Modern Jazz

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Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue Album Cover Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS
4.89 | 107 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.86 | 77 ratings
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MCCOY TYNER Sahara Album Cover Sahara
MCCOY TYNER
4.96 | 14 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
4.84 | 56 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles Album Cover Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles
MILES DAVIS
4.80 | 34 ratings
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MILES DAVIS 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis) Album Cover 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis)
MILES DAVIS
4.79 | 31 ratings
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ALICE COLTRANE Ptah, the El Daoud Album Cover Ptah, the El Daoud
ALICE COLTRANE
4.79 | 26 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Giant Steps Album Cover Giant Steps
JOHN COLTRANE
4.75 | 51 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Live at Birdland Album Cover Live at Birdland
JOHN COLTRANE
4.88 | 11 ratings
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ERIC DOLPHY 'Out to Lunch!' Album Cover 'Out to Lunch!'
ERIC DOLPHY
4.75 | 45 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)
4.86 | 12 ratings
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LEE MORGAN Search for the New Land Album Cover Search for the New Land
LEE MORGAN
4.84 | 13 ratings
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Barry Guy On Intakt Records
Live album
BARRY GUY
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Finders Keepers
Live album
EDDIE (EDDY) MYER
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Generations
Album
BRIAN LANDRUS
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Jukka Eskola Soul Trio
EP
JUKKA ESKOLA
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Introducing The Soul Trio
EP
JUKKA ESKOLA
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Live Alive (absolutely) - expanded Version
Boxset / Compilation
PRISM
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Live from Jazz at the Bistro
Live album
SEAN JONES
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Music from Our Soul
Album
CHARNETT MOFFETT
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Venice
Album
DISTANCES
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Definitive Rare Albums Collection 1960-1966
Boxset / Compilation
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
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Rags And Roots
Album
CHRIS WASHBURNE
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Tonesmith
Album
NIKOLAJ BENTZON
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The Complete "Jazz Guitar"
Boxset / Compilation
JIM HALL
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Oneness
Live album
FRANÇOIS CARRIER
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Selected Works Part 2 - 1976 to 1980
Boxset / Compilation
RYO KAWASAKI
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Lyric Fury
Album
CYNTHIA HILTS
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Afterthought
Album
AUDREY OCHOA
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Rhythms of My Soul
Album
PAT CLOSE
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Rakka / Black Motor
Split
BLACK MOTOR
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Duo New York (feat. Harvie S)
Album
JOHN FERRARA
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Color Wheel
Album
SÉBASTIEN AMMANN
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Tensegridad
Album
PAULA SHOCRÓN
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Boundary Issues
Album
CHRIS GREENE
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Nothing Has An End...
Album
DIES GOA UNIT
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Sabiduria/Wisdom
Album
EDDIE PALMIERI
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Moments Captured
Album
ALEX SIPIAGIN
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Kayemode
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DAVID KIKOSKY
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Casa de Bituca
Album
HAMILTON DE HOLANDA
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East 74th Street
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FEDERICO BONIFAZI
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Cherryco
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KIRK KNUFFKE
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Hudson
Album
JACK DEJOHNETTE
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The Jazz Years
Album
DARYL RUNSWICK
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Kingdom
Album
ALEXI TUOMARILA
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Live at A-trane - Berlin
Album
JIMMY HALPERIN
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Teeraptych
Album
BERT SEAGER
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The Tenth Muse
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MATT HOLMAN
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Amour
Album
T K BLUE (TALIB KIBWE)
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Where are you?
Album
D.O.V.E. DRUMS ORGAN VIBES ENSEMBLE
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Better By Far
Album
MARC COPLAND
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Radio Flyer
Album
J.D. ALLEN
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Ikonastasis
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KARI IKONEN
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Pathways
Album
YOKO MIWA
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Monk Studies
Album
CHIHIRO YAMANAKA
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The Twilight Fall
Album
CHELSEA MCBRIDE'S SOCIALIST NIGHT SCHOOL
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Presence
Album
JOHN YAO
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Tropical Rain
Album
MEDDY GERVILLE
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Joy-Riding
Album
ANDY FUSCO
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UrbAfrika
Album
MINA AGOSSI
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Creation & Evolution
Album
POL BELARDI’S FORCE (4S)
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Falling Forward
Album
ULYSSES OWENS JR
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New Helsinki
Album
OLLI HIRVONEN
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Fragile
Album
