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

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YES Fragile Album Cover Fragile
4.77 | 25 ratings
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SOFT MACHINE Third Album Cover Third
4.63 | 61 ratings
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YES Close To The Edge Album Cover Close To The Edge
4.72 | 20 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers) Album Cover The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers)
4.63 | 48 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix Experience) Album Cover Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix Experience)
4.64 | 36 ratings
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YES The Yes Album Album Cover The Yes Album
4.69 | 20 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
4.60 | 41 ratings
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YES Relayer Album Cover Relayer
4.65 | 23 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
4.59 | 45 ratings
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NATIONAL HEALTH Of Queues and Cures Album Cover Of Queues and Cures
4.67 | 17 ratings
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NATIONAL HEALTH National Health Album Cover National Health
4.63 | 17 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA Hot Rats Album Cover Hot Rats
4.50 | 65 ratings
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jazz related rock Music Reviews

JEFF BECK Rough and Ready

Album · 1971 · Jazz Related Rock
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I can't find a true identity for this second Jeff Beck Group.I know it's common thing but I'm a Cozy Powell fan and Jeff Beck is one of my favorite guitarists. Also here plays Max Middleton, one of the best keyboard players of that era. Bob Tench is too underrated a singer and bassist, Clive Chaman, is certainly no fallback. It must be said that Jeff Beck was a fantastic innovator and without him there would be no Heavy Metal. But it is equally true that here, in this "Rough and Ready", he drastically breaks with the past to devote himself to a sort of POP Jazz Rock that has Soul and Funk moments that I don't mind at all. Only that POP component does not help to understand this choice.And today it also destabilizes the fact that the next album, "Jeff Beck Group", is a really beautiful and compelling Blues Rock album and more in line with what Jeff Beck was known for.

Musically I think that "Rough and Ready" is more interested in an audience open to certain contaminations of Progressive Soul and certainly Blues Rock than a Jazz audience, although it is, in truth, a Jazz Rock album with various digressions in other musical genres (and well blended). In my head, although "Rough and Ready" is certainly a good album ... It just doesn't convince me as an album. Great music in general. Which convinces me, as single songs. But that leaves me very bitter in my mouth. And that makes me say "Rough and Ready" is a wrong album.


Album · 2020 · Jazz Related Rock
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American blues rock guitarist and vocalist Joe Bonamassa is probably one of the known blues-rock artists of his generation. Different from previous generations of American bluesmen, his influences were the British blues-rock of John Mayall and Cream, as well as early bluesy prog rockers (Jethro Tull, etc). Starting his recording career in 2000, Bonamassa jumped up right to the forefront of the modern blues rock scene, combining American blues and r'n'b roots with British rock energy and prog complexities.

Still it took two decades before he did the next step in the same direction-recording a British blues rock album at Abbey Road studio in London with some of the genre's leading legends on support. The result is as great as one could expect.

"Royal Tea" sounds as if it had been recorded in the early seventies, or late 80s, in Britain. Nothing strange - almost all of the song's co-authors are Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden and former Cream lyricist Pete Brown. Marsden participates as backup vocalist as well as another British celebrity, Jools Holland (co-author/piano on one song).

The opener, "When One Door Opens", is a big sound high energy hard rock hymn recorded with The Bovaland Symphonic Orchestra. Rest of the songs are all perfectly recorded in a fashion of Cream's early albums - full bodied soft clear sound. Most important thing is Bonamassa doesn't try to copy or imitate his heroes, he just plays original music that could be created in England during the late 60s. His band's drummer, Anton Fig, (who played on tours/recordings with Madonna, Mick Jagger and Kiss among many others) does a fantastic job creating an atmosphere of the stadium rock era.

Album's first half is all winners with the heavy ballad, "Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye"(influenced by both Cream and Whitesnake), groovy rocker "Lookout Man!", and the album's trade mark "Royal Tea". When listening, seasoned rock fans can easily recall late 60s/early 70s period of time, when almost any new album was a collection of fresh and extremely high quality songs, no fillers.

The album's second half is strong enough too, but is less influenced by British blues rock and sounds mostly as just another Bonamassa typical "American" album. "Lonely Boy", a Jools Holland influenced rockabilly, sounds quite strange and is out of the place here. The closer, "Savannah", is a Southern rock piece, which looks like it's added just to complete the album's space since there were not enough original material.

Still, the whole album sounds fresh and really inspired, it's material alone could build a strong tour program, which will be released soon (and recorded on Bonamassa's next, live album).

MAHOGANY FROG In The Electric Universe

Album · 2021 · Jazz Related Rock
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Mahogany Frog is a modern instrumental group that often gets lumped in with the contemporary prog rock crowd, but there is so much more to their music than what a simple genre label like that can describe. The Frogsters describe their music as a meeting of today’s electronica with 70s progressive rock, 60s psychedelia and 50s exotica. This isn’t too bad a description, especially if you add in movie soundtracks, particularly of the Italian persuasion. As far as the prog rock influence goes, we are not talking about the heavy-handed clichés that took hold post 1972, but more about all that great experimental music that ran from 1966 to 1972. Frog's latest outing, “In the Electric Universe”, took much longer to conceive than their previous albums and this shows in the very careful sound sculpting that takes place on here. Sounds, noises and sonic textures play a big part on this new one, and whether or not you think that emphasis has weakened their melodic content would probably be a matter of individual taste.

