Modern Jazz

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Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue Album Cover Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS
4.81 | 114 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.79 | 84 ratings
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BILL EVANS (PIANO) Waltz for Debby Album Cover Waltz for Debby
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
4.93 | 11 ratings
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BILL EVANS (PIANO) Sunday at the Village Vanguard (aka Live At The Village Vanguard) Album Cover Sunday at the Village Vanguard (aka Live At The Village Vanguard)
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
4.87 | 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
4.75 | 61 ratings
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WES MONTGOMERY The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery Album Cover The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
WES MONTGOMERY
4.88 | 10 ratings
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HORACE SILVER Horace Silver And The Jazz Messengers Album Cover Horace Silver And The Jazz Messengers
HORACE SILVER
4.94 | 7 ratings
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KEITH JARRETT The Köln Concert Album Cover The Köln Concert
KEITH JARRETT
4.73 | 32 ratings
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HERBIE HANCOCK Empyrean Isles Album Cover Empyrean Isles
HERBIE HANCOCK
4.76 | 21 ratings
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ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Live in Hamburg Album Cover Live in Hamburg
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.)
4.94 | 7 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Live at Birdland Album Cover Live at Birdland
JOHN COLTRANE
4.82 | 12 ratings
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MILES DAVIS 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis) Album Cover 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis)
MILES DAVIS
4.72 | 36 ratings
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ATLÁNTICO
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Moutin Factory Quintet - Mythical River - 02 - No Human Is Illegal
Moutin Factory Quintet - Mythical River - 02 - No Human Is Illegal
MOUTIN FACTORY QUINTET / MOUTIN REUNION QUARTET
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Omnixus
Omnixus
TANJA FEICHTMAIR
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MARIALY PACHECO
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KETIL BJØRNSTAD
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JACK WILKINS (SAXOPHONE)
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LINDA MAY HAN OH
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TIMO LASSY
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GEORGE CABLES
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DAVID KIKOSKI
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CHARLIE APICELLA
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GERRY GIBBS
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JOEL ROSS
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JAVIER MORENO
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MARTIN ARCHER
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Devotion
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DAVE DOUGLAS
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JULIA KADEL
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MATT MITCHELL
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SARATHY KORWAR
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KADA
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WALT WEISKOPF
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MAX STADTFELD
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WHISKY LICKS
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Carte Blanche
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PHILIPPE PICOT
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BOB SHEPPARD
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CHESTER THOMPSON (DRUMS)
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El Musico
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JEFF BABKO
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DIMITAR BODUROV
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Solo Piano : Remembering Miles
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DENNY ZEITLIN
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Solide
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SHOB
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Bloom
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JEFF WILLIAMS
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Jacopo Ferrazza Trio : Theater
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JACOPO FERRAZZA
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EUGENE MARLOW
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FLASH PIG
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ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE
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Alexi Tuomarila Trio : Sphere
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ALEXI TUOMARILA
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XOSÉ MIGUÉLEZ
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NICKI PARROTT
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Emergence
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LARRY CORBAN
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San Francisco '82
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DEXTER GORDON
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MARLENE ROSENBERG
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Courvoisier & Feldman : Time Gone Out
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SYLVIE COURVOISIER
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ABDULLAH IBRAHIM (DOLLAR BRAND)
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PABLO MATÍAS DABANCH
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RODRIGO Y GABRIELA
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Simple
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MARIANO RUGGIERI
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Magic Forest
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SATOYAMA
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Open Form For Society
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CHRISTIAN LILLINGER
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Midnite Cinema
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AYUMI ISHITO
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Album
ANDREA MOLINARI
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My Finnish Calendar
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IIRO RANTALA
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Onwards and Upwards
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SHALOSH
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MARIA FAUST
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ALEX SIPIAGIN
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Trion
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JOHNATHAN BLAKE
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Future Flora
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BLACK FLOWER
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Cadillac Turns
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CHARLES RUMBACK
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You Can't Steal My Joy
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EZRA COLLECTIVE
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Structuralism
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ALFA MIST
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Visions
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MELISSA ALDANA
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Scopes
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BEN VAN GELDER
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Midnight Apple
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CLEMENS GRASSMANN
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No Man Is An Island
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ZIV RAVITZ
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Soul of the Bass
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JOHN PATITUCCI
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Remembering Cecil
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DOM MINASI
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The Year After
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EUROPEAN JAZZ TRIO
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Alem da Bossa
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CARLOS LYRA
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Kokoroko
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KOKOROKO
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Dentro da Janela
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JOÃO MORTÁGUA
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Day Two
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DETAIL
