snobb

Slava Gliožeris
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650 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
JAN GARBAREK - Afric Pepperbird Avant-Garde Jazz | 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 216 3.50
2 Classic Fusion 93 3.38
3 Post Bop 48 3.45
4 Jazz Related Rock 45 3.19
5 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 41 3.49
6 World Fusion 40 3.15
7 Nu Jazz 35 3.46
8 Post-Fusion Contemporary 19 2.92
9 Jazz Related Improvisation 18 3.58
10 Hard Bop 14 3.36
11 Third Stream 11 3.27
12 Vocal Jazz 9 3.06
13 Progressive Big Band 9 3.61
14 DJ/Electronica Jazz 9 3.00
15 Jazz Related RnB 8 2.75
16 Latin Jazz 6 2.75
17 Pop Jazz/Crossover 6 2.25
18 Funk Jazz 5 3.20
19 Jazz Soundtracks 5 3.20
20 Jazz Related Blues 2 2.25
21 Exotica 2 3.00
22 Acid Jazz 2 3.00
23 Big Band 2 2.75
24 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.00
25 Cool Jazz 1 4.00
26 Jump Blues 1 3.50
27 Latin Rock/Soul 1 3.00
28 Soul Jazz 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

MASABUMI KIKUCHI Poesy : The Man Who Keeps Washing His Hands

Album · 1971 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi is one among this country's best known abroad jazzmen. He studied in Berklee in late 60s and on return to Japan played with many American musicians,touring the country.

I've reed in Masabumi's interview with Ethan Iverson (2013)he never liked his Berklee studies (except for Herb Pomeroy)and in his early years was influenced by advanced artists of the time as McCoy Tyner.He met Paul Bley when he played in Japan with Sonny Rollins,and Paul became his next hero.

Later, Masabumi started playing with bassist Gary Peacock (who palyed with Bley and lived in Japan for some years in late 60s-early 70s). Here 0n "Poesy",Peacock plays excellent deep physical bass on three compositions (I believe Peacock's time in Japan was his most inventive and advanced period), but generally this album is Kikuchi duo work with leading Japanese percussionist Masahiko Togashi.

Masahiko Togashi was one of very first Japanese free-jazz drummer in early 60s, but after accident in late 60s he wasn't able to play drums anymore. He switched to percussion and developed very complex and loose own techniques.Here on "Poesy" Masahiko demonstrates it in whole.

"Poesy" isn't characteristic album for Japanese early 70s jazz scene - it isn't loud,noisy,dissonant and quirky. No-one push music to the limit here. Kikuchi is obviously influenced by American jazz tradition, he plays tuneful and even warm piano,but without sentimentalism or catchy appeal of some his later works.He even doesn't scream a lot when playing on Jarrett's manner(he will develop this techniques later, but you still can hear him here as well what shows that he did it originally,with no relation to this Jarrett's manner; Jarrett will become star after few years).

"Poesy" is a great title for this music,just think about Western-Japanese cocktail,mixing European tradition with American freedom and Eastern Buddhist meditativeness.Music sounds well balanced as rarely,being beautiful,adventurous and stimulating at the same time.

Kikuchi will return back to States soon where he will stay for decades till now.He will release many albums developing his own style (some of them are really successful, others-not so much).Gary Peacock will become a real ECM star playing with Jarrett and Paul Motian among others (his Japanese period collaborations stay one of his most interesting works till now). Masahiko Togashi continued to enjoy Japan's cult percussionist status for decades ahead.

This album (with magnificent full title "Poesy:The Man Who Keeps Washing His Hands")was reissued on CD and became easier accessible evidence of great times in jazz.

TIM BERNE Shadow Man

Album · 2013 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Composer and sax player Tim Berne music was never an easy listening, "Shadow Man",his second album for ECM is even less so.

Known for decades as one of leaders of contemporary New York avant-garde jazz, Berne was known by his explosive and noisy recordings with electric band first of all. When in 2012 he released his first ever album for ECM, some his old fans decided that he's selling out (my old friend,originally physical engineer,but who lives organizing jazz concerts and running jazz label for years said that year he's not interested in Tim Berne's music anymore). Were they right? I don't think so.

