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Favorite Jazz Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

889 reviews/ratings
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - The Louis Armstrong Story, Volume I: Louis Armstrong And His Hot Five Classic (1920s) Jazz | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Agharta Fusion | review permalink
EARTH WIND & FIRE - Gratitude 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 Fusion | review permalink
PARLIAMENT - Mothership Connection Funk | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Thrust Funk Jazz | review permalink
SUN RA - Angels and Demons at Play Progressive Big Band | review permalink
SUN RA - Sun Ra And His Astro Infinity Arkestra : 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 Fusion | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - V.S.O.P. Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Get Up With It Fusion | review permalink
JIMI HENDRIX - Electric Ladyland (Jimi Hendrix Experience) Jazz Related Rock
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Nefertiti Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Big Fun Fusion | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 115 3.67
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 69 3.91
3 Hard Bop 57 3.82
4 Post Bop 57 4.10
5 Soul Jazz 48 3.42
6 World Fusion 42 3.61
7 Big Band 41 3.82
8 Eclectic Fusion 40 3.73
9 RnB 37 3.61
10 Jazz Related Rock 33 3.74
11 Progressive Big Band 28 4.02
12 Nu Jazz 28 3.45
13 Bop 28 4.04
14 Funk Jazz 27 3.56
15 Pop/Art Song/Folk 23 2.80
16 Third Stream 23 3.89
17 Funk 21 3.90
18 Exotica 18 3.42
19 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 18 3.39
20 Latin Jazz 15 3.80
21 Post-Fusion Contemporary 13 3.46
22 Cool Jazz 13 3.69
23 Dub/Ska/Reggae 13 4.04
24 Vocal Jazz 12 3.54
25 Jazz Related Soundtracks 11 3.91
26 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 10 3.40
27 Blues 10 3.80
28 21st Century Modern 10 4.20
29 Swing 8 4.00
30 Latin Rock/Soul 6 3.75
31 African Fusion 5 4.00
32 Acid Jazz 4 3.50
33 Classic (1920s) Jazz 2 4.50
34 Dixieland 1 3.50
35 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.50
36 Bossa Nova 1 3.50
37 Jazz Education 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

SOT Monster Master

Album · 2022 · Jazz Related Rock
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SOT has a rather unusual lineup for a jazzy rock band. The expected guitar and drums are there, but in place of a bassist, SOT features Lars Andreas Haug on tuba. The tuba is no gimmick but instead proves its versatility by covering the bass foundation for the rockin parts, and then moving into the upper register for simulated orchestral sections. SOT is a very eclectic band and the use of the tuba expands the different sound colors and genres they can draw upon. Guitarist Skjalg Reithaug, thankfully avoids that awful digital metalish saturation sound you hear from so many guitarists today, but instead goes for a natural distortion that gives his guitar that rock edge, but still allows every note to be very clear. Skjalg, like his tubist brother, is very versatile, moving from fusion like solos, to sweeping chorused arpeggio ambiance, as well as Indian modes and raga influences. Arild Nyborg is the newcomer on drums who doesn’t ‘miss a beat’ in keeping up with SOT’s often fast changing meters and time signatures.

SOT is an instrumental band, save for the occasional wordless choir effect, and they fall somewhere between prog rock and fusion, but they avoid some of the more heavy handed and overly dramatic tendencies of both those genres, and the lack of pretentious song lyrics and vocals are also a plus. There is an upbeat, sometimes humorous, and always celebratory nature to these jams. SOT is having fun and they do well in sending that message to their audience. Musical styles they cover are broad. One staple they fall back on is quick changing rock guitar riffs that recall Jan Akkerman and Focus. Other sections draw on Indo-fusion in a John McLaughlin style. The lengthy title cut has a long section in which the band goes into a slinky Ellington vamp while an unaccredited bari sax player adds to the jazz noire vibe. Despite all the busy jazz rockin, some of SOT’s best moments come during ambient breaks where the string sounding keyboards and the tuba provide panoramic orchestral soundscapes. Finally, the choral buildup at the end of “Sunship” is a high point on the album. SOT is an excellent band and don’t think that tuba is a cute gimmick, it really works.

