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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.84 | 103 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue Album Cover Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS
4.83 | 139 ratings
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BILL EVANS (PIANO) Waltz for Debby Album Cover Waltz for Debby
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
4.93 | 16 ratings
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HERBIE HANCOCK V.S.O.P.:Tempest in the Colosseum Album Cover V.S.O.P.:Tempest in the Colosseum
HERBIE HANCOCK
4.96 | 10 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)
4.88 | 17 ratings
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CHARLES MINGUS The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Album Cover The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
CHARLES MINGUS
4.78 | 77 ratings
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WES MONTGOMERY The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery Album Cover The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
WES MONTGOMERY
4.87 | 14 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Live at Birdland Album Cover Live at Birdland
JOHN COLTRANE
4.82 | 18 ratings
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ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.) Live in Hamburg Album Cover Live in Hamburg
ESBJÖRN SVENSSON TRIO (E.S.T.)
4.94 | 8 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Blue Train Album Cover Blue Train
JOHN COLTRANE
4.74 | 69 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE My Favorite Things Album Cover My Favorite Things
JOHN COLTRANE
4.73 | 59 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 | 46 ratings
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Live in Valencia 92
Live album
JOHNNY GRIFFIN
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Ballads and Blues Volume II
EP
DAVID HAZELTINE
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Confidences
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LAURENT COQ
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East Wind: Revolutionary Japanese Jazz in the 70s
Boxset / Compilation
10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
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Grove's Groove
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MICHAEL DEASE
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Artform Revisited
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LOUIS HAYES
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Painter of Dreams
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MISHA TSIGANOV
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Her Melodious Lay
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JOHN ZORN
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Odyssey
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NUBYA GARCIA
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the epicenter of your dreams
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JOHN ESCREET
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Dave Rempis / Tashi Dorji Duo : Gnash
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DAVE REMPIS
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Love Cole Porter
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ANTONIO ADOLFO
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Live In Denmark
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STEFAN PASBORG
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Live '23
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NIGEL PRICE
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Heading Home
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ERIC JACOBSON
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Casablanca
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EYM TRIO
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Kit Downes / Dr. Snap : Reflex
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KIT DOWNES
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Houle / Gentile / Hawkins : Fatrasies
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FRANÇOIS HOULE
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Hübsch | Schlippenbach : open source
EP
ALEXANDER VON SCHLIPPENBACH
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Angular Apron
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TONY OXLEY
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Phoenix Reimagined (Live)
Live album
LAKECIA BENJAMIN
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Panoply
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DENNY ZEITLIN
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Warsaw Conjunction
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TRYP TYCH TRYO
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Live at H15 Studio
Live album
KRESTEN OSGOOD
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In other words
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I AM THREE
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Vibe Provider
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EMMET COHEN
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Neil Cowley Trio : Entity
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NEIL COWLEY
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Sweet Caress
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FRANCO AMBROSETTI
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Pur-View
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KENDALL CARTER
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(after)
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AARON IRWIN
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Italian Songbook
Album
ROY POWELL
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Winther Andersson Watts : WAW
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CARL WINTHER
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Høvikodden 1971
Live album
SOFT MACHINE
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Slow Water
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STEPHAN CRUMP
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Aristotle's Dilemma
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ELLIPSIS QUINTET
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Wyoming Roads
Album
CHAD EDWARDS
