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905 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 118 3.67
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 70 3.91
3 Hard Bop 58 3.81
4 Post Bop 58 4.09
5 Soul Jazz 48 3.42
6 World Fusion 43 3.60
7 Big Band 41 3.82
8 Eclectic Fusion 41 3.72
9 RnB 38 3.61
10 Jazz Related Rock 33 3.74
11 Progressive Big Band 29 3.98
12 Nu Jazz 29 3.47
13 Funk Jazz 29 3.55
14 Bop 28 4.04
15 Pop/Art Song/Folk 23 2.80
16 Third Stream 23 3.89
17 Funk 22 3.86
18 Exotica 18 3.42
19 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 18 3.39
20 Latin Jazz 15 3.80
21 Post-Fusion Contemporary 14 3.46
22 Cool Jazz 13 3.69
23 Dub/Ska/Reggae 13 4.04
24 Jazz Related Soundtracks 12 3.92
25 Vocal Jazz 12 3.54
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


Album · 2023 · Hard Bop
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Anthony E. Nelson Jr. is a powerhouse tenor sax player who usually records contemporary hard bop with a gospel influence. On his latest album, “Swinging Sunset”, he delves into the music of his youth and pays tribute to the classic Hammond B3 trios on the east coast in the 50s and 60s. B3 jazz has been making a big comeback lately, often with contemporary RnB and funk influences, but for this very special outing, Nelson and his crew purposefully leave out anything modern sounding and go for that classic retro sound that used to be popular in lounges in Harlem and big cities in nearby New Jersey. The Hammond trio is very much an urban east coast thing as it never really caught on with west coast bands who were more into bongos, flutes, French horns and the occasional sitar. Classic B3 jazz is very much a no-nonsense blue collar thing that was made for people who wanted to party, not just sit and listen.

The 50s-60s tenor players were channeling the old swing players like Coleman Hawkins with a more melodic approach than the bebop and post bop players, although the bop influence is often there too. For this album, Nelson’s main inspiration is the very soulful and bluesy Gene Ammons, one of the kings of classic tenor playing in a B3 trio setting. Anthony’s band mates on here include organist Kyle Koehler who does a great job of using the sounds and organ stops of that era and drummer Cecil Brooks III, who usually plays with the more ‘outside’ crowd, but keeps it straight with the retro style for this one.

“Swinging Sunset” has a nice balance of tunes ranging from ballads, to mid-tempo blues and a couple blazing fast boppers too. One highlight is a high speed reading of Johnny Griffin’s oddly titled, “Mildew”. Stanley Turpentine’s “Minor Chant” has an unstoppable soul jazz groove and Nelson displays his gospel roots with a bluesy reading of the traditional, “Walk With Me”. One extra feature of this album is Anthony’s very thoughtful liner notes in which he goes into great detail about all the great tenor players he heard at the clubs when he was young. He includes a very long list of great musicians who you may have never heard of before, but who were all great players all the same. Its nice that someone has taken the time to preserve their legacy.

One salient statement from Nelson’s notes that stands out as he describes the nature of this music is, “Groove was never sacrificed for complexity, yet was proven by means of every foot tapping head bopping to standing and seated dancing.”

MARKUS REUTER Reuter, Motzer, Grohowski : Bleed

Album · 2022 · Eclectic Fusion
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“Bleed” is the second album from the trio of Reuter, Motzer and Grohowski. Their first album, “Shapeshifter”, was a very intense and discordant affair recorded live, and it consisted of first take free improvisations. For this second album, the band opted for a studio setting, and although they continued with the free improvisational approach, they also took some time in the studio to edit and shape the music, while also adding some keyboards here and there to flesh things out. The end result is a more musical sounding album, but still with much of the intensity of their live outing. Once again, Markus Reuter and Tim Motzer handle the guitars and electronic gizmos, while Kenny Grohowski handles the drums. All three members add touches of Fender Rhodes, Hammond and Mellotron to the final product. This is very powerful music, and although they also have moments of calm and sensitivity, there is always this lurking feeling that all hell can break loose at any moment. Some music that these guys could be compared to could include Terje Rypdal, Sonny Sharrock, King Crimson, and Miles’ “Dark Magus” album. Every member of this trio has strong chops and the guitar pyrotechnics in particular are impressive.

Although this music is freely improvised, they do a good job of avoiding boring sameness and expected clichés. The opening title track features a heavy drone while Markus spins off a very ‘Frippertronics’ type solo. On “Caustum” they open with delicate finger picking guitar before Markus eventually adds a metallic solo. “Oracle Chamber” sports the closest thing to a familiar repeating rock riff and “Impenetrable” has the band in total free jazz mode. On “Monolith”, the band sounds like a dead ringer for mid 70s King Crimson, particularly the middle section of Crimson’s famous “Starless” song. Album closer, Externalities …” has the band floating away in an unsettling urban ambiance. If free form industrial fusion laden with screaming guitar solos is your sort of thing, it does not get much better than this.

FRANK ZAPPA Cruising With Ruben & The Jets (The Mothers Of Invention)

Album · 1968 · RnB
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Frank Zappa’s “Cruising with Ruben and the Jets”, is probably one of the more misunderstood and under appreciated albums in pop music history. Often called a satire on doo-wop music, or a parody, this album is actually a labor of love of sorts as Frank and his band mates, sincerely (mostly anyways) try to pay tribute to the music of their youth. Yes, there is some silliness on here, but doo-wop was music by, for and about teenagers, it is by nature a somewhat silly form of music in the first place. About half of the songs on here are straight ahead doo-wop, expertly performed and souped up with some creative chord progressions and arrangements. In addition to that, there are a couple of doo-wop meets art rock creations, and then, since it is Zappa, there are also a couple of kind of ‘silly’ tracks too. The more straight ahead doo-wop numbers are excellent, this band had killer vocalists and their vocal arrangements are stunning. Add to that, the production on here is some of Frank’s best, every little vocal detail is crystal clear. This is doo-wop, so you can bet all the lyrics deal with teenage romance, especially the heartbreak of failed teenage romance.

