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576 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 80 3.73
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 44 3.97
3 Hard Bop 34 3.88
4 Soul Jazz 31 3.35
5 Post Bop 29 4.24
6 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 27 3.72
7 Jazz Related Rock 26 3.79
8 World Fusion 26 3.63
9 Big Band 25 3.88
10 Funk Jazz 23 3.59
11 Jazz Related RnB 23 3.37
12 Nu Jazz 19 3.34
13 Funk 18 3.92
14 Bop 17 3.94
15 Pop Jazz/Crossover 17 2.53
16 DJ/Electronica Jazz 16 3.28
17 Progressive Big Band 15 4.13
18 Third Stream 15 3.87
19 Exotica 14 3.50
20 Cool Jazz 11 3.95
21 Jazz Soundtracks 11 3.55
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

CHARLES MINGUS East Coasting (aka Charlie Mingus)

Album · 1957 · Hard Bop
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“East Coasting” is one of the more overlooked and under-rated albums in the Mingus discography. I think it slipped under the radar for a lot of jazz fans because it came out when Mingus was practically releasing a new album every couple months. Also, “East Coasting” doesn’t have a particularly artsy album cover or a unifying album theme like some of his other albums that have taken on legendary status, outside of the jazz world, with the art rock crowd and post-mo hipsters. Still, on a purely musical level, “East Coasting” holds up well against some of his more famous albums that might appear more ambitious at first.

Five of the six tunes on here are Mingus originals, and its on those five that Mingus displays this album’s salient feature; well developed long line melodies filled with interesting rhythmic changeups that sound like no one else. There is a bit of Ellington and Monk in these melodies, but these tunes remain as evidence that Mingus is still one of the better writers to this day. A nice surprise on here is the presence of Bill Evans on piano, not someone you expect to see on a Mingus album, and he sounds great, both with his silky impressionism on the ballades, and his hard jaggedy rhythmic figures on the up-tempo pieces. The three horn soloists are all solid, although maybe not as ‘out there’ as some other Mingus sidemen who will come along on later albums.

All of the cuts on here are good. You get one pastel ballad, three hard driving bop numbers and a couple other cuts that experiment a bit with changing tempos, and/or two different tempos playing at the same time. Overall, "East Coasting” holds up well against anything else Mingus was doing in the mid to late 50s. On a side note, its odd that this album is credited to 'Charlie' Mingus, as I understand he didn't like being called 'Charlie".

LIGRO Dictionary 3

Album · 2015 · Classic Fusion
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Although they are still not well known internationally, when it comes to guitar heavy jazz-rock trios, Indonesia’s Ligro is about at the top of the game. There is a 5 star album lurking within these guys somewhere, they just haven’t put it altogether yet. Their new “Dictionary 3” finds them improving their sound with a rock solid wall of noise that could probably blow many other similar bands off the stage, but unfortunately, the high level of writing that they achieved on the previous “Dictionary 2” seems to have dropped off a bit.

“Dictionary 3” opens with “Bliker 4”, a very 70s sounding fusion number that features the young pianist phenomena, Ade Irawan. Its an okay number, but it comes across more as an attempt to take advantage of Irawan’s popularity than a true meeting of musical minds. Irawan may not be the best fit with Ligro’s guitar heavy sound, but they manage to pull off an okay fusion jam. The following cut, “Pentagonal Krisis”, opens with avant-ambience centered around traditional Indonesian instruments before the band hits a gamelan influenced groove for guitarist Agam Hamzah to solo over. Gradually the tune slips into full throttle noise rock assaults of a severe, yet very musical nature.

“Tragic Hero” also starts quietly before the band brings the noise again, while “The 20th Century Collaseu” skips any quiet intro and goes full throttle for most of its eleven and a half minutes. Album closer “Lonely Planet” is a bit anti-climatic as it features mostly some space-blues noodling on the guitar. It sounds nice, but it seems like filler compared to what this band is really capable of.