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Dance, No One's Watching
Album
EZRA COLLECTIVE
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Pree’s Wings
Album
GIO WASHINGTON-WRIGHT
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Heart
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JÉRÔME SABBAGH
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Koppel Blade Koppel : Time Again
Album
BENJAMIN KOPPEL
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Mid Spiral
Album
BADBADNOTGOOD
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Boptics
Album
CHRIS BYARS
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Live From Studio Rivbea July 12, 1975
Live album
KALAPARUSHA MAURICE MCINTYRE
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Spider Plant Blues
EP
GREG FOAT
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Ballades
Album
JOHN ZORN
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Feeling Good
Album
ALVIN QUEEN
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Alone
Album
WAYNE ESCOFFERY
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Lux Quartet : Tomorrow Land
Album
MYRA MELFORD
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Songs My Father Would Dig
Album
BOB BALDWIN
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Flow
Album
JIHEE HEO
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Minor Operation
Album
AMOS HOFFMAN
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⁠Pra você, Ilza
Album
HERMETO PASCOAL
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Astral Projections
Album
ASTRO CAN CARAVAN
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Freedom, Justice, and Hope
Live album
THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA / LINCOLN CENTER JAZZ ORCHESTRA
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Three Chord Monte
Album
TONY ROMANO
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Erb/Weber/Künzi : Spazio Elle
Live album
CHRISTOPH ERB
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Right Now
Album
TARDO HAMMER
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Nils Landgren Funk Unit : Raw
Album
NILS LANDGREN
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EP III
Album
SOFTEN THE GLARE
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Can I Tell You Something?
Album
MARK LETTIERI
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Silver Shadow
Album
SLOWLY ROLLING CAMERA
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Live at Dizzy's
Live album
BRANDON GOLDBERG
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Ruminations
Album
KERRY POLITZER
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Milton + esperanza
Album
MILTON NASCIMENTO
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Band of Bands
Live album
MIKE WESTBROOK
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The Next Step Band (Live at Smalls 1996)
Live album
KURT ROSENWINKEL
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Plays Ellington & Strayhorn
Album
BRIAN LANDRUS
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Lovabye
Album
GREGORY GROOVER JR
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Frank Gratkowski's Entrainment
Album
FRANK GRATKOWSKI
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Spiritual Project & Voices
Album
DAVID REINHARDT
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Beast
Album
JOHN O'GALLAGHER
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7th Ave South
Album
JON GORDON
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Tomasz Stanko Quartet : September Night
Live album
TOMASZ STAŃKO
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Jazz Association Live
Live album
MAGIC MALIK
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Luniwaz-Live : The Music of Joe Zawinul
Live album
SCOTT KINSEY
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Xperience feat. Tim Armacost
Album
KLEMENS MARKTL
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Swinging with Bobby
Album
IGNASI TERRAZA
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Tornado Watch
Live album
ADAM HERSH
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Giant Beauty
Live album
AHMED أحمد
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Green Lights
Album
TROY ROBERTS
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Illimitable
Album
MATT MITCHELL
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Jonesville
Album
ACCELERATION DUE TO GRAVITY
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Rewilder
Album
BORDERLANDS TRIO
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Tributes
Album
ANTONIO FARAÒ
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A Study (In The Key Of Now)
Album
ROBERT MITCHELL
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Towards The Flame​,​ ​Vol. 2
Album
THE FLAME (ROBERT MITCHELL - NEIL CHARLES - MARK SANDERS)
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Wondercult Club
Album
AYUMI ISHITO
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BleySchool : Where?
Album
PAT THOMAS
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Sanyas
Live album
STEVE TURRE
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Francesca
Album
DAVID MURRAY
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Tough Stuff
Album
IIRO RANTALA
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Solo Bern 1984 - First Visit
Live album
ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Nothing
Live album
LOUIS COLE
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Meet The Graingers
Album
NATE NAJAR
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Full Throttle
EP
GERALD ALBRIGHT
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Ancestral Numbers I
Album
JASON ROBINSON
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Modern Standards
Live album
BILL EVANS (SAX)
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Echoes of Time
Album
CHRISTOPHE MARGUET
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Songs My Mom Liked
Album
ANTHONY BRANKER
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Influences
Album
JARED HALL
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Horizons
Album
ALEX SIPIAGIN
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Raging Bulgakov
Album
SIMON NABATOV
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New Start
Album
TOM KENNEDY
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The Data
