Slava Gliožeris
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562 reviews/ratings
MILES DAVIS - Bitches Brew Classic Fusion
JAZZ Q PRAHA /JAZZ Q - Symbiosis Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
LYUBOMIR DENEV - Lyubomir Denev Jazz Trio And Petko Tomanov Classic Fusion | review permalink
SOFT MACHINE - Third Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
SOFT MACHINE - The Peel Sessions Classic Fusion | review permalink
KRZYSZTOF KOMEDA - Astigmatic Post Bop | review permalink
SOFT HEAP / SOFT HEAD - Rogue Element (as Soft Head) Classic Fusion | review permalink
ROBERT WYATT - Rock Bottom Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
KAZUTOKI UMEZU - Eclecticism (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion | review permalink
DAVID TORN - Polytown Nu Jazz | review permalink
MASADA - 50⁴ (Electric Masada) (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion | review permalink
CHICK COREA - Three Quartets Post Bop | review permalink
ANTHONY BRAXTON - Dortmund (Quartet) 1976 Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
MATANA ROBERTS - Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
FIRE! - Fire! Orchestra : Exit! Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
MAL WALDRON - Reminicent Suite (with Terumasa Hino) Post Bop | review permalink
JOE MCPHEE - Nation Time (Live at Vassar College) Classic Fusion | review permalink
WILDFLOWERS - Wildflowers 1: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
MAL WALDRON - What It Is Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
CHICK COREA - Circle: Paris Concert Avant-Garde Jazz

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Avant-Garde Jazz 186 3.56
2 Classic Fusion 79 3.39
3 Jazz Related Rock 41 3.23
4 Post Bop 39 3.49
5 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 35 3.53
6 Nu Jazz 33 3.47
7 World Fusion 28 3.13
8 Post-Fusion Contemporary 18 2.94
9 Jazz Related Improvisation 17 3.59
10 Hard Bop 14 3.39
11 DJ/Electronica Jazz 9 3.00
12 Progressive Big Band 9 3.67
13 Third Stream 9 3.33
14 Vocal Jazz 9 3.06
15 Jazz Related RnB 7 2.64
16 Latin Jazz 6 2.75
17 Pop Jazz/Crossover 5 2.50
18 Jazz Soundtracks 5 3.20
19 Jazz Related Blues 2 2.25
20 Acid Jazz 2 3.00
21 Big Band 2 2.75
22 Funk Jazz 2 3.25
23 Soul Jazz 1 3.00
24 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.00
25 Exotica 1 3.00
26 Jump Blues 1 3.50
27 Latin Rock/Soul 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 2014 · Post Bop
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I spent bigger part of my life in regions influenced by Slavic culture(all - Eastern,Western and Southern Slavs)and as result together with deep understanding what it is learned one thing - how much I hate that over-exalting "Slavic spirituality". That sweet-and-sour dreamy sadness with no reason,painful melancholy,anxiety,continuing awaiting of something what probably happens (combined with intuitive knowledge that nothing really happens ever)... Some strangers even see it attractive but it only means they never lived aside of that twilight zone of irrationality, fatalism and sensual mysticism.Just get me right - I mean exactly overdosed spiritual sensuality which is far different from Slavic culture in whole.

Trumpeter Tomasz Stanko is with no doubt leading Polish jazz musician and probably one of the best European jazz trumpeter. His international fame came mostly after ECM contracted him, soon he became label's trade mark and leading voice (personally I really like his early adventurous albums coming from early 70s; they are mostly released domestically in Poland and are almost unknown abroad). Success of his music comes from his great, quite free Miles Davis post-bop period influenced techniques combined with strong European chamber tradition and above mentioned "Slavic soul". On his best albums Tomasz finds only his own unique proportions between all three components making music close to masterpiece. On not so successful recordings he loses that balance and magic almost disappears.

