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

56 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
DUŠAN JEVTOVIĆ - No Answer Classic Fusion | review permalink
MACHINE MASS TRIO / MACHINE MASS - Plays Hendrix Classic Fusion | 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

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Classic Fusion 14 4.46
2 Jazz Related Rock 12 4.33
3 World Fusion 9 4.11
4 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 4 4.00
5 Latin Jazz 3 3.67
6 Post-Fusion Contemporary 2 4.75
7 Hard Bop 2 4.00
8 Avant-Garde Jazz 2 3.75
9 Swing 2 3.75
10 Third Stream 2 3.75
11 Jazz Related RnB 1 3.50
12 21st Century Modern 1 4.00
13 Progressive Big Band 1 4.00
14 Pop Jazz/Crossover 1 5.00

Latest Albums Reviews

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.

DIALETO Bartók In Rock

Album · 2017 · Jazz Related Rock
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What we have here is the latest release from Brazilian trio Dialeto, whose last album ‘The Last Tribe’ was excellent. I was a little surprised that it has taken four years for them to come back with the follow-up, but that may have something to do with the fact that only guitarist Nelson Coelho was in the band last time around. He has now been joined by drummer Fred Barley and bassist Gabriel Costa, which makes them more how they used to sound, as for the last album the bassist had been replaced by touch guitar. This album is an attempt by Dialeto to take compositions by Béla Bartók and then move them into their own genre, with lots of improvisation. Bartók is considered to be one of the most important Hungarian composers of the last century, and through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology.

With six of the ten songs named Roumanian Folk Dances it isn’t hard to see where the music originally stemmed from, but here it has been taken to new levels as jazz fusion takes this as a base and then moves it into quite new areas. The whole album is fresh, exciting and interesting, taking the listener through many twists and turns, and by the end I found myself thinking that I loved this so much that I really ought to discover the originals and see just what Dialeto had done to them to transform them into this modern style of music. David Cross makes an appearance on the first number, and my only wish was that he had could have stayed for the complete album as he had so much impact, but as it is this really is an album to savour.

URBANITY Urban Soul

Album · 2016 · Jazz Related RnB
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The collaboration between Albare and Phil Turcio started 27 years ago when Albert Dadon – aka Albare – was looking for a new pianist for his band. At the time, Phil had just turned 18. Albare recalls, “He was not even the youngest member of the band then; our drummer just turned 17.” “These guys sounded so good, it was a pleasure already to play with them.” Phil explains that he and Albare hear music in the same way, “Everything I throw at Albare comes back as if I would have played it myself.” Albare and Phil Turcio have now formed a new band with just the two of them, with Albare providing guitars and sitar, and Phil providing keyboards, piano and programming.

Each time I play this I think of George Benson, and the smooth jazz scene from the late Seventies. There is a strong relationship between the two musicians, with fluid soloing and harmonisation between the lead instruments, and the feeling is of two guys just relaxing and having fun with what they are doing. The stand out song is a cover, namely an emotional and delicate take on “Angie”, which almost deconstructs the original as it turns it into something very special indeed. It is a song I have always enjoyed, and I prefer this to the original, such is its power. Overall, this is a good album to wind down to at the end of the day, and although this isn’t my favourite form of jazz, they certainly do it well.

LARRY NEWCOMB Larry Newcomb Quartet with Bucky Pizzarelli : Living Tribute

Album · 2017 · Swing
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Mostly an instrumental album, this captures the Larry Newcomb Quartet with Bucky Pizzarelli working through a series of numbers that vary in age from covers dating as far back as 1932 and brand-new originals. Each of the eleven songs are dedicated to individuals who have had an immensely positive impact on Larry, most particularly Dick Hall who passed away in June 2016. Larry is an incredibly thoughtful guitarist, never using a multitude of notes when just a few will do, concentrating instead on the tone he is getting out of his instrument, and fitting in with the music around him.

Although he has studied with many jazz masters, including Bucky Pizzarelli himself, he has also looked further afield so that Hank Marvin can be heard to have been an influence, as well as B.B. King. He is a complete master of his instrument, and the result is an album that is incredibly easy to listen to, with drummer Jimmy Madison, bassist Dmitri Kolesnik and pianist Eric Olsen all as one, creating a sound that the listener wants to dive into and immerse themselves with. Melodic, improvisational, and always in control, this is an album where the music is far more important than any individual player. A wonderful piece of work.

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