Pop/Art Song/Folk

Jazz music community with review and forums

The Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk genre is for artists who perform pop jazz music, for instance; George Benson, Bob James, David Sanborn and Wes Montgomery. This genre also includes jazz influenced art song performers such as Tuomi and Robert Wyatt, as well as jazz influenced folk performers such as Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell.

pop/art song/folk top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

MILTON NASCIMENTO Clube da Esquina Album Cover Clube da Esquina
MILTON NASCIMENTO
4.80 | 6 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ROBERT WYATT Rock Bottom Album Cover Rock Bottom
ROBERT WYATT
4.42 | 29 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
STEVE WINWOOD Roll With It Album Cover Roll With It
STEVE WINWOOD
4.62 | 7 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
STING The Soul Cages Album Cover The Soul Cages
STING
4.48 | 12 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JOE JACKSON Night and Day Album Cover Night and Day
JOE JACKSON
4.50 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JONI MITCHELL Joni Mitchell (aka Song to a Seagull) Album Cover Joni Mitchell (aka Song to a Seagull)
JONI MITCHELL
4.48 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
PAUL SIMON Still Crazy After All These Years Album Cover Still Crazy After All These Years
PAUL SIMON
4.46 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CHICAGO Stone of Sisyphus Album Cover Stone of Sisyphus
CHICAGO
4.35 | 4 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DONALD FAGEN The Nightfly Album Cover The Nightfly
DONALD FAGEN
4.10 | 11 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CHICAGO Chicago VII Album Cover Chicago VII
CHICAGO
4.11 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
TOM WAITS Blue Valentine Album Cover Blue Valentine
TOM WAITS
4.33 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ROBERT WYATT Old Rottenhat Album Cover Old Rottenhat
ROBERT WYATT
4.09 | 7 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

pop/art song/folk online videos

pop/art song/folk New Releases

.. Album Cover
Sombras
Album
LAUREN HENDERSON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Fastlandet
Album
TORUN ERIKSEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Straight Up Down
Album
RICHARD ELLIOT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Za Górami
Album
ALICE ZAWADZKI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Adi Shakti
Album
VIDYA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Bluer Than Blue
Album
SWEET MEGG
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Night Reign
Album
AROOJ AFTAB
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Border
Album
WILLIE NELSON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Time And Again
Album
ELIANE ELIAS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Positively 4th Street
Album
RORY BLOCK
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Baby I’m A Fool
EP
MELODY GARDOT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Sayonara Meu Amor
Album
MELODY GARDOT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Path of a Tear
Album
JO HARROP
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Shoot For The Moon
Album
DAVINA AND THE VAGABONDS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Phoenix
Album
GRÉGORY PRIVAT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Supreme Collection
Boxset / Compilation
BECCA STEVENS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Mystical
Album
REZA KHAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Let's Walk
Album
MADELEINE PEYROUX
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Shadow
Album
LIZZ WRIGHT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Sun Without The Heat
Album
LEYLA MCCALLA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Run Your Race
Album
KANDACE SPRINGS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Visions
Album
NORAH JONES
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Turn It Up
Album
MICHAEL KAESHAMMER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Here
EP
CYRILLE AIMÉE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Stealing Moments
Album
VIKTORIA TOLSTOY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Boomer Vibes Volume 2
Album
TOM COLLIER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
à Fleur de Peau
Album
CYRILLE AIMÉE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Elles
Album
YOUN SUN NAH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
At The Movies
Album
GRACE KELLY
Buy this album from MMA partners

pop/art song/folk Music Reviews

SADAO WATANABE Good Time For Love

Album · 1986 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Sadao Watanabe is one of the top alto saxophonists in the jazz world for the last six decades. He, along with Phil Woods, Eric Dolphy and Cannonball Adderly, is one of the top successors to the legacy of Charlie Parker. Sadao has put out many great records over the years and has worked with some of the best musicians that the US and Japan have to offer, but he is also known for putting on some commercial fare, more than likely to help pay the bills, which leads us to 1986’s “Good Time for Love”. The mid-80s were not a great time for jazz, commercial interests had taken over and saccharine smooth jazz was dominating the jazz charts. There is a lengthy list of musicians involved on this album and you may recognize many names from the US, Japan and Jamaica. About half the album is okay smooth jazz, with the other half just being way too sweet and vacuous for consumption.

