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Favorite Jazz Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

719 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 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 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 - 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 95 3.69
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 55 3.98
3 Hard Bop 47 3.85
4 Post Bop 39 4.13
5 World Fusion 36 3.65
6 Soul Jazz 35 3.37
7 Big Band 35 3.84
8 Eclectic Fusion 33 3.74
9 Jazz Related RnB 30 3.58
10 Jazz Related Rock 28 3.77
11 Bop 26 4.04
12 Funk Jazz 24 3.60
13 Nu Jazz 22 3.39
14 Progressive Big Band 21 4.10
15 Funk 20 3.92
16 Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 19 2.68
17 Exotica 18 3.44
18 Jazz Related DJs/Electronica 16 3.25
19 Third Stream 15 3.87
20 Cool Jazz 12 3.75
21 Post-Fusion Contemporary 11 3.55
22 Dub/Ska 10 4.05
23 Vocal Jazz 9 3.78
24 Jazz Related Blues 9 3.72
25 Jazz Related Soundtracks 9 3.94
26 Latin Jazz 8 3.94
27 Swing 8 4.00
28 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 7 3.43
29 Latin Rock/Soul 6 3.75
30 21st Century Modern 6 4.33
31 Acid Jazz 4 3.50
32 Classic (1920s) Jazz 2 4.50
33 Jazz Education 1 3.50
34 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.50
35 Dixieland 1 3.50
36 Bossa Nova 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

SLY5THAVE The Invisible Man : An Orchestral Tribute to Dr. Dre

Album · 2017 · Jazz Related RnB
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I have to admit that the idea of an ‘orchestral tribute to Dr Dre’ first hit me as some kind of joke along the lines of The Monkees play heavy metal, or Mozart goes reggae mon. It was hard to imagine the sparse hip-hop arrangements of Dr Dre in an orchestrated format, but Sly5thAve’s new album, “The Invisible Man, an Orchestrated Tribute to Dr Dre”, has certainly proved me wrong. In a year laden with highly creative artsy RnB albums, “The Invisible Man” has been able to stand out as one of the best for 2017. The combination of Dr Dre’s laid back grooves and Sly’s hip, slightly retro, orchestrations are an irresistible combination that may have you playing this one over and over.

Sly5thAve is actually Sylvester Uzoma Onyejaka II, a versatile saxophonist who also produces and doubles on a variety of instruments. His talents have brought him work with many including Prince, Maceo Parker, all of the Marsalis Brothers and many other top RnB, pop and jazz musicians. “The Invisible Man” is just Sly’s second full length album, but it sounds like the work of a seasoned veteran. Right off the bat these orchestrated soulful tracks may have you thinking Isaac Hayes and Quincy Jones, and there is some of that sound here, but even closer is the arranger that Dr Dre was fond of sampling from, David Axelrod. Sly’s use of pulsing steady rhythms often recall Axelrod’s sometimes processional sounding arrangements that could almost border on regal and militaristic in an almost campy sort of way. In that respect, another similar famous arranger comes to mind, and that’s George Martin, the exotica composer who also did arrangements for the Beatles, particularly the ‘Sgt Peppers’ album. Still, with the Dr Dre’s iconic beats and attitude going on, Sly’s orchestral creation stands in a world all its own.

The hip-hop world was all over this record when it came out, but the jazz world didn’t seem to take much notice, which is unfortunate because there is plenty here for a fan of contemporary jazz to like. Many of these tracks feature jazz solos by a variety of top notch musicians, for instance the burning guitar solo by Patrick Bailey on the hard driving “Curtis”, or Sly‘s Eddie Harris like electric sax ride on “The Jam Part III“. Although this album lists 23 total tracks, many of the tracks blend together to make just one song, such as the ultra funky string of tracks that start with “No Diggity”. For those who may be rapaphobic or raptose intolerant, although this is a Dr Dre tribute, there is no rapping on here. Meanwhile. others may want to use these tracks to back up some original free verse.

