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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.83 | 99 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue Album Cover Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS
4.83 | 134 ratings
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BILL EVANS (PIANO) Waltz for Debby Album Cover Waltz for Debby
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
4.92 | 16 ratings
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CHARLES MINGUS The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Album Cover The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
CHARLES MINGUS
4.78 | 74 ratings
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HERBIE HANCOCK V.S.O.P.:Tempest in the Colosseum Album Cover V.S.O.P.:Tempest in the Colosseum
HERBIE HANCOCK
4.97 | 9 ratings
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BILL EVANS (PIANO) Sunday at the Village Vanguard (aka Live At The Village Vanguard) Album Cover Sunday at the Village Vanguard (aka Live At The Village Vanguard)
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
4.87 | 17 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Blue Train Album Cover Blue Train
JOHN COLTRANE
4.75 | 65 ratings
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WES MONTGOMERY The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery Album Cover The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
WES MONTGOMERY
4.87 | 12 ratings
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ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Live in Hamburg Album Cover Live in Hamburg
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.)
4.94 | 8 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Live at Birdland Album Cover Live at Birdland
JOHN COLTRANE
4.81 | 16 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE My Favorite Things Album Cover My Favorite Things
JOHN COLTRANE
4.73 | 56 ratings
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KEITH JARRETT The Köln Concert Album Cover The Köln Concert
KEITH JARRETT
4.74 | 36 ratings
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Imaginary Geometry
Imaginary Geometry
HUGO FERNANDEZ
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Follow My Lead
Follow My Lead
NEFERTITI QUARTET
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Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt
MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE
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Ozean
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HUGO FERNANDEZ
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Frameless
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NEFERTITI QUARTET
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The Shadow Of Your Smile
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MASSIMO FARAÒ
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Sparks
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ERI YAMAMOTO
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Atlantis
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PERICO SAMBEAT
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The Emerald Duets
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WADADA LEO SMITH
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Imágenes Latinas
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SPANISH HARLEM ORCHESTRA
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The Trio, Vol. 2
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DAVE BASS
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Ghost Trance Septet plays Anthony Braxton
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KOBE VAN CAUWENBERGHE
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XXX
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FUSIO GROUP
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A Month of Sundays
Album
TEEN TOWN
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Under the Porch
Album
BRIGHT DOG RED
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The Montreux Years
Live album
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
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Volume One
Album
AARON PARKS
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Volume Two
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AARON PARKS
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A Muted Reality
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ANGLES
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Miniatures du dedans
Album
HIRSUTE
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Dirty Mindz
Album
ZACH BROCK
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Makoto Ozone Featuring No Name Horses : The Best
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MAKOTO OZONE
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Lost In Tokyo
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SOIL AND "PIMP" SESSIONS
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Freedom
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ALBARE
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Trance Sketches
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JORGE PARDO
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Dangerous Decision
Live album
RAYMOND MACDONALD
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Glass Spheres
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CHRIS MONDAK
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I Hope To My Never
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MATT HALL
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Rempis / Baker / Abrams / Ra : Scylla
Live album
DAVE REMPIS
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Murmures Rumeurs
Album
TOM BOURGEOIS
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Paths and Crossroads
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ENDLESS SEASON
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Our Folklore
Album
LOUIS MATUTE
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Miniatures and Fragments
Album
BIRGITTA FLICK
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Trio Live
Live album
AKI RISSANEN
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Live at Le Crescent
Live album
KNEEBODY
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Search No More
EP
BURAK BEDIKYAN
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Duo & Solo Live at Galerie de Cafe Cafe 伝 Tokyo 1987・1989
Live album
MOTOTERU TAKAGI 高木元輝
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The Impressionist
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MARC MOMMAAS
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Jackpot
Album
BRIAN CHARETTE
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Release
Album
LISBETH QUARTET
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Hellbound Train : An Anthology
Boxset / Compilation
STEVE TIBBETTS
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Reboot
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RONNIE FOSTER
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Trios : Chapel
Live album
CHARLES LLOYD
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Dance of the Evil Toys
Album
TARBABY
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Dream Like A Dogwood Wild Boy
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BINKER GOLDING
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Shifting Sands
Album
AVISHAI COHEN (BASS)
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10​.​30​.​21
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TRANSCENDENTAL EXPRESS
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Rhythm and Blues of The 20s
Album
CHRIS BYARS
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Fault Lines
Album
DANA FITZSIMONS
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Who Do You Love The Most?