Lets look at some of the better tracks. The album opener shares the same title as the album and is a decent reggae groove. It helps that they have some top notch Jamaican musicians on board as few things sound worse than badly played reggae. “Loving You is Easy” is a good funky soul jazz number and may be the best cut on the album except for the Caribbean groove of “Pogo”. “Pogo” is the only track on the album that just seems to end too soon. “Step Out on the Street” is okay smooth jazz RnB, but the rest of the album is pretty sappy and hits a low with “When We Make a Home”. This one actually has cringe vocals and the sort of lyrics you could imagine that would go with a song title like that. Overall, this is an okay smooth jazz record if you like that sort of thing, but if you like the real jazz, Watanabe has some much better albums out there.

JUKKA PERKO Jukka Perko & Mikko Kuustonen : Profeetta

Album · 2008 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matti P
Again I review an album rooted on the writings of Lebanon-born Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931). Both are Finnish works witnessing a collaboration between a jazz musician and a vocalist who's not exactly connected to the jazz genre; the first one was by pianist and composer Olli Ahvenlahti (b. 1949) and actor-singer Vesa-Matti Loiri.

Saxophonist Jukka Perko (b. 1968) is among the best known Finnish jazz musicians of his generation. His large discography contains several collaborative works, including a poem-based album sung by the mentioned Loiri -- which I'll review some day. This Gibran themed album is undoubtedly one of the least jazz-oriented albums Perko has co-composed. It is thoughtful, serene Vocal Music with an emphasis on the meaningful lyrics. Composing credits are shared by Perko, vocalist Kuustonen and guitarist Timo Kämäräinen, who is equally at home in jazz and rock.

Mikko Kuustonen (b. 1960) is a renowned pop/rock-oriented singer-songwriter whose musical past includes blues-rock and gospel. One can sense some gospel-reminding spirit here, which is understandable due to the "Prophetic" essence of Gibran's poetry. The arrangements are sensitive with a minimum amount of a rocking edge, only the rhythm section accompanying saxes and guitars. Kuustonen's warm barytone voice carries the lyrics with heartfelt depth.

Now, if my words make you think this is a very SONG based, vocal oriented album, I wish to point out that the music has a lot of space and nuances created by the playing, which is not there for merely backing the vocalist. And besides that, there's not much of the tight chorus-refrain structure. Instead it all flows beautifully. If the vocals were replaced by instruments, this could function as a slightly New Agey instrumental album for relaxating and introspective listening.

I'm not going through the eleven tracks in detail. The entire album works very well for a listener who appreciates introspective thoughtfulness. Understanding of Finnish is of course needed for full artistic reception.

STING Duets

Boxset / Compilation · 2021 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matti P
Sting has been among my fave artists ever since my teenage years when The Police frontman started his solo career, but frankly I have minor interest towards his more recent output. I very strongly prefer the first three albums, and I even find the mid-period albums such as Brand New Day (1999) and Sacred Love (2003) rather boring.

Although my expectations for this compilation of duets recorded over the years weren't very high, I was initially surprised of how bad most of this stuff sounded to my ears; this is the question of the production style, no duet partners are to be blamed. [BTW, the CD's inner cover features Sting's brief liner notes for each performance which is nice, but I miss more accurate info about the original releases of these duets.] In short, too many tracks sound like lazy modern r&b with a sticky beat, starting from the opener 'Little Something' with Melody Gardot. Artists such as Mary J. Blige or Shaggy don't make me expect something else in the first place. Take for instance 'Rise & Fall' with Craig David: I truly hate that r&b thumping. I like Mylene Farmer's cute vocals in French on 'Stolen Car' but the Sacred Love song itself is quite poor and the sonic production in this version awful.

