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37 reviews/ratings
PHAROAH SANDERS - Karma Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - In a Silent Way Fusion
MCCOY TYNER - Asante Post Bop | review permalink
PHAROAH SANDERS - Pharoah Fusion | review permalink
PHAROAH SANDERS - Tauhid Avant-Garde Jazz
PHAROAH SANDERS - Deaf, Dumb, Blind: Summun, Bukmun, Umyun Avant-Garde Jazz
PHAROAH SANDERS - Black Unity Avant-Garde Jazz
PHAROAH SANDERS - Village of the Pharoahs Avant-Garde Jazz
PHAROAH SANDERS - Live at the East Avant-Garde Jazz
MCCOY TYNER - The Real McCoy Post Bop
MCCOY TYNER - Sama Layuca Post Bop
DIZZY GILLESPIE - Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra : Gillespiana Progressive Big Band | review permalink
PHAROAH SANDERS - Jewels of Thought Avant-Garde Jazz
PHAROAH SANDERS - Thembi Avant-Garde Jazz
PHAROAH SANDERS - Izipho Zam Avant-Garde Jazz
PHAROAH SANDERS - Love in Us All Avant-Garde Jazz
MCCOY TYNER - Sahara Post Bop
MCCOY TYNER - Echoes of a Friend Post Bop
MCCOY TYNER - Extensions Post Bop
MCCOY TYNER - Song of the New World Progressive Big Band

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Avant-Garde Jazz 14 4.32
2 Post Bop 9 4.50
3 Post-Fusion Contemporary 2 2.25
4 Progressive Big Band 2 4.75
5 Fusion 2 5.00
6 Latin Jazz 2 3.50
7 Nu Jazz 1 4.00
8 African Fusion 1 4.00
9 Hard Bop 1 4.00
10 Bop 1 3.00
11 RnB 1 2.50
12 Soul Jazz 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

AMARO FREITAS Rasif (aka Amaro Freitas)

Album · 2018 · Latin Jazz
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It's nice to see that the music community still has an appreciation for jazz, otherwise I wouldn't have found out about Brazilian jazz musician Amaro Freitas. Although his first album is barely more than a standard bop bit, his second album shows a lot of improvement in the spirit and composition departments.

Most of these songs are pretty active and fairly spiritual, but no matter how many emotions the album's tracks each take, there's never a break in the flow of the album. This is largely due to the leadership of Freitas on piano. However, the slower tracks do drag on a litt,e which means he clearly has the edge in energy. Although a couple of these songs feel incomplete, as if they're building up to something which is never realized for lack of a second half, most of these songs get their jobs done.

This is the album where Freitas is really developing his style. It's got moods, atmospheres and surprises. its songs don't reach stellar heights, but they're fun enough to check out.


Album · 2016 · Latin Jazz
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I've been checking out a lot of artists who are quite new to me so I can keep up with the best new albums of 2024, and I've been using the RYM charts to help me with that. People seem to really like the new Amaro Freitas, so since he only has four albums out, I'm gonna get through all of them today.

Now my first impressions when I saw that this album had elements of various Brazilian genres, I thought to myself, "Cool. This oughta be fun." Um, not really. It's a decnt jazz album it its own right, but the Brazilian aspects of this album are faint to the point of being almost completely drowned out by the standard post-bop behavior. This album sounds like a standard jazz album you'd get from 1959. Sure, there are some quirky compositions here, but there's not a lot of personality. Hopefully the other albums are better.

DIZZY GILLESPIE Dizzy Gillespie And His Orchestra : Gillespiana

Album · 1960 · Progressive Big Band
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I am severely uneducated in oldschool bebop. I've heard some of the greats, Milt Jackson, Gillespie, Powell, but not enough to really be impressed with myself. Even after having heard 13,000 albums, one still has a lot to learn if those 13,000 are spent on other genres, even if it means other jazz genres. I wanted a bebop album that would blow me away and be unlike anything I'd ever heard before. So I stumbled upon an album tagged as big band bebop with an Afro-Cuban touch.

I initially thought that the album might just be five overly catchy big band songs with minimal Afro-Cuban elements in comparison to its stellar first track, but I was proven wrong very quickly. Each oldschool song had its own signature sound about it. After Prelude was Blues, a constantly progressing blues jazz track with one of Gillespie's coolest moods ever recorded never cracking under the process of evolution. Afterwords is a five-minute track that reaches levels of hyperactivity that combines with the first track but also separates itself through bebop insanity.

