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Favorite Jazz Artists

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656 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 Davis Quintet : 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 86 3.72
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 51 3.96
3 Hard Bop 43 3.85
4 Post Bop 34 4.19
5 Big Band 34 3.87
6 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 32 3.77
7 Soul Jazz 32 3.38
8 World Fusion 32 3.66
9 Jazz Related Rock 28 3.77
10 Jazz Related RnB 25 3.44
11 Funk Jazz 23 3.59
12 Bop 22 3.98
13 Nu Jazz 21 3.38
14 Funk 20 3.92
15 Pop Jazz/Crossover 19 2.68
16 Progressive Big Band 18 4.08
17 Exotica 17 3.41
18 DJ/Electronica Jazz 16 3.28
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 9 3.50
24 Latin Jazz 7 3.93
25 Jazz Related Blues 7 3.64
26 Latin Rock/Soul 6 3.75
27 Vocal Jazz 6 3.67
28 Swing 6 4.00
29 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 5 3.40
30 Acid Jazz 4 3.50
31 21st Century Modern 2 4.50
32 Classic (1920s) Jazz 2 4.50
33 Dixieland 1 3.50
34 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.50
35 Bossa Nova 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

ILLINOIS JACQUET Illinois Jacquet (aka Banned In Boston)

Album · 1963 · Bop
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Illinois Jacquet may no longer be a household name, but in the 40s and 50s he was considered one of the top saxophonists of the early bop, and later swing eras. His sound was often purposefully brusque and rough with a tendency toward piercing extreme’s in register that foreshadowed the strong over the top approach of 60s free jazzers like Albert Alyer and Archie Shepp. When 1963 rolled around, bop was becoming somewhat of an anachronism, in fact Illinois spent the first part of the year with a foray into the new soul jazz sound, but when he cut the self-titled “Illinois Jacquet” for Epic later in 63, it was for playing classic be-bop with some influences from the new hard bop sound and crowd pleasing jump blues. This record may have been somewhat out of step with 63, but removed from its time period, it now sounds like another classic bop record recorded by the originators of the sound who knew how to play it right. Like most musical genres, from country to punk, be-bop sounds best when played by those who made it up, modern players just don’t capture that enthusiastic, somewhat flippant and informed sly attitude that gives the music its main appeal.

“Illinois Jacquet” (later titled “Banned in Boston”) opens with the jump blues of “Frantic Fanny”, and then proceeds through a variety that includes bluesy swing grooves, ballads and some up-tempo be-bop fire. The ballads range from the lovely “Stella by Starlight”, to the borderline corniness of “Imagination”, but possibly the top ballad number is Jacquet’s direct and understated reading of Ravel’s “Reverie”, one of the finest versions of this popular classic that you will find. Of the be-bop numbers, nothing tops the high energy of “Indiana (Back Home Again)”, once again played by folks who know how to play this right, making this album less of an anachronism in today’s world, but more of an important time capsule. This album does not contain some of the more exuberant and fierce playing of Jacquet’s early career, but its still a good solid bop recording, albeit recorded in 1963.

MARCELLO PELLITTERI Aquarius Woman

Album · 2016 · Post Bop
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Marcello Pellitteri may not be a household name, but he has played drums with just about every major jazz star you can think of, as well as many pop stars and studio orchestras as well. On his new album, “Aquarius Woman”, Marcello displays his versatility by presenting an album that covers more styles than most people cover in their career. “Aquarius Woman” opens with a couple of grooving hard bop numbers that seem to establish a style for the rest of the album, but instead Marcello follows these openers with a couple of pastoral post bop ballads, and then moves on to RnB ballads, funky hip-hop jazz and some spoken word pieces as well. Pellitteri has a great support group on hand led by the intense alto playing of Orazio Maugeri. Orazio has a bright sound that recalls Jackie McLean, and a dexterity that recalls McLean’s idol, Charlie Parker. Maugeri can not only bop and weave, but his ability to rock out on the funky tunes recalls modern artists like Joshua Redman, or Branford Marsalis’ early funk projects. A long with the core group, various guests show up, including tenor sax man George Garzone, who burns brightly on the opening track.