FOX CAPTURE PLAN
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Thunder Of The Gods
Album
SUN RA
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Instead
Album
BEN ROSENBLUM
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On the Move
Album
FREDRICK KRONKVIST
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The Seasons
Album
MANUEL VALERA
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Rules of Oppression
Album
SHALOSH
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MUT & Masa Kamaguchi : My Ship
Album
MIGUEL FERNÁNDEZ
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Zeb's House
Album
SAUL RUBIN
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Brötzmann / Leigh : Sex Tape
Live album
PETER BRÖTZMANN
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Live at the Office Vol.4
Live album
NAJPONK
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Color Theory
Album
JOSH LAWRENCE
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Silent Light
Album
DOMINIC MILLER
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Walk Against Wind
Album
LINDA OH
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Gnosis
Album
TAYLOR HASKINS
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Cross​-​Platform Interchange
Album
MISHA MULLOV-ABBADO
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Emanation
Album
SHAHIN NOVRASLI
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Just Funkin' Around
Album
PIECES OF A DREAM
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Hybrido: From Rio to Wayne Shorter
Album
ANTONIO ADOLFO
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The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
Album
THE VAMPIRES
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Reach
Album
CHRISTIAN SANDS
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The Dead Man
Album
LUIS MUÑOZ
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Simultonality
Album
JOSHUA ABRAMS
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Towards Language
Album
ARVE HENRIKSEN
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Happiness! Live At Kuumbwa
Live album
BENNY GREEN (PIANO)
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Early Discoveries
Album
ALBERT MANGELSDORFF
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Swr New Jazz Meeting 2015
Live album
FABIAN ALMAZAN
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A Chicken in a Bottle
Album
PAPANOSH
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Nak Trio & Arcos : Ambush
Album
NAK TRIO
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The Marathon Concert
Live album
IBRAHIM ELECTRIC
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Kind of New : Blue is Paris
Album
JASON MILES
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Horizonte
Album
DAVID FELDMAN
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Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng
Album
ORCHESTRA BAOBAB
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Horn Riot
Album
TRI4TH
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Sampa
Album
ROMERO LUBAMBO
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Loin Dans Les Terres
Live album
LOUIS SCLAVIS
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Reflections In Cosmo
Album
REFLECTIONS IN COSMO
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Made in America
Album
BOBBY WATSON
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Flight
Album
WARDROBE QUINTET
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Black Current Jam
Album
ROBERT HURST
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Live in Geneva
Live album
NU BAND
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Out of the box
Boxset / Compilation
WILLEM BREUKER
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Creology
Album
CARMEN SOUZA
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Liberetto III
Album
LARS DANIELSSON
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Live at Birdland New York
Live album
RICHIE BEIRACH
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Kyoto mon Amour
Album
ERIC SCHAEFER
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Live At The Blue Whale
Live album
MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE
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The Bill Evans Trio : On A Monday Evening
Live album
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
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Points Of View
Album
TOM KENNEDY
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CP Unit : Before the Heat Death
Album
CHRIS PITSIOKOS
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Adelante
Live album
HAN BENNINK
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Blew By Blues
Album
JOHN MENEGON
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Space Bop
Album
UNIDENTIFIED FUSION ORANGEMENT
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Instead
Album
BEN ROSENBLUM
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Titok
Album
FERENC SNÉTBERGER
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Bright Eyes
Album
VICTOR PROVOST
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Like, Strange
Album
JOE FIEDLER
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Low Level Stink
Live album
BALLISTER
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Translator's Note
Album
ODED TZUR
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Spiritual Unity
Boxset / Compilation
ALBERT AYLER
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Hilversum Sessions
Boxset / Compilation
ALBERT AYLER
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Copenhagen Live 1964
Live album
ALBERT AYLER
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Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
Live album
MATTHEW SHIPP
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Six Easy Pieces
Album
ATOMIC
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Selected Tracks 2013-17
Boxset / Compilation
LARGE UNIT
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Identité
Album
GAËL HORELLOU
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Guitar Band
Live album
BOB REYNOLDS
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A New Episode in Life Part I
Album
JASPER SOMSEN
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Spirit Control
Album
JEF NEVE
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Three (Two Girls and a Boy)
Album
ROGER KEMP BIWANDU
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Petite Afrique
Album
SOMI