So the change with the band this time around amounts to more experimental avant-garde moments, both quiet and also very loud, and a way more intense and heavy sound when they do decide to go that direction. Despite Hamzah’s dense sound, the versatile rhythm section of bassist Adi Darmawan and drummer Gusti Hendy can play it heavy, or as loose, limber and funky as any jazz fusion outfit. All three band members have serious chops to spare. “Dictionary 3” has many moments where the band shows off their ability to write, arrange and improvise, but there are also some moments that come across as filler. “Dictionary 2”, by comparison, did not seem to have much filler at all. As mentioned earlier, this album is good, but this band can do better. Still, the many good parts on "Dictionary 3" are very, very good. For possible references, think of this album as a blend of Fripp/Bruford jam sessions, Pete Cosey on “Dark Magus”, Fred Frith’s Massacre and Sonny Sharrock with Last Exit, but with a modern metallic sound.

HAMPTON HAWES Hampton Hawes, Freddie Redd ‎: Move!

Boxset / Compilation · 1965 · Hard Bop
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"Move" is a mid-60s re-issue of “Piano East Piano West”, an album from the mid-50s that presented two new pianists at the time, with one side given to Freddie Redd, and the other side to Hampton Hawes. Although the original release gave top billing to Redd, “Move!” gives top billing to Hawes. This is an excellent LP that captures the sound of piano jazz in the mid-50s, still rooted in the bop innovations of Bud Powell, but also leaning towards the new hard bop sound that these guys, along with others like Horace Silver, will create. Between Redd and Hawes, Freddie is more apt to wear his Bud influences on his sleeve, sounding very much like Powell at times, although a little more lyrical and less given to flash. Hawes, on the other hand, has more of a unique sound with a lot of dissonant quirky edges that may remind some of Monk or possibly other odd stylists like Ahmad Jamal or Herbie Nichols. Along with their bop background, the other uniting factor for Redd and Hawes is that they are both very under-rated and overlooked performers, with neither getting near the acclaim as many of their contemporaries.

The Freddie Redd cuts feature the pianist with just bass and drums, while Hawes adds Larry Bunker on vibes to fill out his otherwise similar quartet. Redd tends to stretch out on his solos, taking many choruses, while Hawes and his group have that be-bop styled short and sassy approach to solos that leads to eight tunes on his side, to the four on Redd’s side. The addition of vibes to Hawes’ group makes for a unique sound, definitely leaning towards a more exotic west coast feel, but these guys are not ‘cool’, as they definitely work up a sweat on several tunes.

Both sides of this split LP are excellent, but Hawes’ sometimes off-the-wall approach to the piano, plus his colorful quartet sound and their short punchy tunes gives him the edge in a comparison. I doubt this was ever re-issued on CD, but this sort of older acoustic jazz sounds so much better on vinyl anyway. Modern digital production tends to smooth out all the rough edges and natural dissonances that make this music enjoyable in the first place.

CHARLES MINGUS The Charles Mingus Quintet + Max Roach

Live album · 1964 · Hard Bop
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Although it was not released until 1964, “Charles Mingus Quintet + Max Roach” was recorded live in NYC in 1955. In fact, this is the second half of a show that had its first half released in 1956 as “Chazz”, or “Mingus at the Bohemia”. Its no surprise then that “Quintet” is fairly similar to “Chazz” in that it reveals a band experimenting with new things, while trying to please the crowd with something familiar too. This recording comes very early in Mingus’ career, and you can hear early versions of future classic tunes before their eventual direction was established.

The three Mingus tunes include “A Foggy Day”, “Haitian Fight Song” and “Love Chant”. “A Foggy Day” combines the standard a “A Foggy Day in London” with musicians mimicking street sounds. The later studio version will capture this effect better, but its still interesting hearing this early attempt. The version of “Haitian Fight Song” on here also has a ways to go before it transforms from the bluesy soul jazz tune it is on here, to the fierce battle cry it will become on “The Clown” album, and any later recordings as well. Meanwhile, “Love Chant” is not too different from its eventual studio recording, although it will pick up a little more energy.

Mingus’ band on here includes Mal Waldron on piano, George Barrow on tenor, Eddie Bert on trombone and Willie Jones on drums. As the title implies, Max Roach replaces Jones on a couple cuts, and its on those cuts where things get a little more out there. Roach and Mingus’ composition “Drums”, is more similar to avant-garde concert hall music than anything happening in jazz at this time. The instruments play drones and off-kilter chords while Roach explores polyrhythms in constant flux. Over the next few years, an avant-garde scene will develop in jazz, but you still will never hear much music like this. Roach also takes an extended solo on “I’ll Remember April”, displaying the sort of free-wheeling rhythms that will be picked by new drummers like Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette. The other standard on here is “Lady Bird”, whose melodic arrangement takes on a very Mingus flavor. Throughout the album, Barrow and Bert tend to play things a little more straight, while Waldron is more apt to get into his odd gritty avant-blues and occasional flamboyant extravaganzas from his classical background. Waldron, in general, brings a heightened sense of awareness and sly humor that fits well with the Mingus musical vision.