Album
MATTHEW SHIPP
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Peace
Album
SADAO WATANABE
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Water Music
Album
IVO PERELMAN
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Hackensack West
Album
ANTHONY WILSON
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Golem & Other Tales
Album
SAM REIDER
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Room for Dancing
Album
JOHN CRAWFORD
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My Ship
Album
WILLIE JONES III
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Ice Breaking
Album
DAG ARNESEN
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Yass Big Band : imMATHEMATICS
Live album
TYMAŃSKI YASS ENSEMBLE / YASS BIG BAND
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My Prophet
Album
ODED TZUR
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Hope
Album
SØREN LEE
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The Crop Circles Suite Part One
Album
MATT LAVELLE
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Librarian
Album
SEFI ZISLING
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The New Normal
Album
TRIFECTA
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Maxine / KID
EP
DONNY MCCASLIN
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Reflections of Purple Sun
Album
EABS (ELECTRO ACOUSTIC BEAT SESSIONS)
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uNomkhubulwane
Album
NDUDUZO MAKHATHINI
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Hindsight : Live at La Seine Musicale
Live album
ENRICO PIERANUNZI
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Wood Blues
Live album
AHMED أحمد
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Beyond This Place
Album
KENNY BARRON
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Twist
Album
RAY OBIEDO
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Aki Takase Japanic : Forte
Album
AKI TAKASE
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Good Trouble
Album
MATT WILSON
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Cohesion
Album
DAVID LARSEN
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Infinite Connections
Album
JIHYE LEE ORCHESTRA
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3Elements : Like Water
Album
JASPER HØIBY
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Our Way
Album
HEVLETICUS (SAMUEL BLASER / DANIEL HUMAIR / HEIRI KANZIG)
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Mythical River
Album
ELEPHANT9
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Catharsis
Album
MICHIEL STEKELENBURG
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Black Box
Live album
KODIAN TRIO
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Trio Nuevo
Album
DAVE BASS
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Foreign Affair Trio : Sous le Vent
Album
HÉCTOR MARTIGNON
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Celebration
Album
MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN
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Standards II
Album
NOAH HAIDU
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Old School
Album
THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS
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Too Marvelous For Words
Album
MASSIMO FARAÒ
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Old Main Chapel
Live album
RON MILES
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Legacy
Boxset / Compilation
PAOLO FRESU
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Live At SuperDeluxe Volume 1
Live album
AKIRA SAKATA
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The One
Album
FLAT EARTH SOCIETY
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Psychedelic Rio
Album
VINICIUS CANTUÁRIA
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MoonDial
Album
PAT METHENY
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Embracing the Unknown
Album
IVO PERELMAN
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New Concepts in Piano Trio Jazz
Album
MATTHEW SHIPP
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Kiss For Brazil
Album
KARRIN ALLYSON
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Tell Us
Album
GORAN KAJFEŠ
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Perpetual Void
Album
MARTA SÁNCHEZ
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Sextet Session
Album
DOUG MACDONALD
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Measured Response
Album
JOSH LAWRENCE
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Athens
Album
MATERIAL
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Taylor Made
Album
CURTIS TAYLOR
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Quartet Music Vol. I : LuMiSong
EP
MICHAËL ATTIAS
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Vision Is The Identity
Album
CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN
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Aldebaran
Album
KATHRINE WINDFELD
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Moving On
Album
JACKY TERRASSON
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Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti & Frank Rosaly : Mestizx
Album
IBELISSE XIMENA GUARDIA FERRAGUTTI
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The Talisman
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DAVE PIETRO
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Even Odds
Album
DAN WEISS
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D-Day
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MONTY ALEXANDER
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Lift
Album
LAST ARK OUT
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Power Vibe
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STEPHANIE RICHARDS
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Mirror Mirror
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OLLI AHVENLAHTI
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Twentyfour
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AL DI MEOLA
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Being Guided By the Light
Album
MAMIKO WATANABE
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Unknown Rivers
Live album
LUKE STEWART
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Live At Smalls
Live album
JACK WALRATH
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Live At Mezzrow
Live album