Album
KJETIL MULELID
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Live At The Fabrik, Hamburg, 1986
Live album
MCCOY TYNER
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It's A Foreign Language
Album
KLAUS KOENIG ‎/ JAZZ LIVE TRIO
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Precarious Towers
Album
JOHANNES WALLMANN
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Persistence
Album
MICHAEL WEISS
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Unify
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LETTUCE
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Oak Tree
Album
TOM HARRELL
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Gravity Without Airs
Album
KIRK KNUFFKE
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Trinity
Album
MABUMI YAMAGUCHI
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Henri and Rachel
Album
ELI DEGIBRI
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Things To Say
Album
FLAVIO BOLTRO
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My Father’s Hands
Album
CYRUS CHESTNUT
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Points Of View
Album
BILL ORTIZ
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Bortenfor
Album
MARIDALEN
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The Meeting
Album
JIMMY BRANLY
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Pindio II
Album
JUAN SAIZ
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Jazz Is Dead 011
Album
JAZZ IS DEAD (YOUNGE & MUHAMMAD)
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Soul Sister
Album
DEXTER GORDON
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Assembly
Album
JACOB GARCHIK
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Khimaira
Live album
CHILD OF ILLUSION
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Old Monsters Trio (Deluxe Blend)
Album
STEVE HOROWITZ
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Wish
Album
T-SQUARE
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Avoid The Void
Album
ELLIPSIS QUINTET
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Eric Dubois Quartet
Album
ÉRIC DUBOIS
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Resonance
Album
MEGUMI YONEZAWA
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Something Tomorrow
Album
ENRICO PIERANUNZI
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No Kharms Done
Album
SIMON NABATOV
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John Scofield
Album
JOHN SCOFIELD
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Melting Worlds
Album
MWEB (MALTE WINTER ELECTRIC BAND)
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Skylight
Album
NICOLA ANDRIOLI
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Everybody Say Yeah!
Album
GEORGE FREEMAN
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Nocturnal
Album
SEBASTIAN STUDNITZKY
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Mark Feldman, Tim Daisy : Circle Bac
Live album
MARK FELDMAN
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Blue
Album
JESSY J
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Sultan
Album
ALUNE WADE
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The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott’s
Live album
CHARLES MINGUS
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Welcome Adventure! Vol. 2
Album
DANIEL CARTER
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Tapscott + Winds
Album
HORACE TAPSCOTT
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Fat Master
Album
FAT MASTER
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Staycation - A Family Affair
Album
RALPH LALAMA
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View From Above
Album
ALISON SHEARER
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Two For Mistake
EP
ALFA MIST
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Transitions
Album
YARON GERSHOVSKY
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Venus
Album
PAOLO ZOU
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The Pucciarelli Group : Uplift
Album
GIUSEPPE PUCCIARELLI
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The Garden Path
Single
KAMASI WASHINGTON
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Spinoza
Album
JOHN ZORN'S SIMULACRUM
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Zurich Concert
Live album
PUNKT.VRT.PLASTIK
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Pink Dolphins
Album
ANTELOPER
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Fado Jazz
Album
JULIO RESENDE
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Dream Band Live in Concert
Live album
WOLFGANG HAFFNER
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Polar Star
Album
INITIATIVE H
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Ånd Ud
Album
I JUST CAME FROM THE MOON
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Live In Italy
Live album
ALAN PASQUA
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Bluesthetic
Album
STEVE DAVIS (TROMBONE)
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Smile
Album
ISABELLE OLIVIER
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Seclused in Light
Album
ARUN GHOSH
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Peaceful Place
Album
JOY ELLIS
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Where Rivers Meet
Album
SCOTTISH NATIONAL JAZZ ORCHESTRA
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In the Spirit of Ntu
Album
NDUDUZO MAKHATHINI
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Lighting Of The Lamps
Album
GRANT STEWART
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Soundtrack
Album
JEREMY PELT
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Honoring Pat Martino, Volume 1
Album
10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
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Origin
Album
JOEY ALEXANDER
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Loopholes
Album
ANDREA MOTIS
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Dream Chaser
Album
NIKOLA BANKOV
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Rocket Love
Album
STEPHAN CRUMP
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The Eppik
EP
TURNING POINT
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Type_f
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TYPE_F
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Live in New York City, February 8, 1975
Live album
ALAN (ALLEN) BRAUFMAN
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Ultraman vs. Alien Metron
EP
PETER BRÖTZMANN
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McPhee Marker
EP
JOE MCPHEE
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Songs We Love
Album
NOAH PREMINGER
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The Message
Album
DOUG WEBB
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Swing On This
Album
OPUS 5
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Isabela
Album
ODED TZUR
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A Stone's Throw Away
Album
RON LEDOUX
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Ascetica
Album
HUGO CARVALHAIS
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Tord Gustavsen Trio : Opening
Album
TORD GUSTAVSEN
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Culturgest, 2007
Live album
BERNARDO SASSETTI
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Another Spirit
Album
DONATAS PETREIKIS
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Black Lives - from Generation to Generation
Album
10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
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Alive (Live at Dièse Onze, Montreal), Set 2
Live album
JEAN-MICHEL PILC
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Alive - Live at Dièse Onze, Montréal
Live album
JEAN-MICHEL PILC
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Episodes Of Grace
Album
OUT TO DINNER
