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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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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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JOHN COLTRANE My Favorite Things Album Cover My Favorite Things
JOHN COLTRANE
4.70 | 45 ratings
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t e s s e t e r r a
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NOAH PREMINGER
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NAÏSSAM JALAL
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LA WUENA BAND
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ANDY LAVERNE
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On The Corner Live!
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DAVE LIEBMAN
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T-SQUARE
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DAVE DOUGLAS
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Engage : 01 Showing Up
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DAVE DOUGLAS
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JORGE ROSSY
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MARK TURNER
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Overjoyed
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LARRY FULLER
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ESPEN BERG
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FAZER
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Near And Now
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GWILYM SIMCOCK
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Astro Zen
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ASTRO ZEN
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ALEXANDRA GRIMAL
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ROSIE TURTON
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BILL EVANS (PIANO)
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Complete Communion : Live in Hilversum May 9, 1966
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DON CHERRY
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ANDREA MORELLI
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JOE FIEDLER
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THE COSMIC RANGE
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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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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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Arashi : Jikan
Live album
AKIRA SAKATA
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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
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BRIAN KROCK
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PAMELA TULPA
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Silver
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İLHAN ERŞAHIN
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Ninety Degrees Gravity
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TRISH CLOWES
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Take Cover
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THE HOT 8 BRASS BAND
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Sacrum Profanum
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ADAM BALDYCH
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Waves Of Calm
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JIM SNIDERO
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Jungle Run
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NUBIYAN TWIST
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Best of Electric Live
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MILES DAVIS
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Lines & Spaces
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PHILIPPE SOIRAT
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Driftglass
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SEED ENSEMBLE
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Shimmer Into Nature
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ED WYNNE (GUITAR)
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Come What May
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JOSHUA REDMAN
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Playtime 2050
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NICK SANDERS
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Gnomes And Badgers
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KARL DENSON
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Tango Nuevo Revisited
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JAVIER GIROTTO
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At Onkel PÖ's Carnegie Hall, Hamburg 1982
Live album
THE TIMELESS ALL-STARS
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A Hundred Years From Today
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CHRIS BYARS
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Haftor Medbøe / Jacob Karlzon
EP
HAFTOR MEDBØE
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Mostly Covered
EP
BLACK TIE BRASS
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The Optimist
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TOINE THYS
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Channels
Live album
STEPHAN CRUMP
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Future Memories
Album
YOTAM SILBERSTEIN
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Solo Piano
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LEWIS PORTER
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Down
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RICH PELLEGRIN
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Double Portrait
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FABRICE MOREAU
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Cully 1989 & 1990
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TOOTS THIELEMANS
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Ocelot of Salvation - Live in Sopot
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IMMORTAL ONION
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KIN Organ Trio
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KIN ORGAN TRIO
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Shuffle Mode
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ROSA BRUNELLO
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Aksham
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ELINA DUNI
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2 二
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SOSUU
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Sosuu 素数
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SOSUU
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Interstellar Space
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BRYAN BAKER
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Has It Been Found?
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BECK HUNTERS
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Everything In Between
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HUW WARREN
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Do Not Be Afraid
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VULA VIEL
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Rhyme And Reason
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JASON PALMER
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Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba : Miri
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BASSEKOU KOUYATÉ
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Two Guitars
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VIC JURIS
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Inner Roads
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HUGO CORBIN
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Reflections & Odysseys
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RYMDEN
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Live In Capbreton