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The Oracle
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ANGEL BAT DAWID
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Heritage II
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MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE
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Heritage
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MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE
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Maximum Enjoyment
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SOMETHING BLUE
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Finding Gabriel
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BRAD MEHLDAU
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Star People Nation
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THEO CROKER
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Noctis
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DANIEL FERRUZ
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10​+​1tet (Knoxville) 2016
Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)
ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Trio (Knoxville) 2016
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ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Eight Track III
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DAVE STRYKER
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Meridians
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JIM BASHFORD
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The Seven Rays
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JERRY BERGONZI
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Daniel Karlsson Trio : So Far
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DANIEL KARLSSON
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Elder Ones : From Untruth
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AMIRTHA KIDAMBI
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Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98
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ALLAN HOLDSWORTH
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The OGJB Quartet : Bamako
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OLIVER LAKE
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Trudi's Songbook Volume One & Two
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RUBY RUSHTON
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Ironside
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RUBY RUSHTON
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Universal Silence
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DON CHERRY
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Berlin People
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TOBIAS MEINHART
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Sure
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LOGAN STROSAHL
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Chesed
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JULIAN LAGE
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Infection In The Sentence
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SARAH TANDY
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Arvoles
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AVISHAI COHEN (BASS)
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Africa Speaks
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SANTANA
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Trevor Watts, Stephen Grew : Let It Be
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TREVOR WATTS
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Balance
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BEN WINKELMAN
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Solo Keyboards, Minnesota 1978
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SUN RA
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Night Sparkles (Live)
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CLUB D'ELF
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From Untruth
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AMIRTHA KADAMBI'S ELDER ONES
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Alabama Sock Party
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MARBIN
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La Danza de las Miradas
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VLADIMIR ALFONSECA
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Modern Times
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ELLIOT GALVIN
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At First Light
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JUSTIN ROBINSON
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Three Score
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First Fruit
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JORDAN PETTAY
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Quiet Men
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DENIS COLIN
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Protocol 6CD Boxed Set
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SIMON PHILLIPS
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Presence
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GUITARBEARD
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The Sound The Rhythm
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JAN HARBECK
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Live at Cota
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BILL MAYS
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Matt Skellenger Group : Vitality
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MATT SKELLENGER
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Nocturnal Animals
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MOUN
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Milestones
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THIERRY MAILLARD
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Curiouser and Curiouser
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PETER MADSEN
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The Hierophant
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JOHN ZORN
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Echoes Of Bucharest
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ALEX SIMU
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Étoilée
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JOE MARTIN
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Swingin
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GUIDO MANUSARDI
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A Wall Becomes A Bridge
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KENDRICK SCOTT
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We Are On The Edge : A 50th Anniversary Celebration
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THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO
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Perpetual Optimism
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HERLIN RILEY
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New Jazz Standards Vol. 4
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LARRY KOONSE
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Scarraphon
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KILLAH TOFU
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Red Fog
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QUANTUM TRIO
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Ruta Panoramica
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JUAN ALAMO
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Transatlantyk
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DOMINIK BUKOWSKI
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Mentes
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NAHUEL BRACCHITTA
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The Gleaners
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LARRY GRENADIER
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Fyah
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THEON CROSS
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Consecration
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RAFAEL ZALDIVAR
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Nuevo Valso
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TOM KESSLER
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Essence
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Fake Music
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Savage Beauty
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JO-YU CHEN
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Athens
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MELINA PAXINOS
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This Should Be Fun
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Opera
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First Meeting
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RONIN ARKESTRA
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Solo Piano at WKCR 1977
