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452 reviews/ratings
FRANK ZAPPA - The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers) Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - E.S.P. Post Bop | review permalink
HIROMI - Hiromi's Sonicbloom ‎: Time Control Fusion | review permalink
PAT METHENY - Pat Metheny Group : The Way Up Fusion | review permalink
PAT METHENY - Pat Metheny Group ‎: The Road To You (Recorded Live In Europe) World Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - In a Silent Way Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Miles in the Sky Fusion | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - Make a Jazz Noise Here Jazz Related Rock
STEVE JENKINS - Mad Science Eclectic Fusion
MASADA - 50⁴ (Electric Masada) Eclectic Fusion
OZRIC TENTACLES - Erpland Jazz Related Rock
FRANK ZAPPA - One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention) Jazz Related Rock
FRANK ZAPPA - Over-Nite Sensation (The Mothers) Jazz Related Rock
AREA - Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi) Jazz Related Rock
OZRIC TENTACLES - Jurassic Shift Jazz Related Rock
JAMES BROWN - The Payback Funk
JAMES BROWN - Revolution of the Mind Funk
PARLIAMENT - Mothership Connection Funk
HERBIE HANCOCK - Maiden Voyage Post Bop
HERBIE HANCOCK - Crossings Fusion

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 139 3.86
2 Jazz Related Rock 106 3.68
3 Funk Jazz 38 4.16
4 Post Bop 36 4.19
5 Funk 22 3.70
6 Hard Bop 19 4.16
7 Avant-Garde Jazz 16 3.69
8 Post-Fusion Contemporary 13 3.42
9 Third Stream 11 3.00
10 World Fusion 8 4.38
11 Cool Jazz 8 4.06
12 Eclectic Fusion 7 4.29
13 RnB 5 2.20
14 Latin Rock/Soul 5 3.30
15 Soul Jazz 4 3.63
16 Acid Jazz 3 4.67
17 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2 3.25
18 Big Band 2 2.50
19 Nu Jazz 2 4.75
20 Pop/Art Song/Folk 2 2.75
21 Jazz Related Soundtracks 1 5.00
22 Progressive Big Band 1 4.50
23 Bop 1 5.00
24 Exotica 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

PAT METHENY From This Place

Album · 2020 · Fusion
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Pat is back! With a new lineup, bringing over long-time bandmate at this point, Antonio Sanchez, on drums. On bass is Linda May Han Oh, and on piano is Gwilym Simcock. The band is backed up by an orchestra. This is arguably one of his best albums over a 50 year career, which is quite a feat this late in the game. I haven't felt this great about a Pat Metheny album since The Way Up, released almost 15 years prior to this album. There's been some good stuff released in between, but nothing that has been as enjoyable as anything from 2005 and earlier... until From This Place.

From the massive prog-jazz opening track America Undefined, to the final heartfelt Love May Take Awhile, this album is a journey, and an emotional roller coaster, as Pat's best albums usually are. I enjoy every track here. The opener is very intense, with even some kind of rock out section in the last part, very exciting way to open things up. Same River is very classic Pat Metheny, Pathmaker is possibly the most fun tune on this album, and the harmonica player from The Way Up appears on The Past Is Us, a great tune. The emotional title song touches on the political climate of the late 2010s, but I think the final two pieces, Sixty-Six, written for Pat's age at the time, and the aforementioned Love May Take Awhile, are two of the most powerful pieces of music Pat has put out yet. The orchestral strings really shine on these last two.

I am reminded of Lyle Mays throughout this album, who passed away about a week before this album was released. The tune Sixty-Six takes on a whole other meaning for that is the age Lyle was at his passing, and the music is reminiscent of the Pat Metheny Group classic, "Last Train Home" makes it seem like a tribute to the life of Lyle Mays. The piano work of Gwilym Simcock is to be commended as he really brings out the spirit of Lyle throughout the music of From This Place. The orchestra does this as well, providing the synth-heavy background ambience Lyle would often provide in the PMG along with is piano playing, with an orchestra instead.

