Jazz Related Rock

Jazz music community with reviews, MP3 (free download/stream) and forums

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 | 60 min. caching

SOFT MACHINE Third Album Cover Third
SOFT MACHINE
4.75 | 51 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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YES Fragile Album Cover Fragile
YES
4.91 | 8 ratings
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FRANK ZAPPA The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers) Album Cover The Grand Wazoo (The Mothers)
FRANK ZAPPA
4.58 | 38 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 | 26 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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YES The Yes Album Album Cover The Yes Album
YES
4.83 | 6 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.48 | 26 ratings
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YES Relayer Album Cover Relayer
YES
4.75 | 7 ratings
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SOFT MACHINE Grides Album Cover Grides
SOFT MACHINE
4.63 | 10 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

BRAINCHILD Healing Of The Lunatic Owl

Album · 1970 · Jazz Related Rock
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siLLy puPPy
Brass rock came into existence in the late 1960s when it seems free love was getting a lot of unlikely musical genres cuddling up together. While the most famous bands of this hybridization were indubitably Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears, there was in reality a huge roster of bands who joined this heavy brass-filled rock frenzy that was in its peak from 1969-72. In the US alone there were several other bands including Aura, Chase, Dreams, The Electric Flag, Gas Mask, The Ides Of March, Lighthouse, Second Coming, The Sons Of Champlin and Ten Wheel Drive. While usually accustomed to exporting musical ideas across the pond, musicians in England had no problem following a trend from afar and several bands emerged on British soil including Colosseum, Galliard, The Greatest Show on Earth, Heaven, If, The Keef Harley Band, Walrus and the London based outfit BRAINCHILD which joined the party fairly early on in 1970 with their only release HEALING OF THE LUNATIC OWL which packs in a heavy brass jazz sound into their catchy well crafted pop melodies but what really sets BRAINCHILD apart from their contemporaries is how they carefully they weaved in progressive rock elements with slight psychedelic overtones.

The band consisted of Harvey Coles (bass, vocals), Bill Edwards (guitar, vocals), Dave Miller (drums), Chris Jennings (organ, piano), Brian Wilshaw (sax, flute), Lloyd Williams (trumpet) and trombone duties shared by Ian Goss and Pat Strachan. While the brass rock sound of the era could vary from heavy brass tinged pop a la Chicago to more funk-jazz band acts such as Cymande, BRAINCHILD delivered mostly accessible rock tunes embellished with the subordinate brass jazz elements. The music is generally upbeat rock oriented with lots of emphasis placed on a beefy groove-based bass line, jazzy guitars all dressed up with the horn section as to smooth it out and create counterpoints to the rhythm structures. While the music is riff based incorporating many different grooves and hooks that are instantly addictive, BRAINCHILD also unleashes progressive rock song structures that not only have long extended periods where musicians can strut their chops but there are also unexpected time signature changes and a tendency to have a Krautrock edge at times. The title track is an example of the side of the band that gravitates towards the Chicago playbook with a bouncy beat, lounge lizard vocal style with the rock music being accompanied by the the jazz elements at times merely adding a layer to the overall sound and at times totally doing their own unique thing. While tracks like these begin it can almost bring a Las Vegas casino show to mind but once the musicians let loose and add the prog touches, it becomes magical.

Despite this band being highly talented and keeping it tight with well constructed songwriting skills, they were and still remain an obscure curiosity from the brass rock band era where the popular groups more than stole the thunder from the competition. While they may have never properly made it, they did succeed in releasing one fantastic album that is one of the earliest examples of how to properly fuse catchy pop / rock with jazz and prog. While i find the music on this one mesmerizing, the one element of this band that keeps it from being an outright masterpiece is the limited vocal skills where i feel the dynamics of the music demand a more talented vox box that can play around a bit more. Perhaps a more prog oriented version of Ella Fitzgerald could have filled this role, but having said that there is nothing inherently bad or incompetent per se with the role of the vocalists, they simply could have stepped it up a level or two and perhaps if a second album were to have emerged that very well could have been the case. As it stands, the sole release from BRAINCHILD is still an excellent slice of pop, rock, blues and swinging jazz smorgasbord with more than enough progressive rock instrumental prowess to impress the most hardened jazz-fusionist. HEALING OF THE LUNATIC OWL is a woefully overlooked and under-appreciated relic from the early jazz-fusion era.