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Pride & Joy
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LIONESS
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So Miles
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t e s s e t e r r a
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Finding Home
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Depart
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Apophenia
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Memento
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Insulaire
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After Life
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Celia
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Quest Of The Invisible
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Reflections
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VEIN
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Standards and Other Songs
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RON JACKSON
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New Industries
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MARKER
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Simon Toldam Trio : OMHU
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SIMON TOLDAM
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Point of View
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ABISKO LIGHTS
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On The Corner Live!
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DAVE LIEBMAN
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Horizon
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T-SQUARE
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Engage
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DAVE DOUGLAS
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Who Cares?
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JORGE ROSSY
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Mark Turner Meets Gary Foster
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MARK TURNER
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Overjoyed
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LARRY FULLER
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Free To Play
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ESPEN BERG
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Nadi
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FAZER
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Near And Now
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GWILYM SIMCOCK
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Tenormore
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SCOTT ROBINSON
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Astro Zen
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ASTRO ZEN
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Nāga
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ALEXANDRA GRIMAL
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Rosie's 5ive
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ROSIE TURTON
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Evans in England : Live at Ronnie Scott' s
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BILL EVANS (PIANO)
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Complete Communion : Live in Hilversum May 9, 1966
Boxset / Compilation
DON CHERRY
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Both People
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ANDREA MORELLI
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Open Sesame
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JOE FIEDLER
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The Gratitude Principle
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THE COSMIC RANGE
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Jingle Sells
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THE SWINGING SANTAS
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Live At Smalls Vol.3
Live album
IAN HENDRICKSON-SMITH
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Hypocrisis
Live album
PUJUILA QUARTET
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Infinity
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TOM HARRELL
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Night Owl
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NICK HEMPTON
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Mixed Feelings
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ABELITA MATEUS
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Gary
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MARC COPLAND
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Kadmon
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KADMON
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Coast To Coast
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JERRY VIVINO
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West 60th
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GREG REITAN
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Tiny B / Stick Of A Branch
EP
JUKKA ESKOLA
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Signature
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MATTHEW SHIPP
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Day After Day
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BEN MONDER
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Everybody Gets The Blues
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ERIC REED
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Colour
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ANAT FORT
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Our Love Is Here To Stay
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PETER BEETS
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Weaver
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TWIN TALK
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Ancestral Recall
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CHRISTIAN SCOTT (CHRISTIAN SCOTT ATUNDE ADJUAH)
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R3union Live
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UZEB
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Chris Greene Quartet : Playspace
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CHRIS GREENE
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liddle
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Perpétuel Printemps
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Silver
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Take Cover
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Waves Of Calm
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Shimmer Into Nature
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At Onkel PÖ's Carnegie Hall, Hamburg 1982
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A Hundred Years From Today
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CHRIS BYARS
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Haftor Medbøe / Jacob Karlzon
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Mostly Covered
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The Optimist
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Channels
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Future Memories
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Solo Piano
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Down
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Double Portrait
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Cully 1989 & 1990
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Ocelot of Salvation - Live in Sopot
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Aksham
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2 二
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Sosuu 素数
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SOSUU
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Has It Been Found?
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Everything In Between
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Do Not Be Afraid
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Two Guitars
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Inner Roads
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400 : An Afrikan Epic
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Take The Neon Lights
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10
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Let Me Be Free
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Polyphony
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The Artist
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A Lifetime Away
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One Night in Karlsruhe
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Swirl
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An UnRuly Manifesto
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New Heights / Snitches Brew
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MARE NOSTRUM : PAOLO FRESU - RICHARD GALLIANO - JAN LUNDGREN
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modern jazz Music Reviews

