Modern Jazz

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

MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue Album Cover Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS
4.94 | 87 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.87 | 64 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 | 48 ratings
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MILES DAVIS In a Silent Way Album Cover In a Silent Way
MILES DAVIS
4.80 | 74 ratings
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MILES DAVIS 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis) Album Cover 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis)
MILES DAVIS
4.85 | 26 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Miles Smiles Album Cover Miles Smiles
MILES DAVIS
4.83 | 28 ratings
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MCCOY TYNER Sahara Album Cover Sahara
MCCOY TYNER
4.94 | 11 ratings
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ALICE COLTRANE Ptah, the El Daoud Album Cover Ptah, the El Daoud
ALICE COLTRANE
4.84 | 22 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Get Up With It Album Cover Get Up With It
MILES DAVIS
4.84 | 19 ratings
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ERIC DOLPHY 'Out to Lunch!' Album Cover 'Out to Lunch!'
ERIC DOLPHY
4.78 | 38 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Giant Steps Album Cover Giant Steps
JOHN COLTRANE
4.77 | 43 ratings
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SONNY ROLLINS Saxophone Colossus Album Cover Saxophone Colossus
SONNY ROLLINS
4.81 | 20 ratings
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The Warner Bros. Years 1969-1972
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HERBIE HANCOCK
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Estrangulado el Mundo
Album
SALES DE BAÑO
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Magic 201
Album
FRANK WESS
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Audio One: The Midwest School
Live album
KEN VANDERMARK
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Audio One : An International Report
Live album
KEN VANDERMARK
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Imaginant Miró
Album
IGNASI TERRAZA
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Shimmer
Album
PHIL GRENADIER
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Live in Ljubljana
Live album
ADAM LANE
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Below the Surface
Album
KERRY POLITZER
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Green Ruins
Album
LUKE MALEWICZ
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Holy Lights + Human Rights
Live album
GUNTER HAMPEL
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Fukushima
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GUNTER HAMPEL
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Bop Kabbalah
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TY CITERMAN
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Sideman: Trane's Blue Note Sessions
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JOHN COLTRANE
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Basquiat By Night/Day
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OLEGARIO DIAZ
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From Brazil to New Orleans
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CHARLIE DENNARD
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Canarie
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HONEST JOHN
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Back East
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JERRY VIVINO
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Conversations II
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ROSCOE MITCHELL
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KLassik RocK Vol. 1
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ROBIN EUBANKS
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Visions
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KAVITA SHAH
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Fly North!
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JAN GUNNAR HOFF
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Liberation Blues
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ORRIN EVANS
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Midnight Melodies
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CYRUS CHESTNUT
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A Touch Of Radiance
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YELENA ECKEMOFF TRIO
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Tower-Bridge
Live album
MARC DUCRET
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Live in concert
Live album
MANU KATCHÉ
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The New Straight Ahead
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NEW YORK STANDARDS QUARTET
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Origins
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CAMILLE THURMAN
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Balance
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MIMI JONES
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Live!
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CORTEX (NORWAY)
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For Us, The Living
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ANDREW HADRO
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Basement Sessions Vol.3 (The Ljubljana Tapes)
Live album
JONAS KULLHAMMAR
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Balance
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JOE MORRIS
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Pharoah & The Underground : Spiral Mercury
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PHAROAH SANDERS
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London House Blues
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BOB MAMET
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Big Eyed Rabbit
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MAX JOHNSON
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Live in Ulm, 1992
Live album
SUN RA
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The Seeker
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AZAR LAWRENCE
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Circonflexe
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Ô-LIOSTÉRE
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Shine
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JACOB KARLZON
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Quintonic
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GEORGE GARZONE
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Stairway To The Stars
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DENNY ZEITLIN
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Venture Bound
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ALON NECHUSHTAN
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La Jungle Du Douanier Rousseau
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FRANÇOIS TUSQUES
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The Bell Garden
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SHALOSH
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Opus II
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LAURENT COULONDRE
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Nouvelle Vague
Album
STEPHANE KERECKI
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My Chet My Song
Album
RICCARDO DEL FRA
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The Nature Of Connections
Album
ARVE HENRIKSEN
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Gone
Album
DAVID AMBROSIO
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Arrows Into Infinity
Movie
CHARLES LLOYD
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Double Windsor
Album
SYLVIE COURVOISIER
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For The Love Of Lori
Album
CHARLES DAVIS
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For The Blue Notes – Live In Milan
Live album
LOUIS MOHOLO
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Jazzsh*t
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SCHÖNFELD
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Torturing The Saxophone
Album
MATS GUSTAFSSON
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Fanon
Album
TARBABY
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Shrimp Tale
Album
ALAN CHAN
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Bestiole
Album
PULCINELLA
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Spinning Jenny