Live album
NICOLA SABATO
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Correlations
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STEVE DAVIS (TROMBONE)
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400 : An Afrikan Epic
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MARK LOMAX II
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Rising
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HOUSE OF WATERS
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More Than One Thing
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TIME GROVE
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The Mage
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THE GREG FOAT GROUP
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Scene Is Clean
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KENNY BARRON
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Face to Face
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URIEL HERMAN
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Take The Neon Lights
Album
STEPHANIE RICHARDS
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10
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HELGE LIEN
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Let Me Be Free
EP
SIMONA PREMAZZI
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Metamodal
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SOKRATIS SINOPOULOS
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Do Outro Lado Do Azul
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ANDREA MOTIS
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Ricordare
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CARLOS FRANZETTI
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Spirit Calls
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STEVE SLAGLE
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Norwita
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TORE JOHANSEN
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Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery
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THE COMET IS COMING
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Blue into Gray
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RYAN RAZIANO
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The Kennedys at Beaver Point
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TREPPENWITZ
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What Is To Be Done
Album
LARRY OCHS
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Polyphony
Live album
JASPER BLOM
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The Artist
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JEREMY PELT
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Closer to the Truth
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CEASAR FRAZIER
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Crop Circles
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JOHN HART
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Autumn Colors Suite
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FEDERICO BONIFAZI
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In The End Of The Night
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ODDGEIR BERG TRIO
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Iron into Wind
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ALEXANDER HAWKINS
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Jazz Fever
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QUINTETTO LO GRECO
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Melody to My Skull
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ANTONY SOLER
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Live At Frankie's Jazz Club
Live album
CORY WEEDS
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Right On Time
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KEN FOWSER
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Home With You, At Last
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ADAM NIEWOOD
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This Bird Still Flies
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MIMI FOX
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Christoph Irniger Pilgrim : Crosswinds
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CHRISTOPH IRNIGER
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Immigrance
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SNARKY PUPPY
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Reason and Heart
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KEVIN REVEYRAND
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Gold
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HUMAN FEEL
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New Japanese Noise
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ILL CONSIDERED
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YAKUBANÉ
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NGUYÊN LÊ
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Trio Tapestry
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JOE LOVANO
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MATS EILERTSEN
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The Impulse Albums Collection
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Parallel Universe
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George Lewis / Roscoe Mitchell : Voyage And Homecoming
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GEORGE LEWIS (TROMBONE)
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Colors
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One Night in Karlsruhe
Live album
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Swirl
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Wander Wonder
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ALLISON AU
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An UnRuly Manifesto
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JAMES BRANDON LEWIS
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Band Menu
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BILL STEWART
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New Heights / Snitches Brew
EP
KAMAAL WILLIAMS
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XII Electric Side
Boxset / Compilation
JUNKO ONISHI
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XII Acoustic Side
Boxset / Compilation
JUNKO ONISHI
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Voyage
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DANIEL HERSKEDAL
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Circuits
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CHRIS POTTER
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Biton Grooves
Boxset / Compilation
VOLKIER KRIEGEL
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Fairgrounds
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JEFF BALLARD
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Days On Earth
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MARK LOCKHEART
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Silverthorne
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BOB HOLZ
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Perception
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CHUCK DEARDORF
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The Definition Of Insanity
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TONY MONACO
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Vasil Hadžimanov Band : Lines in Sand
Album
VASIL HADŽIMANOV
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Mare Nostrum III
Album
MARE NOSTRUM : PAOLO FRESU - RICHARD GALLIANO - JAN LUNDGREN
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Double Screening
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ÉMILE PARISIEN
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Heritage I & II
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MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE
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modern jazz Music Reviews