MAGMA Magma (aka Kobaïa)

Album · 1970 · Jazz Related Rock
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Miler72
This was the double album debut from Magma. At this early stage they were basically a jazz rock group who happened to use Christian Vander's imaginary Kobaian language, and strange vocalizations heard periodically throughout the album. The Kobain mythology already starts here (in which I'm not an expert, unlike some of the Magma faithful), but the Zeuhl elements in the music hasn't fully developed (that would have to wait until 1973 with Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh). Stella Vander has yet to become a member of the band (apparently she recorded some pop-oriented singles around the mid '60s in her teens that give absolutely no clue what she'd be doing in the '70s). Also the band feature Francis Moze on bass, who appeared on Gong's Flying Teapot, and later on, Gazeuse (Expresso for American buyers). I have to say this double album is a prime example of the band biting off a bit more than they could chew. Sure there's some fantastic moments, but there also what sounds like filler to my ears. I do like the fact flute is used, which is not typical for Magma, plus there's more guitar than usual (guitar usually never played much a role in Magma's music, perhaps because Christian Vander's jazz-influenced approach). It's not bad, but sounds like room for improvement to be made here, and improve they did, so this debut probably isn't the best place to start if you're not familiar with Magma.

YES Big Generator

Album · 1987 · Jazz Related Rock
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siLLy puPPy
BIG GENERATOR is definitely the point where YES jumped the shark. I can honestly say i love 90125 as much as many of YES' catalogue beginning with the first album to that very one, but on this one it is clear that the great decline has begun. Not saying there weren't some good albums after this but it was never quite the same. Having said all that, i actually like BIG GENERATOR and despite it being a substandard album for one of the best bands ever to grace the planet, it is nevertheless a decent listen. Part of the decline stems from the fact that the progressive pop era of YES which was supposed to be a new supergroup called Cinema had dropped some of the progressiveness that 90125 had. The sound went a little bit more towards the new wave and pop sound and despite the huge hit they had with 90125 they decided it was a good idea to distance themselves from it. Were they convinced at this point that ANYTHING progressive was lethal? Who knows but it probably is more a result of a group of talented individuals just going through the motions having displayed their utmost chemistry together and now just having to fulfill a contract.

Still though this is YES and even though this is not in the top ranking of their output they are quite talented in crafting clever, catchy and interesting pop songs. Upon my first experience i found a few tracks on here very good such as the total pop sellouts "Love Will Find Away" and "Rhythm Of Love" as well as the title track and the excellent "Shoot High Aim Low" which takes a political stance regarding the horrific illegal wars of the US in Nicaragua. It is a fairly lengthy song for this phase of YES and it has a very subdued melancholic sound.

Many tracks on BIG GENERATOR sound rather new wave but nothing on this one sounds as original and unique as 90125. Despite the pop sounds reigning on this one, there are some moments of past glory. "Final Eyes" has some hippy dippy "And You And I" acoustic guitars going and "I'm Running" has some cool proggy time sigs and instrumental prowess despite its calypso type of island feel at the beginning.

This is a decent album despite being a major step down from anything YES had previously done. I actually don't mind listening to this on occasion. Yeah, i know. This is not what anybody wanted to hear from their favorite supergroup in prog history but this isn't really a YES album. Maybe there should be a human rights law at the UN that mandates anytime a band loses a certain percentage of its members it should be required by law to change its name. Couldn't they have called this era of their career MAYBE? Ugh. It is what it is. Not their best but certainly not their worst.

