Jazz Related Rock

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Like its close cousin RnB, rock grew out of the 1940s jazz genre known as jump blues. Needless to say, rock and jazz have had a close relationship from the very beginning. The jazz related rock section at JMA pays tribute to those rock artists who display a certain amount of competent jazz influence in their music. This influence can be displayed via virtuoso extended jam sessions, jazz influenced harmonic language, big band style horn charts or a combination of all this and more.

Jazz artists who utilize rock in their music can be found in the Fusion, Eclectic Fusion, Nu Jazz and Post-Fusion Contemporary genres.

jazz related rock top albums

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

YES Fragile Album Cover Fragile
YES
4.73 | 28 ratings
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SOFT MACHINE Third Album Cover Third
SOFT MACHINE
4.65 | 66 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers) Album Cover The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers)
FRANK ZAPPA
4.66 | 52 ratings
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YES Relayer Album Cover Relayer
YES
4.67 | 25 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix Experience) Album Cover Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix Experience)
JIMI HENDRIX
4.62 | 40 ratings
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YES Close To The Edge Album Cover Close To The Edge
YES
4.67 | 23 ratings
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NATIONAL HEALTH Of Queues and Cures Album Cover Of Queues and Cures
NATIONAL HEALTH
4.67 | 19 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.58 | 45 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
KING CRIMSON
4.58 | 48 ratings
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YES The Yes Album Album Cover The Yes Album
YES
4.63 | 23 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA Hot Rats Album Cover Hot Rats
FRANK ZAPPA
4.53 | 69 ratings
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NATIONAL HEALTH National Health Album Cover National Health
NATIONAL HEALTH
4.63 | 19 ratings
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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!

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jazz related rock Music Reviews

SALAIVA Tietoisuuden Maailma

Album · 2013 · Jazz Related Rock
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Matti P
Tietoisuuden maailma ("The World of Consciousness") is the debut album of the Finnish group SALAIVA. All music is written by guitarist and vocalist Miikka Huisko. Keyboards are missing, instead there's a saxophone. The band's sound is rich, organic and very retro, as if the music came from the early 70's. Recording, mixing and mastering were done by the band themselves, so the sound surely lacks sharpness and polish. However, this slightly psychedelic jazz-rock makes you feel good and very much at home if you've grown with vintage prog.

Salaiva doesn't sound like any particular 70's band. Associations may include e.g. WIGWAM, TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI, HAIKARA, even APOLLO and some other short-lived Finnish groups of the original prog era, and to some degree the jazz-rock of FRANK ZAPPA (less here than on their next album, though). Compared to that follower Hänk (2014), this album contains more vocals, but they just add another level to the music's progressive nature instead of becoming the backbone of the compositions. The voice is distantly reminiscent of Jim Pembroke in the early Wigwam, or Y.U.P's Jarkko Martikainen. On tracks 1 and 2 the vocal parts are mostly calmer moments amidst edgier jazz-rock full of gritty saxophone.

'Tietoisuus' is rather experimental instrumental, hazy and psychedelic. 'Herra olkoon teidän skanssinne' (a Canterbury-like wordplay which I'm not trying to explain to you) is a bit slower track but equally loaded with witty charm. There's a blues flavour in the strangely titled 'Blur (Ei saa)'. Its nihilistic but luckily very sparse lyrics would better fit into angry punk rock. "Ei saa" means "not allowed".

'Divaani' (10:42) starts as a slow, atmospheric instrumental with a focus on the seductive sax. The vocals are spoken mumble, and it's a bit hard to hear the words properly. In fact the music would perhaps work better completely without vocals. The solo for electric guitar is long and delicious. The soloing guitar is central also in 'Riding Camels'. Again, the brief vocal parts are quite unnecessary, but the fiery guitar solo is superb, bringing CAMEL's breakthrough album Mirage into my mind.

'Otis', the only track with English lyrics, sounds like a collaboration between Jim Pembroke, Eero Koivistoinen and Frank Zappa. 'Lauluni' is a soft and hazy little song, a very nice ending to this personal and charming debut.