Album
THE BUREAU OF ATOMIC TOURISM
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New Jazz Standards
Album
SAM MOST
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Flat / Síkvidék
Album
ISTVÁN GRENCSÓ
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Take Off: The Complete Blue Note Albums
Boxset / Compilation
MILES DAVIS
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Why?
Album
GINGER BAKER
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Let's
Album
ADAM SCHROEDER
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Krom
Album
ADAM KROMELOW
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Trzaska/Mazur/Pandi: Tar & Feathers
Album
MIKOŁAJ TRZASKA
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Brasil
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LISA ONO
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The Groovy Goodness
Album
FO/MO/DEEP
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Jazz Funk Soul
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JAZZ FUNK SOUL
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Tongue and Groove
Album
TOM CHANG
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Lookin' Up!
Album
JOE MAGNARELLI
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Two
Album
JEFF DENSON
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I'll Fly Away
Album
JEFF DENSON
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Pathless Land
Album
BRAD WHITELEY
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Stone By Stone
Album
IKEBE SHAKEDOWN
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Live At Smalls
Live album
JOHNNY O'NEAL
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Slow Grind
Album
EL PORTAL
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Live at 800 East
Live album
MICHAEL FEINBERG
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The Chase
Album
DAVID WHITE
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The Zoopkeeper's House
Album
JEMEEL MOONDOC
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From the Sky
Live album
CENE RESNIK
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Live at the Gallery
Live album
ELIAS HASLANGER
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Luiza
Album
MASSIMO FARAÒ
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Plymouth
Album
PLYMOUTH
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Evolution Of An Influenced Mind
Album
DONALD EDWARDS
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The Good Egg
Live album
LED BIB
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Meus Quintais
Album
MARIA BETHÂNIA
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Fugu
Album
ORANGE TRANE / ORANGE TRANE ACOUSTIC TRIO
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Alien / Abra Cadaver
Album
LAPIS LAZULI
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Trios Live
Live album
JOSHUA REDMAN
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Mari Juana
Boxset / Compilation
TITO PUENTE
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2 Alto
Album
SAMO ŠALAMON
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¡Qué Viva Harlem!
Album
MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA
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Touch and Flee
Album
NEIL COWLEY
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Square One
Album
BRIAN CHARETTE
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Question That Drives
Album
BRIAN CHARETTE
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Duo Art: Creating Magic
Album
10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
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Live in Nickelsdorf 1984
Live album
SUN RA
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Penguin
Album
HAGGAI COHEN-MILO
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Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio
Album
MELISSA ALDANA
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Ross Hammond's Humanity Suite
Live album
ROSS HAMMOND
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Manhattan Moonrise
Album
MICROSCOPIC SEPTET
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In Trio: Defining Moment
Album
HARVIE S (HARVIE SWARTZ)
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Och Den Stora Frågan
Album
TORBJÖRN ZETTERBERG
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Fountain Of Youth
Album
THE RIPPINGTONS
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Recado Bossa Nova
Album
ERIC ALEXANDER
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Forward
Album
DJABE
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Floating
Album
FRED HERSCH
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Outside The Line
Album
PETER BRENDLER
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Anthology
Boxset / Compilation
"BROTHER" JACK MCDUFF
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OK World
Album
BUGGE WESSELTOFT
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I Love Music
Album
MIKE LEDONNE
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The Original Mob
Album
JIMMY COBB
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Arashi
Album
AKIRA SAKATA
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Ugandan Suite
Album
FELIPE SALLES
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This Side of Mestizaje
Album
AFROMANTRA
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Schack Tati
Album
MATS/MORGAN BAND
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!2 Duets
Album
ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Trio (New Heaven) 2013
Live album
ANTHONY BRAXTON
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We Are One
Album
OMAR HAKIM
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Jazz Souls On Fire
Album
THE AFRO-SEMITIC EXPERIENCE
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Chorui Zukan
Album
ITARU OKI
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Overdrive
Album
WALT WEISKOPF
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DuDu
Album
GATO LIBRE
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Mise En Abime
Album
STEVE LEHMAN
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Intersecting Lines
Album
JERRY BERGONZI
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Bloom
Album
J.D. ALLEN
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Bossa Nova
Boxset / Compilation
HERBIE MANN
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Saxophone Summit: Visitation
Album
DAVE LIEBMAN
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The Inquiring Mind
Album
CHICO HAMILTON
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Hope
Album
GREGORY TARDY
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Dreamscape: Solo, Duo, Trio
Album
FREDDIE BRYANT
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Subtext (Subtexto en Azul)
Album
STEVE KHAN
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Pride
Album
MICHAEL MUSILLAMI
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Autumn in New York
Album
RENÉ BOTTLANG
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Lunaris
Album
FRANK HARRISON
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The Solos
Live album
BUDDY RICH
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Fantasizer!
Album
DEAN WATSON
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Mental Shake
Live album
PETER BRÖTZMANN
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Going Public
Album
LOREN STILLMAN
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Solo Piano : Portraits
Live album
CHICK COREA
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Music Of Departures And Returns
Album
OSCAR PEÑAS
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Afro Physicist
Album
THEO CROCKER
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A Fender Rhodes Solo
Album
JOZEF DUMOULIN
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Book Of Sound
Album
IVO PERELMAN
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Evolving Strategies
Album
VARIABLE DENSITY SOUND ORCHESTRA
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Urban Hymn
Album
CHRISTIAN VUUST / DEN DANSKE SALMEDUO
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Stories
Album
ENRICO PIERANUNZI
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A Simple Truth
Album
ERNIE WATTS
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AR Quartet
Album
AR QUARTET
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Good Troubles
Album
200 MONDAYS
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Brian Groder Trio : Reflexology
Album
BRIAN GRODER
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Intergalactic Beings
Album
NICOLE MITCHELL
