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 Classic Fusion, (Post 70s) Eclectic Fusion and Post-Fusion Contemporary genres.

jazz related rock top albums

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

SOFT MACHINE Third Album Cover Third
SOFT MACHINE
4.65 | 48 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers) Album Cover The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers)
FRANK ZAPPA
4.66 | 34 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention) Album Cover One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention)
FRANK ZAPPA
4.59 | 32 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA Over-Nite Sensation (The Mothers) Album Cover Over-Nite Sensation (The Mothers)
FRANK ZAPPA
4.60 | 26 ratings
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AREA Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi) Album Cover Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi)
AREA
4.66 | 15 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA Hot Rats Album Cover Hot Rats
FRANK ZAPPA
4.50 | 46 ratings
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HATFIELD AND THE NORTH The Rotters' Club Album Cover The Rotters' Club
HATFIELD AND THE NORTH
4.58 | 18 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA Waka/Jawaka Album Cover Waka/Jawaka
FRANK ZAPPA
4.53 | 22 ratings
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SOFT MACHINE Grides Album Cover Grides
SOFT MACHINE
4.69 | 9 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA Imaginary Diseases Album Cover Imaginary Diseases
FRANK ZAPPA
4.78 | 6 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Album Cover Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar
FRANK ZAPPA
4.71 | 7 ratings
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NATIONAL HEALTH National Health Album Cover National Health
NATIONAL HEALTH
4.55 | 11 ratings
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jazz related rock Music Reviews

PHISH Fuego

Album · 2014 · Jazz Related Rock
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Unitron
Phish-Fuego

'Fuego' is the twelfth studio album by progressive/jam rock band Phish. I was introduced to Phish fairly recently, a friend played their album 'A Picture of Nectar' for me and I really enjoyed it. That was the first album I heard, but 'Fuego' is the first Phish album I got for myself. After listening, I can safely say that Phish has not lost their touch after all these years.

In typical Phish fashion, this album has many different elements to the music. Anything ranging from jazz, hard rock, jam rock, and blues, creating a great progressive rock album. The opening title track is one of my favorites, beginning with some great piano and unique drumming. There is some hard rock guitar before great A capella. This song never really stays the same, changing from melodic rock parts to experimental drum/keyboard jams. Three minutes through there is an awesome guitar solo, playing over some great drumming by Jon Fishman. This song is definitely the main highlight of the album. '555' is another one of my favorites, having a great combination of blues rock and jazz. It has an awesome bassline and a really catchy chorus. 'Sing Monica' and 'The Line' are two other really good tracks, both being catchy. 'Wombat' is silly, yet pretty catchy. None of the other songs, while good, stand out to me as much.

Overall, I wouldn't call it as good as 'A Picture of Nectar'. It's still a great album, especially taking in to account the fact that these guys have been playing for many years now. If you want some good experimental rock, this would not be a bad choice at all.

Hope you found this review helpful.

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KING CRIMSON Live At The Orpheum

Live album · 2015 · Jazz Related Rock
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EntertheLemming
A Scarcity of Standing Room

One of the great consolations afforded by the Crim's vast eclectic output is that even at their most willfully impenetrable, piously abstruse or drippily soporific, they are seldom predictable and at the very least their abject chaff is some of the most harvestable chaff available. Discipline Global Mobile's ever growing silos of repatriated bootlegs and official live recordings are testimony to our voracious appetite for what can be some extremely indigestible fodder. Kudos are therefore due to 'this Fripp' winning a seemingly losing battle against the institutionalised exploitation of musicians and their lack of protection from copyright piracy that he has waged for nigh on 40 years. By his own account, Bob has described this as a dispiriting and ruinously expensive fight against the legal obfuscation of his previous management and the complicity of a judiciary swayed by precedents set by industry practices that have never been sufficiently challenged or subjected to any form of rigorous scrutiny. Similar to those exorcists who have expelled demons and prevailed, all will testify that every victory is accompanied by the death of yet another little portion of their human soul. Bob Fripp has never done 'safe', his courtiers are never allowed to 'tread water' and despite his measured urbane mildness and inscrutable candor his sworn enemies have always been mediocrity and conservatism.

Why then has he granted royal assent to the release of 41 minutes of the most anodyne and tame Crimson to have hit the shelves since erm...In the Wake of Poseidon? (another pale imitation of a former glory in their discography)

There's a danger here in falling into the trap of judging this record by what it does NOT contain i.e. as if it were a clumsily truncated souvenir of a much lengthier statement of intent that featured performances of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part I, The Light of Day and the title track from A Scarcity of Miracles, VROOM, Level Five, Pictures of a City and what is becoming the increasingly revisionary encore 21st Century Schizoid Man

I'm at a loss as to the reasons for such zealous editing unless there were fidelity issues with the available recordings, but that being the case, wouldn't they have been able to reassemble the entire performance from other shows on the itinerary? Either way, it's a very 'white bread' choice of material that gazes longingly in the rear view mirror while straying perilously close to stalling in the middle of the road. Second guessing the Frippmeister is invariably futile but I suspect that what has been dubbed the 'Seven-Headed Beast of Crim' will prove to be about as feral as Mr & Mrs Fripp's agoraphobic pet white rabbit 'Willyfred'

First of all, new boy Jakko Jakszyk is a demonstrably fine guitarist and decent singer who cut his teeth in the '21st Century Schizoid Band' but if you wanted fresh young blood to forge the way ahead consistent with a progressive mandate, would you recruit from a Crimson tribute band? (that's like asking a historian to read your palm) His voice is hopelessly unsuited to the otherwise excellent One More Red Nightmare where he's about as convincing as a chunky beggar who commutes to work. On the up-side, his vocals and guitar on Starless are excellent and merely serve to confirm that perhaps his tonsilry is more comfortable within the ballad realm.