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Unsubscribe
Album
NIECHĘĆ
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Chrysopoeia
Live album
BALLISTER
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Hafla
Album
JON BALKE
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This One's For Joey
Album
KEITH OXMAN
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Life Is Beautiful
Album
LISA HILTON
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Con Alma
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JASON PALMER
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Far Star
Album
GILAD HEKSELMAN
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Alan Broadbent Trio : Like Minds
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ALAN BROADBENT
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For The Love Of Fire And Water
Album
MYRA MELFORD
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Afro Trane
Album
NAT BIRCHALL
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The Parable of the Poet
Album
JOEL ROSS
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The Art of Flight: For Alvin Fielder (March 2022 )
Live album
JOE MCPHEE SURVIVAL UNIT (II & III)
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Space
Album
LISA ULLÉN
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Solo Suites
Album
BIRÉLI LAGRÈNE
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Silky Way
Album
KARTET
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MBefore
Album
MICHAEL BISIO
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Amaryllis
Album
MARY HALVORSON
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Cold As Weiss
Album
DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO
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Heat
Album
SHAKE STEW
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Classics
Boxset / Compilation
SCOTT HAMILTON
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Wouldn’t Be Here Without You
Album
BRENT LAIDLER
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Hardcastle X (The Eclipse)
Album
PAUL HARDCASTLE
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The Next Step
Album
ROBERTO OCCHIPINTI
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Again Alors?
Album
ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND
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Montmartre ‘73
Live album
DUKE JORDAN
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I Am A Stranger In This World
Album
YELENA ECKEMOFF
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Field Guide
Album
ANDY OSTWALD
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Jangada
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MÁRIO LAGINHA
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Open Spaces
Album
MATT OLSON
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The Color of Angels
Album
DOUG SCARBOROUGH
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Perchance To Dream
Album
JOHN ZORN
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In a little provincial town
Album
MARC FRANKINET
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The Color Of Wood
Album
TOM COLLIER
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Each Step
Album
NATHAN BORTON
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Dois Quartetos Sobre o Mar
Album
MÁRIO BARREIROS
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Eternal Aporia
Album
BEN THOMAS
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Forest Floor
Album
FERGUS MCCREADIE
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High Plains
Album
STEPHEN MARTIN
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Heteroklite Lockdown
Album
HENRI TEXIER
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Disasters Vol. 1
Album
MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING
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Truce 2
Album
MARKUS REUTER
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StandArt
Album
TIGRAN HAMASYAN
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The Sundering
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JOHN C. O'LEARY III
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Run, The Darkness Will Come!
Album
DAY & TAXI
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Bells On Sand
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GERALD CLAYTON
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(D)IVO
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(D)IVO
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K.BYE
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DANIEL DELORENZO
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PAKT Live In Buffalo
Live album
PAKT
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Dedicated To You
Album
JORGE GARCIA
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The Hideaway Sessions
Album
TRITONE ASYLUM
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Rotate, Align
EP
TROKUT
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Stringspan
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JASON RASO
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See You Soon or See You Sometime
Album
MARTIN ARCHER
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New Sky
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AZAR LAWRENCE
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The Vienna Sessions
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MARKUS BURGER
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Adjusting
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ARNAUD DOLMEN
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Reflections, Vol. 2
EP
DOMINICK FARINACCI
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Perpetual Pendulum
Album
LARRY GOLDINGS
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The Role of the Rhythm Section
Album
STEVEN FEIFKE
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Jazz Samba Pra Sempre
Album
NATE NAJAR
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Red List
Album
BRIAN LANDRUS
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Nuvole
Album
SERGIO ORLANDI
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A View with a Room
Album
TRISH CLOWES
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If You Will
Album
FLORA PURIM
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Fresh Start
Album
ARMEN DONELIAN
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Live
Live album
AKKU QUINTET
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Disparate Parts
Album
ROXY COSS
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Amaury Faye X Igor Gehenot
Album
AMAURY FAYE
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Crisálida
Album
DANILO PÉREZ
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Resets
Album
SØREN KRÆSTEN
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Yonn
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GRÉGORY PRIVAT
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Idantitâ
Album
FLORIAN FAVRE
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Fairy Circus
Album
STEFAN AEBY
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Stay Now
Album
JOEL LYSSARIDES
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With Love And Sadness
Album
MATT SLOCUM
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Diversitonic
Album
BILL EASLEY
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Jacob's Ladder
Album
BRAD MEHLDAU
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Blue Vision
Album
ERIC PERSON
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Ritual Dances
Album
STEFAN PASBORG
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No Answer Project : Barcelona Live
Live album
DUŠAN JEVTOVIĆ
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La Cave Live, Cleveland 1966 Revisited
Live album
ALBERT AYLER