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French Trio Vol. 1
Album
TAKESHI ASAI
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Here, There and Everywhere
Album
ANTHONY MOLINARO
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Sextet (FRM) 2007 VOL. 2
Album
ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Quartet (Salzburg) 1985 - 05.19
Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)
ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Resonating Abstractions
Album
MICHAEL DESSEN
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Enjoy the View
Album
BOBBY HUTCHERSON
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Royal Flush
Album
FELIX PEIKLI
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Tangos
Album
RUBÉN BLADES
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Sound, Space and Structures
Album
JOHN ESCREET
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Somos Agua
Album
TONY MALABY
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Injuries
Album
ANGLES
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Places
Album
JASON PALMER
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Worry Later
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BEN GOLDBERG
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Standard Deviation
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RALPH BOWEN
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Live at the Village Vanguard
Live album
MARC RIBOT
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In Transition
Album
LINLEY HAMILTON
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Lights Of Darkness
Album
KĘSTUTIS VAIGINIS
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Between Loves
Album
FLORENCIA GONZALEZ
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Progression
Album
OPUS 5
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Struggling In Public
Live album
THE AMES ROOM
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Anacapa
Album
DAVID BINNEY
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Mother Stump
Album
JOEL HARRISON
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Self Portrait
Album
MANUEL VALERA
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Nocturne
Album
RICH PERRY
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Evolve
Album
JACKIEM JOYNER
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Jimmy Giuffre 3 & 4 New York Concerts
Live album
JIMMY GIUFFRE
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Alive
Album
HIROMI
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When Words Fail
Album
DAVID WEISS
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Russian Standard
Live album
FRODE GJERSTAD
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In Between
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TOBIAS MEINHART
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Pasajero Luminoso
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PASAJERO LUMINOSO
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Mnemotaksja
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PIOTR DAMASIEWICZ
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Krokofant
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KROKOFANT
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Combination
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JASON ROEBKE
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Elec3cities
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CHAT NOIR
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Low Life: The Alto Flute Project
Album
HOLLY HOFMANN
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About Now
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MARK EGAN
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Ramshackle Serenade
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LARRY GOLDINGS
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Aliens Deliberating
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JORIS ROELOFS
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High - Red - Center
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JASON ROEBKE
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Forever Young
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JACOB YOUNG
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Driftwood
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WOLFGANG MUTHSPIEL
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Authority Melts From Me
Album
BOBBY AVEY
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Lucky People
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MOUTIN FACTORY QUINTET
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Tribal Dance
Album
TOHPATI
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O Piano de Antonio Adolfo
Album
ANTONIO ADOLFO
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Road Shows, Vol. 3
Live album
SONNY ROLLINS
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Fire Keeper
Album
DANIEL ROSENBOOM
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Mestertyven
Album
MOSKUS
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Remain Stll
Album
FLASH PIG
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Tate Song
Album
JEAN TOUSSAINT
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Soul To Go!
Album
JEFF HACKWORTH
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Daybreak
Album
BRUCE BARTH
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Ripples
Album
NOAH BAERMAN
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Things Change
Album
JOHN VENKIAH
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Staring into the Sun
Album
TRI-FI
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Gathering Light
Album
ORAN ETKIN
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Birdies For Lulu
Album
SYLVIE COURVOISIER
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Tabasco Flow
Album
DE ROOLEROS
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Sisyphe
Album
PIERRE DE BETHMANN
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Rio Choro Jazz
Album
ANTONIO ADOLFO
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The Adventurous Monk
Album
ERIC REED
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9 Dead Alive
Album
RODRIGO Y GABRIELA
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Badgers And Other Beings
Album
HELGE LIEN
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Made To Break : Cherchez La Femme
Album
KEN VANDERMARK
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Live In Larissa
Live album
NAT BIRCHALL
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The Wisdom Of Rocks
Album
RICH HALLEY
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John Ellis & Andy Bragen Present MOBRO
Album
JOHN ELLIS (SAXOPHONE)
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Modernism and Bossa Nova
Album
VINICIUS DE MORAES
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Tim Hegarty Tribute
Album
TIM HEGARTY
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Street Songs
Album
MARIO PAVONE
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Out Of The Blue
Album
ADAM SMALE
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Frame of Mind
Album
L. A. 6
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Sens Radiants
Live album
DAUNIK LAZRO
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Mother Ode
Live album
ROB MAZUREK
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Both Ends
Live album
BALLISTER
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Breathing In Unison
Album
CLAUDIO FILIPPINI
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Feathery
Album
LENA BLOCH
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Rempis - Johnston - Ochs: Spectral
Live album
DAVE REMPIS
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Ride
Album
TOM TALLITSCH
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Heads Up!
Album
STEVE FIDYK
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Gilbertos Samba
Album
GILBERTO GIL
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A Caring Tone
Album
STEVE CARRINGTON
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Callithump
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URI CAINE
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Beautiful Love
Album
PAULINHO GARCIA
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Time Management
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KRIS BERG
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Messenger
Album
GERALD BECKETT
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Blakey Grease
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modern jazz Music Reviews

