Slava Gliožeris
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828 reviews/ratings
STEELY DAN - Countdown to Ecstasy RnB
MILES DAVIS - Agharta Fusion
JAZZ Q PRAHA /JAZZ Q - Symbiosis Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
LYUBOMIR DENEV - Lyubomir Denev Jazz Trio And Petko Tomanov Fusion | review permalink
SOFT MACHINE - Third Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
SOFT MACHINE - The Peel Sessions Fusion | review permalink
KRZYSZTOF KOMEDA - Astigmatic Post Bop | review permalink
SOFT HEAP / SOFT HEAD - Rogue Element (as Soft Head) Fusion | review permalink
ROBERT WYATT - Rock Bottom Pop/Art Song/Folk | review permalink
KAZUTOKI UMEZU - Eclecticism Eclectic Fusion | review permalink
JAN GARBAREK - Afric Pepperbird Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
DAVID TORN - Polytown Nu Jazz | review permalink
MASADA - 50⁴ (Electric Masada) Eclectic Fusion | 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) 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

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Avant-Garde Jazz 296 3.69
2 Fusion 93 3.53
3 Post Bop 86 3.57
4 Eclectic Fusion 52 3.71
5 Jazz Related Rock 35 3.30
6 Hard Bop 34 3.43
7 Nu Jazz 31 3.60
8 World Fusion 29 3.12
9 21st Century Modern 29 3.86
10 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 24 3.56
11 Third Stream 17 3.41
12 Post-Fusion Contemporary 17 3.21
13 Progressive Big Band 15 3.80
14 RnB 14 3.39
15 Vocal Jazz 12 3.33
16 Pop/Art Song/Folk 10 2.95
17 Jazz Related Soundtracks 5 3.50
18 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 5 3.40
19 African Fusion 4 3.75
20 Cool Jazz 3 3.67
21 Funk Jazz 3 3.50
22 Latin Jazz 2 3.50
23 Acid Jazz 2 3.75
24 Exotica 2 3.00
25 Big Band 2 2.75
26 Blues 2 3.00
27 Funk 1 3.50
28 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 3.50
29 Jump Blues 1 3.50
30 Soul Jazz 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS Levels And Degrees Of Light

Album · 1968 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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"Levels And Degrees Of Light",released more than a half-century ago, is an almost forgotten cornerstone evidence of the entire epoch, and that's a shame. One of AACM founder pianist Muhal Richard Abrams (or simply Richard Abrams at the time of release) debut contains lot of ideas which have been developed for upcoming decades with a great success.

Just three longish compositions, all different but beautiful in their own way. One big surprise is lot of ambient sounds, similar to "white noise" on two longest album's compositions, recalling early synthesizers sound. Not common in jazz, early (rare and really expensive) synthesizers attracted interest of some known pianists, as Paul Bley or Richard Teitelbaum among others,so there are some recordings coming from 70s with use of this instrument,but the biggest surprise is that there on "Levels And Degrees Of Light" no electronic devices are used at all!

Main sources of ambient noise are Gordon Emmanuel vibes on opener and Leroy Jenkins violin on "The Bird Song". On "Levels And Degrees Of Light" classically trained vocalist Penelope Taylor sings over the ambient sounds, with addition of Abrams soloing on clarinet. Album's longest composition "The Bird Song" (filling all B-side on original vinyl release, but stated second in line on CD reissue)contains characteristic for 60s recitative poetry (read by David Moore).

"My Thoughts Are My Future - Now And Forever" which closes digital edition of this album, is shorter and more usual for the time groovy high-energy free jazz composition with staccato piano,sax soloing from Anthony Braxton (most probably his first ever recorded work) and lot of space for drummer Thurman Barker.

The album which probably doesn't sound such a radical from time distance at the day of release was innovative and perfectly illustrated the musical concept of then newly established musical school/movement of innovative Chicagoan artists which is still alive and active nowadays.

RODRIGO AMADO Rodrigo Amado & Chris Corsano : No Place to Fall

Album · 2019 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Astral Spirits label started in 2014 as extravaganza of sort offering obscure left-field avant-garde/free improve artists music in a form of old-fashioned audio cassettes. It looked more like a hipster dream than real world idea to listen music which usually requires especially high quality sound from something what never was a synonym of "quality sound" or quality in general.

Still,five years after, they are alive and kicking with wide catalogue and more renown names in there. Becoming more earthy they started offering vinyl and CDs besides of cassettes as well.

