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MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue Album Cover Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS
4.81 | 115 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.82 | 86 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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CHARLES MINGUS The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Album Cover The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
CHARLES MINGUS
4.78 | 64 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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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 | 37 ratings
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Bonsai Club
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BONSAI
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African Time
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GWEN & TIANA
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You Remind Me (The Classic Elektra Recordings 1978-1984)
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PATRICE RUSHEN
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Wandering Monster
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WANDERING MONSTER
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Liminal #1
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ALEX COKE
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Moniuszko
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WŁODEK PAWLIK
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Poptosis
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FRAUD PROPHETS
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Källtorp Sessions, Volume One
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STÅHLS TRIO
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I’m Just a Lucky So and So
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HOUSTON PERSON
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Thoughts Become Things
Album
VICTOR GOULD
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Scary Beautiful
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RICARDO PEIXOTO
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Liminality
Album
ERIK SKOV
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Aguafuertes del Abasto
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FRANCISCO HUICI
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Quintet
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ROXY COSS
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Secret Passages
Album
DAVID JANEWAY
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Migrations
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JACQUES KUBA SÉGUIN
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This I Dig of You
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JIMMY COBB
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Open Waters
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JACOB KARLZON
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Paul Wertico Trio : First Date
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PAUL WERTICO
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Wodecki Jazz
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PIOTR BARON
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Live In Tokyo ́91
Live album
BARNEY WILEN
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Michel On My Mind
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LAURENT COULONDRE
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Stan
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CHRIS INGHAM
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Citizen
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DUNCAN EAGLES
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Right Place, Right Time
Album
ALEXIS KASINOS
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Contemporary Old School
Album
CECILIE GRUNDT
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Light Day
Album
FRANCO D'ANDREA
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Miles Davis Tribute Album
Boxset / Compilation
WAYNE SHORTER
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September Second
EP
LAURENT COULONDRE
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Presenting Bilderband
Album
BILDERBAND
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The Reciprocal Boogie
Album
THE NEW MOTIF
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Giant Steps Plays Solo Guitar
Album
RYO KAWASAKI
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Unplanned Ways
Album
ALESSANDRO LANZONI
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People Mover
Album
SCOTT HENDERSON
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Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces
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RIK WRIGHT
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Hmmm
Album
SENRI OE
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Painting Music
Album
CARSTEN DAHL
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essentials
Boxset / Compilation
VIJAY IYER
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Playing John Williams
Album
DAVID HELBOCK
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Ballades
Album
AHMAD JAMAL
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Peter Brotzmann Trio : Philosophy of Sound
Live album
PETER BRÖTZMANN
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Doctor 3 : Canto Libero
Album
DANILO REA / DOCTOR 3
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Samba Jazz Alley
Album
ANTONIO ADOLFO
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Force For Good
Album
RYAN PORTER
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The Early Years 1956-59
Boxset / Compilation
RAMSEY LEWIS
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Chet Visions
Album
RICCARDO DEL FRA
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Blume
Album
NÉRIJA
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Dreamland
Album
LUDOVIC ERNAULT
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Carrier
Album
XAVIER LECOUTURIER
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Hidden Lines
Album
KINKAJOUS
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Answer
Album
JON GORDON
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No Boundaries
Album
DAVE BASS
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The Union
Album
JANEK GWIZDALA
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Obeah Man / Seeking
EP
NAT BIRCHALL
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One-Track Mind
Album
BECOMING QUINTET
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Swiss Jazz Orchestra & Guillermo Klein
Album
SWISS JAZZ ORCHESTRA
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Gilles
Album
GISÈLE
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Gaston