ANTHONY BRAXTON For Four Orchestras

Album · 1978 · Third Stream
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You have to wonder if maybe Prince got his idea for calling himself an unpronounceable symbol from Anthony Braxton, who had been naming his compositions with various symbols and diagrams years before Prince made his famous name change. Take for example, this three record set that has been named “For Four Orchestras”. That is not the actual name for the composition presented on these records, the actual name is a multi-colored symbol displayed on the album box, and this symbol is also used as the title within the extensive booklet that comes in the box. All this aside, this is a fascinating piece of music in which Braxton takes four orchestras and passes sounds and melodic fragments among them so that the audience, that is seated in between the orchestras, is treated to a surround sound experience in which the music is in constant spatial motion.

Braxton was partly inspired by other modern composers, such as Ives, Stockhausen and Xennakis, who had worked with similar ideas. Musically, “Four Orchestras” , falls into that sort of aleotoric sound and approach favored by John Cage and the many people who were influenced by him. One hallmark of composition in the middle part of the 20th century is that people had devised music that did not compete with the natural sounds around us. Like much music from this era, “Four Orchestras”, need not be totally separated from neighboring sounds, whether they be birds singing, traffic and construction work, or people talking and laughing. Much of Braxton’s piece consists of somewhat pleasant atonal melodic snippets that are passed around the various groups, then at other times more dissonant sounds will build in volume and intensity, and then there are sections where thick tone clusters hang in the air like dark clouds.

Of course the salient feature of this work is the movement of sound. Ideally, you should have the quad version of this record and a quad record player. I do have a vintage quad stereo, but unfortunately the album I have is only stereo, but I did play it on simulated quad, and the surrounding orchestral colors are fascinating. Even in stereo though, this music sounds interesting enough. This album comes with a fifteen page booklet full of pictures and detailed explanations from Braxton. Anthony’s writings are very intellectual, but you know he has to be pulling your leg when he starts talking about his future compositions that will feature dialog between galaxies and star systems.

ERIC GOLETZ Standard-ized

Album · 2023 · Hard Bop
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After working as a sideman and session musician for 30 years, trombonist Eric Goletz has, for the last three years, been putting out a new album as leader every year, which brings us to 2023’s, “Standard-ized”. Whereas Eric’s earlier efforts focused on original music, this new one, as if you could not tell from the title, features standards, with many arranged in different styles than you may have heard them before. There are a variety of ensembles at work here as well, ranging from trios to septets, with some selections featuring a string quartet.

I get the feeling Eric was working on a more contemporary radio friendly approach on his new album when circumstances pushed things in a different direction. Apparently Eric and his group had been given a casual cocktail gig on which they decided to just have fun playing songs that they knew well. It’s what musicians call a ‘blowing session’, playing freely on songs that they are very comfortable with and having rambunctious fun doing it. So successful was this gig that they decided to record a demo to score similar jobs and so successful was this recording session that they decided to return and record even more tunes. The end result is an album that is about one half blowing session, and about one half radio friendly ballads which are often backed by the string quartet and led by vocalist Lajuan Carter.

For my money, the best part of this CD is the high flying bop numbers like “Mayreh”, “Just in Time” and “Nutville”. On these the band sounds loose and relaxed, On first listen I thought these tunes were being played live, and apparently a lot of them were unrehearsed first takes in the studio. There are also a couple soul jazz groove tracks that bear a similar energy. Of the ballads, the best is Eric, backed only with bass and drums, playing Stevie Wonder’s sublime “Overjoyed”. This is an album of standards and fortunately they picked a lot of tunes that have not been overplayed, but there are also a couple tracks on here that some of us have probably heard a few too many times.

CHARLES LLOYD Geeta

Album · 1973 · World Fusion
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Charles Lloyd was one of the original jazz rockers, he was playing the Fillmore before Miles was, and in fact, Miles took half of Charles’ band (DeJohnette and Jarrett) when it came time for Miles to try jamming for the hippies. So its no big surprise that when jazz fusion went through a psychedelic phase, Charles was part of that with his album “Geeta”. Like many psyche jazz albums, there is some good stuff on here, as well as some things that are better left behind in that ’far out’ time period. Musician credits on the album cover are just plain weird and sketchy. Many of the players are given extravagant aliases, and the Indian stringed instruments are not credited at all, even though the dholak (Indian percussion) performers are credited. Some websites provide better info, but still not everything.