On one of their newest releases one can find quite a regular free jazz recorded by duo of Rodrigo Amado and Chris Corsano. Reeds player Rodrigo Amado (using exclusively tenor sax on this record)is one of the main faces of very active Portuguese avant-garde jazz of last two decades. American drummer Chris Corsano played with Bjork on her "Volta" and collaborated with Evan Parker, Thurston Moore and Nels Cline among many others.

Reedist-drummer free form music, recorded in Lisbon studio five years ago is groovy, soulful and even bluesy in moments. As many other better Amado works, there are lot of tunes and emotions besides of big doze of energy. Rodrigo never loses his way of controlled improvisation and as a result songs sound quite accessible, almost memorable.

There are lot of straight-in-your-face flowing pieces, and some slower ones, but altogether the album (of cassette size, not too long - and I really like it more and more)works pretty well. The energy is more positive and optimistic then destroying, and some songs are almost free jazz ballads. Changing each other, the collection of musical pieces sound surprisingly orthodox, almost traditional in good sense(within such a nontraditional music as free jazz is)

Another strong work of one of better European jazz sax player. Portuguese jazz from "hot" switches to "mature" and stays one among most interesting scenes in Europe.


Album · 2019 · RnB
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Native New Yorker singer and percussionist Bernard Fowler was a back up vocalist for Rolling Stones during last twenty years. Is lesser known he was a member of Bill Laswell Material and participated recording Philip Glass ("Songs from Liquid Days"), Herbie Hancock("Future Shock" & "Sound-System") and James Blood Ulmer("America – Do You Remember the Love?") albums among many others.

His third album as a leader is a true success. Fowler takes "Rolling Stones" early years songs (far not only hits)and rework them deeply to beatnik-rap minimalist straight-to-your-face singing poetry, in a tradition of Gil Scott-Heron. It's always a risky business working with such renown material as Rolling Stones legacy, but here on "Inside Out" Fowler finds very his own and perfectly working take on material.

Predominantly rapping over the minimalist quartet of three percussionists and one of three drummers, Bernard takes renown songs lyrics on the front, and them almost always sound both very actual and poetical at the same time. Rarely if ever the Rolling Stones songs' lyrics have been so much in the center of attention when played by original authors during 60s or 70s.

There are very tasteful addition of some more musicians on separate songs, as wah-wah guitars from Geo Evan and Ray Parker Jr. on "Dancing with Mr.D" or long sax soloing from Tim Ries on "Must Be Hell".

Probably most difficult target was reworking of two bigger hits, "Undercover of the Night" and "Sympathy for the Devil", but even here Fowler generally succeeded. Differently from British r'n'b we so well know from Stones' originals Fowler offers very American album of proto-rap, African percussion and funky rhythms.

Started once, you can't stop listening it again and again.

GONG The Universe Also Collapses

Album · 2019 · Jazz Related Rock
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Founded in France in late 60s by Australian beatnik Daevid Allen Gong for decades was possible best known musical hippie commune, based in Europe. They never received a commercial success but after all these years there are still people around discussing their Radio Gnome Trilogy (I'm serious - I can even mention a name or few!).

So, right after the half of a century (serious age for active music collective, isn't it?) we get an offer to listen to the new music recorded by "Gong". What is in a menu?

Band's founder and spiritual/creative leader Daevid Allen passed away in 2015 and the yeasr after there was released an album contained his legacy (unfinished ideas and works and lot of music from his younger collaborators who played beside of him). It was quite a great memorial release if not really a Gong album. Now, three years later (and four years after Allen's death), we have an album of new material,not something from the vaults. I'm far not a person who idolize even a great artists, but in a case with Gong things are not so simple.

Original Gong has always been more then just a band, in fact at their best they were talented counter-couture commune playing for fun and time to time recording their hippie-dada-space tales to dedicated followers. There were lot of line-up changes and there were more then a few Gong versions as well. Even best of them (different then Allen "original" one) was a better-then-average jazz fusion band (I'm speaking about so-called "Pierre Moerlen Gong" and their "Shamal" and "Gazeuse!" albums from mid 70s), but they lost that Allen's childish playful freakiness from very first steps. It was Allen himself who saved this ingredient for any project ,he participated, no-one else.

Returning back to newest album,"The Universe Also Collapses" is surprisingly strong (for second decade of new Millennium) progressive rock release. Skilled musicians who all played on last Gong album with Allen still on board - "I See You"(2014) - do the great job here. From twenty-plus minute long space-rock opener "Forever Reoccurring" ("Hawkwind" fans must to hear it for sure)to short guitars driven well-arranged "If Never I'm And Ever You" (do you still remember American AOR bands from early 80s?)to "My Sawtooth Wake" (I really respect Steve Wilson music too)and finally the closer "The Elemental" (Jethro Tull goes AOR?)they play a high quality progressive rock of sort with enthusiasm and positive energy not so characteristic for the time when progressive rock too often become a form of self parody.