Being a real fan of Stanko's early albums,I'm quite critical towards many his ECM releases - all of them are technically perfect, but far not every is real musical joy.Some Stanko most current releases were all quite disappointment (knowing how great music he can play), probably with "Wislawa" being a real disaster. Stanko reclocated to New York from native Poland and formed his New York quartet with really great local artists (incl, pianist David Virelles and drummer Gerald Cleaver, plus ECM bassist Thomas Morgan). New collective debut work (released on ECM in 2013) is dedicated to late Polish poet and Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska. Working with lyrical,soulful and very Slavic material Tomasz recorded studio double-CD album with American band who simply didn't find right place in all that sensitive balladry.

Next on line Stanko album came on the last days of 2014 and was full of surprises. First of all, it was released by Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews (being their first ever musical release). It's not a first Stanko work of such kind - one of his albums ("Wolność w sierpniu")has been already released in co-operation with Warsaw Uprising Museum some years ago. Than,being recorded in New York,in Sear Sound Studio, it is free from ECM high but very predictable sound standard.And at the end - Stanko seriously reformed his American quartet for this recording: only Cuban pianist David Virelles stays from his classic New York Quartet, new rhythm section contains Dezron Douglas on bass and drummer Kush Abadey, plus all team is improved with sax man Ravi Coltrane (alternatively,all quintet could be seen as Tomasz Stanko plus new Ravi Coltrane quartet with different drummer - quartet's original drummer is Johnathan Blake)

So, I listen this new album again and again and the main bad thing here is how short it is!Less than 38-minutes long - that's quite a common size for old vinyl but in digital age we are often expecting at not less than twice more. And the music - it's excellent! For the first time ever Stanko plays real groovy jazz with all-American band! Sound is full,warm and tasteful(and here one can ensure how different some ECM artists sound when their music is recorded without that drug-store sterility in sound). Stanko demonstrates excellent collection of catchy tunes - rare event in modern jazz, and surprisingly enough he plays here one of his most straight music for years. If on European releases his freer digressions were all blood of his music, here he somehow founded a right decision - he plays tuneful,groovy post-bop without useless embellishment and it works perfectly.

Since all album is dedicated to holocaust theme ("Polin" means "Poland" in Hebrew) it contains some ballad-like elements and chamber moments,but in all it's a small magic how Tomasz(generally known by his sensitive tunes and melancholic compositions)avoids sentimental melancholy or even dramatic notes here. Muscular and lively,this music sounds more like a hymn to life.

The only sad news is it's announced that album will be distributed by Museum direct sales only so I afraid such a great work will stay unnoticed by many listeners. If by any chance you'll find "Polin" - don't have any doubts,it's Stanko at his very best.

MASAHIKO TOGASHI Masahiko Togashi, Isao Suzuki : A Day Of The Sun

Album · 1979 · Jazz Related Improvisation
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"A Day Of The Sun" is two Japanese jazz greats duo's album. Percussionist Masahiko Togashi (besides of pianist Masahiko Satoh) are key figure of Japanese free jazz,played with virtually everyone of important Japanese advanced jazz musician and recorded lot of albums,some of them (especially recorded in late 60s - early 70s)are part of Japanese jazz "golden fund". Acoustic bassist Isao Suzuki is even more legendary figure - in Japan he is usually titled "Godfather of Jazz".