Annie Lennox is one of the collaborators I generally appreciate as individual artists, but alas, I have never liked the Nothing Like the Sun track 'We'll Be Together', and this version is even worse. The world music oriented 'Desert Rose' f. Cheb Mami was released on Brand New Day. All in all the 17-track set list offers only a few songs familiar from Sting's discography, and mostly not well chosen from my point of view, either. One of my personal highlights is 'Fragile' beautifully dueted with Julio Iglesias. The set's earliest recording 'It's Probably Me' (1992, f. Eric Clapton on guitar) exceptionally predates the album version on Ten Summoner's Tales (1993) and is clearly poorer.

So, the first half of this CD was a disappointment for me especially for the r&b sounds, but things get notably better towards the end. Who's not to like the chanson ballad 'L'amour c'est comme un Jour' with Charles Aznavour, or the jazz ballad 'My Funny Valentine' featuring Herbie Hancock on piano? I also enjoy 'September', Sting's collaboration with Zucchero. The final piece is a decent version of 'In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning' featuring the trumpet of Chris Botti.

The "Duets" album was meant to be released in november 2020 but was delayed due to covid-19. The same release date, 19 March 2021, saw also the digital-only release of 'Englishman/African in New York' f. Shirazee, and IMHO that track should have been included on this album as well. My rating remains pretty low, estimated against Sting's overall discography. But remember, my ratings for his latest studio albums would hardly be much better.

OLLI AHVENLAHTI Vesa-Matti Loiri/ Kahlil Gibran/ Olli Ahvenlahti: Seitsemän Kertaa

Album · 1990 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matti P
During the 1980's, the Finnish jazz pianist and composer Olli Ahvenlahti became a familiar face to a wide domestic public as "Puppe", the kindly smiling, piano-playing sideman of Vesa-Matti Loiri's humorous musical performances in his comedic weekly TV show. Loiri (1945-2022) was a legendary Finnish actor/vocalist, best known for his humorous roles despite doing also serious ones. However, most of those TV viewers are hardly aware that the same partnership made two artistically 'serious' albums of poetry-based Vocal Jazz. Lasihelmipeli (1985) is based on Hermann Hesse's poems, and this album uses the poems of the Lebanon-born "prophet" Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931). Admittedly they are primarily seen as part of Loiri's discography, but IMHO well worth adding under Ahvenlahti's JMA page since Loiri is not in the database. All compositions and arrangements are naturally by Ahvenlahti who also plays the keyboards.

Sad to say that these albums are far less known than Loiri's series of (non-jazz) albums based on Eino Leino's poetry. But understandably so, since jazz is not very popular as a genre, and Leino is much closer to Finns' hearts than Hesse or Gibran. By the way, Loiri's third poetry-based jazz album Uuno Kailas (1995), which was a collaboration with the new generation jazz stars Jukka Perko and Severi Pyysalo, gained even commercial success (at least for a jazz album).

The piano oriented music here is elegantly flowing and sonically rather light and airy jazz chanson that deliberately puts the emphasis on the meaningful lyrics. This also leads to a certain amount of repetition of the verses which may get slightly frustrating if you want to listen to the album primarily as jazz music. But Loiri is such a powerful interpreter – technically he has always strongly divided opinions as a singer -- that the listener simply cannot ignore the words. For the same reason, non-Finnish speakers won't be fully able to absorb these albums.

My favourites are the opening title track (= Seven times) for its effective combination of strong melodies and lyrics counting the seven times when the protagonist has despised his soul, the beautifully airy 'Sinä olet vapaa' (= You are free), the slow and peaceful 'Minulle sanotaan' (= I am told), and the emotionally dramatic final song in which a dying man adresses his words to a vulture circling around him. Musically the weakest song is undoubtedly the humorous 'Viisas koira' (= Wise dog) in which cats and dogs argue over religious details.

All in all, like the Hesse album, this would deserve a wider recognition among the Finnish poetry-based music.

