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Favorite Jazz Artists

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603 reviews/ratings
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - The Louis Armstrong Story, Volume I: Louis Armstrong And His Hot Five Classic (1920s) Jazz | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Agharta Classic Fusion | review permalink
EARTH WIND & FIRE - Gratitude Jazz Related RnB | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Speak Like a Child Post Bop | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention) Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Crossings Classic Fusion | review permalink
PARLIAMENT - Mothership Connection Funk | review permalink
COUNT BASIE - Count Basie and his Orchestra Big Band | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Thrust Funk Jazz | review permalink
SUN RA - Angels and Demons at Play Progressive Big Band | review permalink
SUN RA - Atlantis Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
SANTANA - Santana Latin Rock/Soul | review permalink
FUNKADELIC - America Eats Its Young Funk | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Live At The Fillmore East Classic Fusion | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - V.S.O.P. Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Get Up With It Classic Fusion | review permalink
JIMI HENDRIX - Electric Ladyland (Jimi Hendrix Experience) Jazz Related Rock
MILES DAVIS - Miles Smiles Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Nefertiti Post Bop | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Classic Fusion 84 3.73
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 47 3.99
3 Hard Bop 37 3.86
4 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 31 3.76
5 Post Bop 31 4.23
6 Soul Jazz 31 3.35
7 Big Band 29 3.83
8 World Fusion 27 3.63
9 Jazz Related Rock 26 3.79
10 Funk Jazz 23 3.59
11 Jazz Related RnB 23 3.37
12 Bop 19 4.05
13 Nu Jazz 19 3.34
14 Pop Jazz/Crossover 18 2.61
15 Funk 18 3.92
16 Progressive Big Band 17 4.09
17 DJ/Electronica Jazz 16 3.28
18 Exotica 15 3.47
19 Third Stream 15 3.87
20 Jazz Soundtracks 11 3.55
21 Cool Jazz 11 3.95
22 Dub Fusion 9 4.00
23 Post-Fusion Contemporary 8 3.56
24 Jazz Related Blues 7 3.64
25 Latin Rock/Soul 6 3.75
26 Latin Jazz 5 3.90
27 Swing 5 4.00
28 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 4 3.50
29 Acid Jazz 4 3.50
30 Vocal Jazz 3 3.83
31 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.50
32 Dixieland 1 3.50
33 Bossa Nova 1 3.50
34 Classic (1920s) Jazz 1 5.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 2015 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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Slivovitz has been around for about a decade now, and “All You can Eat” is their fourth album. While Slivovitz has always been an interesting band, with “All You can Eat’, they seem to step up their game with a stronger, more mature sound and are proving themselves to be a force to reckon with on the international fusion scene. Slivovitz hails from Italy, but their music reveals influences from the Middle East, and Eastern Europe as well. Some have referred to their music as ‘gypsy’ influenced, but their influences are far more diverse than that. Along with the ‘ethnic’ European sounds, Slivovitz can also recall the music of Fred Frith and Frank Zappa, as well as other artists who mix diverse international influences. In line with their musical vision, Slivovitz uses an eclectic array of instruments that includes violin, saxophone, trumpet and harmonica, all backed by a muscular guitar driven jazz-rock rhythm section. This large group functions like a mini-orchestra that has many tone colors to draw upon.

The core of Slivovitz has always been Ricardo Villari on violin, Marcello Gianni on guitar, Derek Di Perri on harmonica and Pietro Santangelo on saxophone. Over the years, their rhythm section has been changing a member at a time, it’s the new current team of Vincenzo Lamagna on bass and Salvatore Rainone on drums that has pushed Slivovitz into a stronger more cohesive sound. The hot trumpet work of Ciro Riccardi is the icing on the cake. All of the tracks on here are good, but three stand out due to their well developed arrangements and strong melodies; “Persian Night”, “Yahtzee” and “Hangover”. Along with good solos, interesting arrangements are a key feature of Slivovitz’s appeal.


Album · 1979 · Hard Bop
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With today’s internet, different regions of the jazz world are so well connected that once obvious regional differences in music are slowly disappearing. Its just too easy for artists all around the world to keep up with what’s happening in NYC, or London or Tokyo, or anywhere else with any kind of jazz scene. Such was not the case in the late 70s, particularly in Communist controlled countries such as Poland, where the latest musical trends from NYC were not as important as daily survival and trying to duck the watchful eye of ‘the authorities’. In 1979, much of the jazz world was mired in fuzak, while the ‘new lion’ movement, and a new downtown NY scene were just around the corner. None of these latest trends were happening in culturally cut-off Poland, where jazz musicians operated without the restrictions of following the latest trends from the US. All of this background helps explain this somewhat ‘odd for 79’ “Swing Party” album by Poland’s Krzysztof Sadowski, on which Sadowski plays old school swing/hard bop/soul jazz with a full stop organ sound that recalls lounge music of the 1950s. It’s a well made and spirited album, but if it had come out in the states in 79, it would have been a complete oddity, which is of course is not necessarily a bad thing.

Long winded cultural explanations aside, “Swing Party” is a solid piece of organ based hard bop groove that recalls pre-Jimmy Smith organists such as Wild Bill Davis and Doc Bagby. Not only is the music tastefully retro, but Sadowski uses a full ‘theatre’ sound on his Hammond, a sound that had disappeared from the international jazz scene a couple decades earlier, replaced by the leaner sound of Jimmy Smith and his many followers. Sadowski is aided on here by four powerful tenor soloists whose soloing styles range from bluesy Sonny Stitt, to more ‘outside’ Coltrane influenced flights. The tunes range from well known standards such as “Tenderly” and “Honey Suckle Rose”, to some neo-bop originals by Sadowski.