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You Never Know
Album
CLUB D'ELF
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Another Time, Another Place
Album
NEW STANDARD QUINTET
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Life In Time
Album
DARREN JOHNSTON
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Good Spirits
Album
ALEXANDER CLAFFY
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Follow The Signs
Album
DIEGO FIGUEIREDO
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Four Brothers
Album
TONY MONACO
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Meet Me At The Loft
Live album
PABLO HELD
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Standards and My Songs
Album
RON JACKSON
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No Questions, No Answers
Live album
A PRIDE OF LIONS
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Devotion
Album
KARL IVAR REFSETH
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What Will We Leave Behind
Album
IRO HAARLA
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Interpret It Well
Album
CHES SMITH
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12 Stars
Album
MELISSA ALDANA
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Force Of Nature
Album
DEANNA WITKOWSKI
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Magma
Album
BLACK FLOWER
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Thisness
Album
MILES OKAZAKI
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The Odysseus Suite
Live album
DON RENDELL
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Open Question Vol. 1
Album
DANIEL CARTER
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Feeding The Machine
Album
BINKER & MOSES
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With Love, From Chicago
Album
ADAM LARSON
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Mazel Tov Cocktail Party!
Album
DAVID KRAKAUER
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New Gospel Revisited
Live album
MARQUIS HILL
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Be Am
Album
BUGGE WESSELTOFT
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UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra & Ed Partyka : Last Dance
Album
UMO HELSINKI JAZZ ORCHESTRA (UMO JAZZ ORCHESTRA)
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Meles Meles Revisited
EP
HELGE LIEN
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Mountain Man Exit
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TIMO LASSY
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JOONA TOIVANEN
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MICHAEL BISIO
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Ilmiliekki Quartet
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ILMILIEKKI QUARTET
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The Wine of Astonishment
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YELENA ECKEMOFF
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Be With Me
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MATT GORDY
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Dedication
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DIETER ILG
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Louise
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ÉMILE PARISIEN
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Mars
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TIM BERNE
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Riverside
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OZ NOY
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Protocol V
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Wood's Edge
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JACK DESALVO
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On The Move
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In Common III
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IN COMMON
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Me Myself and I
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DOM MINASI
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Numinous
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JACK DESALVO
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Bare Trees
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JACK DESALVO
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SAAM (Spanish American Art Museum)
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MARTA SÁNCHEZ
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A Midnight Rendezvous
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DAVID BENOIT
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Naked Truth
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AVISHAI COHEN (TRUMPET)
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Baden
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GUI DUVIGNAU
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Don't Look Back
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BERNIE SENENSKY
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My Reverie by Special Request
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HARRY ALLEN
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A Glimpse Of The Eternal
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DAVID BINNEY
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Misha's Wishes
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MISHA TSIGANOV
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Vermillion
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KIT DOWNES
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Every Note Is true
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ETHAN IVERSON
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Singularity
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NICK WALTERS
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Dreamers
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MARK LOCKHEART
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Planetário da Gávea
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HERMETO PASCOAL
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Ozone 60 : Standards
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MAKOTO OZONE
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Helge Lien Trio : Revisited
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HELGE LIEN
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A Change Is Gonna Come
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BILL O'CONNELL
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The 7th Hand
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IMMANUEL WILKINS
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Ode To O
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THE OGJB QUARTET (OLIVER LAKE - GRAHAM HAYNES - JOE FONDA - BARRY ALTSCHUL)
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Ballads : Into the Heart of It
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STEVE SLAGLE
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Euphoria
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JOHN HART
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Sounds of Love
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JOHN HÉBERT
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Glimpses Of Truth
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IVO NEAME
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Pourquoi
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PHILIP CATHERINE
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In the Wee Small Hours
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CARLOS FRANZETTI
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TONY MALABY
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MARCIN WASILEWSKI TRIO
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modern jazz Music Reviews