Even on Berne's first ECM album,"Snakeoil",he demonstrated new concept,combining unusual for him fully acoustic quartet's music with crisp ECM sound. Second album,released an year after, "Shadow Man" is recorded by same acoustic quartet, this time in New York with assistance of Berne's one-time collaborator David Torn. Both albums are studio-recorded under well-known ECM attention to sound quality and details.And them both perfectly show the other side of Berne's music - great composer and almost pedantic studio musician. Comparing with ECM debut, "Shadow Man" is more matured,deeper - and being seriously pre-composed - freer. It's obvious that all quartet feel more comfortable in their new music, which is quirky,complex,multi-layered and beautiful at the same time.

More than 70 minutes long, this album doesn't sound like such. Even experienced listener will hardly separate where composed is changed with improvised and vise versa. Never Berne's music has been recorded with such attention to smaller details, and at the same time it didn't become too bloodless or mannerist,not at all. Even more - besides of five Berne's originals there is one Paul Motian song - "Psalm", full of sensitiveness and beauty,which was hardly imaginable on Berne's albums from previous decades.

Most probably the formula of success lays on original combination of Berne's NY avant-garde jazz tradition and ECM studio excellence,leaving European chamber jazz influence (which makes many ECM releases so face-off) aside.

This album with no doubt requires repeating listening and with every spin opens more and more new sides. One among few current time jazz albums,looking not in the past but towards advanced jazz future.

CHARLIE HADEN The Golden Number

Album · 1977 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett's bassist for decades, and one of the last living "jazz golden age" legends, Charlie Haden passed away two weeks ago. Besides countless collaborative works, he left numerous collections of his own albums. For decades, his projects such as the Liberation Music Orchestra or Quartet West were among the most popular on the international jazz scene.

Besides the aforementioned groups, Haden also released a series of duets, which even if they were not so well-known, often contain a lot of interesting material. Haden's first duet sessions took place in early '76, when four compositions were recorded. The first four songs (duets with Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian, Ornette Coleman and Alice Coltrane) were released that same year as "Closeness" on the tiny Horizon Records And Tapes label. A year later, Horizon released the rest of the material (the choice of compositions for the former release is a bit strange since the outtakes, released later, are quite often stronger than what was released first).

So, the album of four "outtakes", each contains a Haden duet with either Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman or pianist Hampton Haves. What a great time it was, when such compositions were counted as "outtakes", for the coming decades, even leading jazz albums will hardly contain such material!

"The Golden Number" opens with Haden's tuneful composition (all but one song on this album are Haden's, the other one - Coleman's) on which Cherry's trumpet flies over Charlie's almost lazy bass. Cherry's trumpet solo is quite lyrical and with no doubt one of his most beautiful ever played (he plays flute on this song as well).

The second and final composition on side A is a duet with tenor Archie Shepp - and it's a bomb. Twelve minutes long, this song is driven by Shepp's soulful and bopish sax from the very first seconds. In the mid-70s Archie Shepp was in transition leaving his early explosive free sax attacks and searching for new ground. Similarly, with his own albums of that period, he plays something between free-bop and balladry, still quite free though. On this duet, Haden is obviously on back-up, supporting Shepp's speech-like sax soloing.

"Turnaround" is originally an Ornette Coleman composition, but here it is played by Haden and pianist Hampton Hawes. Hampton Hawes is a great pianist, but the more traditional of all the collaborators on this album, so the whole thing sounds really nice, but a bit out of place between the others. Haden demonstrates his hard-bop abilities (Hawes is the obvious leader anyway). After "Golden Number", Haden's next release will be a collection of duets with Hampton Hawes, which sounds better all in one place (probably because the music on this next album is more homogeneous, not contrasting as on here).

The closer is the almost thirteen minutes long title composition, the duet with Ornette Coleman. Surprisingly, it's very tuneful and lyrical, even sentimental, not what you usually can expect from Coleman. Having been collaborators for years, Coleman and Haden demonstrate excellent communication and rare emotional relations, making this song an excellent final for this great (if too short) album.

Charlie Haden's fame comes not from his formidable technique, but from his tunes, collaborations, and the variety of collectives he founded and led, from the emotional atmosphere of his music and his naively optimistic political manifests. "The Golden Number" may not be Haden's best record, but it may be the right candidate to listen to now, just for remembering Charlie, because of its intimate atmosphere and bare-naked simplicity, which is so close to greatness.