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND So It Is

Album · 2017 · World Fusion
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Remember the days when jazz was the music for wild hell raising parties and secret drug dens? No, …me neither, because just like you I was not around from the 1920s to the 1940s. Instead, just like you, I came up in that post Miles/Coltrane era when jazz moved out of the dens of sin and into the universities where it now competes with classical music for student dollars. This is not a bad thing because a lot of great jazz has come out since the 50s. While jazz was transforming, Little Richard and Chuck Berry borrowed parts of jazz, gave it a more pronounced backbeat, and created a whole new music for hell-raising and wild parties, rock-n-roll and RnB. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s new album; “So It Is”, doesn’t sound anything like 20s-40s jazz, but it does return jazz to a partying foot-stomping vibe, only with a more current sound.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was started back in 1961, and for many years they did exactly what their name implies, they played original New Orleans jazz the way it is supposed to be played, and provided many a good time for tourists on their visit to New Orleans. Starting in the late 90s, under the guidance of a whole new generation that had joined the band, the band began to open up their horizons and started to take on a myriad of jazz styles, as well as music from outside the jazz world. On this latest offering, they find a rhythmic common ground between New Orleans jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz and Calypso, and produce smoking hot beats that make it hard to sit still. On top of these pressure cooker grooves, they layer classic minor key noire melodies, the type preferred by Ellington and others of the swing era, and also often found in early Jamaican ska and Afro-Cuban mambos. The end result is exactly what people are talking about when they refer to ‘hot jazz’, because this is one of the hottest for 2017. This is not background music, try to play this in the car and keep the volume down, you won’t be able to. All seven tracks are great, but if all of them reached the peaks of “Santiago”, “La Malanga” and “Mad”, this would be a five star album. On another plus, all of these tunes are original. One can only hope The Hall Band can deliver more like this the next time out.

ELLIOT GALVIN The Influencing Machine

Album · 2018 · 21st Century Modern
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Judging by all the awards he has won, there is no doubt that pianist Elliot Galvin has some serious jazz chops, and that comes through at times on his latest album, “The Influencing Machine”. Elliot also knows how to rock out too, but the music on this album really couldn’t be called jazz per se, nor could it be called rock or fusion either, instead this music exists in a genre all its own and is one of the more creative and interesting albums to come out so far this year. The title for this album comes from a book by Mike Jay about the 18th century philosopher, polymath, double agent and paranoid schizophrenic, James Tilly Matthews, who thought his life was being controlled by a machine. Given the extant to which machines interact with our lives today, Matthews seems like a prophet. Throughout “Influencing Machine” Galvin explores that intersection of machine and human as his acoustic piano often struggles bravely against an onslaught of electronic blips and sampled voices.

There is a lot of variety on here, “Society” sounds like 20th century classical along the lines of Poulenc and Scriabin, while “Red and Yellow” features pounding rock piano backed with a broken stuttering drumbeat that battles with a host of escalating crazy vocal samples. “Planet Ping Pong” uses sounds from 80s video games and toy pianos, while “Bees, Dogs and Flies” sounds like a Keith Emerson type prog rock progression. On any track, when Elliot cuts loose with flurries of jagged notes he can recall Matthew Shipp or Cecil Taylor, and since Galvin is British, I suppose Keith Tippet might be an influence too. I’ve done my best to describe this, but really this is one you will have to listen to for yourself to get a better understanding of what is happening. Music without much precedent is always the hardest music to describe.

CHICO HAMILTON The Original Chico Hamilton Quintet

Live album · 1960 · Cool Jazz
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The early part of the Chico Hamilton discography is a bit of a confusing mess to descramble with many tracks showing up on more than one album and many albums bearing the same title such as “The Chico Hamilton Quintet” or “The Original Chico Hamilton Quintet” etc. To clarify the situation, this “The Original Chico Hamilton Quintet” album that is being reviewed here was part of a live concert recorded at Strollers back in 1955, but not released until 1960, probably to cash in on the rising popularity of the band. This concert shows Hamilton’s creative group in fine form as they combine a wide array of styles including west coast bebop, hard bop, classical chamber music and rhythms from Africa and South America. All of this music was presented with that distinctly 50s west coast style that came to be called ‘cool’. You really couldn’t call Chico’s quintet avant-garde, but they were one of the more experimental and unorthodox bands of the time, definitely beating out a path all their own.