KENNY GARRETT Triology

Album · 1995 · Post Bop
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Steve Wyzard
EXHILARATING!

1995 was a banner year for jazz, and Kenny Garrett's Triology album remains one of the most memorable and re-listenable after all these years. His seventh studio album, Triology does without the melodic "oomph" of keyboards, guitar, or another horn. It's just Kenny on the alto, Kiyoshi Kitagawa (7 tracks) and Charnett Moffett (3 tracks) on bass, and the magisterial Brian Blade on drums. Many listeners dismiss sax trio albums as "dry", "tiring", or "too serious", but those adjectives come nowhere near to describing these recordings. There are no weak links and no showing off, nor is there any hint of "hushed reverence". Triology is the work of a true virtuoso who knows who he is, and where he wants to go.

Let's talk about TONE. Garrett's very unique alto may remind one of the soprano sax from time to time, but it never dissipates into that wispy Paul Desmond sound (and I mean that with NO disrespect). There are no solo pieces on Triology, yet only rarely does Garrett take a breather throughout. Give Kenny credit for not starting with something simple: "Delfeayo's Dilemma" is a barnstormer with the "almost soprano" tone front and center. The pace hardly slackens throughout: "Night and Day", "Giant Steps", and "Pressing the Issue" would all fit comfortably on the "snappy-to-fast" spectrum. "Oriental Towaway Zone" (with a formidable Kitagawa solo) and "What is this thing called love?" could both be described as "blistering". After a Brian Blade intro, Garrett spools off line after line over a bass ostinato on "Wayne's Thang" before teasing with not one, but two false endings. The trio does (relatively) slow down for "A Time for Love" and "In Your Own Sweet Way".

When discussing the alto sax, people always want to compare and contrast with players such as Cannonball Adderley, Marion Brown, Lee Konitz, and Art Pepper. And as great as those players are, Kenny Garrett remains his own man, respectfully paying tribute to the past while forging ahead to the future. It was a great temptation to title this review "Honkin'", that wonderful quality which can certainly be found amidst Triology's 57 minute run time, but that would not do this command performance justice. This album never ceases to amaze me and is far less "tiring" than plain and simply "exhilarating"!

BILL ORTIZ Points Of View

Album · 2022 · Latin Jazz
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js
Trumpeter Bill Ortiz has worked with many well-known artists over the years, but possibly he is best known for his sixteen years with Carlos Santana (2000-2016) Along with Carlos, Bill has also toured with Bay Area RnB groups like Tony Toni Tone and En Vogue, and has also performed with top jazz musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea. Add to that list many RnB, blues and Latin jazz performers and you get an idea of how much Bill gets around. His latest album, “Points of View”, takes Ortiz in more of a Latin jazz and fusion direction, which is different from his previous albums which were more RnB and hip-hop oriented. There is an amazing all-star cast assembled for this album, too many stars to list, but two of the top contributors include Dennis Chambers on drums and Azar Lawrence on tenor saxophone. Although “Points of View” is very much a modern album, there is a spiritual connection to the 70s with songs by artists like Eddie Henderson, Lonnie Liston Smith and Brian Jackson, but it’s Azar’s big soulful tenor sound that brings that organic 70s vibe more than anything else.

There is a wide variety of music on here, each song has its own unique flavor that stands on its own. Looking at some album highlights, opening track “Sunburst” brings the jazz-rock energy. Although Bill rarely sounds like Miles, on this rockin track he seems to channel Miles’ aggressive riffs from his Live at the Fillmore album. “Okonkole y Trompa” is a mystical African flavored rumba with Bill’s deep toned flugelhorn sounding like an ancient African horn sounding over a percussion groove. The psychedelic Afro-Cuban sound is also found on “Fusion/Noche Cubana", on which Ortiz plays echoed trumpet lines over the percussion backdrop. “Aint Gon Change a Thang” is funky Latin RnB and has Bill playing a processed trumpet that sounds like Randy Brecker’s work combining mutes and wah pedals. And there are plenty more tracks of course. Though out the album, Ortiz’s trumpet playing is bold and forthright, very much in the Latin tradition, and also similar to power trumpeters like Freddie Hubbard and Jon Faddis.