MATTHEW SHIPP Piano Sutras

Album · 2013 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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js
In a world over laden with talented jazz pianists, Matthew Shipp is able to stand out, not just for his technique, but more for his unique musical vision that combines the history of avant-garde jazz piano with modern abstract post bop and 20th-21st century concert hall music. “Piano Sutras”, released in 2013, makes for a great introduction to Shipp and the variety of styles he can employ. Although the jazz elements are here, much of this album sounds like a modern concert hall recital, which is no big surprise given the extant to which jazz has influenced the typical modern composer. In fact, it would not be surprising if someone thought this was a recital featuring a sampling of modern composers as each of these pieces seems to have its own distinct personality.

Album opener and title track, “Piano Sutras”, kicks things off in concert hall mode, sounding at times like a modernized version of Scriabin. Follow up track, “Cosmic Shuffle”, gets us back on a jazz joint as Shipp visit’s the early days of stride and boogie and runs them through the abstract de-constructionist blender. Later track, “Blues to a Point”, also uses older jazz styles, reworked for the new century. Its not uncommon for reviewers to compare Shipp to Cecil Taylor, and the similarities do exist, but the difference being that Shipp’s approach to Taylor’s jagged expressionism is more subdued and refined as would fit today’s jazz sound. “Uncreated Light” is one track that carries the Taylor mark with its heavy noisy low end rumbles and harsh blues based riffs.

There are two well-known standards on here. “Giant Steps’ is given a brief spin with Shipp just letting the chords float on their own without too much embellishment, possibly a nice contrast to those who always try to cram as many notes onto “Giant Steps” as they can. “Nefertiti” is the other familiar number, which Shipp plays with considerable low end murkiness, possibly in contrast to other’s overly pretty versions of the same tune. Both songs are used more for their harmonic colors, rather than an excuse to solo.