What's always struck me as rather indefensible is the rough ride that the outgoing Adrian Belew was routinely shown by large swathes of the Crimson fanbase. What other member of a 1st Division Prog band was still perceived as the 'new boy' 20 years after the fact? For me, his vocal, guitar and compositional abilities dwarf those of Jakszyk but I seriously doubt that the jury will still be out on the latter 20 years hence. Maybe Uncle Bob just wanted a lower profile front-man?

Similarly, one of the conclusions begging to be drawn from this line-up (inferred or otherwise) is provided by the flute and sax contributions of Mel Collins who featured originally on four of the numbers included here. Notwithstanding Mel's impeccable credentials and unswerving good taste, at 67 years old, this seasoned session luvvy is never gonna be charged with Lese-majeste. Check out his solos however on Construktion of Light which shed some unprecedented erm..light on that rather unjustly neglected new millennium Crim issue.

There are three drummers on this album but scant evidence to justify their inclusion. (Does Robert harbor designs to eventually have his entire touring band seated in the manner of a Rock orchestra?) For those sad hirsute plankton in our midst, you are advised that Pat Mastelotto is mixed on the left, Gavin Harrison on the right and Bill Rieflin in the centre. The only track where a twelve limbed percussion critter is audibly present is on Construktion of Light where they do weave an attractive composite rhythm apportioned across the stereo spectrum.

The inclusion of Sailors Tale is a treat as I think it a vastly undervalued track in the Crim's output. Levin's visceral and guttural bass adds an even more pressing urgency to the propulsive groove and Bob conspires to replicate his sublime thrashing detuned strumming 'solo' (albeit in shortened form). The Letters is every bit as as overwrought and unwittingly comedic as that of the studio original. Sinfield's cod Gothic approximation of Lord Byron selling fish from a big frilly shirt has not aged well in the interim.

Unfortunately what new material is on display offers very little clues as to what the future holds for King Crimson: Banshee Legs Bell Hassle and Walk On, Monk Morph Chamber Music are but two wispy and perishable ambient scooby snacks the likes of which we have heard countless times before. I went to see the Crimson ProjeKCt (sic) last year in Brisbane, Australia which boasted a paltry TWO drummers and have to report that the entire ensemble of Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelloto, Julie Slick, Tobias Ralph and Markus Reuter in their various permutations, provided more evidence of progressive intent and innovation that anything on Live at the Orpheum The foregoing is not sufficient cause for abdication just yet, but with every passing year, Toyah Willcox is starting to approach the mantle of a post-Punk Wallis Simpson.

You have to wonder who this release is aimed at as I fear there is too little novelty to stir the hard-nose Crimhead from his lair which leaves the tenuous 'Crimson virgin' demographic. If you belong to the latter then you are getting a well played and well recorded bite sized selection of no-brainer material culled from the years 1971 to 2000. From that perspective this album starts to make sense and might come to resemble USA from 1975 which perhaps served as a little appetiser for the considerably more expansive (and expensive) the Great Deceiver box set. We can but wait to see what type of main course will follow the aperitif represented by Live at the Orpheum

Robert Fripp is 68 years old and as far as being dragged through the digestive tract of a music industry's irritable bowel goes, has paid his dues several time over. If he wishes to see out his time as a performer by playing an unimpeachable back catalogue with his mates to critical and audience acclaim, who am I do deny him this thoroughly merited succour?

Just don't expect me to ask you to read my palm Bob.

PHISH Farmhouse

Album · 2000 · Jazz Related Rock
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VerticalUprising
Farmhouse, as many people enjoy in assuming, is the proclaimed "beginning of the end" for Phish. It was the massive turn of the century, and this album landed smack dab on the turning year of 2000. The problem was, Phish was becoming less and less recognized as years went by. So this meant that their country-infused melodic Farmhouse wasn't all good as Phish tried to make it. In a sentence, Phish was running out of steam from their 1990 heyday, and their attempt at a justly excellent release for the new century went slightly spoiled.

In an artful sense, Phish's Farmhouse is indeed unique. It features a lot of interesting compositions, as well as some new dabblings that the band hadn't tried prior. Most of their earlier content, however, had large amounts of progressiveness that was very clearly shown and people could recognize it easily. This album lacks on that front, for although the new tone the band was trying to develop to still be relevant, it isn't in most cases a progressive-rock release. Soft rock combined with lounge-jazz isn't really the best concoction for the progressive man, and this album is full of it.

