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157 reviews/ratings
HERBIE HANCOCK - Empyrean Isles Post Bop | review permalink
FREDDIE HUBBARD - First Light Fusion | review permalink
KEITH JARRETT - The Köln Concert Post-Fusion Contemporary | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - In a Silent Way Fusion | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Kind of Blue Cool Jazz | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Head Hunters Funk Jazz | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Speak Like a Child Post Bop | review permalink
CURTIS MAYFIELD - Superfly Jazz Related Soundtracks | review permalink
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI - Long Yellow Road Progressive Big Band | review permalink
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA - The Inner Mounting Flame Fusion | review permalink
JANKO NILOVIĆ - Rythmes Contemporains (aka Giant) Jazz Related Soundtracks | review permalink
CHARLES MINGUS - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band | 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
THE SEATBELTS - Cowboy Bebop Jazz Related Soundtracks | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - V.S.O.P.:Tempest in the Colosseum Post Bop | review permalink
SANTANA - Caravanserai Latin Rock/Soul | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Sketches of Spain Third Stream | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 28 3.48
2 Jazz Related Rock 18 3.39
3 Hard Bop 14 3.86
4 Post Bop 14 3.96
5 RnB 12 2.96
6 Latin Rock/Soul 11 3.45
7 Jazz Related Soundtracks 8 3.88
8 Cool Jazz 7 4.21
9 Pop/Art Song/Folk 7 3.29
10 Funk Jazz 5 4.10
11 Progressive Big Band 5 4.20
12 World Fusion 5 4.00
13 Nu Jazz 4 3.75
14 Post-Fusion Contemporary 4 4.00
15 Soul Jazz 3 4.00
16 Third Stream 3 3.33
17 Vocal Jazz 2 3.75
18 Swing 1 3.00
19 Exotica 1 3.00
20 Funk 1 3.00
21 Big Band 1 3.00
22 Blues 1 4.00
23 Bop 1 3.00
24 Latin Jazz 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

HOZAN YAMAMOTO Beautiful Bamboo-Flute

Album · 1971 · Fusion
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This 1971 album from one of Japan’s most famous flautists is at once ‘cool’ and almost ‘spacey’ while also coming across as ‘warm’. Production-wise, there’s a lot of reverb in the mix but it’s not drowning out the instruments either.

The pieces often sit neatly in a light fusion/funk place that’s mostly driven by the rhythm section of Nobuo Hara’s Sharps & Flats, but there’s probably also enough blues and jazz to hopefully satisfy a range of listeners – especially of progressive big band, I reckon.

In some ways, “Beautiful Bamboo-Flute” puts me in the mind of a more laid-back Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band, with maybe more focus on Latin sub-genres where you’ll get more hints of say, Bossa Nova than Hard Bop.

There are also plenty of traditional, folk elements to the album too, not just via Yamamoto’s playing but in the source material. ‘Nanbu Ushioi-Uta’ for instance, is not wholly haunting in its updated arrangement, at least not compared to ‘Itsuki no Komori-Uta’, which verges on menacing. These tracks especially will probably bring to mind what a lot of people might imagine when Japanese flute is mentioned.

The latter half of the album is where the arrangements open up to a little more soloing but again, this isn’t a bop album – which I’m not saying is a bad thing at all.

I think if you’re a fan of any of the folks I’ve mentioned above, or perhaps even Osamu Kitajima, then you’ll definitely like this release, even though it has a little less guitar overall than Kitajima albums.

DEODATO Artistry

Live album · 1974 · Big Band
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On ‘Artisry’ Deodato’s arrangements of classical covers (and his Latin, smooth jazz pieces too) are fleshed out by an orchestra and it’s great to hear them with extra depth compared to the studio recordings.

The sound is maybe a bit ‘warmer’ in a live setting and the band seem to be having a good time too, which I noticed on “St. Louis Blues” and “Superstrut” – especially John Tropea on guitar. Maybe the set list draws a little too heavily from ‘Deodato 2’ compared to what I’d hoped for but if you want a more comprehensive collection of live songs you might have to look to the latter stages of his discography.

JOHN TROPEA Tropea (aka Guitarra Galáctica)

Album · 1975 · RnB
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If you’re a fan of the more laid back CTI Jazz or Deodato then you’ll probably enjoy this album from John Tropea who worked as a sideman for so, so many folks in the 1970s Jazz Fusion and Funk scene.

His self-titled debut as a leader finds him playing more so as an important ‘part’ of the music rather than dominating with endless soloing. (Having said that, I certainly don’t hate the idea of lots of solos at all). I was really interested to see that he both produced and mixed this album too and it sounds really clear and sharp, making great use of the wide range of performers and friends he draws upon.

I think that the funk and jazz on here ranges from energetic to a little too laid back at times – although, that’s not automatically a problem. And based on my star rating, I think this album is objectively better than the amount which I *enjoyed* it, if that makes sense.

Still, I tend to be drawn to some of the fuller arrangements on these songs – like the stellar “Muff’ and the opener too, one of the places Tropea fires up a bit. I also enjoyed the final, more atmospheric piece “Dreams” where I noticed a trumpet solo. Now, I don’t want to rest my whole review on some idea of “solos = jazz” and thus “less or no solos = pop” but it might give you an extremely general idea of the style here, which is firmly pop/light funk and not so much Jazz Fusion as some of Tropea’s other work.


Album · 1965 · Hard Bop
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Bobby Timmons is well-known for playing with Blakey and Adderley but until recently I hadn’t come across his work as a leader and I found ‘Chun-King’ from 1964 and really enjoyed it.

There’s a range of standards and original compositions on this hard bop, almost funky release that has snap and drive, but also more relaxed pieces like Timmons’ take on “I Could have Danced All Night” and Gershwin’s “Someone to Look Over Me” which rhythmically is soothing – yet Timmons is almost ‘busy’ over the top.

My favourites are probably the more up-tempo ones with “Gettin' It Togetha'” and especially the title track standing out. I can’t quite put my finger on why but maybe the Keter Betts’ arrangement on that one gives me a slight post-bop feel, signaling that nice variety to the record. It was also fun to hear some bossa nova too, with the “O Grande Amor” cover.


Album · 2016 · Latin Rock/Soul
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It's always tough reviewing an album which is anticipated to be a band's 'return to its heyday' and the classic line-up from early 70s Santana is a pretty exciting prospect.

And it certainly works on just about every song. It's fun to hear interplay between Santana and Schon again for instance, especially on one of the stand-outs like 'Echizo' or the almost meditative 'Fillmore East' (and it must be said that Shrieve fires up a bit on 'Echizo' too, which is great) but there are a few songs that don't nail it for me.

Some of these are the vocal cuts ('Choo Choo' is one) but that isn't to say Rolie is in bad shape, he sounds great - especially on the smouldering 'Blues Magic' or the punchy 'Shake It' - but there's just a sense that everyone was so excited to play together again that they left a few b-sides in the running order.

Overall, the band is less fiery than in their youth (and that's not a surprise or a problem truly) but there's still passion and surprises to be had. Again, like 'Shape Shifter' a while back - I wouldn't call this an essential Jazz-rock album but don't write it off out of hand either, have a look if you're unsure.

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