YES 90125

Album · 1983 · Jazz Related Rock
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siLLy puPPy
After the experiment of "Drama," the first YES album that replaced Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman with members of The Buggles, the band did a whole tour but unfortunately Trevor Horn was unable to perform to the band's likings as far as sustaining the passable vocal abilities in the vein of Jon Anderson as heard on the album. The band decided perhaps the 70s meets 80s experiment had run out of steam and reluctantly called it day. The band known as YES officially ceased to exist after the end of the "Drama" tour. The plans of the members were to create new supergroups that would take elements of the YES era and incorporate them into the contemporary sounds of the early 80s. For progressive rocks lovers this was a tragedy. Commercially speaking, the then former members of YES would soon see some of their most economically beneficial music surpassing anything they had ever experienced. While Steve Howe and Geoff Downes would go on to form Asia, Trevor Horn would go on to be a successful producer (starting with this one), Chris Squire and Alan White decided to create something new altogether. Originally they hooked up with Jimmy Page which didn't work out but the fruits of which ended up on Page's band The Firm's albums. Despite a lofty idea it was a no go and they had to recruit some new blood to the mix. They settled on Trevor Rabin who was somewhat successful in his native South Africa with a band called Rabbit and after a chance meeting with YES' original keyboardist Tony Kaye, Chris Squire rekindled musical ideas and invited him to play keyboards on the new project. This new super group was supposed to be called Cinema and was never intended to be a YES project at all. The final ingredient in the new group was unfilled: the vocalist. The disbanding of YES was totally amicable so when Squire played some of the new material to Jon Anderson, he really liked it and decided to sing on the new album. Someone thought it was a great idea to be under the YES moniker and thus the 11th YES album was born. Like it or not, YES released their most successful album with 90125 and even had a #1 single in "Owner Of A Lonely Heart." The title simply comes from the original Atco Records serial number of the original LP: 7-90215-1.

I would say that the success of this album is due to a mix of circumstances. First of all, the progressive pop tracks are all extremely catchy and well written as well as impeccably performed, but as we all know there is no reason any brilliant album should catch on to a larger audience without some sort of delivery to the larger public. Like many 70s bands of the day, YES was prescient enough to see the power of the video and when "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" caught on with a new generation of fans totally oblivious to the previous incarnations of YES, the video became a HUGE hit propelling the album to sell mass quantities to the chagrin of progressive rock snobs who only found the war of complexities to scratch their itch.

I absolutely adore this album. Not only was this the very first YES album i encountered, but it is one that stays with me over time. It was indeed my gateway drug to the affirmative one's unique style but was so well crafted and beautifully delivered that it holds a strong place in my musical world. While some early albums in my world are respected for their introductions to a band's discography, 90125 remains high on my personal list of albums simply because i enjoy the hell out of it. Not progressive enough? Gimme a break! This album may not take you to Saturn's rings like "Relayer" or "Tales From Topographic Oceans" but it is not meant to. This is an Earthly concoction of extremely well played progressively constructed ideas that find a more accessible rhythmic structure that fits nicely into the day and time but still sounds totally unique and is really unlike anything else not only released under the YES moniker but stands out from any other album ever released as well.

Personally i find the biggest hit "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" to be the weakest track on here and even so i still don't dislike it. This album is just filled to the brim with catchy progressive new wave and pop tracks. "Hold On," "It Can Happen," "Changes," "Leave It" and "Our Song" are simply just beautifully well crafted pop songs stuffed with progressiveness that doesn't feel forced or over contrived. The odd time signatures of "Changes" are particularly noteworthy of showing just how well this incarnation of the YES lineup could easily meld two seemingly opposite spectrums of the musical world together so brilliantly. I just cannot understand any negativity behind this one. Only the last couple of songs keep me from giving this a full five star rating. The difference between this and the most progressive of YES' albums is that like the previous couple albums, the melodies are the focus with the progressiveness being the icing instead of the cake, but on 90215 they really succeed in balancing these elements like a fifty foot stack of rocks on a river bed. Great music doesn't have to be based on a "complexer- than-thou" principle and 90125 is a wonderful example of just how satisfying well constructed songs that have recurring melodic themes can be.