All of the tracks on here are good, with highlights being the aforementioned swinging opening tracks, and the funky hip-hop/indie rock grooves of “Twenty Three” and “Colors on Your Face”. Some well known cover tunes are given interesting face lifts such as Alicia Keys’ “If I aint got You” which is given some flatted notes in the melody by guest vocalist Nedelka Prescod, and a reversal of the vocal phrasing in a call and response with the saxophone. Much of this album is dedicated to Pellitteri’s daughter, Veronica, who died at a very young 23 years of age. All profits from the sell of this CD will go to the Veronica Pellitteri Memorial Fund, administered by Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

NICOLAS MEIER Infinity

Album · 2016 · World Fusion
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Nicolas Meier had been the best guitar player nobody heard of for some time before some high profile gigs with Jeff Beck changed all that. An inventive guitar duo group with Pete Oxley also helped raise his profile, and now his joining with top notch labels like MGP and MoonJiune should help put Meier in the limelight where he belongs. A virtuoso on a multitude of fretted and non-fretted string instruments, Nicolas is equally at home playing jazz, fusion, metalish-rock or music from around the entire world. On his recent CD, “Infinity”, Meier displays his love for mid-Eastern fusion mixed with contemporary jazz and classic progressive rock.

“Infinity” opens with the heavy riffing of “The Eye of Horus”, which sounds like a Turkish influenced blend of Cream and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Some may be surprised that following track, “Still Beautiful”, offers a softer side to Meier’s music, but “Infinity” is not your typical guitar slinging hyper active fusion album, as Meier also draws upon a highly developed sense of melody and texture too. Many of the tracks on here feature Meier’s Middle-Eastern fusion, but there are others, such as the aforementioned “Still Beautiful”, as well as “Tales”. “Rose on Water” and “Serene” that are more similar to a cross between European contemporary jazz and progressive rock ballads. Of this bunch. “Rose on Water” stands out. Of the fusion tracks, the high energy of “Legend” and “Flying Spirits” capture Meier’s more aggressive playing. The sound of violin figures heavily throughout this album as three guest violinists make sure the instrument is featured on almost every track. The album closes with “JB Top”, supposedly a tribute to Billy Gibbons, but this track doesn’t sound like ZZ Top, but more like generic rock that sounds out of place compared to the rest of the tracks.

“Infinity” has cross appeal to a variety of audiences, including fans of Turkish music, jazz fusion, contemporary jazz and progressive rock. Every track has its own unique orchestrated electro-acoustic sound. with enough interesting arrangements to keep the listener engaged.

MATTHEW KAMINSKI Live at Churchill Grounds

Live album · 2016 · Hard Bop
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Matthew Kaminski is a jazz organist with an interesting ‘day job’, he plays the stadium organ for the Atlanta Braves, supplying all the well known baseball ballpark clichés that are as a much a part of the game’s tradition as the seventh inning stretch. On his new album, “Live at Churchill Grounds”, Matthew and his quartet play the music they are known for playing at jazz clubs, funky soul-jazz and swingin hard bop grooves. Kaminski displays the sort of Jimmy Smith/Groove Holmes type riffs we expect from a soul-jazz B3 player, but he also shows some influence from Hammond based jazz rockers like Tom Coster and Brian Auger. Matthew is a great soloist, but he is almost upstaged by the fiery tenor work of Will Scruggs, a great blues based player in the Stanley Turrentine and Grover Washington tradition. They are also joined by vocalist Kimberly Gordon for about half the set.

This CD opens strong with a lengthy jam on the Beach Boy’s “Sail on Sailor”, which is followed by their top track, a James Brown influenced up-tempo funk number called “Hot Dog”. “Midnight Special” follows with another blues groove, and then its time for Kimberly to join the band for the next six tracks. Kimberly is a remarkable singer with a strong personality, Kurt Elling calls her “the ultimate swing lovers singer”, but the music definitely changes when she joins the band. With Gordon in front of the quartet, the high energy funkiness is replaced with a more easy going swing feel, which is a more suitable backing for her vocals. The solos from the instrumentalists are also much briefer during the vocal numbers. After Kimberly’s six numbers, the band closes with a Jack McDuff classic, “A Real Goodun”.

