Slava Gliožeris
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593 reviews/ratings
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
FIRE! - You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago Jazz Related Improvisation | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Avant-Garde Jazz 197 3.51
2 Classic Fusion 79 3.35
3 Jazz Related Rock 43 3.21
4 Post Bop 41 3.48
5 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 39 3.49
6 World Fusion 36 3.15
7 Nu Jazz 35 3.46
8 Jazz Related Improvisation 18 3.58
9 Post-Fusion Contemporary 16 2.91
10 Hard Bop 14 3.36
11 Progressive Big Band 10 3.60
12 Third Stream 9 3.33
13 Vocal Jazz 9 3.06
14 DJ/Electronica Jazz 9 3.00
15 Jazz Related RnB 8 2.75
16 Latin Jazz 6 2.75
17 Jazz Soundtracks 5 3.20
18 Pop Jazz/Crossover 4 2.00
19 Funk Jazz 3 3.33
20 Exotica 2 3.00
21 Jazz Related Blues 2 2.25
22 Acid Jazz 2 3.00
23 Big Band 2 2.75
24 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.00
25 Latin Rock/Soul 1 3.00
26 Jump Blues 1 3.50
27 Soul Jazz 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

STEVE LACY Prospectus (aka Clichés)

Live album · 1983 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Some people say Steve Lacy played few same tunes all his life. Speaking formally about compositions, it's difficult do not agree with that,even more - playing few same tunes lot of times he tried to record them again and again,so his really extended discography partially contains of ten or so his own "standards".But - everyone more familiar with Lacy music will agree that one can hardly find on his releases these compositions sounding too similarly. Even on his sax solo recordings (there are quite a lot of such type of releases)same songs usually sound very different.

Here on double vinyl,coming from early 80s (who said 80s were a dark time for adventurous jazz? Lacy simply doesn't care about time's fashion)Lacy plays mostly compositions from his "golden fund", as often. But what an album it is! If for many fans (including myself) Lacy's music usually associates with tuneful but ascetic/minimalist sound,usually played by small band (from solo to duo to trio),here Lacy leads sextet improved with George Lewis on trombone. And from album's music one can easily hear that here plays really small orchestra - sound is full-bodied,richly arranged,with muscular bluesy rhythm section. Interplay between band members are telepathic,they obviously enjoy their playing so all quite a long album sounds as one jazz fiesta (material is recorded live in France and live informal atmosphere adds a lot, on weak side recording's sound quality is only average).

So, Steve and Co. play his "Stamps" and "Wickets" and "The Dump",side-long "Clichés"(with "Cyrille Few and his friend"(?!)on percussion), "The Dump" again, but all same songs sound totally different played by this powerful band (often all this music sounds just like freer and more atonal and distorted. Lacy on soprano and unusual alto together with Lewis's trombone on front of sound demonstrate fantastic playful soloing anchored by more conservative rhythm section. Irene Aebi sings (in her specific classic-influenced manner) on few songs as well.Hour and half of very enthusiastic musicianship doesn't continue too long,one can hardly find even short boring moment here.

Reissued in 1999 on CD,original album lost part of its content (there was not enough place for two wholly filled vinyls on single CD),but generally became a bit more concentrated and better edited.Both versions are excellent place to start for everyone interested in Lacy's bigger bands music.

WADADA LEO SMITH The Great Lakes Suites

Album · 2014 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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"The Great Lakes Suites", trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith's new release, is one more success. If some his more current recordings come as monumental works for orchestra, "Suites.." is quite different. Although it is a large-scale project by length (released as a double CD, which is quite normal for Wadada), it is recorded by only quartet.

It doesn't always sound like just a quartet though - more of a mini-big band sound (not by intensity of musical flow but by the manner of playing) and often quite close to Wadada's big orchestras. The music flows without peaks and extended solos, but as a complex, even if minimalist, well-balanced wave. Bassist John Lindberg is Wadada's most regular collaborator, drummer Jack DeJohnette already recorded some music with Smith as well. Henry Threadgill (on saxes and flutes) is probably less involved in the trumpeter's most current works, but his music is rooted in the same Chicagoan AACM tradition as Leo's for decades.

I am familiar with all of Wadada's most current releases, and even if his composition manner is obvious on them all (which is only for the good, since he is one of the most original of all living composers in large-format jazz music), "Suites.." is different from his other works in at least one thing - nothing is bombastic here.

Dedicated to the five Great Lakes (one composition to each) plus one more (the final composition, titled as "Lake St. Clair) dedicated to a different Lake - musician Oliver Lake. All of the music on here has that atmosphere which one always associates with big northern waters; geological history, cold water masses, glacial stones and never-ending flows. Nothing is slow in this music, but nothing is nervous, quirky or explosive as well. All four of the musicians build well-balanced complex and often beautiful (as nature itself - without even a touch of sentimentality) music, never pathetic. Here one can hear how Wadada, trumpeter and composer, sounds at his best.

Excellent work, one of Wadada's best for years.

TOSHIYUKI MIYAMA & THE NEW HERD Yotsu No Jazz Composition aka Four Jazz Compositions

Album · 1970 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Toshiyuki Miyama is a key figure in Japanese progressive big band music. He started playing jazz with his band before WWII. After the war, his big band was a hot name in the US Navy clubs in Japan. His first recorded albums contained big band classics and popular tunes of the time up to the late 60s, when the avant-garde jazz invasion (mostly introduced by young Japanese jazzmen returning from jazz studies in the States) revolutionized the country's scene.

