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 | 5 min. caching

SOFT MACHINE Third Album Cover Third
SOFT MACHINE
4.73 | 50 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
KING CRIMSON
4.65 | 30 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers) Album Cover The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers)
FRANK ZAPPA
4.62 | 37 ratings
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YES Fragile Album Cover Fragile
YES
4.91 | 8 ratings
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ROBERT WYATT Rock Bottom Album Cover Rock Bottom
ROBERT WYATT
4.60 | 20 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix Experience) Album Cover Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix Experience)
JIMI HENDRIX
4.54 | 25 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 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
4.47 | 36 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA Over-Nite Sensation (The Mothers) Album Cover Over-Nite Sensation (The Mothers)
FRANK ZAPPA
4.46 | 28 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.47 | 26 ratings
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SOFT MACHINE Grides Album Cover Grides
SOFT MACHINE
4.63 | 10 ratings
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HATFIELD AND THE NORTH Hatfield and the North Album Cover Hatfield and the North
HATFIELD AND THE NORTH
4.49 | 20 ratings
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Rehearsals & Blows: May-November 1983
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jazz related rock Music Reviews

HAPPY THE MAN Happy The Man

Album · 1977 · Jazz Related Rock
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Of all the progressive rock bands from the USA that made the grade in the prog rich decade of the 70s, none were so eclectic and far reaching as HAPPY THE MAN which began its days as far back as 1973 in Harrisonburg, Virgina when guitarist Stanley Whitaker and bassist Rick Kennell met in Germany and once they returned back to the US decided to share their passion for progressive rock and form a band. The band actually took their odd name from a quote from Goethe’s “Faust.” (“Oh happy the man who can still hope”) After several lineups along the way, the band spent some years as a cover band glorifying the bigwigs of the day such as Genesis, King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator. On one fortuitous day playing in Washington DC, the band caught the attention of an exec from Arista records who was so impressed that he showed interest in signing the band which was quite surprising considering the year of 1976 was seeing the major decline of prog and more interest building towards punk and arena rock. In that very same year, none other than Peter Gabriel was scouting out musicians for his solo career and although after hearing them play decided their sound wasn’t compatible with his, did manage to help secure a contract with Arista for a 5 year multi-album deal but would actually end after only two releases.

HAPPY THE MAN the band released their eponymous debut album in 1977 and as you would might have guessed, failed to make any type of commercial impact at all but did manage to create a unique eclectic symphonic prog meets jazz-fusion type of sound. The album begins innocently enough sounding like something that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Weather Report album as the suave jazzy passages slink around like a smooth syncopated caterpillar walk but soon displays the band’s tendencies to erupt into serious prog frenzies with keyboards as spastic as Keith Emerson accompanied by extreme musical travails with complex arrangements and instrumental gymnastics. While most tracks on the album are instrumental there are some such as “Upon The Rainbow” that are slowed down and focus on the lyrics. These make me think of what a much more adventurous Steely Dan might sound like if they turned the prog and jazz-fusion up a few notches. I would however say that the vocal parts are my least favorite parts even though they aren’t bad or anything. The band just shines so much more brightly when they let loose and erupt into prog outbursts.

This is a symphonic prog lover’s dream come true with lush Hammond organs, rhodes pianos, minimoogs and clavinets dishing out dreamy synthesized jazzed up melodies often overlapping and creating complex polyphony accompanied by rocking bass and percussion and frequent slick solos that crank it up and run wild. While guitar is included in both six and twelve string form, it is more subdued and is more than drowned out by the heavy dominance of the symphonic elements swirling around like a wild tornado that can calm to a gentle ocean breeze in the blink of an eye. While the tempo shifts can be abrupt, the music is always allowed to breathe and carry out its intended effect. On the jazz side of things the band includes a sax in various sections and also on board is the use of flute and marimba for the occasional folk and ethnic influences, however for the majority of the album’s running time we are simply treated to an all assault on the senses with polyphonic keyboard runs overlapping and creating interesting dynamics. HAPPY THE MAN is one of those band’s that reminds you of many others (Genesis, Camel, Weather Report, ELP) but always keeps their sound unique and truly their own. This band is one of my favorites of the 70s to emerge from the US where prog bands were always several steps behind the European scene. Along with Kansas, Zappa, Santana, Yezda Urfa and The Muffins, HAPPY THE MAN were in the upper tier of United Statesian prog.

