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

82 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 22 4.48
2 Jazz Related Rock 14 4.21
3 World Fusion 11 4.14
4 Eclectic Fusion 6 4.17
5 Latin Jazz 5 3.60
6 Hard Bop 4 4.00
7 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 3 4.33
8 21st Century Modern 3 3.67
9 Avant-Garde Jazz 2 3.75
10 Post-Fusion Contemporary 2 4.75
11 Progressive Big Band 2 4.50
12 Swing 2 3.75
13 Third Stream 2 3.75
14 Vocal Jazz 1 4.00
15 Jazz Related Soundtracks 1 4.00
16 Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 1 5.00
17 Jazz Related RnB 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

JACK MOUSE Jack Mouse Group : Intimate Adversary

Album · 2018 · Hard Bop
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Some albums feature musicians so in tune with each other and what everyone is doing that it isn’t possible to slip a sheet of paper between them, as they are just so tight, and that is exactly the case here. Jack Mouse sits at the back and drives his quintet through post-bop jazz which also contains swing and even brings in some influences of gospel blues. Jack shuffles, he fills, he never rests, and it is his energy which allows the rest of the band to relax and take the music where it needs to go and never having to force it. His last albums were improvisational, but here he has concentrated on compositions and arrangements and his band just sit in, harmonise, and play sublimely.

John McLean (guitar) and Bob Bowman (bass) do take their opportunity to shine when it is presented to them, but they are mostly here to provide support to Scott Robinson (tenor saxophone) and Art Davis (trumpet, flugelhorn) who takes their own solos when the time arises, but really come to the fore when they bounce against each other. But for me it is the drums which make this, with different rhythms and styles being put up and taken down as the melodies keep moving, and one can imagine the band playing in a circle, looking at each other, but more importantly looking at Jack. Simply superb.

CHRIS PASIN Ornettiquette

Album · 2018 · 21st Century Modern
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This is the fourth album as a band leader by New York-based trumpeter Chris Pasin, and is the second I have heard from him. The rather unusual title is to let the jazz fan understand that this is an album saluting NEA Jazz Master and Pulitzer Prize winner Ornette Coleman and his long-time collaborator Don Cherry. The line-up is rather unusual, in that although there is a singer (Ingrid Sertso), much of the album is instrumental with every musician taking the lead at different points. So while trumpet may be blowing up a storm on one, on another it could be Karl Berger (vibraphone, piano) who is very much in control, drummer Harvey Sorgen commanding attention, bassist Michael Bisio taking it over or Adam Siegel (alto saxophone) ripping it a new one.

What makes this album work so very well indeed is the sheer variety of styles at play, and the way that Chris understands sometimes music works best if he just stands there and doesn’t play a note. All the musicians work in similar manners, so while the rhythm section are normally there (but not always), the band could be functioning as a duo, multiple different trios, sometimes a quartet, and then there may even be vocals as well. Each time I played this album I found even more to discover, as this really is a delight. It grooves, it moves, it factures into avant garde, and then it can all be back on again with pure melody. Berger’s vibraphone skills are exemplary, and he adds additional polish and tonal contrast to what is already a very accomplished album.

Easily one of the finest jazz albums I have heard in recent years, this just gets better each time I play it.

PHILLIP JOHNSTON Phillip Johnston & the Coolerators : Diggin' Bones

Album · 2018 · Fusion
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At the same time as releasing Johnston’s soundtrack album, Asynchronous are also releasing the debut album by Johnston with his band The Coolerators, a band he formed after moving to Australia in 2005. On this album he provides both soprano and alto saxophone, and he has been joined by Alister Spence (organ), Lloyd Swanton (bass) with Nick Cecire (drums). Here we have a band showing that when it comes to playing jazz and blues there is often an overlap, here brought together with a huge amount of swing and funk. Swanton and Cecire do their best to provide a structure for the other two to work on, and then stay out the way while also displaying their own wonderful musical ability. Cecire is the more flamboyant of the two, with an impressive work rate on different areas of the kit, but Swanton keeps it all tied down and doesn’t let the band get too out of control.

Given the way Johnston and Spence combine together, or against one another, mixing in multiple influences and styles that is indeed no mean task. The title song sounds influenced by South America, India, Morocco and the Middle East but somehow all comes together and makes sense as Spence allows Johnston to take a far more prominent role. Two albums released at the same time, but two very different styles indeed, and it is hard to say which one is better, so best say instead that they are both indeed well worth investigating.

PHILLIP JOHNSTON The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Soundtracks
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Johnston has long been pursuing his own brand of avant garde jazz, but this is the first time I have come across him outside of his band The Microscopic Septet (whose 2017 Cuneiform album ‘Been Up So Long’ is simply superb). A few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a special showing of ‘Suspiria’ where Goblin performed the soundtrack live in front of the audience, and this album is a similar construct, in that it contains the music Johnston composed as a soundtrack for ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’, a 1926 silent silhouette animation that is a landmark in cinema history – the world’s first feature-length animated film. To breathe Reiniger’s silhouettes to life, Johnston composed a continuous score of 65 minutes of music to be performed live with the film by a quartet of soprano sax, trombone, and two keyboards, against a pre-recorded track of samples, loops and live drums. For this recording, the music is performed by Johnston (soprano saxophone) with Australian musicians James Greening (trombone), Alister Spence (organ, keyboards), Casey Golden (organ, keyboards), and Nic Cecire (drums), and broken by the composer into twelve individual tracks.

This is a complex album, one that needs close attention paid to it as the musicians embrace themes which may or may not be repeated, going off in tangents to the original, with trombone often playing a heavy bass part to contrast against the sax. The keyboards and drums are often in the background, with the brass taking centre stage. It is an album the definitely requires repeated listening, as the first time I felt there were certain passages and sections which were passing me by, all of which made far more sense the more time I allowed myself with the album. Well worth investigating, I just hope that Johnston will feel fit at some point to pop over the ditch from Australia and have some performances of this with the film here in New Zealand, as it would be well worth attending.


Album · 2018 · World Fusion
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This is the follow-up to ‘The One Who Makes You Happy’, which I reviewed some time ago, and contains the same core line-up of clarinetist Anna Patton, Don Anderson on trumpet and flugelhorn, pianist Eugene Uman, bassist Wes Brown and drummer Ben James, her joined by trombonist John Wheeler, flautist Carl Clements and tenor saxophonist Jon Weeks added to the group. In addition, “Leander’s Waltz” and “The Deaf Singer” have two guest artists apiece. There aren’t many percussionists or drummers who have led bands, no matter what musical style, yet here we have Julian Gerstin, who plays the tanbou bèlè drum of Martinique, along with congas, tupan and percussion, and writes all the music.

In the digipak he explains the different styles employed within the album, from rondo, mazouk, blues, Columnbian cumbia and others. This is music which feels Caribbean in many ways due to the use of percussion, which allows a joyful feel to sit within. The brass and woodwind are controlled, sometimes screaming but at others in perfect harmony, while the additional instrumentation being employed adds additional finesse. To my ears this is an incredibly solid effort, and although not quite as vibrant as his last outing is still well worth hearing.

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