If you enjoy 1950s Hammond organ based jazz, this record will not disappoint, Sadowski’s playing is energetic, and the same can be said for his four tenors, all of whom sound like they deserved more recognition outside of Poland. The only thing that will let on that this record was actually recorded in 1979 is the recording date marked on the outside liner notes.


Album · 2015 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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The last couple months of 2015 have been a great time for fans of current jazz. First Matthew Shipp and Dave Douglas come out with top notch avante-garde post bop selections, and now Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah hits us with his visionary future-fusion called “Stretch Music”. You can call this music ‘fusion’, but this isn’t your grandfather’s fusion. In Scott’s artistic vision, the old 70s based jam sessions are replaced with unique compositions and sophisticated harmonic movement. Each song is a gem of electro-acoustic orchestration backed by modern rhythms, and for those who miss the old gnarly distorted jazz-rock jams, Scott includes a couple of those too.

Scott pulls from a wide variety of musical material on here; “TWIN” is a mournful trumpet melody over a driving African rhythm, “The Corner” is avant-funk, “Of a New Cool” is an orchestrated lounge tune with drumnbass rhythms that goes into a post bop jam, and “The Last Chieftain” gets into free rhythms and a screaming trumpet solo. There are many more tracks where Scott more or less makes up some genres of his own, while every tune has a sound and texture that can only be described as ultra-modern.

Scott surrounds himself with a great cast of players on here, with special mention for the flute playing of Elena Pinderhughes, the sax work of Brandon Cook, and some guitar guest spots for Matthew Stevens. Christian’s main asset on here is his compositions, but his trumpet playing is also strong, and he is one of the few modern players who doesn’t aways recall Miles or Freddie Hubbard. It is hard to get a voice of your own on the trumpet anymore.


Live album · 1958 · Bop
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Although Thelonious Monk’s contributions to jazz are highly regarded, it doesn’t mean that everything he recorded was gold. Especially towards the end of his career, Monk’s performances could be inconsistent or uninspired. Also, with shifting band personal, Monk sometimes had to work with musicians who did not exactly click with his difficult music. This leads to the question, which of his albums show Monk and his band at their best? Amongst possible candidates for this honor, the live set “Misterioso” rates very high. Not only is Monk on fire here, but he has an excellent band too, with the always imaginative Roy Haynes on drums, rock solid Ahmed Abdul Malik on bass and the high flying Johnny Griffin on tenor sax. In fact, Griffin’s soaring performance almost steals the show. There are only two Monk albums that feature Griffin, the other one is “Monk in Action”, which is the other half of the live set that makes up this disc.

“Misterioso” was recorded in Augaust 1958 at NYC’s Five Spot at a time when Monk’s career had just peaked, and the new avant-garde, which would make Monk no longer appear to be such an iconoclast, was just starting to appear. Surely Johnny Griffith’s astonishing rapid flow of notes is an under-rated predecessor to the new free jazz stylists. Griffith’s ‘sheets of sound’ tend to stay tonal, but the sheer intensity of his playing was a ‘new thing’. Some early critics felt Griffith’s excessive approach was at odds with Monk’s well-timed minimalist approach, but the two musicians actually compliment each other well, and both sound very happy to interact with each other’s direction and vision. Roy Haynes also contributes to the rhythmic interplay, and adds some excellent drum solos that demonstrate how a creative drummer can convey, and re-construct, the melody of a tune.

For Monk collectors, “Misterioso” is a must have, and for those wishing to check out his music, this is a great place to start. The almost kitsch beat-era album cover is a plus too.


Album · 2015 · Classic Fusion
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There was a time in the late 70s when the worlds of jazz fusion and progressive rock edged closer to each other, much of the resultant music still carries a strong international fan base, and those fans now have reason to rejoice over Dwiki Dharmawan’s “So Far So Close”, an album that recalls the heyday of orchestrated fusion without sounding a bit nostalgic or dated. This is jazz/prog rock fusion for the new century with lots of fresh modern elements. Although this is Dharmawan’s first release for a large international label (MoonJune), it is quickly apparent from listening to these sophisticated arrangements, that Dharmawan is a veteran of the music business with over 30 years under his belt.

As mentioned earlier, this is orchestrated electro-acoustic fusion that will may recall classic albums by Return to Forever, Weather Report and Bill Bruford, but Dharmawan also adds his own subtle Indonesian influences, both melodically and harmonically. “So Far So Close” opens strong with the aggressive fusion energy of “Arafura”, this one, and the other up-tempo numbers are nice, but the main album highlights are the two beautifully orchestrated ballades, “Bruno” and “Whale Dance”. One other cut that stands out is the avant-garde leaning “Jembrana’s Fantasy”, a track that mixes Indonesian gamelan with free jazz. Its an interesting cut, but it may seem at odds with the other tracks on the album. It might be nice if Dwiki, on future albums, mixed some of these avant-garde and fusion elements together on some cuts, instead of isolating those elements to separate tracks.

The keyboard list on here will bring back some very fond memories for many, its great to see brand names like Fender Rhodes, Hammond, Mini Moog and Hohner Clavinet all together on an album again. Along with Dharmawan’s excellent keyboard work, “So Far So Close” also features the top notch rhythm section of Jimmy Haslip and Chad Wackerman, as well as guest solo spots for Jerry Goodman, Dewa Budjana and Tohpati.

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Warthur wrote:
1214 days ago
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1261 days ago
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