In many ways, the instrumental and vocal tracks on here almost seem like two different bands. If you are looking for the one-two punch of Kaminski’s B3 and Kimberly’s vocals, then you have come to the right place, but if you want to hear only Matthew’s B3 chops, then you might want to check out one of his earlier studio albums. On an interesting side note, Kaminski also has an album out where he plays popular baseball stadium clichés on a ballpark Hammond, a great album for people looking for classic samples in that tradition.

MICHAEL GAMBLE Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders

Album · 2016 · Swing
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Mike Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders is the name of an all-star group of swing enthusiasts, and its also the name of their new album. There was a time back in the 90s, when the so-called ‘swing revival’ was in full bloom and many an aging rock musician tried to cash in by putting together what they thought was a swing band. Many of those ill-informed artists were presenting re-tread rockabilly and garage band level jump blues as if it was actually ‘swing’. Fortunately, in the new century, the trend eased off and the wannabes moved on leaving the true swing lovers to enjoy their art without any further mis-guided dilution. Which brings us to the talented Rhythm Serenaders and their new album. There are no wannabes here, these are guys who know the music and play it well, no heavy handed or cheap reproductions are allowed. Their recording techniques are authentic as well, as every tune here was recorded live on the spot with no overdubs or studio trickery.

There is a nice selection of tunes on here, and a smart avoidance of the over-played and predictable. As can be expected, it’s the top writers of the day who supply the most sassy and infectious riffs. Some of the best include; Benny Goodman and Charlie Christian’s “Seven Come Eleven”, Goodman and Lionel Hampton’s, “Pick a Rib”, Count Basie’s “Sweet”, and the Ellington influenced slinky noir of Ben Webster’s “Woke Up Clipped”. A couple tunes feature the exuberant vocals of Russ Wilson, who battles it out with busy New Orleans/Dixieland type polyphony with all the horns soloing at once. On four other tracks you get the coy Billie Holiday influenced vocals of Laura Windley. Every tune on here is at least good, there are no duds. The solos on here are good as well, but as typical with ‘revival’ bands of any genre, the soloists seem to be a little more polite and careful in their execution, as opposed to the gut busting musicians from that era.