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Out of Land
Album
ÉMILE PARISIEN
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Hope of Home
Album
DAVY MOONEY
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Y
Album
YARON HERMAN
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Uncharted Waters
Album
MICHAEL RABINOWITZ
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Dead Pan Party
EP
TOBIE CARPENTER
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How Little We Know
Album
YVES BROUQUI
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Rosa Dos Ventos
Album
ANAT COHEN
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Seasoning : Live At Theater Gutersloh
Live album
DANIEL HUMAIR
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Wandering
Album
RANDY INGRAM
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Araminta
Album
HARRIET TUBMAN
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By Request
Album
BEEGIE ADAIR
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Overseas V
Album
EIVIND OPSVIK
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Unshot Movies
Album
JAVIER GIROTTO
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Hey Lester!
Album
JULIAN VAUGHN
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Live In Olympia,Washington 1976
Live album
GARY BURTON
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Find The Way
Album
AARON PARKS
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Asian Fields Variations
Live album
LOUIS SCLAVIS
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At Onkel PÖ´s Carnegie Hall Hamburg 1978
Live album
DIZZY GILLESPIE
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Ding Dong
Album
DANIEL KARLSSON
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Pekka
Album
VERNERI POHJOLA
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Chick Corea Elektric Band : Live In Tokyo 1987
Boxset / Compilation
CHICK COREA
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Nature City
Album
LABTRIO
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Cross My Palm With Silver
Album
AVISHAI COHEN (TRUMPET)
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Deep As the Night
Album
SPECIAL EFX
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Elements
Live album
PETER BRÖTZMANN
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Walthamstow Moon ('61 Revisited)
Live album
EVAN PARKER
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Trespass Trio : The Spirit Of Pitesti
Live album
MARTIN KÜCHEN / TRESPASS TRIO
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Kaja Draksler Octet : Gledalec
Live album
KAJA DRAKSLER
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Chants And Corners
Album
ROB MAZUREK
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Reflections
Album
XAVI REIJA
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Le cinquième fruit
Album
HADOUK TRIO/QUARTET
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Dedicated
Album
MATIJA DEDIĆ
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2
Album
SAAGARA
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True North
Album
ASHLEY SUMMERS
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Love Songs
Album
KYOKO SATOH
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Gratitude
Album
DAYNA STEPHENS
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Love Has Come Around: Elektra Records Anthology
Boxset / Compilation
DONALD BYRD
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Live
Live album
BRASS MASK
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Floating City
Album
MICHEL SAJRAWY
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The Further Side
Album
NOVA COLLECTIVE
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Musician
Live album
CHICK COREA
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Guzuguzu
Album
HELGE LIEN
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Villes invisibles
Album
TOUFIC FARROUKH
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Spinning Jenny
Album
DANIEL LEVIN
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Velvet
Album
MICHIEL BORSTLAP
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The Dreamer Is the Dream
Album
CHRIS POTTER
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Bass Duo
Live album
WILLIAM PARKER
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La Vie Devant Soi
Album
RENAUD GARCIA-FONS
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Ugly Beautiful
Album
BILLY MINTZ
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The Ecstatic Music of Turiya Alice Coltrane
Boxset / Compilation
ALICE COLTRANE
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Rumbler
Album
BILL ANSCHELL
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Gustavo Cortinas Snapshot : Esse
Album
GUSTAVO CORTIÑAS
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Gravity Zero
Album
LAURENT COULONDRE
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Christina Dahl Quartet : Childish
Album
CHRISTINA DAHL
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Delta
Album
IGOR GEHENOT
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Counteraction
Album
PARTIKEL
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JUJU / 渋樹
Live album
SHIBUSASHIRAZU
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Mediterranies
Album
ALBERT SANZ
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Helsinki Tapes Vol 1
Live album
HEIKKI SARMANTO
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Helsinki Tapes Vol 3
Live album
HEIKKI SARMANTO
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On The Spot
Album
THE HOT 8 BRASS BAND
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Jazz Guitarist : Modern Music from San Francisco
Boxset / Compilation
EDDIE DURAN
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Best Mambos
Boxset / Compilation
PÉREZ PRADO
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Tributary Tales
Album
GERALD CLAYTON
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Rebirth
Album
T-SQUARE
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Nerve Dance
Album
MICHAËL ATTIAS
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Clarinet Summit
Album
PETER AND WILL ANDERSON
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From the Depths of the Earth
Album
ILKKA AROLA
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Brothers Under The Sun
Album
STEVE NELSON
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Grace
Album
MARK WHITFIELD
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Visiting Texture
Album
TRIO 3
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Secret Stash