KENNY WHEELER Double, Double You

Album · 1984 · Post Bop
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Steve Wyzard
MASTERPIECE BLOWING SESSION

Don't expect an impartial review here: my enthusiasm for Double Double You knows no bounds. If I were making an "all-time top 20 jazz albums" list, three would come from the year 1984: Jean-Luc Ponty's Open Mind, Steps Ahead's Modern Times, and this album. Yet it's really Double Double You that has languished in undeserved obscurity for far too long and has only just recently been re-issued so everybody could finally hear it. Not only is this Kenny Wheeler's best album EVER, it's also among the best albums ECM released during the entire decade.

The line-up of musicians alone should tell you this will be a blowing session for the ages: Kenny Wheeler, trumpet & flugelhorn, Mike Brecker, tenor saxophone, John Taylor, piano, Dave Holland, bass, and Jack DeJohnette, drums. Yes, there is absolutely unbridled, ferocious soloing throughout by all the performers, without anyone dominating the proceedings. Some of Kenny Wheeler's recordings can best be described as avant-garde, but Double Double You emphatically leans toward the accessible end of the spectrum.

The unforgettable "Foxy Trot" (14:07) is carried by one of Dave Holland's greatest basslines, and is one of those compositions that everyone should know and cover. There is a brief respite from the intensity with "Ma Bel" (3:50), a duet between Wheeler and Taylor. "W.W." (7:48) is a showcase for the horns, and the side-long suite "Three for D'reen/Blue for Lou/Mark Time" (23:28) goes through a multitude of moods, and gives everyone a chance to stretch out without endless repetitions. And please ignore the famous Leonard Feather review that complained about DeJohnette's extended solo at the end: this is one of Jack's greatest moments EVER.

Let it be said right here that if you are familiar with any of the performers, you simply MUST add this recording to your collection immediately. Thank God this flawless album is now much more widely available, and if you love this art form, you really should give it a listen. Immaculate ECM recording, as always. I have no idea if these five were able to play this material in a live setting, but if they did, I have no doubt those in attendance must have been floored!

TAIGUARA Canções De Amor E Liberdade

Album · 1983 · Latin Jazz
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GKAZZ
There is a reason why I have a great admiration for Taiguara. The past albums are great, and he is a superb musician, but its in his last two works that his political voice gain more sound and reverberation.

"Canções de Amor e Liberdade" (Songs of Love and Freedom), is the kind of album that shows an ageing musician dealing with themes new and old, in a new way. He gave attention both to more traditional tecniques as to a great bit of improvisation and experimentation. The whole album is filled with a communist reading of brazilian and latinamerican reality, as Taiguara were, by 1983, already in touch with Karl Marx and Lenin works, besides becoming a comrade of the communist leader Luiz Carlos Prestes.

The interesting is that his music is not "affected" by his politics: its accesible yet bold; popular yet scholar. As great music should be.

ERNEST TURNER My Americana

Album · 2019 · Post Bop
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js
Ernest Turner has been working with some top names in jazz and pop for over 20 years, but he did not record as a leader until he put out “My Americana” this year. In many ways it has been worth the wait as this is not the work of a newbie, instead, “Americana” presents the well developed artistry of someone who has had plenty of time to formulate their approach to the piano trio. The CD’s title is reference to the fact that Turner is presenting his idea of a ‘great American songbook’ from an African-American perspective, hence the inclusion of tunes by Stevie Wonder, and Thelonious Monk, as well as a couple of well known gospel songs. The variety in the choice of songs is also reflected in Turner’s eclectic approach to the piano where his playing can range from cutting edge current to old school funky and down home soulful.

The album opens on that cutting edge tip with the turbulent intensity of “Return of Thanos”, a Turner original that carries one of the hottest piano solos you will hear this year. This, along with the other two Turner originals are probably the highlights of the album, the covers are all great, but Turner turns in his best solos on his self-penned numbers. Of the covers, Wonder’s “If It’s Magic” takes on a Brad Mehldau type air as Turner plays a hypnotic art pop vamp topped with an elastic solo that slips in and out of time. Fats Waller’s “Aint Misbehain” is barely recognizable as it has been altered and modernized to the extreme, I didn’t even know that was the tune I just heard until I saw the track list. Gospel music is something that cannot be faked, either you grew up in the church playing it, or it will be obvious you didn’t. Turner’s rendition of “Precious Lord” is drenched in all of those classic church rhythms and phrases, you can almost see the older women with their fans working back and forth.

