kev rowland

Kev Rowland
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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 12 days ago

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All Reviews/Ratings

72 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 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 Fusion | review permalink
DIALETO - The Last Tribe Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
I KNOW YOU WELL MISS CLARA - Chapter One Fusion | review permalink
DEWA BUDJANA - Joged Kahyangan Post-Fusion Contemporary | review permalink
DEWA BUDJANA - Surya Namaskar Fusion | review permalink
SUSAN CLYNES - Life Is... Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk | 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 Fusion | review permalink
MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS - Plays Hendrix Fusion | review permalink
ED PALERMO - The Adventures Of Zodd Zundgren Progressive Big Band | review permalink
MARK WINGFIELD - Lighthouse Fusion | review permalink
SLIVOVITZ - Liver Eclectic Fusion | review permalink
DWIKI DHARMAWAN - Rumah Batu World Fusion | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 19 4.45
2 Jazz Related Rock 15 4.27
3 World Fusion 10 4.20
4 Eclectic Fusion 6 4.17
5 Latin Jazz 4 3.63
6 Hard Bop 3 4.00
7 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2 4.00
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 Avant-Garde Jazz 2 3.75
13 21st Century Modern 1 4.00
14 Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1 5.00
15 Jazz Related RnB 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

XAVI REIJA The Sound Of The Earth

Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Rock
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Consummate drummer Xavi Reija is back with his fourth solo album, and as with the wonderful ‘Resolution’ from 2014, he has been joined by guitarist Dusan Jevtović. However, this time he has brought in two Stick Men with Tony Levin providing bass, upright bass and stick and Markus Reuter on touch guitar. This means that between them there are four more sounds and potential interactions on show than would be possible with any “normal” quartet. Recorded in just one day, the album is a cacophony of sounds and notes being brought together by four musicians who are consistently bouncing ideas off each other. Reuter and Levin are touring together a great deal, so know each other’s styles intimately, while Reija and Jevtović have a long history together as well, and the two pairs combine to make an album of exciting and invigorating music.

One of the joys of this album is the sheer variety, with all four playing lead (all at the same time), although it is often left to Levin and Reuter to attempt to maintain some sort of stable foundation for the others to play against. The four lengthy songs are parts I-IV of the title cut, composed by all four, as they bounce the ideas off each other and see where the music takes them. The second of these commences with Xavi shuffling on drums, Tony providing some beautifully warm upright bass, Markus creating the soundscape as only he can, before Dusan makes his entrance. It is an incredibly intense album, with so much going on at all times, yet it never overloads the senses as it continues to make music sense throughout. Putting these four into a room together, turning on the tapes and then just letting them play, was truly inspired. When it comes to fusion, bringing together jazz, progressive rock and improvisation, then it is hard to find a stronger group of players. This is an incredible album, totally essential to anyone who enjoys this style of challenging and almost avant garde music.

ROGER DAVIDSON Oração Para Amanhã (Prayer For Tomorrow)

Live album · 2017 · Latin Jazz
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Frenchman Roger Davidson (piano) and his trio of Eduardo Belos (bass) and Adriano Santos (drums), have been joined on this release by Hendrik Meurkens who provides two quite different musical embellishments by providing harmonica and vibraphone. Recorded live at the Zinc Bar in NYC last year, this collection of twelve new songs shows Roger combining his love of both jazz and Brazilian music, in a way that is both fresh and interesting. When someone has been so involved in these cultures for as many years as Roger, it perhaps isn’t surprising that the joining together of the two is seamless and faultless. He has a deft touch on the piano, and given that he has studied both orchestral and choral conducting it is also of no great shock that the arrangements are perfect for the occasion.

This is music that is living and breathing, each musician providing the others with the room they need to provide support to the main theme or to solo and improvise, whatever is right for the moment. It is laid back and reflective, music to get lost inside of, but even though the tempo may be often languid and the notes and chords meandering gently through the sun-kissed meadow, it is always something to be immersed in and never something that is boring. Beautiful and delicate, a joy from start to finish with South American inflections and tones that set this style of jazz apart.


Album · 2018 · World Fusion
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There is no doubt that one of the most consistently exciting record labels over the last 20+ years is Moonjune Records. Part of this is because this one-man organisation is run by someone who truly loves music, and when he isn’t putting musicians together and having them record, or putting out the next release, he is actually on the road with one band or another. How he actually finds the time to do what he does is beyond me, and I always thought I was good at time management. But, against a backdrop of incredible releases, I am now listening to what is possibly the best and most important album he has ever put out.