Next is the very 50's Africana, which goes so tribal that it feels like piece included in a classic jungle adventure movie. Our final track, Toccata. It goes back to the bebop energy of tracks one and three, but there's a highly-adventurous and somewhat dramatic feel about it, combining with Africana's adventure movie vibe but with its own fight-scene flair. You can almost expect Errol Flynn to pop out with a sword and start swinging on vines and slashing at poachers. We get the whole collective of vibes here from the adventure to the tension to the festivity.

I was more than satisfied with the inventiveness and spirit of this album. I always prefer more inventive albums to more typical ones, even when the typical ones are raw classics, like how I prefer Dr. Feelgood to Shout at the Devil, or how I prefer Pharoah Sanders to John Coltrane. Gillespiana is bebop's testament to creativity. It might not be the best gateway album into bebop, but it makes for an excellent gateway into the many capabilities of jazz itself.


Album · 1972 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Noah Howard is someone very few people actually know beyond maybe one album. Usually that album is The Black Ark, which some rank among the finest free jazz albums in the world. I'm a bit shaky on free jazz as it's proved more challenging to find releases that flat-out amaze me, and that much of it is based on general dicking around rather than forming a consistent whole with a strong vibe. Jazz is one of the pinnacle "vibe" musical genres, so if it doesn't have strong vibes.

The way I see Noah Howard's albums, including The Black Ark, is that if this is his absolute best as people and online ratings say, there's at least one certain thing here. Noah Howard has shown himself to be able to progress experimental jazz into shifting territories pretty well. I can appreciate how his songs are shifting into a new kind of rhythm ever couple minutes or so, maybe even every minute, whether slowly or quickly, and these pieces feel like they belong on the same song. Sometimes this is intriguing, but other times the album feels simple and generic. If you transitioned the post-bop of Art Blakey's albums, I think you'd get a similar composition but with more oomph.

This is especially true for the second half, in which the vast majority of tricks have either been done before, or are drawn out longer than their welcome. So this is a blatant sign of an obviously dominant side A. The album's pretty fine, but after having heard much of this not only from other free jazz albums but other jazz albums across the spectrum, I don't really feel the need to go back to this.


Album · 1977 · Fusion
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Perhaps the most polarizing jazz album of all time, Pharoah Sanders himself disowned this album after its release. Now I won't claim to know the Pharoah as well as he himself did, but this may simply be the result of many recording troubles. I understand one of the major criticisms is the general sound of the album, and another seems to be the less spiritual presence in comparison to other classic Pharoah albums.

I personally find both of these flaws to be a bit too opinionated for me. First of all, a sound error can be fixed with a little production, and the version I heard did just that. Secondly, I admire when an artist tries to do something different. This album was quite different, and I really don't mind considering that jazz artists would change themselves all the time. Once bebop went out of style, Miles David switched to cool jazz. Then he reinvented the genre with the fusion work of In a Silent Way, and eventually became a leading figure in jazz-funk.

Pharoah's self-titled album is a wholly consistent mishmash of many of the things that does the exact same thing that In a Silent Way did, and with some similarities, mostly on the fusion and ambient sides. These are two key figures of both albums that are amplified by the other aspects on both compositional and aural levels. Whereas In a Silent Way included a little avant-garde, ambient and rock, this album includes some soul, tribal sounds and ambient. The vocal harmonizing in the final track is easily one of Pharoah's most empowering and heavenly accomplishments, and this five minute track fits perfectly with the two previous epics. This album is a hypnotic journey into a cooler, darker and more self-aware Pharoah that reaches new heights in the world of atmosphere. The entire time I was practically soaked in the album's hypnotic powers, which I can only describe as a battle between noirish laments and alien rituals. This is easily one of my new favorite jazz albums.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 months ago in What are You Listening II
    Pharoah Sanders - Live from the East (1972)Genres: Spiritual Jazz, Free Jazz
  • Posted 2 months ago in What are You Listening II
    [QUOTE=fethiye]The Sidewinder Lee Morgan[/QUOTE] I heard that a couple weeks ago.  Good album, but I'm not really into Lee Morgan.Max Roach - M'Boom (1980)Genres: Spiritual Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz Rexorcist2024-02-03 18:06:48
  • Posted 2 months ago in What are You Listening II
    Wayne Shorter - Odyssey of Iska (1971)Genres: Avant-Garde Jazz, Spiritual JazzI'm three tracks in, and this is the kind of spiritual jazz album I've been looking for.  It's an excess of both spiritual power, dark and soulful moods and careful jazz complexity, all working together flawlessly.  At least, this is true as far as the first three tracks go.  Two tracks to go, the longest two.  If they get that balance between wild and tame as properly as the entire first side did, this will be a 10.


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