All eight duets, recorded in 1976, and released originally on two Horizon vinyls, were later re-released on one CD, which is probably the easiest way to listen to this music.

EVAN PARKER Time Lapse

Album · 2006 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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British living legend sax player Evan Parker is the same guy who (together with Derek Bailey) founded the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and played on Peter Brotzmann's "Machine Gun". Since then he has developed extended techniques, circular breathing and has released a lot of albums as leader.

His solo sax recordings are not a rarity, but "Time Lapse", released on Zorn's Tzadik label, is different - here Parker uses overdubbing, playing against himself (less significant-he debuted on this album as an organ player as well).

In fact, during the last few decades Parker's music hasn't changed much - he still plays the same repetitive improvised constructions without paying much attention to tune or structure, But the way he does it is always impressive and it doesn't seem to matter if it's your first or tenth listen.

This album often sounds as if there are two or three musicians participating, and this seems to hold true whether there is overdubbing or not. Throughout Parker plays in his signature manner - not screamy, noisy or too "out", but well organized, with a lot of attention to details. It's hard to apply a genre label to this music, is it 'contemporary' jazz or avant-garde, thats how well prepared his improvs sound.

No way revolutionary for Evan Parker, this album represents his current music and can attract everyone interested in original solo sax improvisational music.

ALAN SILVA Luna Surface (with Celestrial Communication Orchestra)

Album · 1969 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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In one of his interviews, Alan Silva said this about this album: ""Luna Surface" is my idea of landing on the moon". This probably sounded a bit different in 1969, when this album was recorded, but it does give some idea of what one can expect.

Bermuda-born (to a local father and Azorean/Portuguese mother) Alan moved with his mother to New York when he was 5 and grew up in Harlem. During the 50s and 60s he played with many leading jazz musicians, including Sun Ra, Charles Mingus and Albert Ayler among others. "Luna Surface" is Silva's debut as a leader, and one of the most extreme albums of its time (even if that time was full of extreme music).

First of all, this is the first release from Silva's led Celestrial Communication Orchestra - a loose collective which will later play better structured and organized progressive big band music, and often written and conducted by Silva (he wouldn't perform himself on some later albums). The initial line-up contained the high adventure jazz stars of all times, including Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Kenny Burrell, Graham Moncur III, Malachi Favors, and Leroy Jenkins among others.

This album's concept was extreme freedom - everyone plays whatever he wants with no relation to what others do. In other words, each musician was a soloist, and all were soloists at the same time.

As a result, we got a noisy dissonant music which starts nowhere, and being high energy and dynamic, goes nowhere as well. One long piece (28+ minute) without even imitation of structure, development or any scenario. Peter Brotzmann's "Machine Gun" sounds like a well developed and organized work compared with "Luna Surface" (both albums were released at the same time).

But open eared listeners (with some experience in 60s free jazz or just brutal improv fans) will probably find its own beauty in this chaotic sound. To be honest, the main attraction comes from the two violins (Silva himself and Leroy Jenkins), soloing at the same time all album long (Silva plays the violin as a vertical bass, using a lot of the highest frequencies). The rest of the orchestra, most of the time, just produces over-orchestrated musical noise, where it is almost impossible to investigate who plays what. Still, at moments multiple sound layers demonstrate how better this recording could be by reducing the number of members and by using more progressive sound recording technologies.

In all cases, not the album for everyone, "Luna Surface" has been re-released many times and has historical value for sure. It's always interesting to know how some artists more than half a century ago imagined what landing on the moon would sound like.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 12 days ago in Samba
    [QUOTE=Atkingani][QUOTE=js] Michelangelo Antonioni, a great Italian master!The movie is La Notte (The Night), 1961. [/QUOTE] in late 60s Antonioni screened Blow-Up and Zabriskie Point (with Pink Floyd soundtrack)
  • Posted 15 days ago in Blues Rocker Johnny Winter Dead at 70
    another sad news this week 
  • Posted 37 days ago in Brian Eno new album
    another one of the same duo is released :[TUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwnxypgED6s#t=60[/TUBE]  snobb2014-06-25 15:17:28

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