EERO KOIVISTOINEN Johanna Iivanainen Ja Eero Koivistoisen Yhtye : Suomalainen

Album · 2003 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matti P
This is the first of three albums bringing together the legendary Finnish saxophonist Eero Koivistoinen (b. 1946) and vocalist Johanna Iivanainen (b. 1976). She actually would deserve a JMA entry of her own, even though as a versatile musician she's not restricted to the jazz genre: she's equally at home in the lyrics-oriented vocal music and jazzy pop, plus gospel and children's music. I found her albums roughly two decades ago, well before she became more widely known from the Finnish reality TV show SuomiLOVE where people surprise their loved ones with intimate live performances of songs dear to them. She's got a beautiful, crystal clear voice that sounds very warm-hearted and sincere.

There are ten songs on this album. The arrangements are by Koivistoinen, as well as some of the compositions, but the emphasis is on the cover performances of fairly well known Finnish songs from oldies (from the 40's or so) to a rock classic. Koivistoinen's band features seasoned jazz musicians such as pianist Seppo Kantonen (who has worked with Pekka Pohjola), guitarist Teemu Viinikainen, etc. Everyone involved does great work within Koivistoinen's top notch arranging skills. The stylistic spectre of the original songs is very wide, but this album is a thoroughly coherent and original work of jazz.

Without dealing with the entire set in detail, here's a few words for chosen tracks. The title song is Koivistoinen's composition to Jorma Etto's ironic poem depicting the stubborn, non-urban Finnish mentality. 'Tahdon rakastella sinua' (= I want to make love to you) is originally an early 80's energetic rock song written by Ari Taskinen for the punk rocker Pelle Miljoona. This elegant, slow-tempo version is full of sensuality perfectly fitting the lyrics. 'Sinua, sinua rakastan' is one of the best known 60's songs of the legendary vocal music composer Kaj Chydenius, with lyrics of Aulikki Oksanen.

This set has a bigger emphasis on songs more familiar to the older Finnish genarations (e.g. 'Pieni sydän', 'Rempallaan' and 'Kotkan ruusu'), compared to the albums Lennosta Kii! (2007) and Kaupungin Valot (2009) that feature slightly more pop/rock songs, but still Suomalainen is more or less as satisfying.

pop/art song/folk movie reviews

STING Bring On The Night

Movie · 2005 · Pop/Art Song/Folk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Slartibartfast
The concept here is a documentary of a band forming, The Blue Turtles Band, rather than a band at their peak or breaking up. Fortunately it is heavier on the music than the documentary.

The first half takes place in a French countryside chateaux and consists of presentable songs from nine days of practice sessions for what was to be their first show. Everyone in the band seems to be having a good time. The chateaux provides nice a nice backdrop to the sessions. The second half is the show itself.

Since this was Sting's first post Police effort, there's a lot of reworked Police songs mixed in with tracks from the first album. It's sort of like the Police meets jazz with Andy Summers ejected so Sting could play guitar. The band line up is primarily younger jazz musicians that already had a good reputation for work they had done before hooking up with Sting.

There are interview excerpts between the songs. One of the more interesting ones was Miles Copeland, Sting's manager and Stewart's brother going on about negotiations with the rest of the band. He was extremely dismissive of the band in relation to Sting when it came to monetary compensation. I suspect that was more about himself getting a bigger piece of the pie than a reflection on Sting, although I do recall him guest appearing on a Saturday Night Live show with Steve Marting and Steve introducing him as Stin-gy.

I originally saw this one in a theater and was really pleased to see it released being reworked with "high definition digital anamorphic picture transfer and digitally remastered surround audio." It actually does look a little sharper than I recall and I think the orginal sound was just stereo.

Artists with Pop/Art Song/Folk release(s)

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Dominik Strycharski & Grzegorz Tarwid : Apogeum Avant-Garde Jazz
GRZEGORZ TARWID
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Glass Frog Nu Jazz
GREG FOAT
Buy this album from MMA partners
Switch Fusion
KENNY REICHERT
Buy this album from MMA partners
Super Blonde Post Bop
KIRK KNUFFKE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Switch
KENNY REICHERT
js· 3 hours ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us