ROGER KELLAWAY
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New World
Album
NAT BIRCHALL
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In The Moment
Album
STEPHEN M. LEE
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Triad
Album
TRIAD (DOMINICK FARINACCI CHRISTIAN TAMBURR MICHAEL WARD-BERGEMAN)
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Infinite Love Infinite Tears
Album
ALAN (ALLEN) BRAUFMAN
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Latency
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CORTO.ALTO
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Memento
Album
ALEXANDER CLAFFY
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Beantown Ballads
Album
JERRY BERGONZI
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Fearless Movement
Album
KAMASI WASHINGTON
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Live in Chicago
Live album
GUSTAVO CORTIÑAS
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Blue Topaz
Album
PETER HAND
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New Dawn : Live 1973
Live album
PAT SMYTHE
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Guitar Poetry
Album
MIKAEL MANI
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Groovin' in Rome
Album
PAT SENATORE
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Gifts
Album
DAVE DOUGLAS
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Magic Light
Album
CHUCK OWEN
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Ghost Rhythms Live at L'Ermitage
Live album
GHOST RHYTHMS
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Silent, Listening
Album
FRED HERSCH
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Reverence
Live album
CHARLES MCPHERSON
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Live At Villa Maximus Mykonos
Live album
GREG FOAT
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The Liminality Of Her
Album
AMANDA WHITING
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Stick Together
Album
BEHN GILLECE
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Three
Album
PAT BIANCHI
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Rising
Album
JASMINE MYRA
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Heirloom
Album
LISA ULLÉN
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Cloud 10 - The Complete Sessions
Boxset / Compilation
CHIP WICKHAM
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Erlend Skomvoll Trio : Noshk Blues
Album
ERLEND SKOMSVOLL
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Sensual
Album
RACHEL Z
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Poppin in Paris : Live at the Olympia 1972
Live album
CANNONBALL ADDERLEY
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Burnin In Bordeaux : Live In France 1969
Live album
CANNONBALL ADDERLEY
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Escapement
Album
DAGGERBOARD
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NOVA Elusive
Album
FÉLIX ZURSTRASSEN / NOVA
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Red Hot & Ra - The Magic City
Album
ME'SHELL NDEGÉOCELLO
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Febrero
Album
ANDREA MOTIS
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Terton
Album
TERTON (LOUIE BELOGENIS - TREVOR DUNN - RYAN SAWYER)
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Echoes Of The Inner Prophet
Album
MELISSA ALDANA
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Sunland
Album
OLIVIER LE GOAS
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Live At Mezzrow
Live album
KEN PEPLOWSKI
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Standards, Vol. 3
Album
DAN ARCAMONE
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Life at the Village Vanguard
Live album
GILAD HEKSELMAN
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Stephane Galland & the Rhythm Hunters
Album
STÉPHANE GALLAND
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Happy Deluxe
Album
QUADRO NUEVO
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Bondage Fruit VII
Album
BONDAGE FRUIT
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Baars Buis Deman : Cecil's Dance
Live album
AB BAARS
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You'll Hear It
Album
GEORGE COLLIGAN
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Carnegie Hall Concert
Live album
ALICE COLTRANE
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Interludes
Album
EMIL BRANDQVIST
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Revival
EP
NIR FELDER
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Unwritten
Live album
KAZE
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Evidence + Reflections
Boxset / Compilation
STEVE LACY
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Tomorrow's Another Day
Album
JEREMY PELT
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Plays
Album
NICOLE GLOVER
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Fabiano Nascimento & Sam Gendel : The Room
Album
FABIANO DO NASCIMENTO
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Grdina / Lillinger : Duo Work
Album
GORDON GRDINA
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Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini : Guinga
Boxset / Compilation
NATALIE CRESSMAN
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Forgiveness
Album
RAIN SULTANOV
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The Classic Albums
Boxset / Compilation
BUDDY COLLETTE
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A Place Called Home
Album
ODDGEIR BERG TRIO
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Out of This World
Album
PETER ASPLUND
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Contrafactus
Album
SPIKE WILNER
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Stream
Album
FERGUS MCCREADIE
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NRG Ensemble : Hold That Thought – Mars Archive #2
Live album
HAL RUSSELL / NRG ENSEMBLE
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Interaction
Album
IVO PERELMAN
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The Gathering
Album
MARK WINGFIELD
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Vin Et Roses - Paris'73
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On The Spot
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蔭凉寺ライヴ at Inryō-ji Temple Live
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modern jazz Music Reviews

