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Ashley
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Registered 1183 days ago · Last visit 23 hours ago

Favorite Jazz Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

145 reviews/ratings
HERBIE HANCOCK - Empyrean Isles Post Bop | review permalink
FREDDIE HUBBARD - First Light Classic Fusion | review permalink
KEITH JARRETT - The Köln Concert Post-Fusion Contemporary | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - In a Silent Way Classic Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Kind of Blue Cool Jazz | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Head Hunters Funk Jazz | review permalink
CURTIS MAYFIELD - Superfly Jazz Soundtracks | review permalink
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI - Long Yellow Road Progressive Big Band | review permalink
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA - The Inner Mounting Flame Classic Fusion | review permalink
JANKO NILOVIC - Rythmes Contemporains Exotica | review permalink
CHARLES MINGUS - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Post Bop | review permalink
JIMMY SMITH - Root Down Soul Jazz | review permalink
DAVE BRUBECK - Jazz Impressions of Japan Cool Jazz | review permalink
JOHN COLTRANE - Olé Coltrane Hard Bop | review permalink
BILL EVANS (PIANO) - Waltz for Debby Cool Jazz | review permalink
SANTANA - Caravanserai Classic Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Sketches of Spain Third Stream | review permalink
BILL EVANS (PIANO) - Everybody Digs Bill Evans Post Bop | review permalink
GEORGE BENSON - White Rabbit Pop Jazz/Crossover | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Maiden Voyage Post Bop | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Classic Fusion 27 3.39
2 Jazz Related Rock 17 3.35
3 Hard Bop 14 3.79
4 Post Bop 13 3.88
5 Jazz Related RnB 12 3.00
6 Cool Jazz 8 4.19
7 Latin Rock/Soul 8 3.38
8 Pop Jazz/Crossover 6 3.17
9 World Fusion 5 4.00
10 Funk Jazz 5 4.10
11 Nu Jazz 4 3.75
12 Post-Fusion Contemporary 4 4.00
13 Progressive Big Band 3 4.33
14 Soul Jazz 3 4.00
15 Jazz Soundtracks 3 4.33
16 Exotica 3 3.67
17 Third Stream 3 3.33
18 Vocal Jazz 2 3.75
19 Latin Jazz 2 4.00
20 Swing 1 3.00
21 Funk 1 3.00
22 Jazz Related Blues 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

SAMUEL YIRGA Guzo

Album · 2012 · World Fusion
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Samuel Yirga is a young Ethiopian pianist (perhaps known to fans of ‘Dub Colossus’), whose playing seems most influenced by Jarrett, but whose compositions very much reflect a ‘world’ feel. There’s a mix of Latin, Jazz, Classical and traditional Ethiopian pieces here, but with a fairly slick production, which seems a feature of label Real World.

‘Guzo’ sometimes bring Mulatu Astatke to mind (‘Tiwista’) and can be a very rhythmic album, with tracks like ‘My Head’, ‘Abet Abet’ or the fantastic cover of ‘I Am the Black Gold of the Sun’ bringing a lot of percussion into play. Samuel also has three beautiful solo pieces on the album – my favourite being the haunting ‘Ye Bati Koyita.’

His debut also features some great guest vocal performances, the ‘Blues of Wollo’ featuring the moody wails of Genet Masresha being a real standout. The album has been pretty rewarding over repeated listens and I’m looking forward to hearing whatever’s next for Samuel Yirga.

PORTICO QUARTET Knee-Deep in the North Sea

Album · 2007 · Nu Jazz
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'Knee-Deep in the North Sea' is a great nu-jazz debut and might well introduce the 'hang' to some listeners, a percussive instrument that sounds like a highly dynamic steel drum.

Portico Quartet play a relaxed and at times brooding 'nu-jazz' led by Jack Wyllie's sax, which has a mostly melodic function rather than dissonant one.

At times the songs grow quite sombre, especially on a piece like the title track, which sounds a little like a precursor to ideas which will be revisited on 'Clipper' from the band's second album.