Starting in 1967-68, Miyama adapted a new sound playing with leading genre local musicians. "Four Jazz Compositions" is not his band's first advanced release, but one among a few very early such albums, and one of the rarest. Still, its rarity is not this album's main attraction (unless you are collector), the presented music is quite unique, even for that extremely advanced time.

It's a public secret that discussions about originality (or better to say its absence) in Japanese jazz had long decades of history. Here, on "Four Jazz Compositions", the listener will easily find some early evidence of what can be tagged as "original Japanese elements".

The album's opener, the ten-minute long "Mumyoju", is composed by Japanese leading avant-garde pianist and composer of the time, Masahiko Satoh, (he plays on it as well, but percussion, not piano). It begins with silence pierced with ascetic needles of percussion, minimal brass splashes and koto. Still silence (or "free air", as it is often called in Japanese avant-garde music) is the largest and most important composition component. The music here is near static, in moments meditative, but more often - quite dramatic and recalls early Western contemporary avant-garde compositions, just with an Eastern touch.

The second composition,"Shirabyoshi", opens as if it's just a continuation of the previous one, but very soon piano, bass and the brass section take their part - here one can be sure that all the Orchestra is in action. From meditative slow tempos, it grows fast to an orchestral jazz-rock sound, but on the four minute mark, Miyama cuts the sound. What follows sounds like a well arranged pop-tune, or movie soundtrack. It doesn't last long though, at the sixth minute the orchestra moves toward a full-bodied big band sound with a muscular rock-influenced rhythm section and brass fireworks. Growing tensions explode close to the ten minute mark and continues as nervous mid-tempo orchestral "Ikisudama", recalling a more contemporary avant-garde piece than any form of jazz. The listener shouldn't be bored though - somewhere in the middle the music somehow naturally transforms to a full bodied big band sound, something that could be played by Mingus. As if it would be not enough, the orchestra explodes with distorted sound, a lot of almost cacophonous brass soloing and at the end returns back to base - slow down till almost meditative, even if still nervous in moments, avant-garde chamber orchestra sound.

The fourth and final composition opens with a drum solo and rolls ahead as a tuneful richly brass arranged jazz-rock song, very cinematic, but still with some small distortions here and there. At the end this forty minute long album, it stays in your memory as a gallery of musical pictures, some more organically related than others, but never boring.

Miyama will continue releasing advanced big band releases for some more years, but "Four Jazz Compositions" (together with "Yamataifu", "Eternity? ・Epos" and few more) will stay as one of the best examples of Japanese adventurous orchestrated jazz.

TRIO 3 Wiring (with Vijay Iyer)

Album · 2014 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Trio 3 is a collective made up of veteran sax player Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille, formed in the late 90s for playing at European jazz festivals. In the beginning of the new century they found their home at the Swiss Intakt label, which regularly releases their music up to today.

Lately the trio has adapted an interesting format, playing with guest pianists, a different one on each studio album (they started playing with Irène Schweizer, and continued with Gerri Allen and Jason Moran). Here on "Wiring", their new guest is rising US star Vijay Iyer. For European listeners, Vijay is well known by his series of excellent contemporary/world fusion releases on the German ACT label, and his ECM solo debut this year.

Oliver Lake is one of the BAG (Black Artists Group, organization similar to AACM) founders and a key figure in New York's 70s loft jazz scene. Reggie Workman has played with John Coltrane and Art Blakey among many others. Andrew Cyrille is best known as one of Cecil Taylor's band members. So no big surprise that Trio 3 plays advanced improvisational jazz, covering decades of its evolution. All of them (and particularly Oliver Lake) are too large of figures to stay just co-members of this project, so generally all the music on here is played by this Lake-led trio, but with plenty of possibilities for the younger Iyer to participate, fortunately he has enough space and freedom for that.

Still very much Lake's album, it represents his stronger side as a blues and hard bop rooted free improviser with attention to melody and structure. all of these songs all are well-made and executed, and sound fresh enough and non-boring even on an almost 70-minute long album. The rhythms and moods change to avoid sameness,the only problem is some sense direction-less which starts to be noticable during the second half of the album. Better editing and probably some shortening of the album length would help to make it more dynamic and inspired.

In all, very competent modern sounding music with deep roots, one of the better jazz releases this year.

ALAN SILVA The Shout (Portrait For A Small Woman)

Album · 1979 · Progressive Big Band
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Ten years after his legendary debut ("excellent" or "unacceptably chaotic cacophony", depending on the listener's taste) Alan Silva released his third studio album (and first studio recording in ten years) entitled "The Shout (Portrait for a Small Woman)".

At that time, Silva was working as a teacher in the Institute for Art, Culture, and Perception in Paris, and the material comes mostly from his teaching work. He doesn't play any instruments on "The Shout", but instead leads a 21-piece orchestra that is a combination of Silva's "Celestrial Communications Orchestra" plus his students. Silva wrote and arranged all the music and he conducts the orchestra as well.

Musically, this album is not similar to his debut, at least not from the first spin. Seven well structured, completely pre-composed tunes, all under 10 minutes long, are rooted in Ellingtonian tradition and post-bop. But during the listening one can easily hear Silva's background as a late 60s unorthodox experimentalist. All the arrangements contain that non-conformist, even chaotic element, coming from his debut, just here it is presented in a the form of modern European classical composition.

Among the orchestra members, I found just a few known names (at least for me); trumpeters Itaru Oki and Bernard Vitet, and drummer Muhammad Ali are among them, but in all, this collective sounds very professional and inspired playing quite complex compositions.

Much more accessible than the early Silva works, this album still contains lot of his extravaganza, so it could be easily recommended as an entry point. At the same time, it's a great (if obscure) addition to Silva's quite limited collection of releases.

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