JERE HAAKANA VARJOSTO Jere Haakana Varjosto

Album · 2019 · Jazz Related Rock
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Matti P
Finnish guitarist Jere Haakana (b. 1983) has shown boundary-free thinking in his musical career: he's played in the live band of rap artist Redrama, modern jazz group Nuance, art music oriented act Unio Ensemble and in the tango group Nueva Quinteto Otra Vez. Jere Haakana Varjosto is an instrumental jazz-rock/fusion quartet playing Haakana's own compositions. Haakana is accompanied by a keyboard player and a rhythm section. This eponymous album from 2019 is the only one this far. To freely cite a net page introducing the band, the orientation towards compositions, cinematic soundscapes, the electric guitar based rock approach and rhythmic energy make the music appealing also to those listeners who aren't into the traditional acoustic jazz sound.

The 46½-minute album has seven tracks mostly between five and nine minutes. In the opening piece 'DC' the rhythm is mostly kept rather simple for the electric guitar to lead the composition from cinematic dreaminess to more rocking nuances, keyboards adding colour in the middle. Nice and suitably accessible, in the vein of Jeff Beck. On 'Manwell's Search' the groovy and playful drumwork pushes upfront and the electric piano is sonically almost as essential as the slightly distorted electric guitar. Makes me think of the title track of Pekka Pohjola's Kätkävaaran lohikäärme (1980), not that it would imitate it anyhow. The guitar solo is fiery.

The lively 'Dash' continues with the similar overall guitar sound while the piano is acoustic. In the middle there's an aggressive guitar burst, followed by an angular and avant-ish piano solo. A bit too restless piece for my taste. 'Sermon' is slower but instead of staying in a meditative introspection it has a lot of fire in the playing. The guitar sound is reminiscent of Terje Rypdal. Gracefully 'Ritual' has a relatively spacey sound, although it gets pretty lively towards the end. The electric piano is again well heard. Lengthy 'Stadion Indie' combines fluently the playful jazziness and the Jeff Beck reminding rock instrumentalism, and the final piece 'I'll Walk You Home' is the needed tender ballad on the spicy album.

This is a strong debut album of electric guitar centred jazz-rock with excellent and nuanced musicianship from the whole quartet. In the end the compositions could be a bit more memorable and emotional, and also the guitar sound could have had more variety during the album. These are fairly minor complaints, however. Four stars, helped by the beautiful cover art.

EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends - Ladies And Gentlemen

Live album · 1974 · Jazz Related Rock
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EntertheLemming
Triple Whopper McELP with Extra Cheese & No Brainer Salad: Tall Proggy Syndrome

"Our drummer has a 30 piece drum kit"

"Is he Ringo?, ours is made of stainless steel and weighs over two and a half tons"*

"We have a song that lasts 23 minutes"

"Are you the Ramones? We've got one that lasts half an hour"

"Our stage set up requires we bring in three of our own generators for lighting, sound and video and a spider lamp gantry weighing 80,000 pounds"

"Minimalism losers. We have two 60 foot proscenium arches with 156 foot projection screen, 13 separate keyboards and a $5,000 persian rug, a 28,000 watt surround sound system PA, a three tiered mixing desk, and if we have to block fire exits to get all 36 tonnes of it all in, we will Daddio"

Prog never monopolised Chutzpah one-upmanship in Rock but certainly brought the idea of music as spectacle to the hirsute, bedenimed and steadfastly earnest music fan. ELP also brought Liberace, Cecil B. DeMille, Billy Smart, Michael Crichton's Westworld and the performers as sparkly stuntmen into their hitherto cramped cosmos where nervous laughter drowned out any misgivings as to the theatrics undermining substance "it's just bread and circuses for the hoi polloi innit?" First of all, the sound quality of the original vinyl was truly dreadful. A muddy, boggy and unfocused skidmark of a recording that sounded like it was recorded from the trunk of a car parked outside the stadium. Digital transfers have improved things in the interim but even with the Atlantic Japan '91 CD version I have now it still sounds kinda murky with feedback and all strange manner of leakage and echoing artifacts. Whether this is a result of the original tapes being recorded specifically for the then burgeoning Quadraphonic format is up for debate. It also seems odd that these same Anaheim, California recordings were used for the King Biscuit FM broadcast release which sounds, to my ears at least, a lot clearer and less swathed in reverb. I'm advised that even if you hear the recording in Quad, the rear speakers are silent for about 90% of the time anyways. With (3) vinyl LPs you would have anticipated at least 120 minutes playing time in 1974 but here we get just 19 seconds shy of 110 minutes. That said, the commensurate hike in the fidelity of a shorter lathed album simply never materialises. Aretha Franklin's vaunted '67 release 'Lady Soul' doesn't even hit the 29 minute mark but most ELP diehards still think she's just that overdressed dinner lady who sang at Barack Obama's inauguration (and that felt longer)