On a couple songs, Frank and his crew merge doo-wop with art rock tendencies such as changing rhythmic meters, unexpected chord changes and psychedelic guitar work. Of this lot, “You Didn’t Try to Call Me” and “I’m Not Satisfied” are master pieces. Then there are the numbers that contain overly silly elements, such as the rap part in “Desire”, or the gun fire and scream insert in “Stuff Up the Cracks”, which would have been a much better song without the extraneous sounds. Many reviewers will dutifully point out that there are Stravinsky musical quotes on here, but that’s what happens when people copy someone else’s review because it would be nice if they actually knew where the alleged quotes are because a listen to the album does not seem to reveal any such thing.

Zappa was not too fond of hippie culture and most hippie music. With this in mind, “Cruising” could be seen as Frank’s attempt to deflate the pretentious and overly serious nature of the trendy ‘revolutionaries’ of the late 60s. No doubt, fun mindless teenager music such as doo-wop was considered very un-cool when this album came out in the late 60s, and it seems that had a lot to do with why Zappa put "Cruising" out in the first place.


Album · 2023 · Funk Jazz
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“Plan R” is the debut album from funk jazz duo, R For Romeo, which consists of longtime LA session musicians Daniel Stein on keyboards and Stuart Ziff on guitars. Some may recognize the band and album name as coming from the movie “Dr Strangelove’, which is a favorite film for both of the musicians. Filling out the rest of the band are several guest musicians, including trumpeter, Chris Tedesco, who brings some brass fire to a couple tracks. Romeo’s music falls roughly into the funk jazz category, with some sidelines into slow jam ballads, quasi reggae and trip-hop. Both Stein and Ziff have a background in library music, and it shows in the appealing economy and brevity to some of the selections, neither musician is given to long winded solos. There are some great tracks on here, but the whole album could have benefited from a better consideration for the order that the songs appear in. My advice to the new listener, don’t start at the beginning with this one, instead skip around a bit and you will find some excellent wah-wah guitar and Hammond organ driven soulful numbers.

There are four really good high energy funk tracks on here, with three coming at the end of the album. “Lockdown” channels Stevie Ray, while ‘Blabbermouth” conjures up early Funkadelic and “You Can’t be Serious” has a Jeff Beck vibe to it. Album closer, “Barney’s Groove” is based on the opening theme to the show, “Barney Miller”, and its about time someone recorded a jam featuring that famous bass line that almost everyone wanted to play back in the late 70s, even people who could barely play the bass at all. Back then, you could hand almost anyone a bass guitar, and next thing you know, here comes that well-known syncopated climb up the neck of the instrument.

There are two well written guitar ballads, with “Blue”, again channeling that Jeff Beck sound. Other than that you also get a ‘Steely Dan playing reggae’ sort of thing and a trip-hop number built off of a drum loop. Lots of nice material on here, but the track order remains a mystery. Why were the two ballads placed back to back, and why didn’t the album open with the stronger tracks. Finally, on an album featuring live drummers, why was the only drum loop track given a prominent position as the second song. It’s a good jam that develops nicely, but that drum loop sounds a bit odd coming early in the album. “Plan R” is a good album for funk jazz and fusion fans, but it could have benefited from a better presentation.


Album · 1965 · World Fusion
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Chico Hamilton is one jazz artist who definitely deserves more recognition and credit for being one of the more creative musicians of the 60s and beyond. If you had to pick one artist who kicked off the fusion movement in jazz, Chico would be the one, and second on that list would be guitarist Gabor Szabo, who was a perfect addition to Hamilton’s group as both were very open-minded, adaptable and entirely eclectic. “Chic Chic Chico” is not one of Hamilton’s best albums, even the title sounds rather unimaginative, but it still has plenty of good material. Joining Chico and Gabor on here is a mini-big band featuring Harold Land on tenor sax. This is west coast jazz, big on arrangements, experimentation and international influences, but its not ‘cool’ jazz as a lot of people tend to think all west coast jazz from this time period was ‘cool’ jazz.

The album’s title track is the only number recorded in New York with a different band, and it almost sounds like the famous party song, “Tequila”. Gabor’s syncopated Latin riffs on this one intertwine with the tenor sax melody in polyrhythmic fashion. The rest of the album features the west coast mini-big band. The high point on the rest of side one is “Tarantula”, a free jazz jam that has Gabor battling with Land on top of Chico’s busy drum work. Side two is a little stronger as the band gets into some extended fusion jams that would sound better if Hamilton and bassist Albert Stinson were mixed higher. Gabor’s “Swampy” features Chico doing his best New Orleans second line drumming style. This album has a couple songs that seem like jams or just filler, but top musicianship from Chico, Gabor and the others still make this an interesting listen.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 5 days ago in Latin Jazz Albums for 2022
    Alex Apolo Ayala     "Bambula"https://trrstore.bandcamp.com/album/b-mbula snobb2023-05-31 06:14:55
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    Debut album from ThoughCast:https://shiftingparadigmrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nimbus-in-motion snobb2023-05-30 09:57:16
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    Stephen Gauci leads an all-star quartet:https://gaucimusic.bandcamp.com/album/stephen-gauci-matt-shipp-william-parker-francisco-mela-live-at-scholes-street-studio snobb2023-05-29 23:01:37


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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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