MAGMA Attahk

Album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock
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The musical times were a-changin’ and even the Kobaians were influenced by the heavy gravitational forces of the music industry. MAGMA had broken up for a year after “ÜDÜ ẀÜDÜ” but Christian Vander decided to resurrect the band two years later with an entirely different lineup and with it an entirely different sound. Out of the thirteen musicians and vocalists to be on the previous album, only Vander himself, vocalist Klaus Blasquiz, vocalist Lisa Bois and keyboardist Benoît Widemann returned for the sixth MAGMA album ATTAHK. Out were Bernard Paganotti and Patrick Gauthier who left to form Weidorje as well as the enigmatic Jannick Top whose contribution was seemingly irreplaceable and the musical cast has been trimmed down to a mere eight performers. This is a strange album in the MAGMA discography as it seems utterly disjointed from the rest (still haven’t heard “Merci” though.) Gone are many of the complexities from the first few albums and gone are the interesting developments of “ÜDÜ ẀÜDÜ” and instead what we do get is a more watered down version of zeuhl mixed with a lot of more accessible musical styles.

A lot of this is a matter of personal taste, of course, but i just don’t find this album as enchanting as the rest. Kobaian music, after all, isn’t supposed to be designed for Earthly consumption. It is supposed to be alien and take you somewhere you never considered. ATTAHK never seems like it is going anywhere specific and randomly lollygags through a rather MAGMA-by-the-numbers approach of shortened takes on previous albums. Take the first track “The Last Seven Minutes” for example. What we get here is a zeuhlish take on funk where it sounds like Vander is trying to take his vocals to new levels. After several minutes of this funky zeuhl we get some of his most intense screeches and high pitched squeals ever. The only problem with this for me is that it ends up sounding like a cross between the high falsettos of Prince from the “Lovesexy” album mixed with the trills of an orgasmic Edith Piaf. It seems incessant at the end and i am left wondering just what he had in mind with this one.

For some reason i’m just not keen on this simplified version of MAGMA. I am hardly against pop music and when progressive pop works for whatever reason i am quite receptive but this album drifts hither and tither without developing those elements sufficiently. That said, this album isn’t totally without its merits. It’s really the first two tracks that turn me off totally, but starting with “Rindë” (which would be stolen and incorporated into “Ëmëhntëht-Ré” like tracks from other MAGMA albums) the pace picks up and although the tracks are short, sweet and to the point they at least sound more within the Kobaian universe of intergalactic Top 40 hits at least. There will be many familiar elements from the past only embellished with much more Vander falsetto squeals laced with healthy doses of funk, R&B, gospel and pop elements. My favorite track on here is the closing “Nono” which has a bass worthy of the departed Jannick Top being on board.

This is an album that is hard for me to get excited about but is an ok listen when all is said and done. Just expect a MAGMA lite and you won’t be too disappointed. Definitely one of the weaker albums in the discography but this is MAGMA after all and even the bottom of the barrel has a lot of interest and worthy of adding to any collection. I personally like the album cover a lot but despite its über-hipness by H.R. Giger, the music just doesn’t measure up to the expectations i had for it. As good as some of these tracks are it isn’t quite the otherworldliness that the Kobaians have been so adept in spoiling us with. This MAGMA stream isn’t exactly a steaming hot pyroclastic flow of originality laced with Kobaian litanies of tales of extraterrestrial phenomena but hardly a throwaway album either.

GONG I See You

Album · 2014 · Jazz Related Rock
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Daevid Allen (aka Dada Ali for this release) comes full circle in his GONG universe and dishes out his brilliant last gift to the musical world in the form of the retro-Canterbury introspective litany and slickly packaged I SEE YOU, sounding like a true throwback to the 70s and the logical conclusion of the Radio Gnome Triology evoking the best psychedelic Canterbury that the classic era of progressive rock had to offer. In a sub genre that seems to have fizzled out somewhere incrementally during the 20th century and waned into a new golden era, Allen has rustled up yet another stellar team of gifted musicians to bring his final musical statement as well as proving that the Canterbury sound can still sound fresh and exciting while evoking the best of his heyday.