Still is it enough for calling themselves "Gong"?


Album · 1979 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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The Art Ensemble of Chicago(AEOC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. They already played a series of gigs in US and announced upcoming European tour in October. Double album with new studio and some live recordings "We Are on the Edge" has been just released as well.

The band for all these decades was an unorthodox avant-garde celebrities of sort - their early circus-like shows and use of nontraditional sound instruments ("little instruments" - bells, bicycle horns, birthday party noisemakers,etc,etc)made them name partially around Europe as non-conformist forerunners, at the same time they were rarely supported by music critics and never experienced real commercial success. With years to come they received almost cult status as influential early avant-garde jazz band, but many newcomers are often disappointed when listening their one or another album.

There are many reasons why it happens that way, but the main one is their music worked well when evidenced live and in the times when them looked really alternative/counterculture act (i.i. late 60s -early 70s). The Western world was different and it wanted something revolutionary or even "revolutionary". They just started in right time (and in a case with Paris ca.1969 - in right place). Their music doesn't date all that well, at least some part of it.

The other reason why many their albums (to be honest - almost all) doesn't sound all that attractive today is on a peak of their early popularity they released plenty of badly recorded and edited music. All but one their albums recorded between 1969 and 1974 were released on tiny European (predominantly French) labels as BYG or America and often sound as unedited demos. In case with AEOC music bad sound mix and uninspired editing means that the listener receives a collection of muddy directless never-ending noises coming from small instruments time to time interrupted by tuneful marches and "true" instruments soloing. Those familiar with band's impressive discogs will probably agree that it is almost impossible to mention even a few really great their albums (in whole). As rule, even their better releases contain few stronger pieces and lot of fillers. At the same time, early live recordings are predominantly of bootleg quality and can be recommended for hot fans and collectors mostly.

Their first American major label release came in 1974 only (on Atlantic) and it stays one of their better works for sure. Second album has been released after five years only, and it is the one we are speaking about - "Nice Guys" on prestigious ECM! Musically it represents a wide variety of regular AEOC music, but in term of quality it is a big step ahead. Renown by their recordings exclusive airy clear sound, ECM people recorded the material in their main Tonstudio Bauer in Ludwigsburg with full respect to each of many sounds traditionally produced by band. At last the dedicated listener can hear every smallest bell's ring and car signal's call as if he's in a room where the band is playing live.

Surprisingly how much that sound/mix quality adds to band's music - being musically mostly the same on "Nice Guys" the band sounds much richer and for sure more attractively. Then, there are only 6 compositions chosen for the album and them mostly are all quite short (in AEOC terms). It means there are no long bulky "little instruments" soling at every possibility, as it was before. General band music's relaxed and improvisational nature is presented well enough but still all material is edited making it much more listenable.

The opener "Ja" contains reggae rhythms and is one of these band's songs that stays in memory for years. Less than two-minutes long "Nice Guys" is a groovy song nicely filling the gap between the opener and "Folkus" - a longer and freer composition demonstrating all the collection of band's "little instruments" and gongs sounds and excellent recording studio and ECM engineers abilities as well. And - it doesn't sound annoying or boring.

On "597-59" band runs ahead on whole cylinders with continuing reeds soloing over the groovy drums/bass shaking ground, in a true free jazz fashion. Finishes with extended solo bass dance.

"Cyp"doesn't have such busy sound as other album's compositions, it is slower,almost static with crispy sound from each instrument, free and near philosophical. "Dreaming of the Master" - the closer and longest album song, is dedicated to Miles Davis and surprisingly enough it sounds not much different from Miles himself, circa late 50s.At least in the beginning and the end - central part is dedicated to free jazz.

"Nice Guys" is a high quality representative AEOC album covering their first five years. As almost any other ECM release it has re-issued many times and it isn't a problem to find it for purchase. One better choice for newbies and anyone interested to find out why Art Ensemble of Chicago are celebrities till now. Find it, listen and then go to see them live.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 8 days ago in CHARLES MINGUS ,Live Berlin,1972..
    moved here
  • Posted 12 days ago in What are You Listening II
  • Posted 31 days ago in Recently Watched Films
    Quentin Tarantino new movies don't come too often so every new one is an event (or not). "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" is a long (two and half hour) and it's better then many of his works from last few decades. Dedicated to life around Hollywood in 1969 (at least like it sees Tarantino) contains a lot of great music from that time, but most important - it is quite detailed view on California ca.1969[TUBE]d_MuMNPbIF4[/TUBE]


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