Born in Tokyo in 1933,he started his jazz career in 1953 playing bass with Louis Armstrong when the later to Japan that year.I have read in Isao's interview that he was in Armstrong concert and next day found out that Armstrong band is searching for bassist. Isao asked his mother to buy him a bass (he never played the instrument before) and went to rehearsal. According to Isao, bandleader hired him and showed how to play bass - that's how he started.Later he played for two or three years in US Navy base band and than joined Jun Kiyomizu band - his first Japanese band ever.He played around Japan (mostly in local cabarets) till late 60s when "Ginpary"(or "Silver Paris" - psychedelic jam sessions on very early Japanese free jazz stage) fashion pushed mainstream jazz musicians aside.Isao still participated in some gigs and even was one-time member of quartet with Sadao Watanabe,Togashi and Kikuchi(that was one of "Ginpary" session where Isao met Masahiko Togashi for the first time).In 1969 he played with Art Blakey who invited him to America where Isao stayed for two years (mostly traveling around the country and Canada in old Caddilac with Art Blakey and playing gigs mostly in black clubs).Art Blakey's band of the time included George Cables,Woody Shaw and Ramon Morris.Isao played lot of jams with Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell,Elvin Jones,Duke Pearson and Lee Morgan among others. He spent a lot of time in Rudy Van Gelder recording studio as well where Rudy tough him many secrets of good recording sound.Isao even was a bassist in Ella Fitzgerald band, but when one day in airport on their way to Canada Art Blakey got basted on cocaine,Isao same day just took the flight back to Japan.On return he made a lot introducing his experience in development of jazz in Japan.His first albums for Three Blind Mices (cult audiophile label,kind Japanese ECM but with very physical,deep and warm sound)built recordings sound and mix quality standard for decades to come.In 1980 he released "Self-Portrait" - first ever one-man recording using multilayer techniques in Japanese jazz (Isao played 22 different instruments on this album).

Main Isao's personality importance is still that that he's one among few extremely respectable Japanese jazz artists having hard-bop background.Other his generation known jazzmen come mostly from big bands (formed under US bases orchestras influence),late 60s pushed ahead new noisy and angry generation which stepped right to radical avant-garde.

With all series of strong hard-bop albums,Isao stayed innovative for decades though. His second important influence was fusion,but he released albums containing Latin jazz or even modern electronic remixes. During his long career Isao played with percussionist Masahiko Tagashi quite regularly, on Masahiko's or his own albums. "A Day of The Sun" is duo's collaboration,significant for both artists. Similarly like fusion popularity fast decrease in mid-late 70s on Western jazz scenes left lot of jazz musicians on the thin ice (and sometimes without job),in Japan that time is a time when jazz lost its importance as major part of modern musical culture. One of popular trend where many previous avant-garde and fusion artists switched to became etno-influenced improvisational (often meditative) music. "A Day Of The Sun" (percussionist and bassist duo recording,both uses some synth and other instruments though) is one good example. Fortunately differently from many of similar releases music here doesn't become endless hypnotizing noodling and successfully avoids similarities with upcoming new age. Two musicians are both too big personalities and too great masters to fade to grey zone - even if there are very free form compositions presented,them all have lot of blood and bones (deep physical bass, multilayered and complex percussion,all the time changing rhythms and grooves); probably good comparison is some ECM early proto-ambient recordings, where sound still wasn't all that liquid and super-polished.

Togashi will continue developing same formula on his later works,Suzuki will return to his more usual mainstream jazz, but "A Day Of The Sun" will stay as great evidence of two giant collaboration and excellent example of non-boring improvisational music.


Album · 1976 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Drummer Barry Altschul is one of the most respectable advanced jazz drummers ever,co-founder of Chic Corea's Circle (together with Dave Holland and Anthony Braxton), member of ARC(Altschul-Holland-Corea),long-time Anthony Braxton quartet's member,etc,etc. His career as leader was mostly unnoticed though, fortunately after Finnish TUM label released his trio's strong "3Dom" in 2013 it looks he attracted more attention.

At the very beginning of his musical career Barry played with already respectful Canadian pianist Paul Bley (as his trio members) for five years.Together with Bley,they were two permanent trio members,bassist position was filled with some different musicians as Mark Levinson,Ken Carter or Steve Swallow.Gary Peacock was one of them as well.

"Virtuosi", formally Altschul debut as leader,was released in 1976,nine years after the material has been recorded.In all but the name musicians participated is just a Paul Bley Trio of the moment.Albums contains two long compositions,one on each vinyl side,both written by Annette Peacock (what only enforces the feeling that you're listen to Paul Bley band).It's difficult to imagine why recorded material coming from 1967 Paul Bley trio's have been released after nine years stating Barry Altschul as leader (album was released on Bley's own Improvising Artists Inc.)At least one good thing here is that being in all but the name Bley album from late 60s as almost any other pianist recording from that time it contains quality music.