Album
PETER BERNSTEIN
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Level 8
Album
RYO KAWASAKI
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Molto Bene
Album
KONSTRUKT
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The MUH Trio : Prague After Dark
Album
ROBERTO MAGRIS
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Preverbal
Album
MATTHEW STEVENS
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My Iris
Album
TRISH CLOWES
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Terry Riley Krishna Bhatt Duo
Album
TERRY RILEY
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Trippeiros
Live album
LEO GENOVESE
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Speechless
Album
CHAMPIAN FULTON
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Chasing The Unicorn
Album
ROXY COSS
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December Avenue
Album
TOMASZ STAŃKO
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Complete Albums Collection: 1958-1962
Boxset / Compilation
ORNETTE COLEMAN
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Jonathan Rowden Group : Skyward Eye
Album
JONATHAN ROWDEN
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Into the Blue
Album
EMILY BEAR
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Monk’s Cha Cha
Live album
BILL O'CONNELL
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Soul Searchin' (Live in Seoul)
Live album
JESSE DAVIS
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Trouble Kaze : June
Live album
KAZE
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5 Classic Albums
Boxset / Compilation
TINY GRIMES
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Weather Or Not
Album
GERRY GIBBS
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Nome
Live album
HANS KOLLER (SAXOPHONE)
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Mechanical Visions
Album
FRANCO BAGGIANI
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Isang
Album
CAMILLA GEORGE
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Trickster
Album
MILES OKAZAKI
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Vitor Gonçalves Quartet
Album
VITOR GONÇALVES
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The Day After
Album
DMITRY BAEVSKY
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East of the Village
Album
KEITH OXMAN
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Innate
Album
EYOT
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Jihye Lee Orchestra : April
Album
JIHYE LEE
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Bass Ball
Album
BUNNY BRUNEL
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Still Life With Trouble
Album
THE JAZZ PASSENGERS
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Dance Of Time
Album
ELIANE ELIAS
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la diversité
Album
NICOLAS KUMMERT
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Shelter
Album
KEN VANDERMARK
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Elwan
Album
TINARIWEN
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Live at Bimhuis
Live album
PLAISTOW
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Some Great Songs Vol. 2
Album
LAJOS DUDÁS
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Now Hear This!
Album
KEN FOWSER
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Chicago / London Underground : A Night Walking Through Mirrors
Live album
CHICAGO UNDERGROUND DUO / TRIO
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Classic Albums 1956-1963
Boxset / Compilation
GIL EVANS
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Man Who Changed Guitar Forever
Boxset / Compilation
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH
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Eidolon
Boxset / Compilation
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH
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Six Classic Albums
Boxset / Compilation
STEVE LACY
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Quintessence: New York City - Stockholm 1956-1962
Boxset / Compilation
ELVIN JONES
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The Drawing Center
Album
HIDEO YAMAKI
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Fellowship
Album
GLENN ZALESKI
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Over The Rainbow
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Hidden Beauty
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TRIOSENCE
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New York November 1979
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PAT METHENY
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Sleepwalkers
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Sans Mots
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Prototype
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Chroma
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An Ancient Observer
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Mats Gustafsson & Craig Taborn : Ljubljana
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Known-Unknown
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Time Being
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Rebirth
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BILLY CHILDS
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Four in One
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HEADS OF STATE
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The Pacific Jazz Collection
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The Behemoth
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PHRONESIS
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Paris
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The Space Age Is Here To Stay
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Slag
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Mr. EP - A Tribute to Eddie Palmieri
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CHARLIE SEPULVEDA
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Meditations On Freedom
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NOAH PREMINGER
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BENEDIKT JAHNEL
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Almost There
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In Praise Of Shadows
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The Complete Albums Collection 1955-1958
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KROKOFANT
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modern jazz Music Reviews

