Sean Trane

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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 59 days ago

Favorite Jazz Artists

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1239 reviews/ratings
JOHN COLTRANE - A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE - The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings Hard Bop
SOFT MACHINE - NDR Jazz Workshop Fusion
QUIET SUN - Mainstream Jazz Related Rock
TERRY RILEY - A Rainbow in Curved Air (aka Ambient 2) Third Stream
MCCOY TYNER - Sahara Post Bop
RETURN TO FOREVER - Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy Fusion | review permalink
SANTANA - Caravanserai Latin Rock/Soul | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Sextant Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - In a Silent Way Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Bitches Brew Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - A Tribute to Jack Johnson Fusion | review permalink
WEATHER REPORT - Weather Report Fusion | review permalink
WEATHER REPORT - I Sing the Body Electric Fusion | review permalink
CARLOS SANTANA - Love Devotion Surrender (with John McLaughlin) Fusion | review permalink
NUCLEUS - We'll Talk About It Later Fusion | review permalink
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA - Birds of Fire Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Kind of Blue Cool Jazz | review permalink
TRAFFIC - The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
TRAFFIC - Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory Jazz Related Rock | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 359 3.45
2 Jazz Related Rock 244 3.37
3 Avant-Garde Jazz 107 3.29
4 Post Bop 77 3.38
5 RnB 62 2.62
6 Hard Bop 49 3.34
7 World Fusion 42 3.29
8 Funk Jazz 40 3.08
9 Pop/Art Song/Folk 37 2.11
10 Funk 37 2.77
11 Progressive Big Band 32 3.50
12 Latin Rock/Soul 26 3.02
13 Third Stream 23 3.28
14 Eclectic Fusion 16 3.81
15 Soul Jazz 13 3.23
16 Post-Fusion Contemporary 11 2.95
17 African Fusion 9 3.33
18 Jazz Related Soundtracks 8 3.19
19 Vocal Jazz 8 3.25
20 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 7 2.86
21 Bop 5 2.70
22 Cool Jazz 4 3.75
23 Acid Jazz 4 3.00
24 Nu Jazz 4 3.75
25 Jump Blues 3 3.00
26 Exotica 3 3.17
27 Afro-Cuban Jazz 3 2.67
28 Swing 2 2.75
29 Big Band 1 2.50
30 Blues 1 3.00
31 Latin Jazz 1 3.50
32 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1 1.00

Latest Albums Reviews

MOVING GELATINE PLATES The World Of Genius Hans

Album · 1972 · Jazz Related Rock
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Easily one of the most interesting group to come out of France in the early 70's along with Magma and the GonG galaxy , MGP's second album is certainly impressive having gained in writing ability what they have lost in enthusiasm. The ever-excellent Musea booklet explains the whys and hows of their relative success (and the lack of greater success), but these guys missed the golden opportunity to strike it big! Bankrupted right from the start (the bassist never even owned his bass and the drummer and KB player were forced to sell their instruments afyter the release of this album) , the lack of finances was probably the only reason for their failure because, talent they cretainly had!

The tiltle track , the monster 14 min+ World of Genius Hans is probably their magnum opus displaying excellent capabilities from all musicians even for guitarist Bertram - which had appeared a bit short on the previous album. But clearly the star of the show is Hemlinger and his never ending switch from trumpet to saxes , flutes and Kb works. Astromonsteris yet another highlight and Moving Theme is without a doubt a leftover of lenghty concert improvisations. The album ends on a calm note with a short sax-filled Un Jour... This is the only track to have a french title in their first two albums , but as in all cases , their vocals were sparse and in English and generally very Canterbury-like.

The bonus tracks are from the much later album they recorded as Moving. One might have feared that they would be bothersome (especially that they date from 1980), but nothing to worry about: although they are noticeably different (especially vocal-wise as they are much more present and in French) and have a vastly different line-up, they remain in spirit with the the first two albums

MOVING GELATINE PLATES Moving Gelatine Plates

Album · 1971 · Jazz Related Rock
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MGP is one of those superb early 70's band that was victim of the poor means of their promotion team and the decaying club scene in France as the gov't was shutting down everything that could cause the great French Student Anarchy movement of May 68 to revive.