As one can expect nothing here reminds Circle or Arc or Anthony Braxton quartet's music - complex multilayered avant-garde jazz presented on other Altschul-participated recordings from same period. "Virtuozi" contains dreamy melancholic and tuneful if quite free characteristic Anette Peacock signature's music,similar to what one can find on other Payl Bley trio's albums. The main difference is probably that Bley's piano doesn't dominate here - very often it takes an accompaniment role for leading rhythm section. To say truth,Gary Peacock's physical acoustic bass is even more notable that Barry's drums here(as on many his other earlier recordings,Gary Peacock plays very free here).

Being a pleasant listening (and one of very early recordings predicted upcoming so-called "ECM sound"), "Virtuozi" are a bit bulky and in moments sound directionless; probably it's a reason why tapes spent even nine years in attic before they were released. Not the best album,released under Altschul name, this release still is one valuable evidence of early Bley/Peacocks' music and worth listening especially for such music fans.

NAOJI KONDO Live At The Tarupho

Live album · 1986 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Japan is a big jazz country but for Westerners it always was (and still is) Terra incognita. Sadao Watanabe's international success during late 60s and 70s plus extremely creative Japanese free jazz scene between 1969 and 1972 (with Masahiko Satoh and Masahiko Tagashi) - that's all even experienced European or American jazz fan knows about it. Chick Corea's student Hiromi is great but only Japanese jazz well-known representative on modern international jazz scene.

To be correct,it looks even inside of Japan non-commercial jazz (count all jazz excluding j-fusion and j-pop jazz) starting from late 70s got quite nonconformist underground art's image.The only form which won higher respectful social status is mainstream (mostly hard bop)and for last some decades Japanese gigs and regular releases are one important source of income for best US straight jazz veterans.At the same time creative jazz didn't die on the Far East,it exists in form of plenty of small clubs gigs and some limited edition releases.Living its own life in stone jungles of Japanese cities',modern country's free jazz is quite different from what could be heard on Western scenes. Since one of most influential Japanese post-70s music trend was brutal avant-rock (Ruins,etc),big part of contemporary free jazz is influenced by it. Still there are more different streams,including very interesting eclectic mix of funk,etno-tunes,urban r'n'b and free improvs all in one. Main problem for those interested in more modern Japanese jazz is there isn't possible to find almost any systematic info if you don't speak Japanese. Rare occasional available releases are costly and often aren't all that representative since as rule you have no idea what you're listening.

Fortunately for me,annual Vilnius Jazz Festival contains Japanese artists in their program on annual basis,usually presenting leading creative music,so it helps at least at starting point.Mid-generation sax player Naoji Kondo played here in Vilnius in 2009 as part of Yoriyki Harada - Naoji Kondo duo (with piano veteran Yoriyuki Harada).Short fest's press release informs that Kondo plays free jazz from early age but works as practicing psychoanalyst during day time. He played at Moers Fest in Germany,toured Korea - and it's almost all what is known. On many Japanese clubs' sites one can find he's regularly plays in Japan,often - beside of best domestic artists. As far as I know he released only one album recorded live in 1986.

