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Favorite Jazz Artists

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934 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
JOHN COLTRANE - Giant Steps Hard Bop

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 120 3.65
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 74 3.91
3 Post Bop 62 4.06
4 Hard Bop 59 3.81
5 Soul Jazz 50 3.42
6 World Fusion 43 3.60
7 RnB 42 3.61
8 Big Band 42 3.81
9 Eclectic Fusion 41 3.72
10 Jazz Related Rock 33 3.74
11 Progressive Big Band 30 4.02
12 Funk Jazz 30 3.55
13 Nu Jazz 29 3.47
14 Bop 28 4.04
15 Third Stream 24 3.90
16 Funk 23 3.85
17 Pop/Art Song/Folk 23 2.80
18 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 19 3.42
19 Exotica 18 3.42
20 Latin Jazz 17 3.74
21 Post-Fusion Contemporary 14 3.46
22 Jazz Related Soundtracks 13 3.85
23 Cool Jazz 13 3.69
24 Dub/Ska/Reggae 13 4.04
25 Vocal Jazz 12 3.54
26 Blues 11 3.82
27 21st Century Modern 10 4.20
28 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 10 3.40
29 Swing 8 4.00
30 Latin Rock/Soul 6 3.75
31 African Fusion 6 3.92
32 Acid Jazz 4 3.50
33 Classic (1920s) Jazz 3 4.33
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

OLIVER LAKE Life Dance Of Is

Album · 1978 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Oliver Lake was an early participant in the St Louis avant-garde scene, and later a major figure in the NYC loft scene of the early 70s. By the time the late 70s rolled around, he like so many others in the free jazz movement, were starting to diversify their sound as free jazz was becoming a bit predictable. This leads us to the album, “Life Dance of Is”, a mostly avant-garde collection with a good dose of free jazz, but also some other interesting eclecticisms. It’s a very talented band that Oliver assembled here, many of these musicians he had worked with before and would continue to perform with in the future. We have Michael Gregory Jackson on guitar, Anthony Davis on piano, Pheeroan ak Laff on drums and some tracks include Leonard Jones on bass.

The album opens with the sparse sounds of “Rite-Ing” in which various band members play composed snatches of melody in between long moments of silence. Follow up track “Comous” is a little more in the free jazz tradition, but implied beats give this one a funhouse rowdy nature, like a hard bop jam gone insane. Side one closes out with “Shu-Ful” another fun one that has the band playing to a punky two beat shuffle and laying down wacky solos. Oliver seems to be channeling Eric Dolphy on this one.

Side two opens with “Tfon” and an impossibly difficult ensemble bebop line before the group lays into some free improv. Towards the end, Anthony Davis plays what sounds like a closing phrase but then keeps repeating it as the others join in hammering this phrase to death. “Change One” is a one chord reggae vamp with some weird vocals from Lake and bluesy country harmonica from Jackson. The album closes with a spoken word collage that would sound right at home in a modern concert hall setting. Interesting album, sometimes dry and intellectual, and at other times boisterous and funny. This may not have ever been re-issued on CD or in any other format, so look for it where used vinyl is sold.

TONY ROMANO Three Chord Monte

Album · 2024 · Fusion
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Although “Three Chord Monte” is only his third album as a leader, guitarist Tony Romano has been working as a sideman for sometime with jazz, Latin and pop artists such as Randy Brecker, Dave Valentin, Joe Bataan, Stanley Jordan and even Debbie Gibson. He can also be heard on many TV soundtracks as well. Tony wrote all of the material on this album and he enlisted Jennifer Vincent on bass and Rob Garcia on drums to help him out. Saxophonist Paul Carlon shows up on about half of the songs as well. Tony cites Bill Frisell as a major influence which will be obvious to those who know Bill’s work, but you can also hear some John Scofield in some of Romano’s funky riffing and contemporary melodic style.

The album opens strong with the Afrobeat groove of “Cadillac Green”, on which you can hear drummer Rob Garcia’s appreciation for Fela’s long time drummer, Tony Allen. As Romano builds his solo he digs into some hardcore Prince style funk riffs, this one is a scorcher. Later on the album, “Lay it Down”, re-visit’s the Tony Allen Afrobeat drive. The Frisell influence shows up on several melodic ballads, the best of which is “Home”, because this one gives Tony more room to stretch out on a solo. The band gets into their jazzy post bop thing on a couple numbers and “Onward and Upward” features some of sax man Paul Carlon’s best work. Romano’s extensive work in Latin jazz shows up on a couple tracks and “Squirrelly” gets into some bluesy RnB with a New Orleans backline beat. All of the tracks are well composed and executed with imagination, but for my money, I would love to hear Tony get into some more of that groovy Afrobeat thang.

DAVE BASS Trio Nuevo

Album · 2024 · Post Bop
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After starting his recording career working with larger groups, in 2010 pianist Dave Bass decided he wanted to record in a trio format. As Dave explains it, “The spotlight is on each player, forcing you to play at the highest level. But its also the most satisfying configuration, because you can really develop a kind of telepathy with the other musicians:”. This year’s release, “Trio Nuevo”, is Dave’s fourth album in a trio format and presents his Nuevo trio, Tyler Miles on double bass and Steve Helfand on drums. The telepathic interplay that Bass talks about is on full display here. Tyler’s bass is almost on an equal footing with Dave’s piano as Tyler is apt to present melodies solo on the arco bass, or in harmony with Dave. Likewise, both bass and drums are afforded ample solo space as well as a place in the conversation when trading bars.

