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Favorite Jazz Artists

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822 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 107 3.70
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 61 3.99
3 Post Bop 54 4.13
4 Hard Bop 52 3.85
5 Soul Jazz 42 3.39
6 Big Band 39 3.82
7 World Fusion 39 3.60
8 Eclectic Fusion 35 3.76
9 RnB 34 3.62
10 Jazz Related Rock 31 3.74
11 Bop 28 4.04
12 Funk Jazz 26 3.60
13 Progressive Big Band 25 4.08
14 Nu Jazz 25 3.42
15 Pop/Art Song/Folk 21 2.81
16 Funk 21 3.90
17 Third Stream 20 3.90
18 Exotica 18 3.42
19 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 18 3.39
20 Post-Fusion Contemporary 13 3.46
21 Latin Jazz 12 3.88
22 Cool Jazz 12 3.75
23 Dub/Ska/Reggae 12 4.04
24 Blues 10 3.80
25 Jazz Related Soundtracks 10 3.95
26 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 10 3.40
27 Vocal Jazz 10 3.75
28 Swing 8 4.00
29 21st Century Modern 8 4.31
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

DAN BONSANTI The 14 Jazz Orchestra : Cartoon Bebop

Album · 2021 · Big Band
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Dan Bonsanti is a music educator and arranger working out of the Miami area for several decades now. Since 2015 he started a big band project called The 14 Jazz Orchestra, so named for the number of musicians in the band for performances. “Cartoon Bebop” is the band’s third album, and although the album title might imply some silliness, and the band does seem to have a lot of fun, but this album is mostly really solid contemporary big band arrangements and musicianship. Usually the band relies solely on local Miami players, but due to Covid, Dan had to reach out to musicians all around the country to complete this online endeavor. Although the parts were recorded separately using remote methods, you would not be able to tell unless someone told you. All of the performances are as lively and kinetic as you would get if all the players were assembled in one room.

The opening title track gets its name from the fact that the main theme borrows from the well known Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon theme. Oddly enough, it ends up sounding like late 70s Weather Report, which is furthered by the fact that Peter Erskine from WR supplies the drum beat and Dan used to work with Jaco in big band settings. “Got a Match” is blazing fast bebop and features a furious sax solo from Ed Calle, who throws in a few Yardbird clichés, but often recalls Randy Brecker. Misturada and Dayride have Latin flavors that fit this band well and it would have been nice if Cisco Dimas’ trumpet solo could have gone on a little longer. “Driftin”, by Herbie Hancock, sports an arrangement that is a dead ringer for Quincy Jones, and “A Day Tripper’s Blues Buffet contorts the well known Beatles melody into a Texas blues shuffle with Lindsey Blair filling in for Stevie Ray Vaughn or Billy Gibbons.

Not everything on here is high energy, Bonsanti also includes a few ballads and waltzes to show off his use of tone colors that tend toward light, transparent textures, not heavy big band bombast. Of the mellower tracks, Chick Corea’s “Duende” carries dark noir sound colors and Wayme Shorter’s “Infant Eye’s” strikes an air of mystery with its exotic guitar melody. Its very impressive that Bonsanti and crew pulled off such a warm and energetic performance while recording by remote.

MORILD Brazilian Soundscapes

Album · 2020 · Latin Jazz
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Morild is a somewhat unorthodox duo consisting of Dag Einar Eilertson on alto trombone and Marius Noss Gundersen on classical guitar. The alto trombone has a rich mellow tone somewhat similar to a flugelhorn, only a bit deeper and makes for an excellent soulful melodic voice which works well in their music which tends to emphasis melody over technical showmanship. Their first album, "Nordic Landscapes", reflected their Norwegian roots with somber tunes that fit well with warming oneself by a cozy fireplace. On their new one “Brazilian Soundscapes”, they head to much sunnier climes. Despite their north European roots, both of these artists are well versed in Latin jazz and have performed in that style together for over ten years. Gundersen’s solo work is usually in either a Brazilian or classical tradition.

A lot of us probably tend to associate Brazilian music with upbeat celebrations and sexy beach music, but Morild’s performance also reminds us that there is also a lot of sensitivity and delicate melodies in Brazilian music. A couple tracks on here can recall the more reflective nature of their first album, while other songs get into that characteristic upbeat samba rhythm. If you have any familiarity with Latin jazz you will recognize the composers represented on here, particularly Jobim and Gismonti. Fortunately there are no one note sambas, girls from Impanema, waves or any other wore out overplayed hits. The selected tunes all sound refreshing and still new, or nuevo.

There is a bit of horn double tracking here and there, which makes for interesting tone colors that this group could probably explore further. Six tracks feature added bass and percussion, which adds some depth and variety, I just wish that Luis Landa-Schreitt’s percussion had been mixed a little louder, particularly on the more up tempo numbers.

GRANT GREEN Green is Beautiful

Album · 1970 · Soul Jazz
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Green is Beautiful” is a transitional album for Grant Green as it finds him moving more from the hard bop of his early career and more towards a funk/RnB sound. Like a lot of soul jazz LPs form this era. ‘Beautiful’ is kind of hit and miss with about one half good RnB jazz grooves, and about one half pop ditties that are forgettable. Side one opens with a cover of James Brown’s “Aint it Funky Now”, and it’s a solid cooker with great solos from the whole crew, including saxophonist Claude Bartee, who might remind some of Eddie Harris. This side closes out with the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life”. This song was popular with soul jazz musicians, but it never works well. Although it’s a good song in its original format, the different changes in the arrangement don’t lend itself very well to jazz or RnB solos.