The whooping synth glissandi of 'Hoedown' kick things off in thrilling fashion, but although the trio are perfectly in sync throughout, it's played way too fast and just becomes a hollow victory for accuracy over feel. No music can breathe properly at such a slapstick tempo and has prompted some, like the band's biographers Martyn Hanson, George Forrester and Frank Askew to speculate they were competing amongst themselves. I'm not entirely convinced by this but if there is one crucial difference between the Nice and ELP, it's that the former still had a vestige of soul and were not obsessed by technology, speed and complexity.

That huge organ sound on 'Jerusalem' was replicated using a flanger and it's great to hear a live recording of a number the band were not allowed to play in the UK. I'm always disappointed it was never included on future set lists. 'Toccata' is even more visceral and demonic than the studio original and this is probably the best ever live version of 'Tarkus' available. Lake quotes quite ingeniously from his former band Crimson's 'Epitaph' during the 'Battlefield' section and makes this listener wish a recording of ELP's apocryphal live version of 'In the Court of the Crimson King' was available' (Does anyone know if this critter actually exists?)

Keith pays homage to one of the earliest electronic music pioneers Dick Hyman by quoting quite extensively from the latter's 'Minotaur' Moog melody during an extended and exhilarating solo on 'Aquatarkus' under which Greg and Carl lay down a syncopated and hypnotic Latin groove that is unparalleled in ELP's output. That the barroom medley of 'Jeremy Bender' and 'the Sheriff' (using a specially built piano) is a sobering argument for prohibition is confirmed by Greg's slurred and wheezing vocal which resembles a sprint back onstage with indecent haste after a fag break. For a band of avowed perfectionists this is indefensible.

'Take a Pebble' is bo-toxed to over 25 minutes although that does include Greg's solo acoustic versions of 'Still You Turn Me On' and 'Lucky Man'. Neither is particularly memorable and when stripped of the concealing filigree of the band's debut, the latter just sounds like what it is i.e. a teenager's juvenalia hiding in plain sight. Keith's 'Piano Improvisations' are both admirable and frustrating in equal measure but I'm still conflicted if this is a result of an overly compressed piano sound or lack of subtlety in his execution. The playing seems to be stripped of all nuanced dynamics and all we are left with is 'really loud' and 'even louder than that' by way of contrast. Notwithstanding these flaws, he still gives us an entertaining whistle stop tour of many of his formative influences including adaptations of Friedrich Gulda and Joe Sullivan together with stylistic nods of deference to Fats Waller, Respighi, Rachmaninov, Jacques Loussier and with the perverse Emerson sense of humour still intact, silent movie pianolas. Once again, alas, the camouflage of technique being able to supplant feel means that Gulda's fiendishly difficult 'Prelude and Fugue' suffers the same fate as 'Hoedown', by being much faster than the composer's original intentions but completely bereft of any requisite subtle swing. 'Karn Evil 9' probably hadn't been road tested enough at the time of the recording so is the album version verbatim apart from Carl's overlong drum solo 'Con Brio'. That's not to say it's lacking in any shape or form but just don't go looking for any deviations from the studio original. Retrospective feedback is self evidently futile but Carl baby: Just because you had a church bell and two gongs doesn't mean you had the inalienable right to encourage people to take up passive smoking to avoid your interminable batterie home tour. Wot...No 'Benny the Bouncer'? the only track omitted from the 'Brain Salad Surgery' album which polarises most of the band's fan-base. I love it so kill me. Jeremy makes Benny sound like a work of labyrinthine conceptual genius so I always just wish it was here. You have to embrace the crass vulgarity, showmanship, cheap razzmatazz AND musical depth, breadth and technical sophistication of ELP as love them or loathe them, they epitomize the best AND worst of Prog. Without the performance as theater aspect, this type of Prog bombast makes little sense and it could be argued that in another genre where chops are de rigueur, (Jazz) is still just some guys standing/sitting there playing. That's not to say it's better or worse but just has less perceived artifice. It also might be indicative that proggers know full well the substance of much of their music might not stand up to the sternest academic scrutiny when stripped of the Ben Hur choreography.