JOE HENDERSON Barcelona

Live album · 1979 · Post Bop
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Steve Wyzard
If you're a Joe Henderson fan, his 1980 (re-released twice since) trio album Barcelona can be recommended but with one caveat. Let it be known this album is nothing like the string of tribute albums he released in the 1990's that resurrected his career. While casual listeners might immediately dismiss it as avant-garde, Barcelona is actually an improvisatory, exploratory statement that might best be described as THORNY. Simultaneously, it is also an experiment in minimalism (just sax/bass/drums), yet one that will repay repeated listening, especially for those who are already familiar with Joe's style.

The 28-minute title track is divided into two parts (to accommodate its original pressing on vinyl) and was recorded at Wichita State University in 1977. It opens with a long, occasionally abrasive duet between Henderson and bassist Wayne Darling, who arco playing summons a Vitous-like fury. Drummer Ed Soph soon joins in, and this sprawling track moves through a variety of moods, including a very rhythmic section at the 13-minute mark. Part 2 is fast and ferocious, and includes Soph's solo. The audience seems mesmerized until the very end, and occasionally Joe will stray from his mike, but otherwise the sound is good for a not-very-high-profile live recording.

The album's other two tracks, "Mediterranean Sun" and "Y Yo La Quiero" both run about five minutes each, and are much more accessible. Recorded in a German studio in 1978, these showcase Joe at his minimalistic best: no drums, just Joe's wonderful soloing backed by Darling's bass.

Once again, this album is definitely not for first-timers, nor is it background music. The extended title track may be rough going at first, but speaking for Joe's fans we can be thankful these dates were saved for posterity. Free? No, it might set you back a bit (especially if you're looking for the original cover with Gaudi's architecture), but well worth the time and effort spent tracking it down. Every time I listen to this album, I like it more.

FREDDIE HUBBARD Outpost (aka Freddie Hubbard -Amiga Jazz)

Album · 1981 · Post Bop
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Steve Wyzard
As most Freddie Hubbard fans know, his discography can be divided into two distinct categories: 1) his highly acclaimed pre-1975 recordings, and 2) his far-less-acclaimed post-1975 recordings. What happened in 1975? He signed on with Columbia and released a string of albums that can best be described as soul/funk/disco rather than jazz (and I'm attempting to be diplomatic here). Visit any good used record store and you will find truckloads of these albums carefully filed behind Freddie's name.

Then suddenly, in 1981, he released Outpost, his only album on the Enja label. This recording harks back to his classic sound, almost as if those Columbia albums had never happened. With Kenny Barron on piano, Buster Williams on bass, Al Foster on drums, and a very ECM-ish cover, Freddie declares in no uncertain terms that he is back (even if he never really left).

Outpost opens with "Santa Anna Winds", a brooding yet turbulent Hubbard composition with an exploratory center section that highlights his fiery trumpet tone. The flugelhorn ballad "You don't know what love is" will not make anybody forget his performance of "Here's That Rainy Day" (from 1970's Straight Life) but is still far above the crowd. The straight ahead "Outpost Blues" features Freddie at his swinging best. The uptempo "Dual Force" gives composer Buster Williams a chance to shine on the bass. Eric Dolphy's "Loss" closes the album with Freddie putting his own virtuosic stamp on some challenging material.

And now for the disclaimers: 1) the credits on this album clearly read "Freddie Hubbard: trumpet", but the man is very obviously playing the flugelhorn on both "You don't know what love is" and "Dual Force". 2) piano master Kenny Barron gives a fabulous performance throughout this album, but is sadly buried far too low in the mix. At the same time, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Al Foster are almost too loud, and many times are drowning out Barron's piano work (credit: producer Horst Weber, engineer David Baker). If you can overlook these faults, you should have no problem enjoying this album. With a back-catalog like Freddie's, it's easy to condemn with faint praise, but I can definitely recommend this album even if it's not one of his Blue Note/Atlantic/CTI classics.

STEVE LACY The Beat Suite

Album · 2003 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
One of the greatest soprano sax avant garde jazz musician Steve Lacy recorded "The Beat Suite" almost at the ned of his long-lasting and extremely prolific career. Fortunately, it is no way master's melancholic look to his past. Oppositely, "Beat Suite" is ambitious project brewing beat poetry with Lacy's improved trio's music.

Beside of Steve regulars acoustic bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel and drummer John Betsch, there are two very important collaborators participated. First is trombonist George Lewis, and the other - operatic voice singer (and Lacy's wife) Irene Aebi. Irene participated previously on some Lacy's recordings and everyone familiar with their tandem knows that her singing is an acquired taste: use of operatic voice in avant-garde jazz compositions are appreciated by ones and hated by others. Anyway, "The Suite..." is mostly based on Aebi's singing so chose properly.

Quite unusually for Lacy's music, each of ten compositions contains lyrics, including such renown material as William Burroughs "Naked Lunch", Kerouac "Wave Lover" or Alien Ginsberg "Song". Irene's singing isn't easy acceptable source of songs' lyrics so it's great that liner notes contain all the texts.