YES Drama

Album · 1980 · Jazz Related Rock
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siLLy puPPy
After the ho-hum response that divided YES fans on "Tormato," the pressures of being one of the biggest prog bands of the 70s had clearly taken its toll. The music was becoming more of a chore in keeping up with the current trends instead of making the music that inspired the band in the early 70s, so exit stage left both Jon Anderson AND Rick Wakeman (again). Ironically it was Anderson and Wakeman who were the most enthusiastic about making a new album after "Tormato" but when the creative juices failed to gel they split leaving the continuation of the band in question. I mean really. YES without Jon Anderson? Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White were having none of the band breaking up business and set out to figure out a way to keep it going. The ushering in of the 80s couldn't have been more different than a mere ten years earlier when progressive rock was just beginning to blossom. By this time heavy metal, disco and pop were in and even country was having a comeback. As the YES destiny would have it, the remaining YES members serendipitously were recording in an adjacent studio of The Buggles members Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. The Buggles had become the cutting edge band in the new world of music of new wave and MTV and their famous track "Video Killed The Radio Star" was not only the very first video to ever appear on MTV but also hit #1 in the UK. Chris Squire happened to own their album, they all hit it off and the next thing everyone knew was a totally unforeseen new incarnation of YES. Ironically after two albums that eschewed the artistic album cover talents of Roger Dean, the new wave YES actually solicited his return to create an album cover for DRAMA, their 10th studio album. So Trevor Horn took up duties on vocals, a tall order indeed but despite not reaching the heights of the mighty Jon Anderson does a veritable mimicry that keeps the vocal ties to the past while allowing the music to go places no YES fan had ever anticipated.

Wow. What a trippy album this is. No, not trippy like whoa! this is so lysergic man! but trippy like whoa! this sounds like YES but it also sounds like lots of other things. This is one of those YES albums that really divides the fans. Some love it and some hate it. I happen to love it however i wholeheartedly concede that this does not come close to their streak of early 70s masterpieces which progressively rocked the world and changed the very fabric of space-time. This is different in every way. This is a one-shot exploration into a monstrous hybrid of old YES and contemporary influences with a healthy dose of 70s kickbacks as well. YES was humble in that it realized it needed to evolve into some new beast to be relevant. I totally admire this about them. For better or for worse, they were having none of the stuck-in-the-early-70s syndrome and found a new way to let their talents stand out.

The first track "Machine Messiah" actually reminds me of a slightly new wave version of Pink Floyd's "Welcome To The Machine." It has acoustic guitars and lyrics that totally bring that classic to mind, however Geoff Downes keyboards take it to a new level. A great way to start the album. After a 10:27 intro track the contrast slaps you in the face with the 1:21 "White Car," which is a strange little interlude of synth and vocals. "Does It Really Happen" has some classic Squire bass lines going on with some new wave guitar of Steve Howe. While Steve does his best to be modern on the guitar duties, it's actually his excellent lead guitar fills that keep this grounded to the classic YES sound since they are ever so unique and unequivocally YES sounding. This track has a "Blue Collar Man" feel from Styx on the keyboards. "Into The Lens" is another lengthy track that could rightfully qualify as progressive new wave. Nice bass line and staccato backups. For the longest time i only remembered this song under my own invented titled "I Am A Camera." Great instrumentation here and one of my favorite tracks on the album. "Run Through The Light" sounds to me like a Yes meets The Police track. Doesn't quite sound like Sting and company but very much drifts into their territory of the day. "Tempus Fugit" is a Latin phrase that means "time flies." My next favorite track. I love the bass line, the guitar and the lyrics which includes the band's name as an integral part of the chorus.

Another testament to the brilliant members of YES comes alive on DRAMA. While the album cover is a little weak compared to their others, i really dig the music on this one. I get an excellent musical enjoyment experience out of it but because of the fact that they are trying so hard to copy other sounds rather than creating them, it does not deserve the highest of honors that their earlier material does. DRAMA displays a band which was searching for new avenues in musical exploration and despite not taking the lead in coming up with new musical ideas, YES does an EXCELLENT interpretation of current trends while adding just enough classic touches to please the open-minded fan of their glory days. This may not be better than the output from 1970-74 but this is actually better than "Tormato" and almost anything that came out from the 90s on. In short, DRAMA is a delight that will please anyone who loves both YES at its progressive rock heyday and the better prog pop phase of the band.

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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