Listening back to previous live records of the Nice and ELP is telling here e.g. on 'Pictures at an Exhibition' and the live half of 'Everything As Nice As Mother Makes It', you feel as though you are right there in the front row able to see the glistening beads of sweat gather on our heroes foreheads as they perform their wizardry at close quarters. On 'Welcome Back', we're not even in the same zip code and can barely see three long haired subbuteo players performing on a Persian rug in a concealing fog of reverb and dry ice from behind a rotating piano and drum kit.

* Somewhat ironically, it was Sir Richard Starkey who ended up buying this custom built steel kit of which Palmer stated 'he's welcome to it'

JAN AKKERMAN Profile

Album · 1972 · Jazz Related Rock
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Matti P
For listeners of the classic symphonic prog of the 70's, Dutch guitarist JAN AKKERMAN (b. 1946) is well remembered from the country's highest acclaimed prog band FOCUS. Being a founding member, he was the group's other main composer beside the organ & flute playing frontman Thijs Van Leer on each of the classic era albums. Of the two, Akkerman was the more strictly devoted to instrumental music with a strong classical / Old Music influence.

In the latter half of the 70's Akkerman left Focus in order to continue and concentrate on his solo career. During the halcyon days of Focus, Akkerman released Profile (1972) and Tabernakel (1973) that are unsurprisingly ranked among his best solo albums in ProgArchives, whereas especially the 80's output is concidered very uneven. But enough of this background information and onto this album. [Btw, the album info is inadequate here. For example Focus members Pierre van der Linden (dr) and Bert Ruiter (b) are fully involved.]

The first side is filled by 'Fresh Air' (19:50), a progressive suite in seven movements. I like the mysterious early part with softly played electric piano. The suddenly entering electric guitar turns the music into a loud and hectic self-indulgence and endless soloing, as if it was coming straight from prejudical nightmares of an anti-prog person without a better knowledge of the genre. Frankly, I think this goes on far too long, without a clear direction. Around 13:00 it slows down and returns to the mysterious calmness, gradually building up the tension in a majestic way -- until the harsher-sounding guitar and frenzy drumwork take over again. The final parts are like a battle of good and evil. Indeed my reception of this epic is very ambivalent: some moments are glorious but most of it is hollow and hostile showing-off that IMHO doesn't sound enjoyable at all.

The second side consists of short tracks. 'Kemp's Jig' is a Medieval/Renaissance lute piece familiar from GRYPHON's debut album. 'Etude' written by Matteo Carcassi is a brief classical guitar piece, not among the finest I've heard. On his own 'Blue Boy' Akkerman & co. rock out joyously with a funky groove.

'Andante Sostenuto' is a beautifully serene, romantic classical guitar piece composed by Austrian Anton Diabelli (1781-1858). Listeners of the likes of Steve Hackett, Anthony Phillips or John Williams will be pleased. 'Maybe Just a Dream', Akkerman's tenderly melodic composition for a band, would have been a fine Focus number too, and so would his acoustic solo piece 'Minster/Farmer's Dance', although classic Focus albums include better pieces in this style.

The album ends with a simple and merry blues rock piece 'Stick' of which I'm not thrilled at all. Is this album a classic? Probably so. Definitely it's a work of an extraordinarily gifted musician, but terribly patchy, and far from the excellence of Focus in their prime. My rating is a modest 3 stars.