Right from the very first glance of the band lined up against a wall in the beautifully packaged gatefold digipak, it is apparent that the whimsical playful spirit of 70s GONG is alive and well with a new cast of characters. Most prominently in the fashionable and stylistic apparel of the Grand Poobah of musical mischief, Mr Daevid Allen with his styling striped spandex pants gracing his 77 year old body and a T-shirt boldly stating that “NOBODY KNOWS I’M A LESBIAN.” Apparently the cancerous tumors and endless surgical operations that had been plaguing his health hadn’t dampened his spirit and his love light shines through on this musical goodbye to the world in his most passionate display of musical mojo since 1974’s “YOU.”

The cast includes a veritable smorgasbord of seasoned musicians including Allen’s own son Orland (aka Flamedog Alien) who kicks, beats and crashes on the percussion but also handled the engineering, mixing and production duties at his Flamedog Records Studios back in the original Allen stomping grounds of Australia. Other musicians called to duty are bassist Dave Sturt (aka Unicorn Strut who has been associated with various artists including Steve Hillage and Jade Warrior), guitarist Fabio Golfetti (aka Fabuloso Golfcart associated with Violeta De Outono, Invisible Opera Country, Zero), saxist and flautist Ian East (aka Eastwinds i.e. Windows) and crunch box and scythe guitarist Kavus Torabi (aka Spiral K. Octoflash associated with a gazillion acts most notably for Knifeworld, Cardiacs, Monsoon Bassoon, Chrome Hoof, Guapo etc.). Torabi is purported to be the successor in the GONG family personally chosen by Allen to carry the torch into the next incarnation of the band after Allen’s musical and Earthly retirement. And i could hardly forget our favorite 70s sprinkled space whisperer Gilli Smyth who rejoins the GONG team to haunt us with her angelic and ethereal vocal talents as well as contributing the final farewell track “Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin.”

I SEE YOU is just chock full of classic GONG-isms and relevant contemporary ideas. From the very first words “I SEE YOU” on the opening title track we instantly get that Canterbury jazzy funfest that shows Allen’s playful nature fully unfurl and instantly brings back the Gnome Radio Trilogy days in a good way. The psychedelic rock married with jazz-fusion and satirical whimsy is firing on all cylinders once again and after the initial first spin which had me instantly addicted it was like finally hearing the long lost archival audio files that was supposed to be inserted where “Shamal” appeared in the discography, but the truth be told this was a current band effort where each member channeled the best aspect of the Radio Gnome 70s and added a newly energized take on it. For example, on the second track “Occupy” we get an extremely heavy guitar riff that could possibly qualify as metal accompanied by sizzling sax solos but still with that nary-a-care free spirit nature that Allen always brings to the table.

The tracks vary quite a lot with some like “When God Shakes Hands With The Devil” which brings the rapping vocal antics of Daevid Allen in cahoots with a slap happy bass, sax and flute attack while the hypnotic and totally spaced out “The Eternal Wheel” showcasing Gilli Smyth’s psychedelic siren skills complements it and one of the most classic sounding GONG tracks on board here with “Syllabub” which has all those wonderful musical gymnastic sessions with time signatures flying off of trapezes, stylistic changes, whimsical instrumental exchanges and of course Allen’s spaced out lyrics about wanting to go far away like to the moon or something! “The Revolution” is a veritable spoken word sermon accompanied by spaced out ethereal sounds with Allen elucidating the evolution of the 60s revolution and how it has become an invisible force that guides us on a subliminal level. Other mentionable tracks include my favorite track of the lot “Pixielation” which has one of the coolest hooks ever! The track celebrates the nature of pixies and nature spirits but has the absolute coolest bouncy flute riff with the rest of the band weaving their magic around it as the backbone of the track. Allen’s neo-Pagan lyrics are profound and celebratory with fun time signature changes, spastic bursts of energy and just chock filled with everything that makes progressive rock so much fun!

