kev rowland

Kev Rowland
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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 2 days ago

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All Reviews/Ratings

50 reviews/ratings
MAHOGANY FROG - Senna Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
MORAINE - Manifest Density Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
MORAINE - Metamorphic Rock Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
MARBIN - Last Chapter of Dreaming Classic Fusion | review permalink
DEWA BUDJANA - Dawai in Paradise World Fusion | review permalink
KBB - Four Corner's Sky Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
THE AVENGERS - On a Mission Classic Fusion | review permalink
DIALETO - The Last Tribe Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
I KNOW YOU WELL MISS CLARA - Chapter One Classic Fusion | review permalink
DEWA BUDJANA - Joged Kahyangan Post-Fusion Contemporary | review permalink
DEWA BUDJANA - Surya Namaskar Classic Fusion | review permalink
SUSAN CLYNES - Life Is... Pop Jazz/Crossover | review permalink
OLIVER LAKE - Right Up On Third Stream | review permalink
MIRIODOR - Cobra Fakir Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
LIGRO - Dictionary 2 Classic Fusion | review permalink
ALBARE - The Road Ahead Post-Fusion Contemporary | review permalink
SÃO PAULO UNDERGROUND - Tres Cabecas Loucuras (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion | review permalink
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH - Hard Hat Area Classic Fusion | review permalink
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH - None Too Soon Classic Fusion | review permalink
MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS - As Real as Thinking (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Classic Fusion 12 4.38
2 Jazz Related Rock 11 4.36
3 World Fusion 9 4.11
4 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 4 4.00
5 Hard Bop 2 4.00
6 Latin Jazz 2 3.75
7 Post-Fusion Contemporary 2 4.75
8 Avant-Garde Jazz 2 3.75
9 Third Stream 2 3.75
10 Progressive Big Band 1 4.00
11 Swing 1 4.00
12 Pop Jazz/Crossover 1 5.00
13 21st Century Modern 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 2017 · Hard Bop
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When I saw that this album had been released, I knew I had to hear it for myself: I mean, just how many jazz albums have you come across where the band leader plays bassoon? Michael has been making a name for himself since graduating with a BFA in music performance from SUNY at Purchase in the late seventies. He is highly regarded as an improviser within the scene, and has played with and collaborated in many different settings. He first came across Nat Harris (guitar) and Ruslan Khain (bass) in 1995 at the Kavehaz jazz club in New York City, and the trio developed a sound together while playing across the New York metro area. Ten years later he played with Vince Ector (drums) with the Charles Mingus Orchestra, and from there the band Bassoon In The Wild was born. This is their first album, although it is credited solely to Michael.

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a bassoon as a lead instrument in any musical style, and on hearing this I wonder why on earth not? In many ways, it is similar to a baritone sax, but there is more depth and vitality, as well as a surprisingly high register. Michael is an undoubted master, making this large and ungainly instrument do exactly what he requires. He has an incredibly fluid approach, and the notes seem to sweep into each other, almost as if they are a living being. He is often at the forefront of the sound, but is also prepared to take a back seat and let the others take the lead when the moment is right. This is the type of relaxed jazz where each player is a master, and all know that there is no need to be flashy or play five thousand notes to the bar, but rather [play exactly the right note at exactly the right time to enhance the overall feel.

This album isn’t available until the beginning of July, but anyone who wants some classic jazz with some incredibly warm sounds and memorable playing, should have this noted in their diary.


Album · 2017 · Jazz Related Rock
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So the Canadians are back with their ninth studio album, and a slight change in line-up as they move back to a quartet, but as all of the guys play multiple instruments anyway there isn’t a noticeable difference in that area. As with the excellent ‘Cobra Fakir’, the first word that springs to mind is “staccato”, as this is music that is rapidly moving around and for the most part doesn’t have time for long held-down chords but just wants to get on with it. Coming from a RIO/Avant background, they have been listening to some of the early Canterbury bands as well as to King Crimson and Art Zoyd to create something that is always interesting and complex, and just a little different to much that is available within the prog scene, let alone mainstream.