This is an excellent CD, especially if you enjoy that esoteric place where modern jazz meets modern classical music. You can listen to “Piano Sutras” many times and still always hear something new. This is music that rewards close listening.

CHARLIE HADEN The Golden Number

Album · 1977 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett's bassist for decades, and one of the last living "jazz golden age" legends, Charlie Haden passed away two weeks ago. Besides countless collaborative works, he left numerous collections of his own albums. For decades, his projects such as the Liberation Music Orchestra or Quartet West were among the most popular on the international jazz scene.

Besides the aforementioned groups, Haden also released a series of duets, which even if they were not so well-known, often contain a lot of interesting material. Haden's first duet sessions took place in early '76, when four compositions were recorded. The first four songs (duets with Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian, Ornette Coleman and Alice Coltrane) were released that same year as "Closeness" on the tiny Horizon Records And Tapes label. A year later, Horizon released the rest of the material (the choice of compositions for the former release is a bit strange since the outtakes, released later, are quite often stronger than what was released first).

So, the album of four "outtakes", each contains a Haden duet with either Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman or pianist Hampton Haves. What a great time it was, when such compositions were counted as "outtakes", for the coming decades, even leading jazz albums will hardly contain such material!

"The Golden Number" opens with Haden's tuneful composition (all but one song on this album are Haden's, the other one - Coleman's) on which Cherry's trumpet flies over Charlie's almost lazy bass. Cherry's trumpet solo is quite lyrical and with no doubt one of his most beautiful ever played (he plays flute on this song as well).

The second and final composition on side A is a duet with tenor Archie Shepp - and it's a bomb. Twelve minutes long, this song is driven by Shepp's soulful and bopish sax from the very first seconds. In the mid-70s Archie Shepp was in transition leaving his early explosive free sax attacks and searching for new ground. Similarly, with his own albums of that period, he plays something between free-bop and balladry, still quite free though. On this duet, Haden is obviously on back-up, supporting Shepp's speech-like sax soloing.

"Turnaround" is originally an Ornette Coleman composition, but here it is played by Haden and pianist Hampton Hawes. Hampton Hawes is a great pianist, but the more traditional of all the collaborators on this album, so the whole thing sounds really nice, but a bit out of place between the others. Haden demonstrates his hard-bop abilities (Hawes is the obvious leader anyway). After "Golden Number", Haden's next release will be a collection of duets with Hampton Hawes, which sounds better all in one place (probably because the music on this next album is more homogeneous, not contrasting as on here).

The closer is the almost thirteen minutes long title composition, the duet with Ornette Coleman. Surprisingly, it's very tuneful and lyrical, even sentimental, not what you usually can expect from Coleman. Having been collaborators for years, Coleman and Haden demonstrate excellent communication and rare emotional relations, making this song an excellent final for this great (if too short) album.

Charlie Haden's fame comes not from his formidable technique, but from his tunes, collaborations, and the variety of collectives he founded and led, from the emotional atmosphere of his music and his naively optimistic political manifests. "The Golden Number" may not be Haden's best record, but it may be the right candidate to listen to now, just for remembering Charlie, because of its intimate atmosphere and bare-naked simplicity, which is so close to greatness.

All eight duets, recorded in 1976, and released originally on two Horizon vinyls, were later re-released on one CD, which is probably the easiest way to listen to this music.

DUKE ELLINGTON Soul Call

Live album · 1967 · Progressive Big Band
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js
The lengthy opening cut to this album would make a great subject for one of those blindfold tests. Who are we listening to here … Mingus … Sun Ra? Julius Hemphill or the Art Ensemble of Chicago with a few guests might have been good guesses too, but they weren’t on the scene yet when this album came out. All of those previously mentioned artists would be glad to point out that Duke Ellington was a major influence on them, and on the excursion called “La Plus Belle Africaine” from Ellington’s “Soul Call”, its clear, at least in the case of Mingus and Sun Ra, that influence may have come full circle. The lengthy “Belle African” opens with some jagged African lines on the piano and drums before a massive horn attack announces the main theme, Mingus fans will recognize the base power of this simple line. As this song snakes along with a relaxed and sometimes dissonant African hum, John Lamb plays a dronish solo on the bowed double bass and Harry Carney follows with a bluesy solo on the baritone pushed by extra horn arrangements and more jagged piano from Ellington. When things get a little more quiet again, Jimmy Hamilton enters with a sublime snake-charmer solo on the clarinet that sounds more like Rimsky-Korsakov’s old school exoticism than jazz. Its one more of those odd juxtapositions of the old and the new that make this album unique.