The biggest problem with this CD is the recorded sound. Barrow is a bit louder than everyone else and Waldron is so far in the background, sometimes you can barely hear him at all. This CD is probably only interesting to Mingus fans who want to hear his work while it was being developed, or just fans of jazz history in general, but anyone looking to get their first Mingus CD, I’d stay far away from this one, there are much better recordings to be had.

REBECCA DUMAINE & DAVE MILLER TRIO The Consequence of You

Album · 2015 · Vocal Jazz
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Quite often, in the world of jazz vocalists, a line can be drawn between those that over do it, and those that don’t. Certainly some of our favorite singers, from Billie Holiday to Chet Baker and Peggy Lee, are singers who keep their ‘cool‘. Rebecca DuMaine doesn’t exactly sound like any of those three, she certainly has a little more exuberance than the often overly subdued Chet, but she definitely falls more in that tradition that doesn’t try to blow you away with vocal theatrics. Even for those who might feel a bit apprehensive about jazz vocals, DuMaine will win you over with her unpretentious and effortlessly swinging and contagiously upbeat approach to some classic, and some lesser known tunes.

DuMaine’s choice of material on here gets into some interesting songs, such as “Beautiful Love”, that have been overlooked by others. Overall the choice of classic standards is good as well, and she somehow manages to breathe new life into the often over-recorded “One Note Samba”. The only song that seems to over do her natural positive vibes is “Put on a Happy Face”, but to her credit, this song probably works better live, as it sounds like she really is behind the lyrics, ha.

Another plus about this CD is that it really comes across like a live jam, all the musicians take expressive solos, pianist Dave Miller (also Rebecca’s father) in particular, shows a lot of inventive energy and humor in his rides. Dave is obviously influenced by elegant pianists like George Shearing and Bill Evans, but his solos also show a mischievous Monk-like influence as well. Whereas a lot of east coast jazz reflects smoky barrooms and bustling crowded streets, this very California sounding jam session sounds more like a sunny Sunday afternoon on an outdoor deck at a club that features some fine local wine. Enjoy!

