kev rowland

Kev Rowland
Forum Newbie · VIP Member
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 4 days ago

Favorite Jazz Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

44 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
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
DENNIS REA - Views from Chicheng Precipice World Fusion | review permalink
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH - Blues for Tony (with Alan Pasqua, Jimmy Haslip & Chad Wackerman) Classic Fusion | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Classic Fusion 12 4.38
2 Jazz Related Rock 9 4.33
3 World Fusion 9 4.11
4 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 4 4.00
5 Avant-Garde Jazz 2 3.75
6 Post-Fusion Contemporary 2 4.75
7 Progressive Big Band 1 4.00
8 Swing 1 4.00
9 Third Stream 1 2.50
10 Hard Bop 1 4.00
11 Latin Jazz 1 4.00
12 Pop Jazz/Crossover 1 5.00

Latest Albums Reviews

DWIKI DHARMAWAN Pasar Klewer

Album · 2016 · World Fusion
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Just a year on from his debut, Dwiki returned with an album that featured not only a totally different group of musicians, but a quite different approach. Instead of a whole series of keyboards, here Dwiki used just a piano. On bass, he brought in Yaron Stavi, who used an upright throughout the album (apart from one song on the second CD), while on drums he used Asaf Sirkis, so the rhythm section has a very different approach, style and sound. He didn’t bring back fellow Indonesians Tohpati and Dewa Budjana on guitars, instead using Mark Wingfield and Nicolas Meier. Add to that some Gamelan instruments plus clarinet and sax, and from the outset this is very different indeed.

It is not surprising therefore, as to just how different this album is from the previous. It is also a double CD, which gives the guys the chance to expand on their ideas (and amazingly was recorded in just two days). With this release Dharmawan wanted to try something different. "Indonesia is the place of 'ultimate diversity,'" the pianist says. "Here, the urban cultures accelerate the 'acculturation' process, which generates changes in cultural patterns and creates new forms of musical expression. ‘Pasar Klewer’ is the answer to my search for 'the difference,' and also a valuable answer to our modern crises and urban uprooting. The album's distinctive sound originates from an ancient Gamelan tonal system called Salendro, known in the Karawitan traditional music of the Sundanese, Javanese and Balinese. Based on the Gamelan tonal system, I also adapted, as my inspiration, other musical elements from all over the Indonesian archipelago, as well as the western diatonic system."

I do have to take his word for it, as all I know is that I haven’t heard anything quite like this before. This is world fusion on an epic scale, bringing jazz together with progressive tendencies, and then wrapping it up on a musical form that is quite different to western ears as he mixes it all up with styles from his home. There is a freedom and space within the music, that makes it feel live a living breathing entity, and very quickly the listener is immersed in a brand-new world. It is full of energy, full of life, and is an amazing musical experience

DWIKI DHARMAWAN So Far So Close

Album · 2015 · Classic Fusion
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Dwiki Dharmwan is one of Indonesia’s most prominent musicians – a cultural icon in his homeland. Dwiki is an accomplished pianist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, performer, peace activist, and a true cultural ambassador of his beloved country. He has forged a very successful career (one that already spans more than 30 years), performing in over 60 countries with both solo and collective projects. (Dwiki's band, Krakatoa, remains one of Indonesia's most famous bands ever.) This 2015 release was his first on a major Western label, Moonjune, and he has found a home that really suits him. Not only has this given Dwiki the opportunity to have his work heard by a far wider audience, but has allowed him access to some incredible musicians. So, while he contents himself by providing Fender Rhodes Electric Piano, Mini Moog, Hohner Clavinet, Hammond Organ, Korg Synth, Acoustic Piano and vocals (the album is mostly instrumental), he is joined by Jimmy Haslip (bass), Chad Wackerman (drums), Dewa Budjana and Tohpati share guitar duties (although not on the same songs) plus Jerry Goodman provides electric violin on one song. It is often a very Western sounding album, but I Nyoman Windha (Gamelan Jegog, Balinese Kendang, Suling vocals) also has an important part to play/

This just doesn’t sound like an album that has been released in the last few years, but sounds as if it is a lost gem from the Seventies, bringing forth influences and touches of bands such as Weather Report and John McLaughlin. While some of the songs sound highly rehearsed and tight, there are others such as “Jembrana’s Fantasy” that are far more free and improvisational and style, and it is here where the guys move away from classic fusion into an area far move Gamelan influenced.

