Jazz Related Improv/Composition

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The art of improvisation in music did not begin with jazz, but the appearance of jazz in the early 20th century has certainly heightened the popularity of improvisation in all styles of contemporary music.

The artists featured in JMA's Jazz Related Improvisation genre play improvised music that has strong similarities to jazz, especially avant-garde jazz. The boundary between the Jazz Related Improvisation genre and the Avant-Garde Jazz and Fusion genres may not always be clear, but generally the JMA Avant-Garde jazz artist comes from a jazz background, while the Jazz Related Improviser may come from a more eclectic background. Also, the artists listed in this genre may include groups that mix jazz artists with other experimental artists.

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SUPERSILENT 5 Album Cover 5
SUPERSILENT
4.67 | 3 ratings
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BACK DOOR Back Door Album Cover Back Door
BACK DOOR
4.44 | 7 ratings
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THINKING PLAGUE In Extremis Album Cover In Extremis
THINKING PLAGUE
4.50 | 2 ratings
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MARC RIBOT Spiritual Unity Album Cover Spiritual Unity
MARC RIBOT
4.20 | 5 ratings
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BOBBY PREVITE The 23 Constellations of Joan Miró Album Cover The 23 Constellations of Joan Miró
BOBBY PREVITE
4.25 | 2 ratings
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FRED FRITH Speechless Album Cover Speechless
FRED FRITH
4.08 | 6 ratings
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MARC RIBOT Asmodeus: Book of Angels, Volume 7 Album Cover Asmodeus: Book of Angels, Volume 7
MARC RIBOT
4.06 | 6 ratings
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RADIATA 5TET Aurelia Aurita Album Cover Aurelia Aurita
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4.09 | 4 ratings
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CLAUDIO MILANO Adython (with Erna Franssens) Album Cover Adython (with Erna Franssens)
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4.00 | 5 ratings
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FRED FRITH
3.98 | 6 ratings
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4.00 | 3 ratings
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jazz related improv/composition Music Reviews

ANDREA MORELLI Black Lands - A tribute to Africa

Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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paperoga58
Take a classical and heterodox pianist, author of singular research on African cultured music, with a curriculum of over five hundred concerts and about fifteen discs in the studio and live. Add an imaginative and evocative saxophonist of equally long course with a lasting interest in modal jazz of African-American character. You will have in your hands Black Lands: A Tribute to Africa, disc entirely designed, made and produced in Sardinia, released last June of this 2018. Silvia Belfiore at the piano and Andrea Morelli at the winds deliver a beautiful and unusual record, very far from a long theory of jazz productions of great technical and compositional qualities but with reiterated and commercially reliable contents. We were talking about cultured African music, that is of music intentionally left in writing by contemporary composers of the continent. Works that find their roots in the oral and musical traditions otherwise not noted, exempt from aesthetic extemporaneousness and related to specific ritual and social circumstances of work, nomadism, marriage, death. The field research and the interpretations of Silvia Belfiore therefore go to compose the entire structure of absolute formal and executive rigor on which Andrea Morelli inserts his infinite melodic textures of improvisations and steps of scale.

The genesis of the title attributed to the album is passed by a denotative Mysterious Adventure to a more representative Black Landscapes, finally arriving at the now known Black Lands. And of purely black territories it is in fact, without the possibility of misunderstanding with western artistic interference except for the mere coming from Belfiore and Morelli from the island of Sardinia. An amazing work of a strongly identity nature, Black Lands consists of ten pieces executed at high level without interruption, qualified by an intense rhythmic component that finds its apex in the splendid Ukom on scores for talking drums by Nigerian Joshua Uzoigwe and in rhythms chasing broken Herero Wedding Dance on music by the Ghanese Fred Onovwerosuoke. In the album there are also three tributes: to Duke Ellington (Fleurette Africaine) to Abdullah Ibrahim (The Wedding) and John Cage (Mysterious Adventure), with the intimate final cameo of Andrea Morelli dedicated to Asmara, his city of choice and frequent returns, to close this latest production unexpected and of great value. Vanni Boni

Prendete una pianista classica e eterodossa, autrice di singolari ricerche sulla musica colta africana, con un curriculum di oltre cinquecento concerti e una quindicina tra dischi in studio e dal vivo. Aggiungete un sassofonista immaginifico e evocativo d’altrettanto lungo corso con un duraturo interesse per il jazz modale di impronta afro-americana. Avrete tra le mani Black Lands: A Tribute to Africa, disco interamente pensato, realizzato e prodotto in Sardegna, uscito lo scorso mese di giugno di questo 2018. Silvia Belfiore al pianoforte e Andrea Morelli ai fiati consegnano un disco bellissimo e inusuale, ben discosto da una lunga teoria di produzioni jazzistiche di grandi qualità tecniche e compositive ma dai contenuti reiterati e commercialmente affidabili. Dicevamo di musica africana colta, ossia di musica lasciata volutamente in forma scritta da compositori contemporanei del continente. Opere che trovano le proprie radici nelle tradizioni orali e musicali altrimenti non annotate, esenti da estemporaneità estetizzanti e correlate a specifiche circostanze rituali e sociali di lavoro, nomadismo, matrimonio, morte. Le ricerche sul campo e le interpretazioni di Silvia Belfiore vanno dunque a comporre l’intera struttura di assoluto rigore formale e esecutivo sulla quale Andrea Morelli inserisce le proprie infinite trame melodiche di improvvisazioni e salti di scala.