EP
GISÈLE
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Saräb
Album
SARÄB
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A Bossa Muito Moderna De João Donato E Seu Trio
Boxset / Compilation
JOÃO DONATO
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Moontag
Album
WOJCIECH KAROLAK
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The Long Game
Album
LIAM NOBLE
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My Other Voice
Album
MARK SHERMAN
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This Quiet Room
Album
P.J. PERRY
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Somewhere Else
Album
TED NASH (NEPHEW)
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Three In Paris
Album
JEREMY UDDEN
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Relations
Album
MARTIN BRANDQVIST
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Glimpse
Album
KENTA SHIMAKAWA
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Elevate
Album
LETTUCE
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Going to Market
Album
JV'S BOOGALOO SQUAD
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CASIOPEA 3rd : Panspermia
Album
CASIOPEA
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Social Music
Album
DANIEL CANO
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Wes's Best : The Best of Wes Montgomery on Resonance
Boxset / Compilation
WES MONTGOMERY
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Mystic Dance
Album
CHRISTOPHE GAUTHIER
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Torbjorn Zetterberg & The Great Question : Live
Live album
TORBJÖRN ZETTERBERG
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Long Waves
Album
FRANCO AMBROSETTI
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The Rocket
Album
TINGVALL TRIO / MARTIN TINGVALL
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The Flood and the Fate of the Fish
Album
RABIH ABOU-KHALIL
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Icy Roads (Stacked)
EP
JOE ARMON-JONES
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Abstrakt
Album
ANDRZEJ KOWALSKI
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Live At Saint Peter's Church
Live album
CAROL SUDHALTER
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Akira Sakata & Triple Edge
Album
AKIRA SAKATA
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Du pain et des roses
Album
CHRISTOPHE JONEAU
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Muss es sein ? Es muss sein !
Album
SUR ECOUTE QUARTET
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Equal Time
Album
AKIKO TSURUGA
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Other Matters
Album
RICH PERRY
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Doxy
Album
STEPHEN RILEY
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Damien Groleau Trio : Trilogues
Album
DAMIEN GROLEAU
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Ambrosia
Album
DIERK PETERS
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High Up On The Terazza
Album
IGNASI TERRAZA
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Waltzing Out Of Town
Album
RICHARD SHULMAN
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Keep Talkin'
Album
YOKO MIWA
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Barracoon
Album
J.D. ALLEN
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Earthworks Complete
Boxset / Compilation
BILL BRUFORD'S EARTHWORKS
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Scorpio Rising
Album
TRIOSENCE
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Partners in Time
Album
MIKE LEDONNE
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Snaketime : Music of Moondog
Live album
DUSTIN LAURENZI
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Pure Imagination, No Country
Album
DAVE HARRINGTON GROUP
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Bruford-Borstlap : Sheer Reckless Abandon
Boxset / Compilation
BILL BRUFORD
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Tous les peuples
Album
GAËL HORELLOU
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Nos amers
Album
LES COMPTES DE KORSAKOFF (LCDK)
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Leap of Faith
Live album
ERIC ALEXANDER
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Catenaccio
Album
TOM CAWLEY
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Lushh
Album
LUSHH
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Carib
Album
DAVID SÁNCHEZ
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All Good Things
Album
ALEX HITCHCOCK
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Old Growth Forest II
Live album
HARRIS EISENSTADT
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Black Hand
Album
PAOLO PAVAN
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Velvet Face
Album
PAOLO PAVAN
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Brazilian News
Album
MANOEL CRUZ
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Third Space
Album
KANUDOSI
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Natural Machines
Album
DAN TEPFER
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Hill Spell
Album
NORTHING
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Open To Now
Album
JOSHUA CATANIA
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Skim
Album
COAST
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Ensemble 5 : The Collective Mind
Album
HEINZ GEISSER
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Theme For Ms. P
Album
VINCENT ECTOR
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We Create The Machine
EP
DEAD ROBOT
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Sanctuary
Album
MATT SLOCUM
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Looking Forward
Album
STICKY BRAIN
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Moving Forward
Album
HANS MATHISEN
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Frizione
Album
ROMANO PRATESI
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mEP
EP
ARP OF THE COVENANT
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Mise​-​en​-​scène
Album
ZAKK JONES
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Vision for Two - 10 Years
Album
KLAUS PAIER & ASJA VALCIC
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Harp vs. Harp
Album
EDMAR CASTAÑEDA
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Quartet (New Haven) 2014
Live album
ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Inspirations & Dedications
Album
AL FOSTER
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Bonegasm
Album
JENNIFER WHARTON
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Street of Dreams
Album
SCOTT HAMILTON
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Down by the River
Album
DENNIS COFFEY
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Graviton : The Calling
Album
ANDREW MCCORMACK
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Tiny Lights...