Along with being active in the SF bay area jazz scene, Dave also plays his share of Latin gigs and his Latin influences are very apparent on many of the tracks. Both “Sandino” and “Gone” have a tango like influence, only played in a very forceful and aggressive style. Bass’ Afro-Cuban style piano buildup is particularly appealing on “Sandino”. The up tempo “Baby Melon” sounds like classic west coast jazz with its brush work on the drums and double time feel. Likewise, Dave’s interest in contrapuntal lines on his “Three Views of Bach”, also recalls the sound of classic west coast cool. Today’s modern abstract sound are represented with “These Times” and a cover of Andrew Hill’s “Duplicity”. Dave presents an Ahmad Jamal type elegance on ballads such as, “As Time Goes By” and “One Look”.

JOHNNY GRIFFIN Night Lady

Album · 1964 · Hard Bop
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When it comes to discussing the top jazz saxophonists, Coltrane and Parker are givens, often followed closely by Rollins and Dolphy, but who is next in line. One name that doesn’t get mentioned often enough is Johnny Griffin. Early in his career, Griffin was often billed as “the world’s fastest saxophone”, but for some reason, the passing of time has eased Johnny more into the background. Possibly it is because Griffin was never particularly controversial, no publicized problems with drugs and alcohol or an early death to help immortalize him, Johnny was just a damn good saxophone player, maybe that’s not enough to hold the public’s wandering attention.

Griffin’s “Night Lady” was released in 1964 and finds the tenor man in fine form. This was recorded after Johnny had moved to Europe and was working with the big band led by Kenny Clarke and Francy Boland, as well as working with other artists too. To assemble the quartet for this recording, Clarke on drums and Bolan on piano were obvious choices, with Ellington sideman Jimmy Woode taking on the bass. This is a talented band with the extroverted Clarke playing all over the set in a style similar to today’s post bop drummers. Much like Griffin himself, Francy is also an under rated talent. Although Danish by birth, Francy’s playing has a lot of funky gospel and blues to it. A favorite technique of his is to grab a gospel riff and then insistently repeat it with slight variations as he hammers his point across. Every member of this band plays with a sense of contagious enthusiasm and smart-assed wit.

Apparently Griffin’s playing style had mellowed some since moving to Europe, but that might have been more about changing musical styles as laid back bluesy hard bop and soul jazz replaced the more frantic bebop of Johnny’s youth. A lengthy jam on “Night Lady” opens the album and finds the band swingin the blues, this style also covers much of side two as well. Of the standards herein, Griffin plays endless variations on the melody of “All the Things You Are” and manages to get some fire going on the usually tired sounding “Summertime”. “Little Man You’ve had a Busy Day” is one of Johnny’s favorite ballades and features an elegant solo from Francy. This is a great album for those who like pure jazz with no unnecessary additives or phony flavor enhancers.

BLANKFOR.MS BlankFor.ms, Jason Moran, Marcus Gilmore : Refract

Album · 2023 · Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
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Attempts to combine electronic artists with jazz artists in a recording or performance setting can often be clumsy and ineffective, often leaving the two camps in separate worlds while sharing the same space. Patrick Gleeson’s work with Herbie Hancock was successful, but they were the exception. Since the early 90s or even earlier, many contemporary acid jazz and nu jazz artists have made extensive use of electronics to good effect, but any attempt to fuse an electronic performer with a live band usually ends up with nothing more than some gratuitous scratching and repetitive sample bites that don’t really do a lot for the spirit of live improvisation.

In 2023, sound artist BlankFor.ms (Tyler Gilmore) set out with a new project in which he manipulated the live performances of pianist Jason Moran and drummer Marcus Gilmore and the result is one of the more successful mergers of live electronic artist and jazz artist to date, and it is all presented on Tyler’s album, “Refract”. In this performance, Marcus and Moran improvise while Tyler loops there efforts on the fly and in general morphs and bends what they play into new shapes. Their interplay is absolutely seamless, it is really hard to tell what is being played and what has already been played and is undergoing treatments, it’s a truly captivating performance and a real breakthrough in the world of improvisation. It doesn’t hurt that such creative and eclectic musicians such as Jason and Marcus are involved, Moran in particular is probably one of the most versatile and creative pianists happening today.

The music is very varied, moving from intense atonality to drifting ambience and many points in between. Some highlights include “Inward Curve”, on which Tyler takes Marcus’ busy drum work and turns it inside out while Moran takes flight on a solo. “Tape Loop A” also takes drumnbass type beats and scrambles them up. “Release”, features Moran’s piano work while Tyler grabs bits and pieces and loops them. This sort of busy activity is the highlight of the album, but there is also a fair amount of ambient tracks as well. The ambient tracks can be effective, but this sort of thing has been done before as some of this sounds like it could be on the next Roger Eno album. Unfortunately, for the last third of the album Marcus is barely present which is a shame. If these three do another project together, it would be nice to hear more of the scrambled beats and intense piano work outs.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 10 days ago in Ant Jazz
    Nice, here it is in easy clickable format. I'm moving this to the Jazz Related Lounge.[TUBE]Vum2jhpVlNw[/TUBE] js2024-07-04 19:11:32
  • Posted 20 days ago in 2023 RnB, Funk, Dub & Electronica Albums
    King Khan's soundtrack for "The Invaders" has some of the most far out psychedelic RnB ever laid to wax. The Invaders were Memphis' answer to the Black Panthers.https://khannibalism.bandcamp.com/album/the-invaders-original-score snobb2024-06-25 11:44:39
  • Posted 26 days ago in 2022 RnB, Funk, Dub & Electronica Albums
    Joseph's Bones present a unique take on dub:https://josephsbones.bandcamp.com/album/nomadic-pulse-pulse-in-dub snobb2024-06-19 08:50:39

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Warthur wrote:
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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.

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more than 2 years ago
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