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All Reviews/Ratings

17 reviews/ratings
JOHN COLTRANE - Giant Steps Hard Bop
JAGA JAZZIST - What We Must Nu Jazz
JOHN COLTRANE - A Love Supreme Post Bop
SOFT MACHINE - Third Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Steamin' With The Miles Davis Quintet Hard Bop
MILES DAVIS - Cookin' With the Miles Davis Quintet Hard Bop
JAGA JAZZIST - One-Armed Bandit Nu Jazz | review permalink
JOHN COLTRANE - Meditations Avant-Garde Jazz
MILES DAVIS - Workin' With The Miles Davis Quintet Hard Bop
MILES DAVIS - Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
JAGA JAZZIST - The Stix Nu Jazz
JOHN COLTRANE - Blue Train Hard Bop
SQUAREPUSHER - Numbers Lucent Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis and Horns Fusion
MILES DAVIS - Blue Haze Bop
GONG - Flying Teapot: Radio Gnome Invisible, Part 1 Jazz Related Rock
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis and Milt Jackson Quintet/Sextet (aka Odyssey) Bop

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Bop 5 4.30
2 Nu Jazz 3 4.33
3 Jazz Related Rock 2 3.75
4 Bop 2 3.25
5 Cool Jazz 1 4.00
6 Fusion 1 3.50
7 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 1 3.50
8 Avant-Garde Jazz 1 4.00
9 Post Bop 1 4.50

Latest Albums Reviews

SOFT MACHINE Third

Album · 1970 · Jazz Related Rock
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Four sides, four pieces, that always is a risky formula. On Soft Machine's Third this works out quite nicely actually. Four experimental compositions, all somewhat different from each other yet all driven by dissonance, jazzy improvisations and an overall intense and powerful feel. Third is not an easy thing to digest, but perhaps it's worth the try.

"Facelift" opens the album, being probably the most dissonant and menacing piece on the album. Crushing distorted organ, brooding saxophone soloing and an incredibly fierce sound. Just like all other pieces on the album, there are several radical changes in the music after some time has passed, preventing the music from getting dull. Still, you can expect intense improvisational soloing that could last for quite a while. This is in particular evident on the jazzy "Slightly All The Time", a piece driven by intense saxophone solos and a thick bass sound, that smashes you down on the floor and holds you in its grip.

Whereas all other pieces are completely instrumental, "Moon In June" features Robert Wyatt's excellent vocals. Despite being somewhat harsh and rough the first half of the song also features some soothing melodies and an overall benign mood. However, a sudden change near the 10 minute mark turns the piece into a dissonant beast in the vein of "Facelift", with menacing distorted bass and electric violin. Closing the album is "Out-Bloody-Rageous", which again is a jazzy piece more so than a dissonant piece. The first 5 minutes of it is backwards noise, likeable, but not for more than a minute or so. However, as soon as the main theme comes in "Out-Bloody-Rageous" proves to be a wonderful piece, though it never quite reaches the heights of the other compositions, and tends to drag a bit more than those.

Though Third tends to drag at times, it is a very daring and unique release. Be aware that Third might not be an easy ride, with all its improvisation and dissonance, but if you aren't scared away by such things, it might work out very well for you.

JAGA JAZZIST One-Armed Bandit

Album · 2010 · Nu Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
One-Armed Bandit is the most recent album by the Norse group Jaga Jazzist. The group creates an unique sound, which I had never heard before I found these guys. The sound is very modern, blending electronics into jazz and creating a mood driven by ambience, catchy and uplifting melodies and a very rich and warm feel.

After the short introduction to the album, the title track burst loose with an uplifting clavinet driven melody. The piece proves to be one of the highlights of the albums, with a very notable, epic reprise of the main theme after the middle part. The group says the album to be (partly) inspired by fruit machines, hence the many a ascending melodies that can be noticed a lot in the title track. A thick drum fill takes the listener to "Bananfluer Overalt", which means fruit fly translated to English. The song feels more laid back than the previous track, being less uplifting and dynamic but rather a mellow, more ambient piece. Still, there are some very fine melodies to be heard. Same goes for the lengthy "Tocatto", that slowly builds towards its climax but never get over the top; "Music! Dance! Drama!" which I might call my favorite track of the album; and the album closer "Touch Of Evil". "220V/Spektral" is the only track on the album of which I have mixed feelings. It sounds good, but at the same time is feels a bit messy and perhaps out of place looking at the other songs. The two remaining songs, "Prognissekongen" and "Book Of Glass" both open in a way that could go anywhere, but fortunately they prove to be great tracks both sharing the dynamic feel of the title track.

One-Armed Bandit is a very molodic, uplifting and therefore likeable album. I must say that I not often feel like listening the entire album in one spin, perhaps because it's not all too diverse. Nevertheless, nearly all individual tracks are great and very enjoyable. The album features some very dynamic and energetic moments, like for instance the title track. A side note, when you find yourself liking the album and you have the chance to see these guys live, don't hesitate.

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