WILLIAM PARKER Double Sunrise Over Neptune

Live album · 2008 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
Deep groovy bass line, which opens "Double Sunrise Over Neptune", surprisingly doesn't belong to William Parker - one among a few still active jazz bassist, a living legend who did his name in 90s playing accessible but very creative avant-garde jazz. Here on "Double Sunrise..." Parker conducts a multinational(East-West) orchestra and plays different reeds and the African stringed instrument doussn'gouni.

His 15-piece band contains some best musicians from both worlds, including drummers Gerald Cleaver and Hamid Drake, guitarist Joe Morris (who plays banjo as well), sax players Sabir Mateen, Rob Brown and Dave Sewelson, viola player Jessica Pavone plus a Chinese American violinist Jason Kao Hwang, Morrocan Brahim Frigbane and classic Indian Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay among others.

Album contains just four songs, three - long (between 15 and 27 minutes) and one- very short(little longer then half-a-minute). Musically, one can hear usual Parker's tuneful groovy compositions framed and pushed ahead by repetitive rhythmic constructions. Still, characteristic William's storytelling-like form is significantly modified by lot of Indian classic vocals and oud soling.

Predominantly mid-tempo very rhythmic music has enough freedom and space for each artist and group of instruments soloing on the front, interchanging each other. Elements of different traditions fit together surprisingly organically, musical pictures seamlessly change one the other and longer-then-hour album didn't last long at all.

Everyone familiar with Parker's music will recognize his music quite easily, but addition of exotic Eastern instruments and vocals brings lot of new colorful nuances in it. One among best master's work for sure.

P.S. Joe Morris guitar solo on final album's composition, "Neptune's Mirror ", is really impressive.

TONY ROMANO Three Chord Monte

Album · 2024 · Fusion
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js
Although “Three Chord Monte” is only his third album as a leader, guitarist Tony Romano has been working as a sideman for sometime with jazz, Latin and pop artists such as Randy Brecker, Dave Valentin, Joe Bataan, Stanley Jordan and even Debbie Gibson. He can also be heard on many TV soundtracks as well. Tony wrote all of the material on this album and he enlisted Jennifer Vincent on bass and Rob Garcia on drums to help him out. Saxophonist Paul Carlon shows up on about half of the songs as well. Tony cites Bill Frisell as a major influence which will be obvious to those who know Bill’s work, but you can also hear some John Scofield in some of Romano’s funky riffing and contemporary melodic style.

The album opens strong with the Afrobeat groove of “Cadillac Green”, on which you can hear drummer Rob Garcia’s appreciation for Fela’s long time drummer, Tony Allen. As Romano builds his solo he digs into some hardcore Prince style funk riffs, this one is a scorcher. Later on the album, “Lay it Down”, re-visit’s the Tony Allen Afrobeat drive. The Frisell influence shows up on several melodic ballads, the best of which is “Home”, because this one gives Tony more room to stretch out on a solo. The band gets into their jazzy post bop thing on a couple numbers and “Onward and Upward” features some of sax man Paul Carlon’s best work. Romano’s extensive work in Latin jazz shows up on a couple tracks and “Squirrelly” gets into some bluesy RnB with a New Orleans backline beat. All of the tracks are well composed and executed with imagination, but for my money, I would love to hear Tony get into some more of that groovy Afrobeat thang.