La genesi del titolo attribuito al disco è transitata da un denotativo Mysterious Adventure a un più rappresentativo Black Landscapes, approdando infine al Black Lands ora conosciuto. E di territori puramente neri infatti si tratta, senza possibilità di equivoco con interferenze artistiche occidentali eccezion fatta per il mero provenire di Belfiore e Morelli dall’isola di Sardegna. Opera sorprendente, di natura fortemente identitaria, Black Lands è costituito da dieci pezzi eseguiti ad elevato livello senza soluzione di continuità, qualificati da un’intensa componente ritmica che trova il suo apice nello splendido Ukom su partiture per talking drums del nigeriano Joshua Uzoigwe e nei ritmi a inseguirsi spezzati di Herero Wedding Dance su musiche del ghanese Fred Onovwerosuoke. Nel disco anche tre omaggi: a Duke Ellington (Fleurette Africaine) ad Abdullah Ibrahim (The Wedding) e John Cage (Mysterious Adventure), con l’intimo cameo finale di Andrea Morelli dedicato ad Asmara, sua città di elezione e di frequenti ritorni, a chiudere questa recentissima produzione inattesa e di gran pregio. Vanni Boni

KALLE KALIMA Kalle Kalima & K-18 : Some Kubricks Of Blood

Album · 2009 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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Matt
Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima with this release comprising a quartet has taken Stanley Kubrick’s films for inspiration with his compositions and album theme in 2009 with “Some Kubricks Of Blood” which was released on the Tum Label. Kalle Kailma has worked with quite a few well known names in Jazz prior to this with Tomasz Stanko, Marc Ducret, Juhani Aaltonen as well as having lead three different trios and currently is touring with Jim Tenor as well as teaching guitar in the music department at The University of Luzern. Quartet is the make up for this Kubrick influenced project with Kalle, on electric and acoustic guitar, Mikko Innanen, alto, soprano and baritone saxophone, Vile Kujala , quarter tone accordion with Teppo Hauta-aho on double bass and you will notice that there is no drummer included as Kalle was after a certain atmosphere for his presentation and vision of his Stanley Kubrick compositions.

It’s “Overlook Hotel” from ‘The Shining” opening with the musicians keeping things separated between bursts of guitar for this interesting opening improv number with a bit of creaky atmosphere to follow where one will realise the album is as much Experimental as it is Jazz with some delightful changes within the compositions bringing the required effects and feel for the album with the 46 second “Hal 9000” computer effect leading to the following “Room 237” with the required creeping sound and later atmosphere when one finds what is in the bath and The Shining is still the major influence with the following short composition “Overlook Bar” comprising primarily solo electric guitar. “Karova Milk Bar” has the accordion bringing the atmosphere for this “A Clockwork Orange” influence number with quite an experimental feel and as throughout the previous tracks it feels more of a Soundtrack having the gradual changes within. The longest composition is the 14 minute “Parris Island” with barely a sound apart from some clicks for the first minute for Kalle’s take on “Full Metal Jacket” with a gradual pick up to come on this original number of varying changes. There are three more compositions to follow and like the entire album’s construction it is Experimental and Avante Garde for what could be used quite easily as a Soundtrack.

I have to admit it is not something I would play every day but there are some interesting points and the album does contain a bit of atmosphere but it really is only for those lovers of Experimental and Avante Garde music. It is one of those “Got to be in the Mood “ albums but if you are?, quite an interesting listen.

YAGULL Yuna

Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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kev rowland
I have been fortunate enough to have been living with this album for a couple of months now, and I believe that it is still going to be another couple before it is actually released, but I can’t wait anymore as I have to write about it, as this is simply one of the most beautiful and entrancing albums I have ever come across. This is the third album from Yagull, the first (‘Films’) being Sasha Markovic and some guests, while the second (‘Kai’) was Sasha (guitars, bass, percussion) and his wife Kana Kamitsubo (piano) plus assorted guests. But, although I really enjoyed that album I felt they had missed an opportunity, and said “The interplay between the two musicians in simply beautiful, there is no other word for it, and I would have preferred to have heard an album filled just with their songs, with no other musicians, as there is no need for the purity of their sound to be messed with.”

When Sasha and I made contact, he asked me if I would like to hear the new album, which had just been completed and was incredibly personal to him and Kana. How personal I only found out later, as while ‘Kai’ was named after their son, ‘Yuna’ is named after the child that would have been, as Kana suffered two miscarriages during the period of time it took to record the album, and Yuna was the name they had chosen.