WHIT DICKEY Astral Long Form : Staircase In Space

Album · 2022 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
Yesterday I used the rare opportunity to visit a retrospective exhibition of renown avant-garde artist, probably better known in Europe than in the States, Marina Abramovic. I made a 200 kilometres-long round trip on a warm summer day, and it was worth it. There were many Abramovic filmed happenings demonstrated on the big screens in a modern art gallery, in total darkness, many screens placed at the same hall. There was one, where she is cutting a five-pointed star around her belly button with a razor blade (so-called "Thomas Lips"), filmed in the year 1975. It was very impressive emotionally (knowing that Marina was born in Belgrade, Serbia, in a family of high level Communist party functionaries of former Socialist Yugoslavia), but at the same time it looked like it's coming from very old past. From the times, when the world was divided between modernists and conservatives, at a time of aggressive feminism, sexual revolution and lots of freedoms coming soon. Quite surprisingly, looking back from now at these protests, and the revolution looks very "organic", and let say "natural". And yes, free jazz was a part of it.

In a modern world, which is thousands years away, we understand all these freedoms as natural, but in fact, we are living in a much more conservative world. We have just a few formal restrictions, but we are not really free. Our lives are complex, and nowadays free jazz is not all that free anymore.

American drummer Whit Dickey is one the great figures of New Millennium creative jazz, working with many leaders of the scene. On "Astral Long Form: Staircase In Space" Dickey leads a quartet with sax player Rob Brown, viola player Mat Manieri and bassist Brandon Lopez. Their music is free, but also well organized, clever, knotty and still dreamy at times. One can hear some (possibly) pre-composed pieces here and there, but it still sounds as spontaneous very much. Tagged by the artist as "channeling ecstatic cosmic vibration", it has nothing too much in common with space psychedelia of the 60s. Being still rooted in Coltrane's legacy, it is very a modern take on things, the music, which is miles away from free jazz of "summer of love" era, its not "organic" or "natural" at all. And it is not naïve, it comes from our clever and already slightly tired world, much more complex than last century's 60s.

And it is among best soundtracks of today's life too.

JOHN COLTRANE John Coltrane/Archie Shepp : New Thing At Newport

Live album · 1966 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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js
This review of “New Thing at Newport” is based on the original LP on the Impulse! label, and what a beautiful production it is. You get a gatefold album cover with plenty of inside liner notes written by Nat Hentoff and Archie Shepp, plus a nice photo of Archie on the back cover decked out in about the coolest sports jacket you have ever seen. Shepp and John Coltrane share this album, but they do not play together. One track from Coltrane’s evening performance leads off the album, which is followed by four Shepp tracks that took place earlier that day in the afternoon.

Coltrane’s “One Down, One Up” is an absolute powerhouse performance from arguably the hottest quartet in jazz history. This is the last year that Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner will stay with John, but they certainly found their mountainous peak before moving on. The recording quality is pretty bad, but John and McCoy come through loud and clear. The lead melody is a short little RnB riff, but listen how Coltrane works it and develops it. There is a reason why other musicians consider him to be a genius and worthy of emulating. Possibly knowing what Coltrane was going to be doing that evening, Archie decides not to go for the same intensity during his afternoon performance. Instead, he presents an eclectic set of almost chamber-like avant-garde jazz, possibly somewhat similar to Eric Dolphy’s “Out to Lunch” album.

The recording quality on the Shepp tracks is much better, possibly the Coltrane set just had way too much sonic volume to deal with. “Rufus” is a free post bop number with great playing from Archie, as well as Bobby Hutcherson on vibes who is excellent all though his part of the album. “Le Matin des Noire” has some interesting arrangements and sometimes resembles a 20th century avant-garde classical piece. “Tracks” is a short little spoken diatribe against heroin and the injustices that encourage it, and “Call Me by My Rightful Name” is a ballad of sorts with Archie shifting between a pretty melody and very odd atonal excursions.