The album opens with two well known standards, “Caravan” and “Tea for Two”, which the band gives signature creative arrangements. The version of “Caravan” shows the cross-relationship between west coast jazz and the lounge exotica scene of the time, no surprise as many exotica records were performed by west coast jazz musicians. Two up tempo numbers follow with “Fast Flute” living up to its name as Buddy Collete fires off a frantic flute solo while backed by Hamilton’s driving rhythm, which sounds rooted in the music of Africa or Brazil. On track six, “A Mood”, the band shows their specialty, a cleverly arranged melody with shifting time signatures and a surprise around every corner. Something for ‘deep listening’ that still has the snap of a catchy pop tune. “I’ll be Loving You” is their ballad offering and features Buddy’s flute playing melodic exchanges with Fred’s cello. Another up-tempo bop number closes out the set in energetic fashion and features a very musical drum solo from Hamilton, always a master of that peculiarly west coast ‘playing with brushes’ sound.

“The Original Chico Hamilton Quintet” is a good example of a young jazz group all excited about the new possibilities that are being offered to them as they learn from each other. If there is a drawback to this album, the sound quality of the recording is okay, but a little murky, especially the guitar. I’m going to guess that maybe this was not meant to be a released album until the record label saw how popular the band had become.

THE BRUBECK BROTHERS Timeline

Album · 2018 · Post Bop
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If you have been into jazz for a long time, then you probably recall Dave Brubeck’s kids, Chris and Dan, joining with their dad on several musical endeavors and introducing Dave to staples of the hippie generation such as electronic instruments, long hair, and who knows what else. A lot of time has passed since then and Chris and Dan long ago developed their own musical personalities that stand apart from their famous father. On their recent release, “Timeline”, the brothers re-visit their father’s legacy as they pay tribute to the 60th anniversary of Dave’s famous cross-cultural trip (with Dizzy, Satch, Duke etc), on behalf of the US government, to Russia and the Middle East. Many of the tracks on “Timeline” were performed by Dave on the tour, while other tunes on here were one’s he wrote while being inspired by the music of the different countries he was visiting. To their credit, the brothers do not merely copy their father’s work, but instead update the music with new modern arrangements.

The album opens with the familiar rhythms of the classic “Blue Rondo a la Turk”, which Dan plays on the doumbek, quite possibly the Middle Eastern street instrument that inspired Dave’s original creation in 9/8 time. From here the Brubeck brothers and their talented co-stars, Mike DeMicco on guitar and Chuck Lamb on piano, move through an energetic array of hard bop, post bop and Latin jazz songs, plus a couple of ballads too. On the ballads, Chris sets aside his bass to display his smooth mellow melodic tone on the trombone. This combo is a talented foursome, but for my money, the main scene stealer is pianist Chuck Lamb who’s rhythmically intense solos give the songs a charging inertia, plus his imaginative originals, “Boundward Home” and “Prime Directive”, are two of the best tracks on the album. Another top cut on is Dave’s “Tritonis”, which has a spiraling atypical chord progression, almost psychedelic in its twisting turning patterns.

This is an excellent tribute to Dave’s musical journey long ago, and there is not a speck of nostalgia or resting on one’s past laurels to be found here. All of this music is fresh and energetic and played with vital rhythms drawn from many cultures.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 16 days ago in Jazz Track ID / Miles Davis?
    Sorry, I don't recognize it, but the bass line sounded familiar.
  • Posted 30 days ago in "Investigate Russia" - Morgan Freeman
    As the investigation in the US continues to unfold, members of the Republican party seem to be split between those who want to keep the US free from Russian manipulation, and those who seem to welcome Russian help as long as it helps the Republican political party. Of course in the long run, any 'help' from the Russians only means help for the Russian's long range plans for the US.js2018-04-26 20:45:39
  • Posted 32 days ago in New Jazz Related Albums - 2017
    Gerardo Frisina combines electronic dance music with Latin jazz.http://gerardo-frisina.bandcamp.com/album/modern-latin-jazz-2 snobb2018-04-25 07:25:23

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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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