Side two opens with another JB’s style groove, “The Windjammer”, which is followed by a very lackluster “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”. I’m not sure whose idea it was to include this very cheesy pop song, but it sticks out like the sorest of thumbs. It’s a bad song to begin with and there is no way to save it, or make it better. The album closes with the best track, “Dracula”, another funk number and one of the few tracks with a very strong melody. If you keep the three best tracks on “Green is Beautiful”, you have a decent funk jazz album, albeit one that mostly sounds like a jam session. It doesn’t hurt that Green in his crew know how to turn in hot solos over an infectious groove.

MAX HAYMER Whirlwind - Live At Sam First

Live album · 2020 · Post Bop
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Continuing my relentless pursuit to bring forth those artists who are not getting near the recognition they deserve, I think many a jazz fan would do well to check out pianist Max Haymer. This man is an absolute powerhouse on the piano with a highly developed technique in the league of Art Tatum, Eddie Palmieri and the young pre-scientology Chick Corea. I also hear a lot of Ahmad Jamal, not just Jamal’s lounge tendencies, but also his fired up free fusion performances. Max isn’t just a technician though, there is an abundance of imagination in his solos as he will often rapidly cut from one idea to the next while quickly throwing in perfectly executed jaggedy syncopated Latin rhythms. This is a very physical pianist, that fact that he was also a top notch soccer player in college comes as no surprise. As a long time piano teacher and former athlete, I can attest to the close relationship between sports and musical performance. So often my students who devote themselves to a skill in sports will also develop the quick intuition and reflexes of a strong music performer.

‘Whirlwind’ is only Max’s second album as a leader, so possibly that is why he is not better known. Some of you may already know him from his usual main gig as pianist for Arturo Sandoval. Haymer has also worked with many other well known jazz artists, which is also true for his backup band, David Robaire on bass and Dan Schnelle on drums. Dan plays in today’s modern post bop style, which is to say he is constantly all over the kit in a robust conversation with Max. David plays the bass like it should be played, he stays on the low end of the instrument while staying nimble enough to offer support to his rapidly moving band mates.

So many good tracks on here, but some that stand out would include a burning high speed version of ‘Love for Sale’ and a complex rhythmic original called ‘Gold Plated Dime’. ‘Welcoming’ is the mystical track sounding much like an impressionistic concert hall piece. “Speak Low’ is the one track where that Jamal influence really comes through as Max starts off in lounge mode and then keeps throwing surprise curveballs as the song develops. I searched various top pianist lists for Max’s name but was surprised not to see him, hopefully ‘Whirlwind’ will change that.

10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Note Re:Imagined

Album · 2020 · Nu Jazz
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“Blue Note Re:imagined” is a two CD collection of tracks on which current UK jazz, hip-hop and RnB artists use classic Blue Note songs as inspirations for new creations. Taking a jazz song that was originally written in swing time and then slapping a contemporary backbeat on it does not always go well, so its fortunate that many of these artists often create creations that bear little resemblance to the original. Looking at this collection as a whole, if you are expecting some hip contemporary jazz leaning pop, then you will be happy with this, but if you expecting every track to be a heavy modern jazz statement, you may find yourself wanting, but all the same, there is some good contemporary, or ‘nu’, jazz to be found.

The best jazz cuts on here come from the artists who have the strongest reps, including Shabaka Hutchings, Alfa Mist, Blue Lab Beats, Nubya Garcia and Ishmael Ensemble. Of the pop tracks, Fieh’s “Armageddon” is a standout with its interesting chord progressions. Of the tracks that don’t work as well, Ezra Collective tries to place a hip-hop beat on Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” and it totally undermines the mystical flow of the original. There is a saving grace on this one though via an amazing keyboard solo from Joe Amon-Jones. On the other hand, Nubya Garcia’s hip-hop reworking of “A Shade of Jade” is almost an improvement over the hard bop original. A surprise success is an odd wordless vocal rendition of “Maiden Voyage” by Mr Jukes that works really well despite what that idea would sound like on paper. I ended up making my own CD off of this two CD album by recording just the best tracks and leaving off the others, with a little editing like that you can end up with a very good collection of today’s UK nu jazz sound.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 day ago in Jazz, RnB and pop singles for 2020
    Al Dimeola and Dodi Battaglia     "One Sky"[TUBE]4IST7m492qo[/TUBE] snobb2021-01-22 08:31:15
  • Posted 4 days ago in 2020 avant-garde and free improv albums
    The Mark Lomax Trio live:https://marklomaxii.com/the-last-concert-ankh-the-tree-of-life snobb2021-01-19 23:31:17
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    Jeanette Lindstrom    "Queen on the Hillside"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O0x5Ije864&list=OLAK5uy_kRQulYLaVd2CTiYBn0axj7WFswW1joQoc snobb2021-01-18 09:40:13

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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.

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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