Music is quite different from Lacy's regular as well - more relaxed, with lot of free trombone soloing, it combines more 50s "beat" atmosphere (or even cool jazz) than usual Lacy's late 60s free jazz-influenced works with minimalist early 20th century/ Weimar era influenced operatic songs.

Steve Lacy recorded "The Beat Suite" at his late sixties, just a few years prior to passing away. It's really impressive evidence how creative great sax player stayed till the end of his life.

TYSHAWN SOREY The Inner Spectrum of Variables

Album · 2016 · 21st Century Modern
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snobb
In the modern jazz scene its the drummers who are changing the world, I'm serious! For last few years most current and probably most interesting trend on both sides of Atlantic is growing interest to jazz composition. And starting from influential beginners The Claudia Quintet (led by drummer John Hollenbeck) followed by ECM artist drummer Ches Smith and Canadian drummer Harris Eisenstadt, there are drummers who's bands are on a forefront of new movement.

Than it's not a strange at all that Roscoe Mitchell, Steve Coleman and John Zorn drummer Tyshawn Sorey on his fifth album as leader switches towards composition. Just as with some other Sorey works, he does it on his own radical manner. "The Inner Spectrum Of Variables" is six-movement suite, released as double CD-set and composed by Sorey,which recorded by two collectives - piano trio and strings trio. Besides of composition Sorey participates as conductor and only minimally - as drummer.

Even more unusual - music presented is based mostly on classic tradition (coming from early 20th century with feel-able romanticism influences and even baroque touches) and in big part has nothing in common with any form of jazz. Movement III is a first place (after half an hour of beautiful if not dark classical intro) where one can hear some avant-garde jazz drumming and dissonant motives in band's music, but very soon it fades to already expected classic piece.

There still will be few more explosive complex inserts till the end of the CD 1, but second disc opens with ambient drums and cymbals bringing listener more to chamber hall than on jazz scene again. Movements IV-VI, filling bigger half of second set's part, are quite dark but still tuneful chamber music hall compositions, all tasteful if having nothing too much in common with jazz.

Unorthodox album, which is difficult to evaluate strictly from jazz fan point of view, "The Inner Spectrum Of Variables" is more universal work removing accurate genres' frames. Sorey demonstrates here his great abilities as composer and besides of similar stylistic Wadada Leo Smith and Henry Threadgill most current works, this album is with no doubt one of the best releases for open ears listeners, coming from 2016.

DWIKI DHARMAWAN Pasar Klewer

Album · 2016 · World Fusion
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kev rowland
Just a year on from his debut, Dwiki returned with an album that featured not only a totally different group of musicians, but a quite different approach. Instead of a whole series of keyboards, here Dwiki used just a piano. On bass, he brought in Yaron Stavi, who used an upright throughout the album (apart from one song on the second CD), while on drums he used Asaf Sirkis, so the rhythm section has a very different approach, style and sound. He didn’t bring back fellow Indonesians Tohpati and Dewa Budjana on guitars, instead using Mark Wingfield and Nicolas Meier. Add to that some Gamelan instruments plus clarinet and sax, and from the outset this is very different indeed.

It is not surprising therefore, as to just how different this album is from the previous. It is also a double CD, which gives the guys the chance to expand on their ideas (and amazingly was recorded in just two days). With this release Dharmawan wanted to try something different. "Indonesia is the place of 'ultimate diversity,'" the pianist says. "Here, the urban cultures accelerate the 'acculturation' process, which generates changes in cultural patterns and creates new forms of musical expression. ‘Pasar Klewer’ is the answer to my search for 'the difference,' and also a valuable answer to our modern crises and urban uprooting. The album's distinctive sound originates from an ancient Gamelan tonal system called Salendro, known in the Karawitan traditional music of the Sundanese, Javanese and Balinese. Based on the Gamelan tonal system, I also adapted, as my inspiration, other musical elements from all over the Indonesian archipelago, as well as the western diatonic system."

I do have to take his word for it, as all I know is that I haven’t heard anything quite like this before. This is world fusion on an epic scale, bringing jazz together with progressive tendencies, and then wrapping it up on a musical form that is quite different to western ears as he mixes it all up with styles from his home. There is a freedom and space within the music, that makes it feel live a living breathing entity, and very quickly the listener is immersed in a brand-new world. It is full of energy, full of life, and is an amazing musical experience

modern jazz movie reviews

WEATHER REPORT Live in Germany 1971

Movie · 2010 · Classic 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 · (Post-70s) 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 · Classic 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 · Classic 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 · Classic 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)