There has been incredibly high praise, and deservedly so, for Mark Wingfield’s ‘The Stone House’, and this album was recorded in the same studio and has the same title (just in the Indonesian Bahasa language), and also includes both drummer Asaf Sirkis and bassist Yaron Stavi who were/are key members of Mark’s band. To fill out the quintet there are Nguyên Lê (electric guitar, soundscapes) and Charles Benavent (bass guitar). Yes, you read that right, there are two bassists in the band. This core group were then recorded live in the studio, bouncing ideas off each other as they run through a series of Dharmawan originals, plus some traditional numbers he rearranged, plus one group composition. All of those involved are amazing musicians, although I do think it might be interesting to hear Dwiki solo with no-one else involved, as some of his piano runs, fills and flourishes almost defy belief.

If there was no-one else involved, and the recordings coming out of La Casa Murada Studio were all there was, then I would still be stating that this is an essential album for anyone into great music, but after the three days (yes, just three days) of recording were over, more traditional Indonesian musicians and singers were added to the mix. What this has done is taken an incredibly complex yet melodic and joyous album to a whole new level. There were times when my mind was trying to understand if I was listening to traditional music with a Western influence, or the other way around, and what on earth was making that particular sound I could hear, and did it matter? In the end, the only way to really understand the music is to forget about trying to understand it, forget attempting to categorise what is going on, and just fall in love with what is an incredibly complex interaction between cultures that is just incredible.

All praise to Mark Wingfield for mixing and mastering this, to Leonardo for having the vision of bringing together musicians like this, but mostly to Dwiki Dharmawan and all those involved for what is a truly great album. This is simply essential, nothing less. 10/10

KAOLL Sob Os Olhos De Eva

EP · 2017 · Jazz Related Rock
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In 2017 Kaoll came back with their fourth album (although at just 24 minutes long it seems more like an EP), by which time the group had grown to a six-piece, with just Bruno Moscatiello (guitar) and Yuri Garfunkel (flute) surviving from those involved with ‘Odd’. The English translation for the title is ‘Under the Eyes of Eve’, and was produced in conjunction with philosopher Renato Shimmi’s book, with illustrations by Zé Otávio, and really should be treated as a soundtrack. Apparently, it describes the duality between lyricism and oppression in the historical revolutions, from the myth of Eve and the expulsion of the paradise until the present times.

Whereas ‘Odd’ was full of South American rhythms and textures, this album is far more laid back, with slide guitar making its presence felt, as well as far more acoustic guitar than the previous work. When the flute is being used, then it is again the lead melody instrument, but there are plenty of times when Yuri is taking a rest from proceedings, so much so that it is more than three minutes into the album before he can even be heard. There are times when he does use the breathy style favoured by Ian Anderson, but often there is greater focus on fluidity, letting the other instruments provide the emphasis. Although there are plenty of times when this appears to be a more rock based album than the previous one, there are also more ambient textures within this. Overall, this album feels far more like a Western progressive album than the more South American-based jazz fusion album than the previous one.

But, yet again this is a really interesting piece of work, with the only major flaw being the brevity of the album as a whole. I would really have liked it to be twice the length, with the band really stretching out and extending themselves. The classical guitar that starts “Exílio Da Serpente” may be fairly simple, but it is full of beauty, and I would have really enjoyed hearing more. However, as it has been released through the Progshine digital label, it is being made available for just $3, and is an absolute bargain and well worth discovering.


Album · 2014 · Jazz Related Rock
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This is the third album by Brazilian trio Kaoll, comprising Bruno Moscatiello (guitar), Yuri Garfunkel (flute, Brazilian 10 string guitar (viola caipira)), Doktor Leo (drums, effects), and was originally released in 2014 before being reissued by Progshine towards the end of last year. On this album they have also used many guests, including Billy Cox (Jimi Hendrix), percussionist João Parahyba (Trio Mocotó), Paulo Garfunkel (clarone and clarinet), Ricardo Vignini (viola caipira), Gabriel Costa (Violeta de Outono) and Ney Haddad (Mobilis Stabilis) on bass, Fábio Ribeiro (Remove Silence) on keyboards and pianos, among others.

The guitar sound is thick and dirty, the flute is gentle and pleasant, the organ is a Hammond, plus there is electric piano and loads of South American percussion and rhythms, what here is there not to like? It is both funky and fun, fusion and Seventies rock combining to produce an instrumental album which is a delight from beginning to end. In some ways it is quite simple, while in others it is incredibly complex, and while the melody may sometimes be sweet there is a great deal going on underneath. It is refreshing and joyous, thoughtful and sincere. The guitar on “Balada para o Sr. Bodão” is simply superb, taking the lead with some sweeping solos, but it is the mix of styles and cultures that makes this an album deserving closer attention. The overall result is that while this has been overlooked by pretty much everyone involved in the scene outside Brazil, it is one that will be enjoyed by all those lucky enough to come across it.

Now that it has been reissued through the Progshine digital label, it is being made available for just $3. What are you waiting for, and what have you got to lose?

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