I have to state firstly that i did not first hear this album until after Allen had passed which occurred just a few months after its release and that obviously changes perspective dramatically regarding the depths and meaning of the lyrics as it is clear now that the album was designed to be a final farewell to the world of GONG and all those involved who jumped on the bandwagon decades earlier. No more is this apparent than on the final two closing tracks. “Thank You” is a heartfelt gesture of musical gratitude where Allen emphatically sends out his love under the guise of a steady rock riff, spaced out effects and interpolated progressive touches. After this nice steady jazzified rocker which gradually disintegrates towards the end into a more chaotic feel we reach the final track “Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin” which is a collaboration by Allen and Gilli Smyth creating one of the most haunting of sonic send offs of glissando guitar and vocally eerified pieces of music ever created which is perfect for bidding of farewells to Daevid Allen who would soon not only retire from one of the most famous collaborative band efforts in history but would pass away only a few months later after I SEE YOU’s release thus transitioning from the “Angel’s Egg” and being awarded that magic “Flying Teapot” in the sky. Not only is this album simply brilliant lyrically and musically but i can’t think of a better tribute album to the career of one of the most unique visionaries in the musical world. This one only keeps growing on me upon every listen and am very stunned that this one has gone unnoticed by the larger prog world as it is one of the few contemporary examples of reviving that classic 70s sound and breathing new life into it all the while a legend is on the precipice of his last days as a carbon-based life form. A modern unknown classic here.

YES Tormato

Album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock
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On “Going For The One” YES had come full circle regarding their musical differences and successfully reunited the lineup of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Alan White, Chris Squire and Rick Wakeman. It was a transitional album that honed down the bombastic complexities of albums like “Relayer” and “Tales From Topographic Oceans” and simplified the song structures with the intent to fit into a changing musical world where simplified music had dethroned the earlier 70s perceived excesses. YES successfully crafted an album that stayed true to their sound while taking the first step into their progressive pop style without totally severing the progressive umbilical chord from the past by adding the beautiful “Awaken” to finish off the album and perhaps the era of fully progressive rock.

Their 9th studio album TORMATO finally jumps ship altogether from the full-fledged progressive rock of the earlier years and delivers one of their very first progressive pop albums that would usher in a couple decades of similarly inspired music to follow. The first thing about this album that confuses the first time listener is the question of just where in the world did they get the album title? Is a TORMATO a tornado that hit a vegetable market that happened to have all tomatoes that day? A craggy outcrop of rock on the summit of a hill in the town of Mato on the island of Sarawak in Malaysia? Or is it a radioactive tomato that morphed into a Godzilla type creature that is ready to devastate Baltimore? Guess again. The name was actually derived from Steve Howe’s idea of naming the album “Tor” after the highest point in Dartmoor, England. The artist Hipgnosis who designed the “Going For The One” album also did this one and after Wakeman objected to the design he threw a tomato at it which ended up as the album cover of choice, so TORMATO is simply a combination of the “Tor” idea and the tomato being thrown. Not my favorite album title or cover either, but there it is.

Musically TORMATO is a strange beast which features virtuosic classical trained progressive rockers unleashing their full musical prowess into short radio friendly track lengths. It’s actually kind of interesting if you can embrace the irony of it all. As horrible as this album is purported to be, i personally don’t find it that way at all. No doubt i do find this to be the weakest album of their 70s output, but a weak album by one of the greatest prog bands in history is still a worthy album to experience and much better than some of the utter crap like “Union”. Right from the get go “Future Times / Rejoice” embraces a musical glee with the vocals of Jon Anderson who seems to take lead on this album as the centerpiece which the musical “noodling” revolves around. While the melodies tend to be pleasant enough pop inspired songwriting, the virtuosic performances around them are a bit surreal to say the least. The lyrics of YES have always tended to be a little spacey and hippie dippy and they only become more so here whether it be about environmental concerns on “Don’t Kill The Whale” or new age fantasies on “Arriving UFO.”

Overall this is not a horrible album but after all i love good pop music as much as i love good prog. There are many examples where a band is successful in one style and is pathetic in the other. YES proves here that they have what it takes to create a very decent middle of the road album that peaks and troughs in both arenas of pop and prog. I assume the main objection to this album revolves around that it went in the pop direction at all, but for me that is not a problem as living in the real world of the day, YES also proved they had the foresight to see the writing on the wall and adapted to the new world without compromising the sounds and style they were known for. Ingenious if you ask me. I can honestly say i like every track on this album except for the “Circus Of Heaven” track which kinda makes me wanna hurl. While i wholeheartedly concede that this was indeed a major step down in quality and the beginning of a loathsome era for their original prog fans, i can only admire the tenacity of YES for steering their musical vehicle into arenas that kept them relevant at the time without totally watering down the music to unlistenability (that would eventually come). By keeping the band name alive and kicking was relevant for new fans discovering older progressive rock and wished to delve into their discography. Successfully maneuvering the business aspects of the musical world in the late 70s aside, i actually find this to be an enjoyable album for the most part and while not a desert isle pick it is by no means designated to the completists only file because i find the melodies on this one infectious.