CARLA BLEY Social Studies

Album · 1981 · Progressive Big Band
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Matti P
Carla Bley is American free jazz pianist and composer whose music often contains experimentalism. On Social Studies -- the only Bley album I've listened to -- the composer plays organ and piano and is accompanied by a rhythm section and a wind sextet.

The opener 'Reactionary Tango' (12:52) is the longest track; other five tracks are between 4 and 7 minutes. The dance-like rhythm structure forms the basis, on top of which the trumpet, trombone, saxes and other wind instruments play almost as in a dialogue, with quick, little piano melodies thrown in here and there. This harmlessly playful and mildly humorous composition actually feels a bit too long since the changes along the way aren't very big. Even the soprano sax solo remains rather restricted. But towards the end it begins to feel more interesting as the organ makes me think of the early 70's Soft Machine. Indeed to me this music seems closer in spirit to the early British jazz/fusion with some continental flavour, than to American jazz. 'Copyright Royalties' is also temperate and easy-going.

'Utviklingssang' is a moody piece in a slow tempo. Alto sax has the biggest role in it. 'Valse Sinistre' is another composition based on a dance rhythm, and it's not exactly sinister. 'Floater' starts cautiously in a "where do we go from here?" manner but gets slightly livelier. Bass is great here. The final piece 'Walking Batteriewoman' has the fastest and edgiest melodies. Tenor sax has references to be-bop, I guess.

This album is happily less experimental or difficult than I was prepared to hear, but on the other hand it's also a bit duller than I expected. I like the overall feel: temperate, intelligent, witty, gentlemanly and mildly playful and unpredictable. However, the brass-oriented arrangement is surely not up to my jazz taste.

ISAIAH COLLIER Isaiah Collier & the Chosen Few : The Almighty

Album · 2024 · 21st Century Modern
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snobb
Five years ago I noticed a (virtually unknown at the time) young American jazz artist playing a gig during a jazz fest in a small provincial town in Samogitia, where every foreign artist was a real rarity. He sounded like the time machine transferred him there right from late 60s America, and it was quite unusual and interesting. This musician was sax player Isaiah Collier.

Now, after a few albums released and a lot of gigs played all around the globe, Isaiah is not a jazz world's "dark horse" anymore. His just released album, "The Almighty", is obviously noticed by media and listeners. What Isaiah offers on his new release is in fact a continuation of his earliest work. Emotively colored, richly arranged spiritual jazz, more precisely - a jazz suite performed by Collier's quartet with the help of a whole small orchestra on some pieces.

The album's music sounds exactly as one can expect from Collier - strongly influenced by Pharoah Sanders/Alice Coltrane works from the late 60s-early 70s, without even a trace of more current decades influence. To be precise, it is important to mention there is a stronger attention on composition in this album's music.

Just five longish songs, lasting more that one hour, all are tuneful, soulful and well played and arranged. Depending on the listener's taste, one can enjoy almost authentically re-vitalized sound and atmosphere of half-a-century old spiritual jazz, or miss some of nowadays musical elements in it. Same way, for some, the whole album can sound a bit bombastic, but then it fits well under the late 60s genre standards.

All in all, it's an interesting work of a rising artist who continues going his own way.

JUKKA HAURU Jukka Hauru / Nono Söderberg ‎: Pop Liisa 05

Split · 2016 · Fusion
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Matti P
For the fusion-minded listeners, this is an interesting item in the Pop Liisa series (or Jazz Liisa, which would have been equally suitable for these acts), ie. the seventies' live performances recorded in the Liisankatu Studios, Helsinki, originally broadcast on the Finnish radio and finally released by Svart Records in the 2010's. The two series are almost like a "who's who" of the Finnish prog and jazz/fusion scenes of the seventies.

