting note is Jay Bellerose is the Jazz drummer who has appeared with so many of today’s artists including Allen Toussaint, Natalie Cole, Madeline Peyroux, Elton John, Joe Henry, Aimee Mann, Bonnie Rait, Sam Philips and that just names a few.

What else would one start with for a Sinatra album but “Fly Me To The Moon’ with the perquisite Swing injection and still keeping in touch with his Country background having Steel guitar in amongst the horns, with a quick solo also added from it in this lively swinger. Mickey’s harmonica leads for the next two Johnny Mercer tunes, “Summer Wind” and “One More For My Baby ( And One More For The Road)” all delivered with Willie’s great casual vocal approach. A lively swinging take for “A Foggy Day” with horns and that harmonica once again right amongst it all and then a lovely take with Strings to follow for the ballad “It Was A Very Good Year” . More Classic Sinatra Swing with Rodgers and Hart’s “Blue Moon” and back for another classic ballad “I’ll Be Around” followed by the swinging Cole Porter composition “Night And Day”. Cole Porter follows again for the lovely duet with Norah Jones in “What Is This Thing Called Love” with another of Sinatra’s classic ballads “Young At Heart” to bring us up the final track and title song being Sinatra’s most famous “My Way” with a beautiful interpretation from Willie adding a little of his own touch with Mickey’s harmonica adding pathos to the vocal.

How many albums has he done resurrecting the old numbers and there really is no other artist today who matches his experience with them. There has been a couple of misses with him doing this material in the past but more so due to oversupply if anything but not here. It is always hard to follow your first great one being “Stardust” but he sure comes close with this and always Willie keeps just a slight Country connection making them all his own. Once again beautiful stuff from the master.

BRAD MEHLDAU Seymour Reads the Constitution!

Album · 2018 · Post Bop
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Brad Mehldau’s latest release “Seymour Reads The Constitution” is his second for this year after his well received prior “After Bach” As with the majority of the recent Trio releases they are all not Standards but Brad’s own compositions included with a few contemporary Pop or Rock tunes thrown in with this album having two of them leaning more towards the Pop side. His old stalwart Larry Grenadier who been with him since the beginning is back on Bass with Jeff Ballard who joined the Trio in 2005 playing drums. There are eight compositions included with three being Brad’s, one Standard, two Pop and one from Elmo Hope and the other Sam Rivers.

“Spiral” is first being one of Brad’s compositions with title explaining the lay out in the composition having the higher keys climbing in an up and down in a circular manner throughout this delightful first piece. The following track being the album’s title “Seymour Reads The Constitution” is in a slower introspective manner being another one of Brad’s compositions within the album employing that technique that Brad plays on piano with his left hand keeping the basic pattern while his right is adding the improvision in different timing. Larry Grenadier brings the Bass up early during the title’s structure with Brad gradually climbing the piano’s higher notes for the remainder within this beautiful piece. “Almost Like Being in Love” is the album’s only Standard played with that McCoy Tyner influence of joy infusion with a drum solo from Jeff Ballard included within this spritely take. Elmo Hope’s composition Brad keeps well recognisable and does not stray too far from the original with the theme and this time Larry Grenadier has a shot on Bass within . It’s the Beach Boys, “Friends” with the Trio bringing forth a lovely different take to the song with Brad’s left hand keeping the time with the right adding more sparkle throughout followed by the marvellous changing “Ten Tune”. Paul McCartney gets the nod with an interesting take for the song “Great Day” from his “Flaming Pie” album and then we finish up with the Sam Rivers composition “Beatrice” where we get some great interplay between Brad on piano and Jeff on drums for just another of the album’s delights.

Wonderful new album from Brad Mehldau with a bit of difference from the majority of today’s Trio albums where quite a few seem to be primarily ballads injected with crystal clear space and although many of them I do enjoy it is refreshing to get something a bit different.