There are more frantic moments throughout, where the rhythm section really get to thump along for a bit, but these moments are used sparingly, such as during the latter parts of 'Zavodovski Island.'

I really enjoy this album, though their follow-up 'Isla' is my pick from the Portico discography.

DAVE BRUBECK Jazz Impressions of Eurasia

Album · 1958 · Cool Jazz
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Released the year before landmark ‘Time Out,’ this is one of more than a few Quartet LPs that have probably been overshadowed by such a monster album.

But ‘Jazz Impressions of Eurasia’ is worth finding. It’s a distinctive set of pieces – take for instance the meditative yet jittery ‘Calcutta Blues’ or the catchy ‘Nomad’ – that draws from the Quartet’s long tour of Europe and South Asia. The album shows another wonderful set of recordings where the group have woven the music of other cultures into their cool jazz.

It’s easy to hear Dave’s ear for classical music, especially in standout ‘Thank You’ or the almost stately opening to ‘Brandenburg Gate.’ Brubeck’s playing has always sounded strong, firm, even considered to me – but it’s still relaxing too, still engaging. Despite great performances from Desmond on alto and Morello on the drums, for me this album represents one of my favourite Brubeck performances.

If you only have a few Brubeck albums and find yourself looking for more, then this might be a good place to stop off (along with another of his great travel-themed albums – Jazz Impressions of Japan.)

MOUNTAIN MOCHA KILIMANJARO Perfect Times

Album · 2012 · Funk Jazz
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'Perfect Times' is pretty rocking funk jazz from Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro.

This, their fourth release, is the most 'full' sounding album to date. It features more guitar (or at least more layers), faster tempos and more aggression. Not to say the laid back funk has gone, or that everything is fast and furious, but on first listen the album is a departure from their swaggering funk.

Having said that, the more you spin it the more the familiar Motown and Meters influences come through - such as on 'Yesterday's Delight.' The rockier approach is showcased best perhaps on the charging 'Perfect Time' and elsewhere we have the more 'classic' Mountain Mocha sound, on tracks like 'The Preacher'.

My hands down favourite pair would have to be the almost joyous 'Watchin'' followed by the Curtis Mayfield inspired 'Mud City' - an almost brooding piece featuring piano and sythns, evoking space - until the triumphant chorus explodes.

Not my favourite from the group, because I felt like there was less soloing overall, and I missed that, but still, this is a really enjoyable album. Check it out if you're interested in funk jazz.

GRANT GREEN Idle Moments

Album · 1964 · Hard Bop
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Much has been said about the original intended length of the title track, so I’ll just repeat it once – what a fantastic mistake! ‘Idle Moments’ as a fourteen minute bluesy exploration is cool – even silky – giving everyone a chance to stretch out and solo on a piece that I find myself chucking on repeat more often than not. Not to say that up-tempo numbers like ‘Jean De Fleur’ (or the rest of the album) aren’t enjoyable, but the opening cut sets a high bar.

The bluesy swing of the title track is returned to on ‘Django’ and ‘Nomad’ is another harder piece where Henderson plays a little rougher, taking the spotlight. Hutcherson is a distinctive voice on all pieces, and of course Green leads everything with his lovely tone but like many of the greatest jazz albums, there seems to be no lone virtuoso. As a listener, the pieces feel as though everyone gets a say, that everyone is working together so damn well.

Perhaps Grant Green’s defining album, and a rewarding listen for fans of cool and hard bop.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 months ago in Best Miles Davis Bio?
    Thanks, Sean - sounds like Ian's is a good one, 2 votes for his and 2 for the autobiography so far :)
  • Posted 3 months ago in Best Miles Davis Bio?
    Ace! Thank you both, I'll check em out
  • Posted 3 months ago in Best Miles Davis Bio?
    Hey everyone, just wanted to ask - which Miles Davis Bios you'd recommend? I read one years ago and can't recall the title unfortunately, but wouldn't mind some ideas for another good one?

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