There are so many great pianists these days, but Ernest Turner is ready to take his place along side the best of them. Much in the way of Jason Moran or Herbie Hancock, Ernest can play as technical and complicated as anyone, but he can also reach deep into the blues and play something that is just plain fun. His solos are never dull and I find myself wishing they would go on longer. I should also mention that Jon Curry on drums and Lance Scott on bass comprise a killer rhythm section and their well placed solo spots add to the overall arrangements.

ALFA MIST Structuralism

Album · 2019 · Nu Jazz
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snobb
For some last years London's burgeoning jazz scene often associates with rebellious street-wise Afrobeat, Caribbean rhythms, electronics and hip-hop influenced fusion. Still not every artist there sounds such way.

Self-taught pianist,composer and producer Alfa Mist just released his second album which obviously being a part of about mentioned movement covers quite different areas. Proclaimed by artist as "battles with self and the societal pressures" product in real life "Structuralism" contains comfortable lite fusion recalling American smooth jazz.

There are lot of strings on some songs, two female guest vocalists, beautifully-melancholic sax soloing and modern slick production, plus hip-hop elements, but resulting music is all but rebellion. In fact, almost any composition fits quite well for use as soundtrack to Sunday morning Travel TV broadcast.

Still, few dramatic moments save the album of being openly boring so it could be recommended for those trying to escape from disturbing reality to comfortable (and sterile) pinkish-greenish lounge.

TAIGUARA Imyra, Tayra, Ipy - Taiguara

Album · 1976 · Latin Jazz
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GKAZZ
Contextualization is necessary: ​​in the late sixties, Taiguara was seen as one of the biggest names in Brazilian popular music. He have won festivals, their albums sold well, their songs were reproduced constantly in the radios. Over time, Taiguara was fond of singing more freely, allowing himself to make small comments about the military dictatorship and the dreams of a new society - all in metaphors and innuendos. In 1971, in the album "Carne e Osso", there was a song dedicated to Cuba. The Brazilian censorship never left Taiguara rest for then on. In the following years, more than 60 songs would be prohibited, censored, or prevented from being reproduced in radio and concerts. His shows were constantly attacked by police forces. Taiguara decided to go on exile. In England, he records an album with Michel Legrand and the London Symphonic Orchestra. The album is banned from being released in England by the Brazilian government - today the original tapes have not yet been found. In 1975 he was allowed to return to Brazil and record a new album.

How? How to express his indigenous roots, his displeasure with censorship and dictatorship and his dream for another society without censorship attacking him? "Imyra, Tayra Ipy" is born.

With Wagner Tiso, Hermeto Pascoal and more than 80 musicians, "Imyra, Tayra Ipy" becomes a lavish album, absurdly complex, with thematic and concept from start to finish. The arrival in Brazil, his feeling of belonging to a land whose birds do not sing anymore; its indigenous, African and Spanish roots sung, while more than 3 musicians solo at the same time. "Imyra, Tayra Ipy" is a landmark of both the artist and Brazilian music. Albums like this were not usually recorded in Brazil: by technical and financial condition to gather all the attributes. "Imyra, Tayra Ipy" grandeur comes, often in the album, in its ability to completely subvert brazilian songs and themes in something completly different. One of the best example is his reading of "Aquarela do Brasil" in the track "Aquarela de um país na lua".

The result? Three days later, the Brazilian police collected the album form the shelves of the stores and destroyed the copies. Taiguara went into exile in Europe and Africa and would record again only almost ten years later.

But no matter, the song has come to us, we have the opportunity to see an artist who used the music to take revenge on a system, whith strings, drums and highly dreamy lyrics.

The Taiguara of the following decades would be extremely bold and would definitely drop the metaphors to reach his political ideas in a direct form.

modern jazz movie reviews

WEATHER REPORT Live in Germany 1971

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

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

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

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

MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD Fly In A Bottle

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

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

DIXIE DREGS Live At The Montreaux Jazz Festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Live At Montreux 74/84

Movie · 2007 · Fusion
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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)