VAN MORRISON Hymns To The Silence

Album · 1991 · Jazz Related RnB
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Released in 1991 being Van Morrison’s 21st studio album as well being a double containing quite a mix of styles covering Spiritual, Celtic, Narrative, Rock, Jazz and with a touch of Blues thrown in for good measure. Eclectic is one description but personally for me it’s just Van The Man doing what he has always done mixing it up but not just keeping various styles to predominately one album here we are getting them all. The Chieftains are back for two numbers, George Fame (Hammond organ , piano) , Terry Disley (piano), Candy Dulfer (alto sax), Dave Early (drums), Carol Kenyon, Katie Kissoon, (backing vocals) and the list goes on with two different bassists, flugelhorn, another pianist, accordion all employed for the various studio sessions recorded in London with Van himself inputting vocals, guitar, harmonica and alto sax within the album “Hymns To The Silence”

“Professional Jealousy’ gets it all going having a touch of resentment inserted into the lyrics over this mid tempo number with “I’m Not feeling It No Anymore” perhaps being a response for the prior number over a jaunty piano line throughout the song. Blues based “Ordinary Life” with Van on harmonica and a touch of Jazz follows with “Some Peace Of Mind” as the following “So Complicated” keeps that theme going.” Why Must I Always Explain” is often referred to the similarity with “Tupelo Honey” albeit at a slightly faster pace which seems to gel more with the song’s chorus. The Chieftains are the band for the Don Gibson classic country number “I Can’t Stop Loving You” with Van inserting guitar, Paddy Maloney with a Pipe solo and the two backing vocalists adding input for quite a nice take of the song. “Village Idiot” is one of the picks from the album which harkens back to “Crazy Face” from Van’s 1970 album “Van Morrison His Band And The Street Choir” with the odd one out being the topic but perhaps that is not the case at all for this lovely number. Spiritual is the base for the lovely “ See Me Through Part 11 (Just A Closer Walk With Thee)” containing a section of narrative with a later connection to his another narrative on the following disc “ On Hyndford St”. The last one is the slow Blues of “Take Me Back” with repetition a plenty within Van’s vocals in this stretched out delightful low key take.

The Spiritual comes to the fore within the second disc’s make up with the lively “By His Grace”, the Jazzed up “All Saints Day” following and the stunning title song “Hymns To The Silence”. Two narrations are included being “On Hyndford St” and “Pagan Streams” with the later being my pick. The Chieftains are back for another Spiritual “Be Thou My Vision” with the next “ Carrying A Torch” being the best ballad on the album with even Tom Jones using the number with three others contained within this album in his own 1991 release “Carrying A Torch”. The laid back “Green Mansions” and “Quality Street” follow with another nice ballad “It Must Be You” and the album finishing up with the love song “I Need Your Kind Of Loving”.

You won’t be rolling up the carpet or getting the dancing shoes on but this album is still one of Van Morrison’s best releases in the last thirty years containing a great mix of styles with plenty of great moments from Van’s vocals hitting the notes included. Needs a few plays and just have it on early morning, late at night or any quiet moments and just let it roll over and sing and dream along with all these beautiful hymns and narrations, to the silence.

PATTI LABELLE LaBelle ‎: Pressure Cookin'

Album · 1973 · Jazz Related RnB
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It was still a bit of struggle in the late sixties for Patti Labelle at this time to gain much acceptance after the limited success of Patti Labelle and The Blue Belles with one hit and a couple of minor ones, Girl Groups seemed to heading towards a dead-end and then Cindy Birdsong in 1967 from the original four girl line up decided to join the Supremes and to top it off Atlantic Records a year later dumped the band. Patti Labelle contacted Vicki Wickham from London, television producer and booking agent for a British R&B show who herself had always been a fan but realising the band’s current style was just old hat knew they needed to change. She contacted Chris Stamp co owner of Track Records who also was managing the Rock Band The Who during this current period and was taken by Vicki to see the band at The Apollo who signed them after being quite impressed with what he had heard and seen. First up the band’s name was changed to Labelle much to Patti Labelle’s angst with even more to come for her when it was decided that the old material was to be binned with more Rock and Contemporary material to becomes the band’s music. Still it wasn’t long before Patti Labelle realised they were heading in the right direction after the great receptions the band started to get from audiences with the new style as well as being the opening act for The Who, Sly And The Family Stone, Nina Simone and touring with Mandrill. Two albums were cut with Warner Records, “Gonna Take A Miracle” and “Moonshadow” with limited success and then the move came to Nina Simone’s label RCA where more Soul was injected to the band’s sound with Vicki Wickham producing in “Pressure Cookin’ “. The black soul-rock band Maxayn with a conga player were used to back the band on this record bringing forth a much tighter sound garnering this album great critical reviews but still limited success and although that may be so, this one was the main stepping stone to international fame which would follow for them when Epic Records and Allen Toussaint become involved with their next album “Nightbirds”