This is music for dancing and partying, but it works well for just listening too. In an interesting side note, each track comes with a bpm number, just like a modern dance record. So basically a DJ or mixing artist could use this CD of re-constituted older jazz music in a modern dance mix.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 6 days ago in 1982 US Festival documentary
    Remember the US FESTIVAL!When Music, Technology, People Were UNITED... IN SONGNew documentary film on the innovative and influential 1982 US FESTIVAL - remastered music; never-before-told stories; never-before-seen footage; featured interviews from then and now; campaign now live on Kickstarter LOS ANGELES (November 29, 2016) -  On a blistering hot, Labor Day weekend in 1982, about an hour's drive from Los Angeles, The Ramones, B52's, Talking Heads, and The Police all took the stage in front of over 100,000 fans. The Police were in mid-tour for Ghosts in the Machine and as Stewart Copeland recollects: "we were whip-cracking hot - and we scorched Southern California". The next day, Eddie Money, Santana, The Cars, The Kinks, Pat Benatar, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers rocked to an even larger crowd. Sunday morning, The Grateful Dead took the stage bright and early - billed as "Breakfast in Bed with the Grateful Dead", and they were followed by a lineup that included Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band and Jackson Browne.  Fleetwood Mac closed the show. This was The 1982 US Festival.    "The US Festival was financed by Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple," says Glenn Aveni, of Icon Music TV, an indie filmmaker who has produced and directed music documentaries on John Entwistle, The Clash, and Les Paul.  "It was produced by Bill Graham. The 350,000 fans that were there still consider it a highlight of their concert-going lives. Yet for all its talent, and for all its influence and innovation, the US Festival is not so readily remembered, because there never was a film about it... Until now."    (L to R: Woz, the stage (larger than a football field), and the legendary Graham) Woz felt the 1970's were The 'Me' Generation and that it was time for the world to embrace a less selfish credo, one of unity and togetherness," explains Aveni, Director of the documentary. "He created UNUSON - short for 'Unite Us In Song' to produce a huge 3-day outdoor state-of-the-art concert that married music and technology. I have entitled this documentary "The US Generation" in tribute to Woz and his message of unity. It's not lost on me that a message of unity should resonate with all of us today."  "Wozniak had the vision and the money and the determination to get it done. The opportunity arose, and he took it," adds Mickey Hart, in an interview for the film. Aveni has worked on the film since 2012 and says it is mostly done. To help clear and remaster additional music for it, he has launched a campaign on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2fjAz8u. In an unusual concession from his distribution partner, he has arranged for the "rewards" from Kickstarter - including copies the film - to be immediately available after the film's completion, before any festival screenings, theatrical releases, or TV premier. "My distributor agreed that the people who were there have already waited 30+ years," he explains. The innovations of the 1982 US Festival were as legendary as its performances. The venue was built from scratch in San Bernardino, on the site of a former prison farm, in a matter of a few months. It is still the largest outdoor amphitheater in America today. The US Festival invented misting stations, pioneered water cannons to cool the crowd, unveiled the debut of Diamond Vision - a huge screen actually visible during the day, and helped pioneer digital sound delay, so that fans in the back could hear sound in real time.  (L to R: water cannons, a happy crowd "united in song", and misting stations) "The 1982 US Festival executed. They did it right, and showed it could be done right, setting the stage for future mega-shows from Live Aid to Bonnaroo and Coachella," says Gregg Perloff of Another Planet, who was with Bill Graham Presents at the time and was interviewed for the film. "Prior to The US Festival in 1982", adds Aveni "No multi-day outdoor permit had been issued by any municipality since 1969 - the year of Woodstock and Altamont, both of which had serious operational difficulties and safety issues. If not for this event, who knows if and when other events would have occurred."Free water and shade tents were everywhere. The stage was the largest yet seen, and the sound was powered by 400,000 watts. There was a tech pavilion under 5 air-conditioned tents, stocked by Woz and his friends with the latest gadgets and some prototypes of what was yet to come. They even piped music over satellite feed into the USSR - crossing The Iron Curtain.  "It's a great untold story full of awesome music, amazing anecdotes and larger than life personalities," adds Aveni.  The US Generation documentary is a blend of music, archival footage, and interviews with the crowd and with performers. Besides Perloff and Hart, there are insightful present-day interviews with Stewart Copeland (The Police), Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Eddie Money, Marky Ramone, Kate Pierson (B-52's), and Wozniak himself, all speaking fondly and candidly about the event. Among those interviewed archivally are Sting, Pat Benatar, David Byrne, Ric Ocasek, Carlos Santana, and DaveDavies, along with Woz and Graham. The film also covers how the event was conceived, and regales with the on-site hijinks, challenges, and lively battles between Graham and Woz.   (L to R: Stewart Copeland, Mick Fleetwood, and Woz) The Kickstarter campaign is offering the first copies of the film, in digital download, DVD, and Blu Ray, with options for extra music, and added celeb commentary. "We've gone to town on these Rewards," says Aveni. "If you love classic rock and have pined for something new, here you go."  Filmmaker Aveni lived and worked for many years in LA and now resides in the Milwaukee area where he grew up. He is available for interviews. The Kickstarter campaign is now live at http://kck.st/2fjAz8u.
  • Posted 6 days ago in Lets Do Lunch (around the world).
    It works now, nice picture.
  • Posted 7 days ago in Lets Do Lunch (around the world).
    ^ unfortunately, that photo did not come out over here.

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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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