The opener is the highlight, but the rest of the album is no slouch either, and longtime fans may find the band a little easier to recognize now too, ha. Side one closes with “West Indian Pancake”, an up-tempo number with a syncopated Carribean rhythm, and an extended solo for Paul Gonsalves. Side two opens with the high speed bop of “Soul Call”, which is followed by the well known vehicle for drummer Sam Woodyard’s soloing, “Skin Deep”. The album closes with “Jam with Sam”, a fast paced track which allows Duke a chance to announce soloists while they take a quick few bars, its good cheezy fun and played with chaotic abandon by the band. Along with the great music on “Soul Call“, you also get Duke’s discreetly funny ‘charming’ in between song patter that veers between sarcastically suave and borderline self satire. His lines can contain sexual and racial innuendo designed to entertain his band-mates and sail right over the heads of his audience. The crowd noise seems to be a mix of real and canned supplement.

Ellington fans will certainly enjoy this, but particularly those who like some of his more unusual output. Fans of odd albums, such as Sun Ra’s “Angels and Demons at Play”, that mix old and new elements in jazz, might want to give this a shot too. There is also a CD re-issue of this LP available that features many additional tracks.

XAVI REIJA Resolution

Live album · 2014 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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kev rowland
Xavi is recognized as being one of Spain’s top jazz drummers, and over the last fifteen years has built his reputation by working with artists such Steve Hogarth (Marillion), Gary Willis (Tribal Tech), Monica Green (The Supremes), Caco Senante, O 'Funk'illo and Pep Sala Joaquin Calderon. But he has also been working on his own bands, releasing ‘Two Sides’ with DX Project, two albums with the Xavi Reija Electric Quintet as well as trimming that down to the Xavi Reija Electric Trio who prior to this had released a DVD. Now he is back, again in a trio environment, with Bernat Hernández on bass, and Dušan Jevtović on guitars. Bernat also played with Dušan on the latter’s album ‘Am I Walking Wrong’ which was released last year.

When I first started listening to jazz as a child, it was bands led by drummers that I became most interested in, and the very first jazz album I ever bought with my own money was by Gene Krupa. There is something about music being geared towards the complexity and freedom that comes from a powerhouse at the back that really lifts the overall, and if you normally listen to metal then you would have to agree that Testament’s recent stunning live opus just wouldn’t be half as dynamic if Gene Hoglan wasn’t behind the kit. Only four of these compositions are group numbers, with the other seven all scored by Xavi, but the common theme throughout is the sheer amount of space that these guys have given themselves to work with. That they are all stunning musicians are never in doubt, but they know the importance of simplicity as well as complexity, and know the right time to deliver what is required, with fuzzed distortion adding to the overall sound.

The three musicians work off each other, and the result is an avant garde album that combines improvisation with funk and melody, distortion and feedback with clean struck notes, polyrhythmic sounds with simple timekeeping, so much so that the listener never really knows what is coming next. A very strong production tops off yet another incredibly strong release from the Moonjune label. www.moonjune.com

EVAN PARKER Time Lapse

Album · 2006 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
British living legend sax player Evan Parker is the same guy who (together with Derek Bailey) founded the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and played on Peter Brotzmann's "Machine Gun". Since then he has developed extended techniques, circular breathing and has released a lot of albums as leader.

His solo sax recordings are not a rarity, but "Time Lapse", released on Zorn's Tzadik label, is different - here Parker uses overdubbing, playing against himself (less significant-he debuted on this album as an organ player as well).

In fact, during the last few decades Parker's music hasn't changed much - he still plays the same repetitive improvised constructions without paying much attention to tune or structure, But the way he does it is always impressive and it doesn't seem to matter if it's your first or tenth listen.

This album often sounds as if there are two or three musicians participating, and this seems to hold true whether there is overdubbing or not. Throughout Parker plays in his signature manner - not screamy, noisy or too "out", but well organized, with a lot of attention to details. It's hard to apply a genre label to this music, is it 'contemporary' jazz or avant-garde, thats how well prepared his improvs sound.

No way revolutionary for Evan Parker, this album represents his current music and can attract everyone interested in original solo sax improvisational music.

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)