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 days ago in What are You Listening II
    Santana live in 1970https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8dGh1iEmCY
  • Posted 3 days ago in New RnB DVDs
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Yelawolf & DJ Paul, R&B Special Edition, and Club Millennium Brand New DVD Releases Coming July 7thfrom A.C.N. Arts & Entertainment, LLC.New ReleasesFollow UsMVD Visual // MVD Audio // MVD Distribution - Independent // MVD Distribution // Best SellersYelawolf & DJ PaulThis is a concert-based documentary of Yelawolf and DJ Paul live performances, one fight, and an ass-shaking contest.Yelawolf, one of the most charismatic rappers in the South, is in the forefront of the rock n roll/rap genre of hip-hop music. He performs some of his greatest hits that captivates the audience; the audience asks for an encore performance. DJ Paul gives one of the best performances of the night. He has an ass-shaking contest. This takes place at Club Blackstock in Knoxville, Tennessee.DVDSKU: MVD7536DUPC: 760137753698SRP: 15.95Street Date: 07/07/15PreBook Date: 06/02/15Label: Yelawolf & DJ PaulGenre: Rap/Hip HopRun Time: 1:48:3 mins 300 DPI Cover Art (JPG) »R&B Special EditionFeaturing Verse Simmonds STUEY ROCK Kirko Bangz are Some of The Best R&b of our time Singer K Camp on Valentine's DayVerse Simmonds at Club LaRumba Performing LIVE Sex Love & Hip Hop Mixtape Hosted by DJ Drama In Knoxville,TN STUEY ROCK Performing LIVE at Club Fam Gablam Grand Opening Party in Dalton GA Off Of Latest Mixtape, Titled 'Shwaggaban In Dalton GA.Kirko Bangz Performing LIVE At BlackStock Club in Knoxville,TN K Camp Performing LIVE At Club BlackStock on Valentines Day in Knoxville TNDVDSKU: MVD7551DUPC: 793283785527SRP: 15.95Street Date: 07/07/15PreBook Date: 06/02/15Label: R&B SPECIAL EDITIONGenre: R & BRun Time: 1:36:4 mins 300 DPI Cover Art (JPG) »Club MillenniumThis is a concert-based DVD full of live performance, fights, ass-shaking, and a vision of Knoxville night life.Club Millennium DVD is a concert documentary about 4 of the most well-known rappers in the South: Gunplay, Young Buck, Starlito, and Don Trip. It begins New Year's Eve 2014 and continues to 2015. The DVD is composed of live performances, 2 fights, girls twirking, and exclusive music videos of club footage. Club was so packed and there were so many fights that the fire marshals shut it down.DVDSKU: MVD7533DUPC: 793283785503SRP: 15.95Street Date: 07/07/15PreBook Date: 06/02/15Label: Club MillenniumGenre: Rap/Hip HopRun Time: 1:25:5 mins 300 DPI Cover Art (JPG) »WWW.MVDB2B.COM | 800.888.0486 | Fax: 610.650.9102
  • Posted 3 days ago in RIP Chris Squire
    Chris Squire, Yes Bassist and Co-Founder, Dead at 67Rolling StoneJune 28, 2015by Daniel KrepsChris Squire, the co-founder and longtime bassist of prog rock iconsYes and the only member of the group to feature on every studio album, has passed away just over a month after revealing that he was suffering from a rare form of leukemia. Squire was 67. Current Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes first tweeted the news, “Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire.”50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All TimeYes confirmed Squire’s death on their official Facebook page. “It’s with the heaviest of hearts and unbearable sadness that we must inform you of the passing of our dear friend and Yes co-founder, Chris Squire. Chris peacefully passed away last night in Phoenix Arizona, in the arms of his loving wife Scotty,” the band wrote in a statement.“For the entirety of Yes’ existence, Chris was the band’s linchpin and, in so many ways, the glue that held it together over all these years. Because of his phenomenal bass-playing prowess, Chris influenced countless bassists around the world, including many of today’s well-known artists. Chris was also a fantastic songwriter, having written and co-written much of Yes’ most endearing music, as well as his solo album,Fish Out of Water.”Yes was formed in 1968 after Jon Anderson met self-taught Chris Squire at a London music-industry bar; the pair were soon joined by guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye, and drummer Bill Bruford. Yes released their self-titled debut in 1968. However, it wasn’t until Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman replaced Banks and Kaye, respectively, that the prog rock group really hit it big with 1971’s The Yes Album and 1972’s Fragile.Over the ensuing decades, Yes would see a parade of band members depart, enter and reenter, but Squire was the lone constant in the shape-shifting band, serving as their bassist for nearly 50 years. Squire is also credited as a co-writer on many of Yes’ greatest cuts, including “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Starship Trooper,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Yours Is No Disgrace” and “Heart of the Sunrise.”In addition to his work with Yes, Squire was involved in other side and solo projects. His 1975 solo LP Fish Out of Water is revered among prog fans. Squire also teamed with Yes part-time guitarist Billy Underwood teamed for their Conspiracy project in 2000 and, more recently, formed Squackett with Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Yes’ current incarnation featured singer Jon Davison, and as Squire toldRolling Stone, the vocalist was hired based on a recommendation from Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins.In May, Squire revealed that he was recently diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia, which would force him to miss the band’s summer co-headlining tour with Toto. The absence marked the first time in the band’s history that Yes performed without their longtime bassist.“This will be the first time since the band formed in 1968 that Yes will have performed live without me,” Squire said in a statement. “But the other guys and myself have agreed that Billy Sherwood will do an excellent job of covering my parts and the show as a whole will deliver the same Yes experience that our fans have come to expect over the years.”

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Warthur wrote:
1062 days ago
Hey dude,

You've banned me from the forums but I can still access the review submission system and site interactions.

If that is intentional then fair enough but if not I thought it'd only be honest to give you a heads up.

Warthur wrote:
1109 days ago
js - please clear some space in your PM inbox, I'm trying to send you something.

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