We are dealing with a superb jazz-rock somehow very close to Canterbury bands like Soft Machine , Caravan , Hatfield etc... The band is the project of the two younger guitarist (who actually swapped their instruments as they thought they could do better than the other) and were joined by older members (6 years older) Gerard Pons (brother of Magma's bassist Dominique Pons) and Maurice Helmiger on both winds and KB. And do these guys rock!! Their enthusiasm is over bearing and very communicative. The opening track London Cab is simply marvellous interplay between all four members. Theior inventive sort of jazz-laced rock with short vocals interludes (in English and also sometimes very anectdotical as most song lyrics were not above four lines long) is captivating. Helmiger swings from the flute to saxes and trumpets (sounds a bit like Nucleus's Ian Carr) and keyboard is clearly the man that males the difference. X-25 is rather calmer and gelatine is probably the tracks that fits them best.

Side 2 starts with the 15 min+ Last Song (which it is not ) and was clearly their closer on their live sets. It is a very great tune but marred by a lenghty drum solo that does take a bit of the charm of repeated listenings. Memories is rather forgettable after such an epic.

The bonus tracks are from their third album, recorded 8 years after the break up , but rest assured , there is no catastrophe! The tracks are jazz-rock that are quite pleasing , and do not sound out of place too much with the rest of the album. They are there and do not shock but they DO pale a bit in comparison with the original album.

Essential record for all of those wishing to see that the "Canterbury Sound" existed across the chunnel!

THE WRONG OBJECT After The Exhibition

Album · 2013 · Fusion
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To be honest, by the start of the last calendar year ('13), after a four to six year silence, I thought that TWO was a dead thing. It sure seems like the project certainly went through a delicate phase, since there remains only two members from the line-up that had recorded the awesome Stories From The Shed. Indeed only leader Delville and drummer Delchambre remain, the main change being the addition of Antoine Guenet (ex-PaNoPTiCoN and presently also in the new Univers Zero line-up). Actually, if memory serves, most of the newcomers come of PaNoPTiCoN, which never had a fixed line-up anyway, due to the concept of the project. Elsewhere Pollard gave way to Mottet on bass, and Melia and Lourtie are now blowing the horns, and the always excellent vibraphonist Benoit Moerlen appears as a guest on no less than four tracks. So, something did happen, and TWO's rebirth six years after is a sweet gift, courtesy of the great Moonjune label.

Despite the heavy line-up changes, you'll have no problems recognizing instantly TWO, but I would not call ATE just another Wrong Object album. This is probably the band's most "prog-rock" album, despite retaining its heavy JR/F and Zappa atmospheres. The heavy Detox Gruel is a mix of riffs and gypsy jazz music. The three-parts and almost 17-mins Jungle Cow is the centrepiece of the album, but hardly the most accessible, as the first two movements are often bordering on dissonance, but it remains reasonable, and the third really delivers the good with some cool dramatics. The following Glass Cubes features female vocals, and though it brings a breath of fresh air, though the start has a "déjà-entendu", but the second part sounds like a cross of Gong meets Kate Bush.

A fine return to affairs from a group most of us thought dead (or at least dormant), although it doesn't reach the perfection of Stories From The Shed. While ATE might not be the most representative of their usual soundscapes (given the important line-up changes), it's still very much a worthy TWO album, and ranks in my top 5 album of 2013, among with Maalouf's Illusions and Setna's Guérison. Definitely worth investigating

THE WRONG OBJECT Stories from the Shed

Album · 2008 · Fusion
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Third or fourth album (depending whether you consider the Elton Dean session as a TWO album) from this Liège group, still with the same line-up as before, but this time the album was released on the great Moonjune label. Once again guitarist Michel Delville is the main songwriter, though all four other members have at least two credits or co-credits. There is no real explanation for this very forest- infested album title and artwork, and to be honest, the dominance of green on the digipak doesn't match the music, which tends to red hot, even more so than the woman's red hairs ion the artwork.