JARTSE TUOMINEN Untold Stories

Album · 2016 · Jazz Related Rock
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Matti P
Untold Stories is the fifth album by the Finnish, internationally respected guitar master Jartse Tuominen, 11 years since the preceding one. All ten tracks here are instrumentals and pretty much centred around the electric guitar. The band involves musicians (keys, bass, drums) from both USA and Finland and the recordings were done between 2014 - '15. After this album Jartse Tuominen began a tour that started from Finland.

To me personally this kind of stuff oriented towards technical delivery rather than the emotional, more introspective depths of the music is usually a bit tiresome. The first three tracks are just that: energetic and spicy rock-fusion but in the end quite meaningless boasting. 'Time to Go' then is The Love Ballad of the album, and as such easily a highlight as well. A relatively slow tempo, and soaring guitar melodies filled with passion, melacholic longing for the loved one. The composition was made into a very romantic promotional video featuring the beauty of Finnish nature and summer evening by the lake with sauna and all.

The sixt track 'Trouble Shuffle' is a shameless roots piece, something I really don't enjoy. 'Untold' is another slow and sentimental tune comparable to 'Time to Go'. At first it has some nice acoustic guitar, and the majestic lead for electric guitar may bring some of the most grandiose CAMEL instrumentals to one's mind. Also the organ and piano appear to a good effect. 'Nine Lives' returns to the rootin' tootin' blues-rock. The last track 'Farewell' is the album's third step into the sentimentality.

Definitely this is a well-done instrumental rock album and worth checking out by those who appreciate the guitar heroics of artists such as JEFF BECK, GARY MOORE or JOHN McLAUGHLIN. There's nothing especially progressive, and I'm afraid the whole is very evidently divided into three types of tracks: the ballads that are fairly enjoyable if not the most original pieces of music, a couple of openly rootsy tracks, and the majority of more or less ordinary guitar centred rock-fusion tunes to make the impression on the technical lavel instead of compositional substance. Maybe it's just me that they mostly leave me unimpressed. A solid three-star album anyway. Collaborating with another kind of a composer would probably bring the very best out of this excellent musician.

jazz related rock movie reviews

KING CRIMSON Neal And Jack And Me

Movie · 2004 · Jazz Related Rock
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Sean Trane
This DVD will please many of the third Crimson phase fans combines two tours: the Beat tour and the Three Of A Perfect pair. Oddly enough, they are presented in a non- chronological order, but this is a very minor point. One of the things I was particularly uneasy about was Bruford's use of electronic percussions and drums and we get a load of those "things" and like all technology novelty, the risk is that it ages poorly and sadly here, it is the case. Another point I had not appreciated is the stage presence of Adrian Belew, which is clearly copied from David Byrne from his collaborations with The Talking Heads - I love the T Heads, but Belew's stage antics are too derivative and ill fitted for Crimson. There are a few tracks present twice and most notably the boring Mate Kusadai.

Strictly on the visual front, Crimson was clearly making efforts to look hip and appeal to a more new-wave-ish public. Those were the days! But I never said that they were good, either!

Among the bonuses, are a video clip and a few titbits, but sadly still missing is that mini- concert footage filmed for the Discipline release and them playing four tracks in front of a red curtain. I may be severe with my rating of this DVD but I am not a real fan of that era.

GONG Classic Rock Legends

Movie · 2000 · Jazz Related Rock
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seyo
This video contains live performances from 1990 Live on TV album. Four original members of GonG are present: Pip Pyle, Didier Malherbe, Gilli Smyth and an oddball-harlequin persona of the spiritus movens, Daevid Allen.

Performance is focused on their legendary Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, with 3 starters from Camembert Electrique. Since I have no idea what GonG looked like on scene back in the early 1970s (that is, before I took a peek at several Youtube clips recently), I guess this DVD makes up a lot for that, the age of the performers notwithstanding.

In fact, seeing these unique art-performers in their senior age can just assure you how the music and art in general can surpass generations, years and ages if you wish. Musicianship is great, movie direction very good with several cameras shooting from different angles, while only the engagement of the dancers to invoke the mystical gnomey creatures may be seen as too over-stressed.

