kev rowland

Kev Rowland
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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 10 days ago

Favorite Jazz Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

59 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 - Oliver Lake Featuring FLUX Quartet ‎: Right Up On Third Stream | review permalink
MIRIODOR - Cobra Fakir Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
DUŠAN JEVTOVIĆ - No Answer Classic Fusion | review permalink
MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS - Plays Hendrix Classic Fusion | review permalink
ED PALERMO - The Adventures Of Zodd Zundgren Progressive Big Band | review permalink
MARK WINGFIELD - Lighthouse Classic Fusion | review permalink
LIGRO - Dictionary 2 Classic Fusion | review permalink
ALBARE - The Road Ahead Post-Fusion Contemporary | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Classic Fusion 15 4.50
2 Jazz Related Rock 12 4.33
3 World Fusion 9 4.11
4 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 4 4.00
5 Hard Bop 3 4.00
6 Latin Jazz 3 3.67
7 Avant-Garde Jazz 2 3.75
8 Post-Fusion Contemporary 2 4.75
9 Progressive Big Band 2 4.50
10 Swing 2 3.75
11 Third Stream 2 3.75
12 Jazz Related RnB 1 3.50
13 21st Century Modern 1 4.00
14 Pop Jazz/Crossover 1 5.00

Latest Albums Reviews

MARK WINGFIELD Lighthouse

Album · 2017 · Classic Fusion
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Recorded during the same sessions that resulted in the release of the highly critically acclaimed 'Stone House', 'Lighthouse' again finds guitarist Mark Wingfield working with Markus Reuter (touch guitars) and Asaf Sirkis on drums. However, this time they have worked as a trio, so there is no room for bassist Yaron Stavi who appeared on the first album. Recorded in a single day, what we have here are three musicians, all at the very top of their game, who are challenging the preconceived ideas of music, and are bouncing off each other in what must have been an incredibly frenetic and inspiring environment.

Markus most often plays the role of lynch pin, holding the music into some semblance of constraint, while Mark rolls into multiple musical tangents as his fingers and mind wanders, finding their way through the maze of their mind, and then there is Asaf. The man is a multi-joined octopus, who hands and legs obviously do not belong to the same body, and I was intrigued to discover just how many times my attention was being drawn from what many would think was the lead instrument, and was instead marvelling at the complexity and many different styles he was bringing to the party.

This is jazz, it is fusion, it is progressive in its very truest sense, and is totally off the wall. This won't be for everyone, but to my mind and ears there is something incredibly special about this album, where the three of them are improvising both against and with each other, taking their instruments the limit of musicality. A stunning release.

STEVE SLAGLE Dedication

Album · 2018 · Hard Bop
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By the time Steve was 18 he was already playing with Stevie Wonder, and since the Seventies he has followed a path that has seen him lead his own bands, played in others, and more recently has been in the Slagle/Stryker band. Guitarist Dave Stryker is special guest on this album, playing on six of the nine songs, and composing one of them (there is just one other non-Slagle original here, Wayne Shorter's 'Charcoal Blues"). Each of the nine songs here are dedicated to someone or something in particular, such as "Sun Song" being for Sonny Rollins, while "Sofi" is for Steve's own daughter, Sophia.

When someone has been performing at the top of the game for forty years they are able to easily find star musicians to play with them, and each of those on this album need special mention as the combination of their talents is just superb. Lawrence Fields has an incredibly delicate touch on piano, either taking the lead, providing simple chords as an accompaniment or duetting gracefully with Steve. Scott Colley never seems to take a rest on his bass, as he moves all over the instrument providing counter-melodies, and drummer Bill Stewart is never content to sit in just one style or beat as provides fills, rim shots and breaks while somehow keeping it all together. Roman Diaz only features on five of the nine songs, but the use of conga and percussion adds a very Latin feel to the sound when he is involved.

Then of course there is the man himself out front, providing fluid solos and always leading the way. He also allows plenty of space within the arrangements so that his playing maintains its impact and never becomes just a blur of notes, but he keeps the soul of the music alive and swinging. There is always plenty of room for everyone to shine, and the vitality of the album is incredibly infectious. Music to make the jazz lover smile

ED PALERMO The Adventures Of Zodd Zundgren

Album · 2017 · Progressive Big Band
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There is no doubt in my mind, and also in that of many others, that two of the most important musicians to come out of America in the Sixties were Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren. They both had/have a unique take on music, and were never afraid to follow their own paths and do exactly what they wanted. I was lucky enough to see Todd in concert, when he made his first appearance on NZ soil a few years ago and he was incredible, but sadly only really started investigating Zappa in the last five years or so, long after his passing. Ed Palermo has now brought together two major influences from his high school years, and has created the album ‘The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren’, which is a homage to both of them. Here we have 25 songs, from either Zappa or Rundgren, fully arranged for his big band. Some are treated as instrumentals, while others do have wonderfully laid-back vocals, and the result is an album that captures the spirit of both of these musicians, and is absolutely essential to anyone who has ever remotely enjoyed their music.