The sound is warm throughout, aided by the incredible warmth of Jimmy’s bass, and his partnership with Chad cannot be understated, as they seem to always know exactly where each needs to be to provide the support for what is happening above. Highly recommended for anyone who loves classic fusion

SIMAK DIALOG Live at Orion

Live album · 2015 · World Fusion
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Recorded live on September 7, 2013, at The Orion, Baltimore, MD, this was to be the final release for simakDialog. Looking back to their previous live album from 2005, Ravid, Tohpati and Endang were still there, with bassist Rudy Zulkarnaen and additional percussionists in Erlan Suwardana and Cucu Kurnia. This release is a double CD, and again none of the songs are less than eleven minutes in length, and the band are determined to stretch their wings. “Throwing Words” is very different in the live environment to when it was released some ten plus years earlier, with Tohpati demanding centre stage and taking firm control. The band had been together for twenty years by this point, and the way that Tohpati and Ravid swap roles and bounce off each other in superb.

Here is a band where everyone is a master of their instrument and knows exactly where each of them needs to be musically, but the coming together of Western and Indonesian styles and sounds allows them to sound both incredibly tight and loose at the same time. Just listen to the combined runs of Tohpati and Ravid at the beginning of “Stepping In” to see what I mean, as while they are hitting each note in perfect unison at great speed, the percussionists are creating a sound storm beneath them. This album is a perfect introduction to a great band, who never really gained the kudos they deserved outside their native country. Discover this, and then go back and listen to their other releases to see why I am such a fan.

SIMAK DIALOG Patahan

Live album · 2007 · World Fusion
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‘Patahan’ was their first live album, released in 2005, and there had been quite a change in line-up between this and the last studio album, ‘Trance/Mission’, with just Ravid and Tohpati plus percussionist Endang Ramdan still involved. When one first starts playing this it is hard to realise that this is a “live” album as the audience is so quiet, and there is no introduction or announcement, but straight into “One Has To Be”, which is a piano tour-de-force. This is all about Ravid, a maestro in total control of his instrument, with the rest of the guys happy to provide the gentle percussive background which is all that is needed. When Tohpati finally takes centre stage, it is restrained, almost as if he is having to pull the notes up from great depth, showing great control and sustain, Hackett combining with McLaughlin.

There are just five songs on the album, but with the shortest at eleven and the longest at nearly twenty there is plenty here to enjoy. It isn’t always gentle and reflective, and there are times when the band feels far more menacing, such as on “Kemarau”, where the riffs give way to repeated piano motifs while the percussionists build the scene ready for Tohpati to take it to another level. We’ve gone from the delight of bands such as Santana into something that could almost be from ‘The Exorcist’, albeit with a tribal background. Here is a band made up of consummate musicians, working together to produce something that is very special indeed. Fusion in it its truest sense, this is indispensable.

SIMAK DIALOG Trance/ Mission

Album · 2002 · World Fusion
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Formed in 1993, simakDIALOG were an Indonesian fusion band who released their first album as along ago as 1995, with ‘Trance/Mission’ being their third in 2002. Throughout their career their music centred around the soloing and fluidity of the keyboard player Ravid Arshad and guitarist Tohpati, combined with local Gamelan music to create something that was incredibly accessible to Western ears, yet also stayed very true to their roots. The fluidity and melody of Ravid and Tohpati is incredible, relying far more on intricate runs than the use of chords, with each both being prepared to take the lead, duet with the other, or even take a total break from the music altogether. It isn’t unusual to find one of them totally absent for long periods of time, just to give the other more space to move and breathe. Tohpati always makes me think of John McLaughlin, and strangely so does Ravid although he is playing keyboards, which is probably why they work so well together.

Ravid uses an electric organ to great effect on this album, with my favourite number probably “Throwing Words” where Tohpati lets Ravid get on with it, until he comes back with a slightly distorted guitar which is totally at odds with what has been going on before, really shifting the timbre and style of music. Indro Hardjodikoro has a delicate touch on the bass, providing warmth and filling the gaps between the melody makers and the percussion. There are three guys playing a variety of Indonesian instruments that provide an authenticity and realism to the music, a total fusion not just of jazz and rock, but world music and the west.

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