The opening track, “Theme from P.D.”, is like a suite with its many themes and developing sections. The next two tracks feature Frog's interest in late 60s psychedlic progressive rock filtered through an electronica lens. Follow up number, “CUBe”, is a heavy trip-hop/rock groove with a phat synth bass line. "Octavio" has a grand sound as it moves from modern RnB to cinematic glory rock. Album closer, “Sun Dog”, has a beautiful ambient melody that is slowly engulfed in noise only to finally emerge again. Much more than just a ‘rock band’, fans of electronic jam bands, classic exotica and movie soundtracks should give Mahogany Frog a chance. These guys are creating instrumental monuments that are hard to equal.


Album · 2015 · Jazz Related Rock
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"War And Peace" is the debut full-length studio album by Russian, St.Petersburg based progressive rock act Pandora Snail. The album was released through the Moscow based label Artbeat in March 2015. Pandora Snail was formed in 2008 and went through quite a few lineup changes in the first couple of years. The lineup who recorded "War And Peace" are Ulyana Gor (keyboards, composer, vocals), Oleg Gorgadze (guitar, electric guitar, conposer, vocals), Kirill Klyushin (bass guitar, contrabass), Artem Gareev (violin), and Igor Cheridnik (drums, percussion).

Stylistically the music on the 11 track, 62:01 minutes long album is an eclectic type of progressive rock drawing influences from not only the classic 70s prog rock artists, but also from jazz rock/fusion, classical music (the band mentions Sergej Rahmaninov as an influence), and folk (among other things). There is even an occasional use of heavy distorted guitars featured on some sections of the album, so it is definitely a type of music featuring influences from many genres and musical styles. "War And Peace" is still a stylistically very consistent album though, and there is a good flow throughout the playing time. And putting this many elements into a cohesive sounding musical style is not easy, which serves as a testimony to how skilled Pandora Snail are as composers.

The music is predominantly instrumental with an organic yet tight playing rhythm section, atmospheric keyboards, guitars, and a very dominant use of violin as the lead instrument. The compositions are for the most part quite catchy, although some tracks are structurally relatively complex. Except for the 16:36 minutes long "James Pont" and the 8:05 minutes long closing track "Satori", the tracks generally aren´t that long though. It´s not music that is hard to get into, although it´s certainly not easy listening either. It´s just that some of those violin melodies are spot on and nicely hook laden. Because he is so dominant in the soundscape it´s hard not to mention Artem Gareev´s performance on the album as something special, but the rest of the musicians performing on the album are equally as skilled. The high level playing is definitely one of the great assets of "War And Peace".

The compositions are strong too though, and it´s all packed in a powerful, organic, and overall well sounding production, which helps bring the best out in the music. This is generally a very interesting album, and considering that it´s a debut album its a very strong one too. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

FRANK ZAPPA Zoot Allures

Album · 1976 · Jazz Related Rock
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"Zoot Allures" is an album release by US, California based rock artist Frank Zappa. The album was released through Warner Bros. Records in October 1976. It's the successor to the 1975 "Bongo Fury" collaboration album with Captain Beefheart. "Zoot Allures" was originally meant to be released through the DiscReet Records label, but Herb Cohen (Zappa's then manager/business partner and co-owner of DiscReet Records) and Zappa had a falling out (which ended in a lawsuit), and the album was therefore released through Warner Bros. Records. It would be Zappa's only release through the label, as he would also experience great trouble with that label and their business methods resulting in one of the longest release breaks of his career, as his next release "Zappa in New York" wasn't released until March 1978 (through the DiscReet Records label, although still distributed though Warner Bros. Records).

Many of Zappa's albums consist of both studio and live recordings recorded at various locations and times (sometimes combined on the same track), and that's also the case on "Zoot Allures", although most tracks on the album were actually recorded in May-June of 1976 at the Record Plant Studios on Los Angeles. There are three exceptions on the album. The first is "Wonderful Wino", which is a track that Zappa co-wrote with former Mothers of Invention bassist Jeff Simmons, and which in its original version was featured on the latter's 1969 solo album "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up". The version of "Wonderful Wino" included on "Zoot Allures" was recorded in 1972/1973. The second exception is "Friendly Little Finger", which was recorded partially in 1973 and finished in October 1975. The last exception is the instrumental "Black Napkins", which is a live recording from Osaka, Japan from February 1976.

Most of the basic tracks (bass, guitars, drums, vocals, keyboards) which were recorded at the Record Plant Studios, were recorded by the duo of Frank Zappa and Terry Bozzio. The latter recorded all drum tracks, and the former recorded everything else. The album however does feature quite a few guest appearances by Zappa regulars like Ruth and Ian Underwood, Roy Estrada, Captain Beefheart, and Bruce Fowler.

In usual Frank Zappa mode "Zoot Allures" is a stylistically eclectic release. It's one of Frank Zappa's more easily accessible and humourous releases and tracks like "Wind Up Workin' in a Gas Station", "Ms. Pinky", "Wonderful Wino", and "Disco Boy" are all both funny and a little silly (in a good way). In the other end of the spectrum are the two instrumentals "Black Napkins" and the title track, which both feature a darker and more melancholic sound. The same can be said about "The Torture Never Stops", which is a long atmospheric track with some thought provoking lyrics.

"Zoot Allures" features a warm, organic, and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly and upon conclusion it's a good quality release by Frank Zappa. It's not among his most standout releases nor among his best, but it's still highly entertaining and filled to the brim with excellent musicianship, adventurous songwriting ideas, and strong production values. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

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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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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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.


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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