It is the type of album that will polarise opinions, as those who like it will enjoy it a great deal, while others will fall into the “what on earth are you listening to” camp, and won’t give this album the time it both needs and deserves to get the most out of it. This is complex, with lots of melodies and counter-melodies, with Bernard Falaise often crunching the guitar against myriad keyboard sounds, but that can all change in an instant. It is music that does demand respect and attention, and those prepared to do just that will get a great deal out of this, as it is incredibly rewarding.

MIRIODOR Cobra Fakir

Album · 2013 · Jazz Related Rock
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Miriodor formed in 1980 in Québec City, and have been through some different band formats since then, but are currently a trio comprising founding musicians Pascal Globensky (keyboards, synths, piano) and Rémi Leclerc (drums, percussion, keyboards, turntable) along with longtime member Bernard Falaise (guitars, bass, keyboards, banjo, turntable). Miriodor have long been members of the international RIO movement, but what I find amazing is just how immediate this music is, although it is complex in the extreme and some would find it incredibly challenging. To my ears it is a staccato world where not only am I welcome, but it is somewhere that I want to stay as long as I can.

They have definitely given this album the right title, as a cobra fakir is a snake charmer, who uses carefully concocted melodies to put the mighty reptile into a trance from which there is no escape. That is the same here, as once this hits the player nothing else exists. Imagine Gentle Giant and King Crimson combined at their most eclectic and not allowed out of the studio until they have come up with something that is breathtakingly brilliant, and you may be close to what this is all about. There is no doubt in my ears that this is one of the most important albums ever to come from the wonderful Cuneiform stable and here is something for everyone into RIO, prog, avant music, jazz and/or they have an open mind as to where music can take them. In many ways hard to describe, and definitely hard to ignore, this is a compelling piece of work.


Live album · 2017 · Third Stream
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Oliver Lake is showing no signs at all of slowing down, even though he released his debut album as long ago as 1974, and continues to play and record with a variety of ground-breaking jazz groups. He has been working with the Flux quartet since 2002, and this album is their first collaboration together. Somewhat unusually, this isn’t a collaboration in the sense one would normally expect, but instead features The Flux Quartet performing seven of Oliver’s compositions for string quartet, and he only joins them on alto sax for three of these.

The result is something that is grounded in jazz, but with real avant-garde and classical stylings. This is as abrasive as it is compelling, and while never easy to listen to has a depth and breaking soul that cries out to be heard. I have never heard strings played as harshly as this, the beguiling sound one normally expects is nowhere to be heard, and instead we have music that wouldn’t be out of place on a kitsch Seventies Italian horror noir. This certainly isn’t music for the fainthearted, yet for those who are brave enough to keep turning this up there is a very special world indeed to be discovered. To my poor old jaded ears this is fresh, invigorating, compelling and immediate. From the first note to the very last I was intrigued and excited, as these musicians combine to create something incredibly significant.

GREG LEWIS Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite

Album · 2017 · 21st Century Modern
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I was fortunate enough to hear Greg’s last album, ‘Organ Monk American Standard’, and was excited to see that he was releasing another, so was looking forward to hearing this, and I wasn’t disappointed. Inspired by the great Thelonious Monk, Greg Lewis has made the Hammond B-3 organ his very own in recent years and it is interesting to hear what he is doing with it. Yes, he can be soulful, yes he can be mellow and reflective, but there is an angst throughout this album, a real edge, and when the band let loose they create something that is powerful.

Each of the songs on the album are dedicated to an African American who had been killed during confrontations with police officers. By far the longest piece on the album is the first, which is dedicated to Michael Brown, who was fatally shot on August 9th, 2014 by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, after reportedly robbing a convenience store. This is nearly nineteen minutes long, and is full of passion and driving force, almost free jazz at times, and almost hard rock at others, as all the players combine to create a powerful message. By creating a suite in this manner, with a different name applied to each, it allows the listener to understand more of the message that is being portrayed. Some of the songs are performed by a trio, while others involve more musicians, but at the heart of it all is Greg, sometimes providing the backdrop for others to solo against, while at others he is in full flight. Special mention must also be made of the two drummers involved Nasheet Waits and Jeremy ‘BEAN’ Clemons – they are both kept high in the mix, and deservedly so, as their virtuosity and understanding adds to the overall effect.

This is yet another great jazz release from Greg, and if you have yet to come across his work then you owe it to yourself to do so.

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