Zappa’s soaring fanfare “Peaches En Regalia” is inspirational, with a particularly eloquent alto sax solo by Cliff Lyons, while a brisk and forthright version of Rundgren’s “Influenza” showcases violinist Katie Jacoby, Palermo reaches deep into the Rundgren songbook for “Kiddie Boy,” a stinging blues from 1969’s ‘Nazz Nazz’. Drawing from the original horn arrangement, Palermo displays some impressive guitar work on a vehicle for Bruce McDaniel’s blue-eye vocals. Napoleon Murphy Brock delivers a poker-faced rendition of Zappa’s surreal “Montana”, (one of my personal favourites, both as the original and on the album) and McDaniel and Brock join forces on Rundgren’s deliriously silly “Emperor of the Highway”.

I really do feel that I could rave about this album for hours, with numbers such as “Song of the Viking” (Todd) just superb with an introductory arrangement for harpsichord and tuba that is inspired. The original was on the classic ‘Something/Anything’, and one has to say that playing one after the other I actually prefer the new version! Apparently Rundgren has also given this release his seal of approval, as I saw some photos on Facebook the other day of him attending one of the gigs promoting this, and having his photo taken with the band. This is an essential purchase, as is the case with many of Cuneiform’s albums.

MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS Plays Hendrix

Album · 2017 · Classic Fusion
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Yet again there have been some changes in the Machine Mass camp, and here founder members, guitarist Michel Delville (The Wrong Object; douBt; Alex Maguire Sextet) and drummer Anthony Bianco (douBt; Elton Dean; Dave Liebman) have brought in keyboard player Antoine Guenet (The Wrong Object; Sh.TG.N; Univers Zero), to assist them in their adventures. As a starting point the album is quite simple in its intent, namely that in one day last March the trio recorded some Hendrix songs live in the studio to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ‘Are You Experienced?’. It’s just from there that it gets a little more complex.

I am sure that everyone has their favourite Hendrix songs, and probably also their favourite Hendrix covers. For me there has always been something whimsical and emotive about ‘The Wind Cries Mary”, while I still believe that The Hamsters monumental album from 1990, ‘Electric Hamsterland’, takes some beating. But what we have here is something that Hendrix himself would have probably appreciated, namely three top musicians taking his songs as a starting point and then improvising, twisting and melding, them into something that is barely recognisable yet paying true homage to the craftsman who created them initially. Whenever a guitarist dares to cover a song created by a master then they are putting themselves up to fail, but what Michel has done here brilliantly is not only show that he too is a genius with his instrument, but has filled the interpretations full of jazz intensity and experimentalism, to create something that cannot be directly compared as it is just so very different indeed.

While fans of Jimi will enjoy hearing what Machine Mass have managed to do with classic Hendrix songs, this album is also very much for those who may not be close to the originals. Antoine uses some wonderful Hammond sounds as he Anthony try to keep everything under control while Michel sounds like he is deconstructing his guitar while somehow keeping sounds emanating from it. This album is incredibly impressive on every level, from the musicianship and arrangements through to the way they have ripped this material to pieces and then put it back, lovingly and with honour, into a brand-new format. And that they finish with “The Wind Cries Mary” is the icing on the cake. Superb.

DUŠAN JEVTOVIĆ No Answer

Album · 2017 · Classic Fusion
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t must be said that I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of Dušan’s last release, 2013’s ‘Am I Walking Wrong’, and I think it was probably the first time I had ever given a Moonjune album a poor review, but I just didn’t get it. So, when this arrived in the post one day I wasn’t immediately over-enamoured, but I opened the digipak and realised that the drummer was none other than Asaf Sirkis, someone whose work I highly admire. The line-up was completed by Vasil Hadzimanov on acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano and Mini Moog bass, and I was immediately intrigued. Further investigation led to the discovery that the album was recorded in just two days last February, and knowing that they had toured together in different incarnations, as opposed to being put together for a studio project, made me think that this could be quite a special album indeed.

I put aside any preconceived ideas, and as soon as the first notes came out of the speakers I was transfixed. Here were wonderful guitar lines, perfectly accompanied by different keyboards with both lightness and strong bottom end, and then there was Asaf who was playing as if he was the lead player in the band. There are many times during this album where Vasil is valiantly managing to keep it all together, as both Dušan and Asaf attempt to be the main in charge. This is simply a wonderful album, full not only of wonderful melodies but great interplay between all those involved. Ideas bounce between the trio, and there are so many thing son here to enjoy, from brightness and sparks to reflective and delicate, such as on the emotional “Yo Sin Mi”. Dušan’s guitarwork is exemplary throughout, as he switches styles and tones, yet there is always clarity and finesse. This is not a guitarist who feels the need to prove his skills by playing five thousand notes to the bar, but instead shows it every time he uses sustain.

This is one of the most interesting and enjoyable instrumental albums I’ve come across in 2017.

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