And this album is great - almost no-one plays like that anymore! Acoustic Kondo-lead sax-bass-drums trio contains another interesting modern Japanese creative jazz artist Daisuke Fuwa on bass (played here on Vilnius Jazz in 2012 leading his own Fuwa Works (with two sax players on board)and lesser known drummer Shiro Ohnuma. Surprisingly enough,Kondo trio plays tuneful,even soulful early free jazz recalling Coltrane's transitional works circa late 1965. All musicianship is based on soloist's (usually Kondo himself,but both bassist and drummer has more than enough time for longish solo improvisations)pushing groovy muscular and very bopish music ahead with support of two rest trio members. Kondo plays lot of themes and tunes,very free but never leaves the ground. It's a real joy listen to his human voice-like sax telling stories, emotive,worm and playful. Fuwa is a bit too modern drummer for that music,slightly too heavyweight and rock-like,but he successfully balances on the edge without destroying Kondo's built fragile beauty. Ohnuma is good bassist,if not too original but very successfully continuing great Isao Suzuki's tradition of deep physical acoustic bass. Lot of tunes,tempos (incl.even marching),very warm and inspired live gig with really enthusiastic public,quite good recording quality - all these makes this obscure release worth time and funds spent.Dedicated listener feels like he participates on concert played in modern days by one of late 60s jazz greats without sense of nostalgia. It like time machine brings you right to New York circa 1966 - no-one plays like that in real world anymore.

RODRIGO AMADO Searching For Adam

Album · 2010 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Portuguese sax player Rodrigo Amado last year's release "Wire Quartet"(on Cleanfeed) made him one among year's jazz heroes. Full-Portuguese quartet with unique Derek Bailey-influenced guitarist Manuel Mota (who is known in Portugal more like free-improvs musician,not an jazz artist) demonstrated excellent internal communication,original sound and in all perfect kind of modern European jazz.

Amado's as first class jazz reedist story started some years before though (in fact, Wire Quartet's material was recorded in 2011 and only released in 2014).At the end of the first new millennium decade (and after few domestically released albums as leader)Amado switched from free-form improvisational music towards avant-garde jazz with quite positive results from very first recordings. "Searching For Adam" is his first ever international release and he plays with world class jazz musicians on it.John Hebert is one of the most interesting American bassist of younger generation, Gerald Cleaver - busiest drummer around all US and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum is regular Anthony Braxton collaborator, among many others.

To be honest, "Searching For Adam" isn't such a great result as one could expect from musicians of that level. Recorded in 2008, it is still seriously influenced by Amado earlier free form improvisational techniques. Besides of some really well-played moments,it contains lot of extended free improvs,some of them doesn't sound useful or logical at all. Released two years after it was recorded, it obviously came on the wave of growing Amado's newest music popularity.Being a mixed bag in all senses,it contains 21+minutes long composition and five shorter (but still up to 13-minutes long)ones, and generally is too long and bulky. After serious editing recorded material could still give a birth to better-than-average "old-fashioned size"(up to 40 minutes) album. Three years later same Polish Not Two label will release Amado's next studio album with trombonist Jeb Bishop as guest ("The Flame Alphabet"). More or less of similar quality, it could be counted only as prelude to "Wire Quartet" success. From other hand, Rodrigo's most current to time "Live In Lisbon"(2014,NoBusiness) album ,recorded with trumpeter Peter Evans as guest,is his another highlight.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 days ago in What are You Listening II
  • Posted 2 days ago in What are You Listening II
     [/QUOTE]Yes Slava, very nice, Great review with the new Stanko. Sounds good. [/QUOTE]thanks this new Stanko album revitalize my interest to his musicI've seen him life ten years ago at MOL Jazz Fest in Budapest - it was a "German style" open air event not too far from city's center,but in industrial are close to Danube's(Dunau) coast, long but not wide peace of old parking with railroad warehouses around. With long tables and people walking around during concert,eating roasted dark bread with garlic and drinking bear from plastic cups Concert opener was Esperanza Spalding, still rising new talent (she will receive Grammy some month later). So - even in this freaky (for his music) environment Stanko sounded excellent, kind of alien  - his trumpet soloing flow over these eaters and drinkers...I like his very early avant-garde albums and some pre-ECM fusion albums (he did it great!), but only smaller part of ECM releases stick with me: too often he's too melancholic,too lifeless and too chamber(read - non-jazzy) there.  Or - just boringanyway - started to re-listen his albums, probably will come with more reviewsI know you have a lot of his music as well
    here it is


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