Side one opens with the lengthy Indian flavored fusion jam, “Geeta Suite”. Blackbyrd McKnight burns like crazy on the electric guitar, sounding like a cross between John McLaughlin and Pete Cosey. Blackbyrd will also show up on other jazz psyche records of that era. Charles mostly sticks with the alto flute as he avoids shrill annoying high end workouts on the flute. The alto has a beautiful sound for this sort of Indian fusion, and Lloyd works it well. Side one closes out with a more traditional Indian number. Side two opens with a “Stones Medley” that mostly sounds like another spiritual jazz journey until a well known Stones melody appears and kills the mood, sending this promising jam into cheezy cover tune territory.

The last three tracks are some of the best this album has to offer, with “Maxfield Blue” bringing more sonic attacks from Blackbyrd, while the last two numbers head into a sort of Austin Powers psyche rock exotica. These last two would be great for an aspiring rare groove DJ, if such a thing still exists. The drummer on here, Sonship Theus, is incredibly intense but mixed somewhat low. Apparently he had a playing philosophy that demanded he go all out for the Lord at all times, he pretty much was incapable of anything but all out attack. A lot of jazz fans find these sort of psyche albums to be no more than period kitsch, but this style and era of jazz has actually picked up more cult like followers in the new century than existed in the 70s.

DAVID BLOOM David Bloom and Cliff Colnot : Shadow Of A Soul

Album · 2022 · Big Band
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“Shadow of a Soul” is the fourth album by composer David Bloom, and just like on his three previous albums, he has enlisted Cliff Colnot to provide arrangements. These two make quite a team, its hard to put an exact genre on their work, big band arranging is the closest you can get, but this is much more than just that. The ensembles on “Shadow” range from big bands to smaller groups with very unique instrumental groupings. Every single piece on here has its own ensemble and tone colors, and the musical influences range from contemporary jazz to art pop and soundtracks, as well as impressionistic classical music. Most of the pieces are fairly short, never much longer than five minutes, with some being only a minute or two which gives the album an appealing library music type effect. Brevity is a rare thing in the world of jazz.

Latin rhythms play a big part on some of the best tracks. “For Eddie P” features Afro-Cuban rhythms in a tribute to Eddie Palmieri, and pianist Ryan Cohan does a great job of channeling Eddie’s fierce and dissonant piano barrages. Ryan is also featured on other tracks as well. Some other Latin tracks feature the saxophone work of Mike Smith and the bright high end trumpet work of Victor Garcia. Besides the Latin numbers, you also get tone poems that recall the pastoral work of Gil Evans and Marie Schneider. Alto flutes are often featured in the melodies, delivering their signature smooth sound.

Bloom lists Wayne Shorter as a major compositional influence, and album opener “Mischievous Mark Colby”, could pass as a Shorter piece, particularly when Dave Liebman delivers an imaginative soprano sax solo. Dave also appears on the album’s title track as well. You could call much of this album ‘big band’ music, but ultimately this is contemporary instrumental music that draws on many influences and sound colors.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 4 hours ago in 2022 RnB, Funk, Dub & Electronica Albums
    Hip hop jazz with Butcher Brown:https://butcherbrownmusic.bandcamp.com/album/butcher-brown-presents-triple-trey-featuring-tennishu-and-r4nd4zzo-bigb4nd snobb2023-01-29 09:48:12
  • Posted 3 days ago in 2022 RnB, Funk, Dub & Electronica Albums
    Nathan Allen    "Bounce"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUu8GRABreE&list=OLAK5uy_mVHi23vZujrIfAln74ywooKKoyDL_MI_o snobb2023-01-26 12:10:37
  • Posted 3 days ago in 2022 Avant-Garde & Free Improv Albums
    Ken Vandermark double tracking himself:https://kilogramrecords.bandcamp.com/album/snapshots-volume-4-poland snobb2023-01-26 07:38:41

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Warthur wrote:
more than 2 years 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:
more than 2 years ago
js - please clear some space in your PM inbox, I'm trying to send you something.

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