In the end, this album was the breaking point for a band who was obviously placating a musical market to the best of their abilities and after this album and tour both Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman would jump ship leaving the band’s future in question, but with hind-sight being 20/20 we know that the band would constantly reinvent itself in most unforeseen and unorthodox ways with some successes and unfortunately, ho hum, way too many that were not.

While i rarely find bonus tracks on the YES remasters to be essential this one actually has some total winners that for me are worth the price of admission alone. The track “Money” for example is so experimental and different from anything the band has done that you would hardly guess that it is a YES track at all.

YES Going For The One

Album · 1977 · Jazz Related Rock
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After “Relayer” was released in 1974, YES had gone through five years of progressive rock superstardom and were completely burned out from all the recording, all the touring and most of all each other. They decided to recharge their batteries and take a lengthy break from each other so they could all focus on solo albums, thus during the time span between “Relayer” and this eighth studio album GOING FOR THE ONE, there were many solo albums released and a 1976 Solos Tour Of North America. Once again YES changed their musical vision and after the two super complex and challenging albums that preceded they decided to simplify a bit with shorter songs more akin to the earlier days of “Fragile” and “The Yes Album.” The only exception is the monstrous “Awaken” that runs well over fifteen minutes.

After only one album with Patrick Moraz it was decided that his contributions no longer gelled with the band’s overall sound and he was asked to leave. Originally asked to be a sit in session musician, Rick Wakeman returned only to find he and the band had come full circle and reached common grounds again allowing him to regain his seat as progressive rock’s number one symphonic prog keyboardist. So the reunion of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Wakeman was complete and they headed off to Switzerland to record this wonderful album.

“Relayer” took me a long time to get into because of its complexities but GOING FOR THE ONE took me a while to get into for the opposite reason. I found this album to be too simple. It has much more accessible song structures compared to pretty much every that came before except maybe the very first two albums but somehow these melodic rockers managed to weasel their way into my head and wouldn’t let me be, so i succumbed to their charm over time and now i find this to be a very satisfying album although this is truly the beginning of a decline because it doesn’t come close to the magical era lasting from 1970-74. I now love every song on here except “Wonderous Stories” which is one that no matter how hard i try it makes me cringe!

Beginning with the raucous rocking title track that sounds a little country with all the slide-guitar action, the album starts off on a good note by keeping the tracks somewhat accessible while not jettisoning the progressive tendencies. This is a trend they would continue from hereon as the band adapted to the changing musical realities the world was experiencing, however this is still very much progressive rock and held its own against the new explosion of punk, pop, arena rock and disco that was conquering the world by this time. The album still sailed up the charts and loyal fans consumed it with glee.

While the first three tracks: the title track, “Turn Of The Century” and “Parallels” are somewhat catchy and poppified progressive rock songs that are guitar heavy with Wakeman eschewing his classical keyboards for more complimentary hard rock embellishments, “Wonderous Stories” is a whiney little ballad that totally rubs me the wrong way and is the first sign that the glory days of YES have waned. The highlight is the extraordinary “Awaken” that very much is a blast from the past with its long drawn out melodic developments showing the band doing what it does best, that is create blissful extended instrumental behemoths that segue into different styles and sections and that always work in tandem with the vocals. This track shows Wakeman conjuring some of the most beautiful church organ runs behind Squire’s unique bass line walks up and down the scales. The song has an addicting chord and rhythmic structure and the lyrics are sublime. If the rest of the album was like “Awaken” this would be yet another masterpiece.

GOING FOR THE ONE was the beginning of a new era for YES. They would never return to the glory of their past and instead follow in the path of what is going on with the simplified song structures found here with mixed results. While this album blows away the gazillions of lesser bands of any era, it still comes up short as being one of the greats of the YES discography in my world, but for what it is and compared to what would come down the road in the 80s and 90s, it still ranks high in their discography but just shy from peaking into the classic era. Still though GOING FOR THE ONE is a unique little listen as it has a distinct sound from any other YES album and is one that can easily seduce you into its magical universe.

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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