STANLEY CLARKE Stanley Clarke

Album · 1974 · Fusion
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Steak Handsome
This Stanley Clarke album is for me as a newcommer to fusion jazz a real revelation. It has some of the finest drumming I have heard, and nice bass parts which is why I found Stanley Clarke. I have heard almost all the albums of Return to forever and find them very fine, but I like this album more, and find it great all the way. I have earlier listened to Jan Hammer and when it comes to make the keyboard parts great he is almost as good as Chick Corea. All in all this is a great album for new listeners who come from progrock or heavy rock, and if it is given a chance it will be an album that can be heard over and over again.

modern jazz movie reviews

WEATHER REPORT Live in Germany 1971

Movie · 2010 · Fusion
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Sean Trane
Well if the world still has to find some live recording from the very first studio all-star line-up (not likely, though), at least we've got now something very close to and we can even see the quintet at work with this just-as-famous version in the form of a German TV show called the Beat Club. With only Airto Moreira gone, replaced by Brazilian countryman Um Romao, the other four being Vitous, Shorter, Mouzon and Zawinul, Weather Report embarked on this TV show adventure not knowing that Alphonse Mouzon would leave the band in a while.

As you'd expect this broadcast consisted mainly of tracks from the debut album, but some are fairly different as WR always made improvisation their force. So you'll recognize 'Umbrellas generic structure, but drafted fairly differently, not just because of Romao's constant change of percussions instruments - he's one of the visual focus of the group, who otherwise remains fairly static and even blows a flute (and later some whistles) for a short while. One of the big difference between the studio album and this broadcast is that Miroslav has taken up the electric bass (his contrabass is still very present but mainly played with a bow), thus allowing even more energy to invade the quintet's shared space. The group's steaming-hot improvised fusion is simply awesome and flows naturally from your speakers like a river of fresh lave spewing out from your volcanic woofers.

Clearly the gravitational centre of the band is Zawinul's Rhodes, but it is clear that it is the group's tightness its main force. Morning Lake is much needed breathing space, starting out slowly with Shorter's sax signalling the dawn for Romao's birdsongs. Just past that Dom pulls an Brazilian berimbau . Drummer Alphonse sings funkilly (rather well, too) a rare sung track in the closing medley, but it's will veer into the Dr Honoris Causa - later on the Body Electric album.

A while later, Mouzon would leave the band and be replaced by drummer Erik Gravatt and this line-up would go on to record Body Electric and the Tokyo concert (released in 77, but part of it in the ISTBE album) and in the process become the definitive line-up of the Vitous- era Weather Report But for now, this German TV broadcast is an inestimable witness of the group's almost original line-up, and is just as essential as their debut album, the Tokyo concert or Body Electric.Too bad it's relatively short, though. Run for this baby...

MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD Fly In A Bottle

Movie · 2011 · Eclectic Fusion
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js
“Fly in a Bottle” is a documentary that follows Medeski, Martin and Wood while they are on tour developing the music that will become “Radiolarians”, as well as some of the recording sessions for that same album. The music on here is excellent, MM&W have a come a long way over the years. They were always a talented band from the start, but their confidence has grown. The funky tunes are funkier than ever, and the psychedelic jazz-rock tunes are more powerful, imaginative and original. Almost any music fan might enjoy watching their concerts and even some of their recording sessions, but a lot of the rest of this DVD is for hardcore fans only.

Along with the footage of MM&W playing music, you also get a lot of footage of them on tour visiting ecological tourist spots and talking, hanging out etc, which is where I think a lot of non-fans will probably start losing interest. They seem like nice sincere guys, but they aren’t particularly entertaining or charismatic, which is often the case with nice sincere guys. There are also some artsy short videos that follow the main feature, some more entertaining than others. Fans of MM&W may want to pick this up, it’s a well-made video and the music is excellent, but non-fans may find this lacking in substance in places.

DIXIE DREGS Live At The Montreaux Jazz Festival

Movie · 2005 · Fusion
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Slartibartfast
This was the Dixie Dregs lineup that I first come to know live and otherwise. The Montreaux Jazz Festival performance was used for side two of the LP Night of the Living Dregs. I had no idea the concert was filmed. This represents the band at their prime. Keyboardist Mark Parrish, would soon be replaced by T Lavitz, who is a better keyboard player, but this as this performance testifies, he was no slouch either. Oddly enough, the back cover of this DVD shows a band picture with the original keyboardist from Freefall, Steve Davidowski (guess there was only room for one Steve in this band). Steve Morse was at his most inspired around this time, even though he has certainly grown in skill over the years.