Musically, Sasha and Kana decided this time to concentrate on the interplay between each other, with just a backing singer used on one song: everything else is just the two of them. As previously they have included a cover version of a classic song, but interestingly the one they have chosen this time is a new version of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” which also appeared on the debut, but as Kana wasn’t in the band at that time they have re-recorded it. Apart from that, and “Fall Winter” (which is credited just to Kana), every song was a collaboration between them, sometimes with Sasha credited first and sometimes Kana. “Searching For The Moon” was apparently written when they were asked to just play something during a photo shoot, and took less than five minutes, so they consider it a gift

The delicacy and understanding between the acoustic piano and acoustic guitar, from two musicians who know each other intimately, is too hard to describe. To say that it is a thing of beauty, creating a new world just from carefully selected notes which hang in the air, seems both twee and ineffectual, while this is an album of considerable power and might. Sometimes the notes are rippling streams, while sometimes they just sit there, using space and time to bind them together. There is no desire to hurry, no need to fill the space with unnecessary adornment, everything has its place.

This is an incredibly special album, something that feels very personal indeed, and we have been fortunate enough to be given a glimpse behind the curtain. It almost feels that we are interlopers, listeners who are trespassing on some hidden and private moment which we came across by accident, but couldn’t turn away. Whenever I finish listening to this album I always feel honoured to have been let inside, but also saddened that for most of us the real world isn’t how this music makes me feel. This is truly a wonderful piece of work, and I feel enriched by having heard it.

YAGULL Kai

Album · 2014 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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kev rowland
Some years ago I was lucky enough to come across the debut album from Yagull, ‘Films’. At that point in their career the band was Sasha Markovic on guitars, bass, percussion, voice and keyboards with a few guests on some of the songs. There were a couple of co-writes, two cover versions (incredible takes on “White Room” and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”) , but the rest were all written by Markovic. I was immediately taken by the acoustic “post-rock chamber soundtrack”, and likened them to Karda Estra. But when they returned with their second album, ‘Kai’, the group had doubled in size to a duo as Markovic had been joined by pianist Kana Kamitsubo, who is also his wife (they names the album and title track after their son, who was born in 2014). This time around there is only one song credited just to Markovic, and sometimes he is credited after his wife, plus there are another couple of covers.

Guests again feature on some of the songs, most notably Moojune artists Beledo and Dewa Budjana, but I found that it is the songs where it is just the two of them where they come across best. There is no need at all for anything special, just an acoustic guitar and piano, played by two people who know each other intimately and can accompany the other in perfect harmony. This is restful music, and when Budjana made his appearance on electric guitar on “Blossom” I was actually quite disappointed. I have been a fan of Budjana’s for years, but to my ears his delicate electric guitar was out of place on this acoustic album. The interplay between the two musicians in simply beautiful, there is no other word for it, and I would have preferred to have heard an album filled just with their songs, with no other musicians, as there is no need for the purity of their sound to be messed with. Again there are two cover versions of classic rock songs, but this time they don’t work quite as well. Of the two, “Wishing Well” is well worth hearing, with some wonderful guitar, but “Burn” doesn’t really gel as it should.

But overall this is still an incredible album, and if they trust themselves and record a full album of their own material, with no outside “help”, then the next one could be very, very special indeed.

YAGULL Films

Album · 2012 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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kev rowland
Yagull is an acoustic project that has been put together by Sasha Markovic (acoustic and electric guitar) together with Lori Reddy (flute), Sonia Choi (cello), Eylon Tushiner (sax) and Josh Margolis (drums). Now, I was already familiar with Yagull as they have a song on the Moonjune compilation that is available through Bandcamp, a wonderful version of “White Room” so when I was looking at the CD I checked out the the song at number 10 that completely took me by surprise.

Back when I was 11 or 12, I was around a friend’s house and we went into the den to have a look at his brother’s records. Neither of had heard of any of the names, bands like Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, Yes, Edgar Winters, Pretty Things etc. Of course back then the covers and artwork were things of beauty and based on nothing else apart from what they looked like we chose two to play. The first was ‘Free For All’ by Ted Nugent, and the second was ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’. We were so enamoured with the latter that it was hard to get the title song off the player, and we even ‘borrowed’ the album to play the song in our music class at school. It is no exaggeration then to say that this one song had a huge impact on my musical enlightenment (and needless to say we then played every album his brother owned to expand our knowledge, much to his annoyance).

So, track 10, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”. I was very good when I played the album first time in that I didn’t go straight to it but instead played it all the way through, but coming back to it time and again I have to say that for me it is the standout song, probably due to my own relationship to the original. The first thought I had when playing it was “I never realized that it was so beautiful”. Ozzy’s vocals have been replaced by delicate acoustic guitars as have the rest of the band – this is in reality a multi-tracked solo piece by Sasha that has to be heard to be believed. The original has been deconstructed but it is still there, instantly recognizable to the fan, but transformed into something quite different.

‘Films’ is a great title for this album, as it is very cinematic in feel and if I was to compare it to anything else it would have to be with the wonderful Karda Estra although the approach here is quite different and in many ways even more laid-back. The label describes this album as “next generation post-rock chamber music” and while I am not quite sure where they are going with that, if they mean that it is an acoustic album of depth and great beauty then they are bang on.

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