The band was also trying to delve into the area of meaningful lyrics that actually had a story behind them. Usually, I would highly enjoy something like that, but in this case it seems odd and disjointed mostly because Phish is doing it. Two choice songs that follow this path are the title track, a melodic track that centers around a cliche love-story, and 'Bug', which is obviously the world from the point of an insect that as the Phish website states: "is blissfully simple". And I do give them credit, it sounds like they're having phun (I am so sorry) with their coherently simple song. The other songs are not bad but are very lacking in the area of memorability.

This album is quite something, but that does not make it an essential to a proggian by any means. It holds on loosely to anyone expecting something wonderful, or even something like Phish's past releases. So, if you are interested in Phish, pick up this. I recommend it to that audience.

KING CRIMSON Starless And Bible Black

Album · 1974 · Jazz Related Rock
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Unitron
King Crimson-Starless and Bible Black

Truly an underrated album, Starless and Bible Black has to be my favorite classic King Crimson album. This album shows King Crimson at one of their most experimental moments, even more so then 'Larks Tongues In Aspic' in my opinion.

The music follows most of what was explored on 'Aspic', in taking various percussion, heavy guitar, and Avant-garde compositions. There is a similar amount of classical instrumentation as in the previous album, and it still retains classical composition. The album begins with some shorter hard rocking tracks, 'The Great Deceiver' and 'Lament', the latter being my favorite of the two. 'The Great Deceiver' has a really catchy beginning but soon gets slower and really strong bass. 'Lament' starts out slow with traditional prog guitar work, but soon gets heavier with the drums and bass playing very well together. John Wetton's vocals are also very strong on this song.

The instrumentals on this album are among their best for me, with 'We'll Let You Know' being one of my favorite instrumentals of all time. The bass is at it's strongest in this song, with some very catchy bass/guitar riffs. Once the drums come in, the song really gets powerful. The classical-infused 'Trio' is very relaxing, and sort of gives you a nice change of pace temporarily. Of course, there is also the 11-minute masterpiece 'Fracture', with very menacing guitar throughout the song. At the end, however, driving guitar riffs come in with Bill Bruford really pounding on the drums. The classical instruments are a nice touch at the very end. Jazz-wise, there isn't much here. This album is more classical music influenced then anything.

Overall, don't skip this album. It is just as essential as it's predecessor and successor. I highly recommend this album for any fan of classic prog rock, Avant-garde/experimental rock or proto-metal/hard rock.

Hope you found this review helpful.

(Originally written for the www.Metalmusicarchives.com four months ago.)

Feel free to leave a comment!

PHISH A Picture of Nectar

Album · 1992 · Jazz Related Rock
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VerticalUprising
Phish's third effort was not far off the line of it's two predecessors, especially in the line of 'progressiveness'. Sure, Junta was a great debut album that was full of prog rock, but Lawn Boy and A Picture of Nectar didn't fall short from the line at all. I've actually had more of a history with this album than any other album by the band, even though that might not be saying much because I only have two of their releases (this and Farmhouse, a pretty mediocre album). That aside, let me tell you my experience with this album:

I was still new to my renewed prog rock discovery stage (I had already listened and known much before but had recently rediscovered it's perfect sound) at least three years ago, but even before that, I had Phish. Of course they weren't technically 'prog' because of their heavy mix of jazz fusion and dare I say it, alternative rock. There's almost a coffeehouse blend of Phish's music, with a very jam-oriented style of music, meaning that integrity is important and used, however it is justly used in small amounts. This leads to more creative paths that usually create unique toe-tapping art-worthy tracks, very much shown on this release. Anyway, Phish was very important to my re-introduction to prog rock and it was an incredible experience. It's one of those few albums that when I have it and listen to it in large amounts, I don't need any other releases from the artist. When a band does that, they've earned an A in my book.

The first large highlight is the odd, jazzy 'Cavern', with one of my favorite percussion-led openings of all time. The song always retains a certain quality and beat, and is able to maintain structural integrity even without large changes. The vocals are good, but what is really odd are the lyrics, which are the usual cute, lighthearted, and inane composition that Phish uses so much in their music. Definitely an enjoyable track. The most 'progressive' songs on the album are undoubtedly 'Stash' and 'Tweezer', both are epics who's times are used wisely for excellent bass and guitar lines, and the latter even got a reprise for a finisher at the end of the album which was equally as good. 'Glide' is a weird song, with keyboard slides and heavy amounts of cowbell. I've always found myself liking it, even though it's strange lyrics that center around the play on words of 'we're glide that you're alive' are highly eccentric. 'The Mango Song' is the most lighthearted of the songs, and what would you expect? It's about Mangoes for god's sake! It features some cool a Capella as well as more finger-snapping jazz. My final real highlight is 'Chalkdust Torture', a quick, blues-y number that is undoubtedly the heaviest on the album. It was my favorite for a long time, and for a good reason.

So in total, and excellent release from the 90's. Completely essential. Go get it now.

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.

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