Overall, this album is like a marriage of Secret Story and The Way Up, while also bringing back some of the mid-Western sound from the 70s bands, with a pinch of the 80s PMG sound for good measure. All the while pushing things forward, there are many surprises throughout, some things I've never heard Pat do before. As far as his guitar playing, of course it's fantastic as usual, but this time he sounds more inspired than usual as of late, and his classic tone is back. Pat has never sounded so good. His clean guitar tone here is well balanced and warm, unlike his previous few albums where his tone was dry, far-away sounding, and cold.

Highly recommended for anyone who is even slightly into Pat's music. Great album from the modern master of Jazz.

FRANK ZAPPA The Yellow Shark

Live album · 1993 · Third Stream
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This review is based on the 2012 reissue.

The Yellow Shark is such a great album. It's breathtaking at times, and doesn't get all tense, scary, and nervous like the London Symphony Orchestra album does (which is a totally different beast of an album anyway). Frank comes out and tells the audience to "get serious, folks", even though he says to throw any panties off to the side of the stage.

The Zappa classics that get a makeover here are outstanding, and rival their earlier versions. I'm especially keen on the Dog Breath Variations and the Uncle Meat theme, because they translate so well to an orchestra. The sound is also outstanding, not only one of the best sounding Frank Zappa albums, but also one of the best sounding albums from anyone that I've ever heard.

Most of the tunes get a HUGE applause from the crowd, especially the final G-Spot Tornado, which itself is a remarkable rendition of a tune Zappa originally wrote for the Synclavier machine on Jazz From Hell, never meant to be played by actual musicians, but the crowd roars with cheers and applause, and apparently went on for over 20 minutes, and the fade out with the crowd still going crazy is a testament to that. I don't know if I've ever heard a live recording from any band or artist where the applause lasted so long that they eventually had to fade it out, as we do get to hear a good chunk of it. Another synclavier song that made it here is The Girl In The Magnesium Dress, which sounds cool because I think Frank wrote it with just his hands going up and down the keys of the synclavier keyboard, yet it got transcribed and played by this wonderful orchestra.

As for the new songs, they are also excellent. Some of them are minimalistic, as that seems to be the direction Zappa was going, but I believe the direction he took in the early 90s was, in part, due to his diagnosis of having cancer. Still, songs like Food Gathering in Post-Industrial America, 1992 and Welcome To The United States are some of the coolest pieces of music Frank wrote. The former brings some humor which was missing from a few tracks prior. The latter is cool because a form given to people entering the U.S. is recited over the music, which itself is very dramatic, and in classic Zappa form, reacts to what is being said by the performer. It reminds me of something Captain Beefheart would do, like on The Grand Wazoo from The Lost Episodes (not to be confused with The Grand Wazoo from the album of the same name; The Lost Episodes one is a completely different song).

The case it comes in is beautiful, and the pictures in the giant booklet are great; some are funny, some are just plain cool, but there's one that makes me sad, it's the last one, with some of the guys Frank worked with around that time, like producers and mixers, and they're sitting around him and everyone is smiling, but Frank clearly hadn't shaved for months, meaning the pic was taken not too long before he passed. He knew his time was coming.

I always put The Yellow Shark off because I wasn't ready for it and other orchestral albums because I just wanted the rock and fusion stuff back when I first got into his music. And then when the reissues started coming out and I started collecting them, I still held off on getting The Yellow Shark (and Civilization Phaze III still), but now I realize that was a major error on my part, and I've been keeping myself from listening to one of Zappa's last great works, and it really is one of the best projects he ever put together. If only he had even a few more months to cherish it. He always said he made music for himself, and if others liked it, cool. But us fans have had more time to digest those last couple of releases than he ever did, even though he wrote the music. Point is, The Yellow Shark is magnificent, and I only wish I got it sooner, but now I can listen to it whenever I want.