Although it was naturally more common to have one band per show, some of the live dates featured two artists, and this was the case in December 15th, 1976. Guitarist and composer JUKKA HAURU (b. 1950) released two albums, Information (1972) and Episode (1975). Especially the debut's instrumental music has been compared to the likes of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Frank Zappa.

This Liisankatu gig however contains a single 17-minute epic piece which was never recorded for a studio album, 'Günther Angst, Parts 1-6'. The sextet consists of Hauru (electric guitar), Juhani Poutanen (violin), Eero Ojanen (piano), Tapani Tamminen (double bass), Esko Rosnell (drums) and Ari Valtonen (percussion). The violinist Poutanen was Hauru's primary collaborator on Information, and his playing is in a big role here, too. Also other instruments get solistic spots in this complex piece wandering in the outskirts of free jazz. Round the sixth minute there's a beautiful calmer section first starring piano and double bass, then evolving into a delicate duet for violin and double bass played with a bow, joined later by a gentle guitar and light percussion, before shifting into a more fiery movement. Progheads may get some associations of the Larks-era King Crimson, in addition to Mahavishnu Orchestra.

As another fusion guitarist, Arto "NONO" SÖDERBERG (b. 1945) was a natural pairing for Jukka Hauru. The guitarist and composer is accompanied by the keyboard maestro Esa Kotilainen (who at the time had played in Wigwam), saxophonist Reijo Ylinen, plus bass, drums and percussion. Söderberg's had a long and many-sided career since the sixties but he released his debut solo album "Nono" no sooner than in 1976. Both pieces heard in this gig are taken from that instrumental pop-jazz/fusion album.

The lively and funky 'Tide' gives a refreshing contrast to the more demanding and ambiguous stuff of Hauru's sextet. Very nice groove in this 8-minute piece, almost twice as long as the album version. 'Seagull' is a calmer piece with laid-back soaring melodies reminiscent of CAMEL and SANTANA. Kotilainen's synth solo is cool, and the soprano saxophone takes its place harmonically. The congas of Esa Roswall sound very nice too.

I personally prefer the Söderberg set. On the CD this Pop Liisa 05 is combined with Pop Liisa 06: Finnforest and Elonkorjuu (1977).

modern jazz movie reviews

PAT METHENY Imaginary Day Live

Movie · 2001 · World Fusion
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Matti P
The gig date is July 1998 and the venue is not-so-ordinary stage at the Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California. The film is beautifully directed and edited by Steve Rodby, the bassist of the seven-piece group. The composition credits are shared by Metheny and keyboardist Lyle Mays. The main body of the set is from the then-latest album Imaginary Day (1997), which is one of the finest and most eclectic Pat Metheny Group albums.

On the opening solo number 'Into the Dream' Metheny plays peculiar 42-string "Pikasso" guitar that produces sounds reminiscent to kantele or zither. The group joins him on the groovy, bright & happy 'Follow Me' that features also some wordless singing from multi-instrumentalists Mark Ledford (trumpet, guitar, percussion) and Philip Hamilton (percussion, guitar). The frontman himself throws in his trade mark high-pitched guitar sound.

The 10-minute title track is an impressive example of the way this wonderful group builds exciting sonic textures and eclectic musical vocabulary without ever losing a certain positively charged accessibility and emotion. 'Heat of the Day' is a hectic piece full of percussive vitality but also a more serene pianism of Mays. Mellow 'Across the Sky' approaches a song structure in a nice way. The warm-spirited gig ends with three pieces outside of Imaginary Day. 'Message to a Friend' is a moody acoustic guitar solo.

Extra features on the 93-min. DVD include a Metheny interview, discography (featuring album covers and track lists), band member biographies, and Notes About the Album / Instrumentation / Tracks / Writing Process. Reading it all can be a bit exhausting, but in the end these extras help this DVD deserve a sincere recommendation for all fans of Pat Metheny. Musically speaking, this is one of the most enjoyable jazz/fusion live DVD's I have ever viewed.

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.

Artists with Modern Jazz release(s)