The finale presents perhaps too long goodbye with the extended "I Am You" jam, but when Daevid jumps down into the audience you can actually see the highly emotional and spiritual connection between the band and the people, done in an almost religious-like chanting. This is excellent video and should be seen by all those who have at least some knowledge of the Planet GonG trilogy repertoire!

BILL BRUFORD Bbc Rock Goes To College: Live 1979

Movie · 2006 · Jazz Related Rock
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Dick Heath
I remember seeing this originally on BBC 2 a few weeks after it was recorded in one of the canteens of Oxford Poly, and getting a mix of intense pleasure. In particular pleasure from the tour de force that Holdsworth had developed into (and screamed out at me on Feels Good To Me)and the unknown bass-wiz Jeff Berlin. But there was disappointment over Annette's contribution to the set - when her husky voice breathed sex at me on the album.

Now here from the Beeb's archives is the original 70's video quality footage as originally shown on 625 lines. The pleasure points remain, with some details emphasised. However the disappointment is worse, in particular there is a promise of something special as Peacock flounces on part way through the set, dressed as the fashion queen,(thereby drawing the contrast with the blokes in the band). However,again the expectation of something special evaporates quickly - the diva can't 'deave' live in sympathy with the music, the band i.e. her vocals are poor. Fortunately we don't have to suffer this for long and thank goodness for the skip button.

Yes this is a short recording*, and isn't there a missed opportunity here? One DVD burn (of a copy of a copy, etc.) of this gig I saw some years ago and suffering horribly from colour dropout, had the addition of two extra numbers by Bruford recorded off from the Old Grey Whistle Test - here with I think Neil Murray deputing for Jeff Berlin. Surely the Beeb could had offered these as well?

*Interesting to see another Rock Goes To College recording of Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters recorded at the now defuncted Chelsea College, that had resurfaced on BBC 4 2 years ago, was an hour long.

BILL BRUFORD Bbc Rock Goes To College: Live 1979

Movie · 2006 · Jazz Related Rock
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Slartibartfast
This is incredible. I had the good fortune of seeing Bruford, unfortunately post Holdsworth, at the now defunct Atlanta Agora. I did get to catch Holdsworth touring for his I.O.U. album, but that's another story. My first pass through this concert really gave me the goosebumps.

It is unfortunate that this DVD is only 41 minutes, but the set list is excellent. Four tracks from Bruford's best album, One of a Kind. Annette Peacock even shows up for a couple of songs. I always thought that she didn't fit in well with this kind of music, but it's nice to see her all the same. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think there's any live video out there of Alan Holdsworth, so seeing him in action is a special treat. One of the things I remember most from seeing Bruford was that at times Jeff Berlin's picking fingers were a blur and seeing him again live, I know I wasn't imagining it. Dave Stewart, or as I like to call him, The Dave Stewart, not that Eurythmics guy, is also a lot of fun to see in action. I noticed he had a music stand with no sheet music, but a synthesizer diagram, interesting. And then of course there's Bill. Those of you who may dislike his electronic drum work, I'm not one, will be happy to him playing strictly acoustic. What can I say? He's really one of best drummers around. The audio quality is excellent and sometimes the camera man crop off Holdsworth's left hand when I'd like to see it, but other than that, this is really nice for a concert captured in 1979.

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH Classic Rock Legends

Movie · 2001 · Jazz Related Rock
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Sean Trane
Actually, this is nothing more than the TV special that got released some 12 years later after the live album. And this release does make a difference, compared to the live Cd. Actually only the respect I have for H & TN, stopped from giving less than two stars for that Cd because the recording was atrociously flat , poor quality and listless.

However, the DVD of that concert is much better and the sound quality is much better than the original Cd release. So the line-up is the same as Miller, Pyle and Sinclair are present and Sophia Domancich is replacing Dave Stewart. Although the newcomer is an impressive player, she does not however fill such gigantic shoes of Stewart. Actually on the latest 2005 tour , Alex Maguire does a credible job, though!

Highlight includes live favourites Matter Anyway and Going For a Song. A much fitter souvenir of that live one-shot reunion tour.

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