XAVI REIJA The Sound Of The Earth

Album · 2018 · Fusion
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js
Lately there has been a sort of cult for free improvisation fusion bands developing within the MoonJune label, particularly among some of their more King Crimson offshoot oriented bands. The Crimson connection makes sense as it was the Fripp and Bruford version of the band that really began experimenting with the idea of a free form jazz rock jam, no chord progression, no pre-determined soloist, and no plan at all. The Hendrix Experience, Cream, The Allman Brothers and others had already made some noise in that direction, but it was Fripp and crew that set the bar for the ‘free rock’ jam. On “The Sound of the Earth”, drummer Xavi Rieja has put together a crew that is well suited for a jam like this with the versatile Dusan Jevtovic on guitar, King Crimson veteran Tony Levin on bass and Crimson ProjeKCt leader Markus Reuter on touch guitar. It helps that all four of these guys have worked with each other before in similar type bands, and the communication that comes from experience shows as they take on the tricky endeavor of making music without much of a blueprint.

Some of the best music on this CD goes down on the first three tracks, plus the first part of track four. Track 2, “The Sound of the Earth I” sounds like David Gilmour at his early 70s best, and “From Darkness” sounds like a beehive of interlocking math guitar riffs. On “The Sound of the Earth II”, the band displays the risks inherent in a free jam when Xavi changes the beat half way through and catches the band off guard and not sure what to do with the sudden change in beat. From here the guys continue through varying tracks that often deal with floating ambience and slow paced space rock. Track 7, “Lovely Place” is a bit of a surprise as the band goes into a chord progression borrowed from “Hotel California”, which Reuter uses as a backdrop for a soaring guitar solo.

What happens on “The Sound of the Earth” is pretty much what you could expect when a talented bunch of guys get together for a free form jam session, there are plenty of exhilarating moments of discovery, as well some time spent searching for the next hot idea, its bound to happen. If a modern heavy improv with a King Crimson flavor to it is your idea of a good time, you will not be disappointed in this one.

ANDREA MORELLI Both People

Album · 2019 · Eclectic Fusion
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snobb
You don't need to speak Italian to understand what Both People album's opener is about. "La danza dell'elefante" composed by sax player Andrea Morelli and played with lot of enthusiasm by this Sardinian quintet will make dancing even elephants.

Three sax players (alto,soprano/tenor and baritone)plus muscular rhythm section consisting of electric bassist and rock-heavy drummer just released an excellent album covering some jazz epochs, from free-bop to eclectic crossover of avant-garde jazz and rock of nowadays.

Already mentioned above "Elephant Dance" is catchy tuneful song where three saxists playing unison push music ahead as if they are trying to bypass groovy rhythm section. Perfectly recorded,with crispy and spacey warm sound, this composition is a real hit and I am sure it will stay in your head for the rest of the day.

"Rhythm no changes" changes the intensity of sound towards more loose and relaxed modern free-bop where three saxes soloing against each other build beautiful and surprisingly accessible sound castles over anchoring bassist and drummer interplay.

"Playing is a little bit like fishing" sounds as partially dreamy (but way not sleepy) collective improvisation where is enough space not only for reedists' but for drummer and bassist soloing as well. Still it's a groovy bass which controls the music from being chaotic or loose. As a result we got quite a graceful composition of fragile beauty - really not very casual case speaking about free improvisations.

"Spring time" demonstrates more complex structure with regular rhythm changes and lot of sax free soloing, probably first albums song dedicated more to listener's head than his heart.

"Host ones" is a shortest album's composition and it fits well to be paired with the opener as "elephant ballet" second action's possible soundtrack.

Alto sax player Fabio Delvò another album's composition (after "Spring Time") - "Flying over the ocean" - is down tempo complex structure's one, with lot of space for soloing of each quintet member.

"Amazing (Sahel's crossing)" - a collective improvisation which closes the album - it's a down tempo composition with touch of sadness and North African scent from last few seconds soloing bass.It's understandable final - whole album is announced as "a recording project against the rampant racism of this historical period", and the Sahel is a transition zone between Sudan and Arabic Africa, former French colonies and one of the hot areas in Africa.

Add excellent sound recording and mix plus CD's box paper cover's high quality of printing, voilà - you have a great album, another good example of what is known as "best from Italy".

DAVE HOLLAND Uncharted Territories

Album · 2018 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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js
Possibly “Uncharted Territories”, and its emphasis on free improvisation, is a bit of a nostalgia trip for Dave Holland. Back in the late 60s, Holland had performed with saxophonist Evan Parker in John Steven’s Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and although Holland would go on to leave the ‘free scene’, Parker made a career of it. Some time in recent years, Holland contacted Parker about the two of them recording some free duets like back in the day. As Dave reflected on this proposed endeavor, possibly he was drawn to another avant-garde memory, the group Circle he performed in with Chick Corea and Anthony Braxton, because when Holland decided to add Craig Taborn and Ches Smith to he and Evan’s recording date, he re-created an ensemble quite similar to the original Circle.

The tracks on “Uncharted Territories” are almost entirely spontaneous improvisations, with just a few tracks featuring some pre-conceived composition. To keep things interesting, the musicians vary the lineups for the sessions into various ensembles of 2,3, or 4 people. The tracks are usually fairly short by free improv standards and feature a wide variety of music. This is a very versatile and talented foursome, so the music can vary from interesting sound sculptures to quiet chamber passages to be-bop gone berserk and all out free jazz explosions. The integrity of the musicians involved shines through as they very carefully interact with each other.