The set list is a little disappointing as it lacks some of the prime cuts from What If (Night Meets Light, Odyssey, Travel Tunes, What If), but I'm not complaining. Now I have something more than just memories of the many Dregs shows I saw back then. It is more of a forward looking set which includes Attila The Hun, that didn't show up on an album until three years later. Also of note, but of less interest to progressive rock fans, is the bluegrass style ditty, Kathreen, never released on a regular album, but only showed up on their demo album, The Great Spectacular, from 1975. If you have a copy of that album, you have something rare, indeed.

Thrown in for bonus are two live TV appearances, one on American Can'tstand (Bandstand) and one on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert. On the former, you get to see them both try out a vocalist, in an attempt to appeal to a more mainstream audience, and with Mark O'Connor, who only played with them for one album, but a few great live shows before the band disbanded for a few years.

As great as the band studio albums were, the live shows took things to an even higher level. Now you can see what you missed, unless you didn't.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Abstract Logix Live! / The New Universe Music Festival 2010

Movie · 2011 · Fusion
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js
Abstract Logix’s New Universe Festival of 2010 was probably one of the more significant fusion concerts in recent history, and it is all captured in excellent form on this concert video. Many of the top names in current fusion are here and what a great varied and colorful approach they all bring to this music that will always be associated with its 70s roots. Ranjit Barot fuses fusion with Indian flavors and orchestral music, Human Element bring back the beautiful noise and chaos that has been absent since the early days of jazz-rock, Wayne Krantz takes on the modern NYC flavor with his harsh jarring free funk, Jimmy Herring plays sentimental, sometimes delicate, progressive rock flavored fusion, and of course the great John McLaughlin rounds it all up with high speed post bop mixed with funk and contemporary fusion. Every single performance is top notch and very convincing in letting us know that there is still plenty of life left in this sometimes maligned genre.

The music on here is great, but the video itself is even better. Its amazing how far concert videos have come over the years. This one is clear as a bell and features lots of accurate close-ups of the musicians as they display their virtuoso skills. They say that fusion is a musician’s music, if that is the case, then this video is a great learning tool for the aspiring player. Much of the footage on here goes right to the source and features the musician’s hands as they work their scales and fret boards. Any aspiring fusionist can pick up a lifetime of high speed licks and extended technique by studying this video and even stop-starting it it frame by frame. Long gone are the days of vague camera angles from way far away and pointless shots of musicians grimacing while they play, this video is all about accuracy and showing you exactly how this music goes down. This is a spirited and enthusiastic concert and highly recommended for fans of modern fusion.

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Live At Montreux 74/84

Movie · 2007 · Fusion
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Slartibartfast
The 1984 appearance of the MO was a lineup that didn't have any of the previous MO lineup of musicians except for John. Still there was a pretty impressive roster. Jonas Hellborg, on bass, steals the show. I suspect he's been rather influenced by Jaco at this point. Also, we also have Bill Evans, fairly fresh out of his stint saxing with Miles Davis. There's also a fine drummer, Danny Gottlieb, who'd played with Pat Metheny prior. Don't know much about Mitchell Forman. With John experimenting with the Synclavier Guitar so much, the keyboards are almost redundant in this ensemble. I had a hard time sitting through this at first. It definitely has that '80's taint, if you know what I mean. But I've warmed up to it. It's a bit like an attempt to return to the magic of the original lineup that doesn't quite get there. Still, if you judge it in the context of the time, it's not too bad.

I got this for one reason and one reason only, it was the two video bits from the Apocalypse lineup of Mahavishu Orchestra. Actually calling them bits isn't quite accurate. Wings of Karma and Hymn to Him are actually decently long pieces. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had some actual orchestra musicians with them there at Montreaux. The first inkling I got that there was some live footage from this MO lineup was a poor quality video of Smile of the Beyond on a certain video clip web site many of us know of. It's very disappointing that we only get two clips from the show with video and the rest are audio only. I'm guessing the rest of the original footage has been lost. One can only hope that it will resurface. The performance is a bit more structured than the more compact MO's could be live, but that's to be expected due to the larger number of musician's involved. Still the core band does get to work in some improvisation, McLaughlin in particular.

This release is all in all a pleasant surprise for 2007, but there's more video out there from the older Mahavishu Orchestras, and I hope to see that material surface soon. It gets a four on the round up.

Artists with Modern Jazz release(s)