Don't hold off on getting this album if you are a Zappa fan already, this is an essential piece of music. I wouldn't recommend this to a Zappa newbie, but maybe after you've got 10 or so albums, maybe this would be a good intro to his orchestral work, though I'd argue that any of them are good to start with. This one, however, does have the best sound, with the best intentions from the performers. Masterpiece of prog, classical, third stream, of music.


Album · 1971 · Fusion
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One of the best jazz albums of the 1970s.

The lineup alone should tell you this is a classic album. Some excellent performances from everyone. The music is mostly post-bop with hints of jazz-fusion from Herbie Hancock's electric piano and George Benson's electric guitar. Big, long improvisations is the name of the game, as was somewhat common among many of the great jazz artists around this time in the early 1970s.

Freddie Hubbard sounds absolutely inspired on this record, blowing some wild and furious horn lines on top of the funky rhythms, as well as Hancock, as usual.

The cover of the Statue of Liberty gives this album an identity of that with New York City, and this album does bring to mind being there, as it has that vibe, not unlike some of Miles Davis' albums. Speaking of Miles, any fan of his during his mid-late 60s era, as well as the 70s era, should stop reading this review and get this album. In fact, many of Freddie's albums feature Miles alumni, so you can't go wrong with Freddie Hubbard.

If you're looking for jazz from the 1970s that's more jazz than fusion, this album is a great place to start.

ALAIN CARON Sep7entrion

Album · 2010 · Fusion
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Another great modern fusion recording. I'm telling you, the last few years have seen some of the best jazz-fusion albums this side of the 1970s. This album "Sep7entrion" (the "7" is stands for a "T") has everything you want. Rock-heavy riffs, fantastic thick bass lines, tight drums, odd-time rhythms, funky grooves, and some great melody lines that remind me of Return To Forever, Chick Corea Elektric Band, (no wonder, as Frank Gambale is on this album), Jaco Pastorius' self titled, and Brand X. Alain Caron is one of the most technically proficient jazz bassist around, up there with the likes of Victor Wooten.

What makes this stand out from other modern fusion albums is the great compositional talent from Caron. The music progresses, and goes through an array of moods. I never heard of Damien Schmitt before, but he is so in the pocket behind the drum kit, that I sometimes think he's the star of the show. Very talented musician.

The grooves on this album are what make me keep coming back to this album. All the technical proficiency from everyone involved is great and all, but they really know how to make your body move. This a fusion album I recommend anyone into the genre to check out. You won't be disappointed. This would be a 5 star album if not for the fact that the energy level drops a bit on the last 2 tracks, but otherwise, this is a fantastic album.


Album · 2011 · Fusion
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This album is great. I like all of Hiromi's albums, but this one, along with her classic album "Time Control", is among the best fusion albums you'll come across this side of the 21st century. Besides the fact that she is a virtuoso pianist, she also knows how to write a tune, catchy melodies, and top that off with some of the best jazz piano playing ever. She does dabble with keyboard sounds on all her albums, this album is no exception. Thing is, don't expect too much, as this is mostly a piano-dominated record, with bass and drums backing her up. But as I said, her piano playing is great, and there are some tracks that are just so beautiful, it may make you cry ;) Cuts like "Temptation" really bring out her soul and contain some gorgeous playing from her.

But this is a fusion album, and the record starts off with the title song, in progressive rock fashion, piano riffs galore. The next track is a reprise of a tune from her other masterpiece album "Time Control", something she's been doing for most of her catalog. So she has the 'rock' mentality for sure, she just doesn't need guitars or keyboard effects to achieve what she needs to. I will admit, I do somewhat miss her quartet that is on Time Control and Beyond Standard, but since this is labeled as a "Trio Project" hopefully they'll return on a future album. Get this album, one of the best modern jazz/fusion albums, and nice to hear such a good album coming out in a year like 2011.

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