Opening on a few bars of a Klezmer-Manouche tune (like we've all hear a thousand times before), Sonic Riot veers a tad Gong-esque with an excellent closing passage with spacey electronics and trons. 15/05 is building on that feeling and the electronic gizmos are gaining in importance. As the album progresses with every new rack, one can only be captivated with the typical British jazz and JR/F scene of the 70's. Indeed, the shadows of Elton Dean, then Harry Beckett and Annie Whitehead (all participants to the band's previous efforts) seem to hover all over the album, much to our delight. There is a real tension that gradually builds up through tracks like Sheepwrecked (Crimson circa Lizard meets Wyatt) and following blistering Acquiring The Taste and Lifting Belly, where a Canterburian feel seep through via fuzzed-out instruments. The adventurous explorations continue, from the trashy Matching Mole-ish Malign Siesta to the lava-boiling Waves and the out-of-this-world Saturn. The album ends with a rework of Delville's Unbelievable Truth from the Elton Dean session album of the same name.

If you must own only one album from TWO, it would be a die-hard choice between the Dean collab and this one, but if you're into a more classical progressive, their latest album After The Exhibition, which is some kind of rebirth (given the important line-up changes, we can almost guess the band came close to a term) is also quite an awesome realisation. Personally, Shed is my personal fave from these guys

IBRAHIM MAALOUF Illusions

Album · 2013 · Fusion
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As with his predecessor Wind, Maalouf decides to continue to explore away from his trad Arab-jazz music he had developed on his first three “Dia” album (Diaspora, Diagnostics and Diawhatever), and indeed Illusions is yet another totally different departure from his “usual stuff”. If his preceding Wind album was a mix of trad jazz and fusion, Illusions is a much rockier affair, somewhere between JR/F and progressive rock and even nearing metal music at times. Recorded in the greater Paris, with a mix of French and Belgiabn musicians ‘Woeste and Delporte) and a trio of trumpet players to accompany his flugelhorn, Ibrahim chose once more for vintage instruments in the KB department. Released under the same kind of single-disc boxset as Wind had been, with a bunch of photos, lengthy liner bilingual notes that don’t reallt shed much light on the compositions (IMHO, of course) and a “digibook” casing inside (with that foam stud in the middle, one can only wonder at the utility of these extra costly features, despite the excellence of the album.

Opening on an almost Post-rock title-track piece with the usual gradual build-up crescendo, it segues directly in the wild and dramatic 8-mins+ Conspiracy Generation, where the fantastic trumpets add plenty of suspense and intensity behind Delporte’s wild electric rock guitar. You could almost believe this was a modern progressive rock album, with constant tempo changes, tricky time sigs, plenty of moods developed. Breathtaking if you’re a rock fan, probably not nearly as much if you’re a jazz-buff and early Maalouf discography addict. The following InPressi enters a trilogy of tracks where three or four ideas are exploited multiple times, mixed, shredded, torn apart and glued back for utmost excitement (and a few goosebumps along the way): the joyful and exuberant call & response between Maalouf and the trumpet section, the three descending notes, and more.

Nomade (No Man’s Land) Slang reprises the theme and takes it to yet another level of excitement and jubilation, only to end inexpectedly calmly… But despair not, because the following 10-mins+ Busy composition exploits the three descending notes again and hovers solemnly around for a while, slowly crescendoing into the chaotic dissonance halfway through, then reverting to the slow start thing. You can clearly hear Maalouf’s “Arabitude” in his interventions, though the title of “lead trumpet” falls onto Yann Martin’s horn. Woeste’s Rhodes opens the funky fusion piece Be A Woman , but once the horn come back, the fantastic theme is again reprised and accommodated with bass and drums glory moments and other solos, but we’re nearing the overdose and the “déjà-entendu” but the riffs are hugely dramatic and overpowering. Unfaitful is actually fairly faithful to its predecessors and tends to redeploy once more the themes and ideas exploited in the four previous tracks, this time almost overstaying their welcome.

The album ends in a very WTF manner with a late-70’s type of AOR track ala Toto or Foreigner with FM-rock vocals that kind of ruins an otherwise perfect album. The lyrics allude to Be A Woman, but this doesn’t make it a True Story. Maybe if there was a tad more guitars, you could think of a Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart collab in 75 or something of that ilk. Outside that obviously ill-advised inclusion (the track in itself is ok, but just not fitting the rest of the album); Illusions is clearly Maalouf’s best and most consistant album, and definitely of one the best surprise of 2013. But to be honest, just like for Wind, the cardboard “Digibook” format casing would’ve been plenty enough, instead of this luxurious (and ultimately bombastic) package. Let this not ruin my overall appreciation of an amazing oeuvre that should bring Maalouf another public, at the risk of maybe losing his old one.

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