This is a very good modern free jazz album, yet somehow disappointing too. Especially with a modernist like Taborn on board, one might expect something a little different from a classic free session. Electronics are listed in Craig’s instrument arsenal and yet they barely make an appearance. Judging by the musicians and instruments listed, it would be easy to expect some modern sound exploration and compositional constructs, and that does happen occasionally, but as mentioned earlier, this recording may be a lot about Holland’s attempt to re-visit his past.

BLACK TIE BRASS Mostly Covered

EP · 2019 · Funk Jazz
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js
I would imagine more than a few young jazz musicians have noticed Snarky Puppy’s meteoritic rise to success and wondered if that could possibly happen to them too. Most jazz musicians assume that they will earn a modest living at best, and more than likely will be supporting themselves with a day job in another profession. Possibly the Snarky crew is more surprised than anyone that they are now traveling the world and playing the big shows like rock stars. What happened to them wasn’t luck though, not only did they work hard to get where they got, but they also put together a very youthful concoction of pop, dance and jazz that has appeal far outside the jazz world and into the lucrative world of the college party circuit and the international jam band scene. There is probably plenty of room for some more bands in this scene, and Black Tie Brass is one band that may have that potential.

Black Tie are doing their own thing and really don’t sound much like the Puppies, but there is a similar formula at work here, a youthful brass band with jazz chops and dance floor sensibilities. Yes, these guys could be heading ‘straight to the top’. “Mostly Covered” is their second release and is more like an EP than an LP due to its abbreviated length, but there is enough here for anyone to get a good taste for what they do. The album opens with three originals including the fast JBs shuffle of “Night Moves” and the hip-hop flavored “Sunshine”. All of the songs feature punchy horn arrangements and short to the point solos, the overall feel is more like a pop band than a jazz band, but the boys can lay it down when they want to.

The rest of the record finishes out with three well known covers including Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. Trumpeter Randolph Smith plays the melody with a mute, possibly in tribute to Miles’ version of Michael’s “Human Nature”. These guys are still a little green around the gills, but give them time to build their chops with endless gigs and roadwork and this could be the next jazz group to find larger success outside the jazz world without selling out their jazz sensibilities.

ALLISON MILLER Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom : Glitter Wolf

Album · 2019 · Fusion
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snobb
Perfectionist modern jazz album sounding as if it is a progressive rock one. First new(coming from 2019) release in my player with serious chance to win a place on year's top list.

Drummer Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom is a super-group of sort with varying line up and number of members but in all cases rooted around her,bassist Todd Sickafoose and violinist Jenny Scheinman. On different stages cellist Eric Friedlander and pianist Myra Melford were the members among others. "Glitter Wolf" is recorded by sextet improving core trio with pianist Myra Melford, cornetist Kirk Knuffke and clarinet player Ben Goldberg.

Tightly composed melodic and quite complex musical material is played by the band intensively gigging for two years - one can hear how perfectly they feel each other! Miller's drumming pushes well produced(under the hands of Ani DiFranco & Carly Simon producer Julie Wolf) songs ahead with muscular energy more common for rock albums. At the same time, all things happen under perfect control avoiding chaos or directionless development. There are no lyrics/vocals otherwise the album could be alternatively classified as excellent art-rock work. Each composition has it's own face, atmosphere and is precisely executed.

Differently from some modern jazz albums, "Glitter Wolf"(isn't the title sounding rockish?) successfully avoids sterile chamber/academic sound. It often sounds as your morning alternative music TV, all these young guys with beards singing their songs with guitars somewhere out of town at the sunrise...

It is jazz sounding as rock or just cross-genre music without formalism and repetitiveness, radiating positive energy - really rare thing our days. It must be heard!

modern jazz movie reviews

WEATHER REPORT Live in Germany 1971

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

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

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

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

MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD Fly In A Bottle

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

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

DIXIE DREGS Live At The Montreaux Jazz Festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Live At Montreux 74/84

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

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

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

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