“Pressure Cookin’ “ the album’s title gets things going with a Funk backing for this politically charged number for this period in time with the Vietnam War, Black Equality and Watergate being the main drivers behind it with track two interlinking being a Medley comprising Thunder Clap Newman’s hit “Something In the Air” combined with Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and things are kept tight and funky with some great conga input backing “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” component with Labelle delivering it with more of a spoken word similar to Gil’s original take. “Sunshine (Woke Me Up This Morning)” is Funk injected with some great Wah Wah guitar under riding it all. It’s a ballad for “Can I Speak To You Before I Go To Hollywood” concerning old friends in the industry where once fame had reached them no longer seem available. “Mr Music Man” brings the Rock to the fore on the fast moving tune. “Goin’ On A Holiday” having one gorgeous Bass underpinning with a great hitting the notes vocal from Patti and the girls. “Let Me See You In The Light” is a delightful Soul based number with more of that great conga underneath. “Open Up Your Heart” and let me in and it sure does for this thumpin’ mid tempo Funk number with some great backing vocals for Patti’s lead. The lovely ballad “Last Dance” concludes proceedings with both ballads as good as each other that were incorporated within the album.

Really good album. If you loved “Nightbirds” the following and have not heard this one, you better get it!

ROBERTO ROENA Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound

Album · 1970 · Afro-Cuban Jazz
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Percussionist Roberto Roena’s second release and the first with his new band at the time in 1970 Apollo Sound (“Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo sound”) with each album afterwards being mainly titled by number reaching to ten but if you want to disagree there is an eleventh from the band but by then in 1982 they were named Super Apollo with the album “47:50”. As it was 1970 with this release we still have boogaloo included but the genre was on its last legs by this time with Salsa becoming the main. Not only that we have a couple of popular English songs included within as well and the addition “Sing A Simple Song” bringing it to three. This record is sorted after by the groove collectors these days and as time passes many Fania and other early Latin albums are long out of print with just the big ones primarily be re- released occasionally on record or cd. Due to the popularity in the return of records they are becoming scarcer with hen’s teeth easier to acquire in good condition and a lot cheaper.

“Tu Loco Loco, Y Yo Tranquilo” kicks things off with some quite crazy and not to calm Salsa with great piercing trumpet input from Mario Alvares Cora with quite a nice montuno from the coros not to long before the numbers ending. The following “Sing A Simple Song” was also included in the compilation that was released in 2000 “Broasted Or Fried” that concentrated on Boogaloo and Back Beats with this one on the Boogaloo side. More Salsa with “Consolacion” with the following “Sonando Con Puerto Rico” being a Bobby Capo penned number and of course if it is one of Bobby’s numbers it is a Bolero and quite a nice one at that. “El Escapularo” is percussion with congas opening and they remain the main driver throughout this Afro style song. The straight up Salsa is back for “El Sordo” and the following although titled “El Pato De La Bahia” is sung in English being Otis Redding’s “Dock Of The Bay” slightly Boogalooed up. Its Salsa for “El Barrio Sin Guapo” with another Bolero to follow for “Han Pasado Algunos Dias” with a quick tenor solo from Al Abreu inserted and the album finishes up with a cover of Blood Sweat and Tears “Spinning Wheel”.

Nice album but I feel the band were still finding their feet with better things still to come throughout their next nine releases. Still not at to an exorbitant price unlike Roberto’s first album “Se Pone Bueno”.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 20 hours ago in What are You Listening II
    [QUOTE=snobb] saw Billy playing live two months ago as part of Supersonic Blues Machine - they actually tried to be quality ZZ Top tribute band though [/QUOTE] He came over here recently for a short tour and I was reading Slava that the crowd got really hostile and started throwing stuff at him and he cancelled the last show and left. He did say though that it was mainly a spoken show but some of the morons here expected a lot more music. He was only doing a few songs each gig.
  • Posted 22 hours ago in What are You Listening II
    [QUOTE=snobb][TUBE]U60WWHf6_hk[/TUBE][/QUOTE] I didn't know Jimmy Smith was had joined Billy's band Slava  Nice and groovy.
  • Posted 2 days ago in What are You Listening II
    Nice album this one from  Willie. He has kept a tad of Country in it and done the songs his way.This brings it up to 70 albums I have of Willie and that is not counting the Bear Family Box Set of his early material through the sixties until the early seventies. Been listening and buying his album's since I was a teenager. Still got a way to go to catch King Sunny Ade from Nigeria who has done over 120. I only have 3 of his.

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