Album
ROMAIN COLLIN
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Santiago
Album
MR. RABBIT
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Soul Awakening
Album
BRANDEE YOUNGER
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Psychedelic Backfire I
Live album
ELEPHANT9
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Light As A Word
Album
REMY LE BOEUF
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Last Summer in Rio
Album
THE JAZZINVADERS
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Trio Local
Live album
AGUSTÍ FERNÁNDEZ
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Pacifica
Album
THE VAMPIRES
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Dear John : Live At Le Due Terre Winery
Live album
FRANCESCO BEARZATTI
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Stories From Here & There
Album
TUOMO UUSITALO
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Hokusai - Piano Solo
Live album
AKI TAKASE
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Weightless
Album
TEOTIMA
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Something About Rainbows
Album
PRESTON/GLASGOW/LOWE
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Oslo Concerts
Movie
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
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Danza de los Muertos
Album
MARK AANDERUD
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Northbound
Album
EIVIND AUSTAD
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8Ball City
Album
KENNER
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From Here To Hear
Album
ROB BROWN
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Tism
Album
INGRID LAUBROCK
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Out To Dinner : Different Flavors
Album
MICHAEL DEASE
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Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door
Live album
RALPH PETERSON
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Live at Earshot
Live album
NAOMI MOON SIEGEL
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One Day Wonder
Album
TERRAZA BIG BAND
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Landscape
Album
DIMITRI MONSTEIN
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Level 25
Album
DALI MRÁZ
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Afterglow
Album
PHILIPP TERIETE
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Boxdoppio
Album
SECCHEZZA DELLE FAUCI
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The Last Taxi : New Destinations
Album
PATRICK BATTSTONE
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O Carro de Fogo de Sei Miguel
Live album
SEI MIGUEL
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Evan Parker & Kinetics : Chiasm
Live album
EVAN PARKER
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Angles 9 : Beyond Us
Live album
ANGLES
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Jazz Association
Album
MAGIC MALIK
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Danish Ballads & More
Album
SCOTT HAMILTON
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Oofth
Album
MASSIMILIANO MILESI
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With Ralph Alessi
Album
TERKEL NØRGAARD
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At The Subway Club 1973
Live album
DEXTER GORDON
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Attias, Hazan, Peskoff : Avocado Fields
Live album
MICHAËL ATTIAS
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Paolo Russo Trio : Overland
Album
PAOLO RUSSO
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Condao
Album
REINIER ELIZARDE RUANO (EL NEGRÓN)
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New Easter Island
Album
ATLÁNTICO
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Moutin Factory Quintet : Mythical River
Album
MOUTIN FACTORY QUINTET / MOUTIN REUNION QUARTET
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Prima Del Tramonto
Album
CHIHIRO YAMANAKA
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Omnixus + Solo
Live album
TANJA FEICHTMAIR
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Songs of the Firebird
Album
BARRETT MARTIN
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Washa!
Album
MAHER BEAUROY
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Travesuras
Album
DANIEL GARCIA (DANIEL GARCIA DIEGO)
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Graz Live 1961
Live album
JIMMY GIUFFRE
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Foreign Affairs
Album
TÕNU NAISSOO
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Why Don't You Listen? - Live at LACMA, 1998
Live album
HORACE TAPSCOTT
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Bright New Day
Album
CHARNETT MOFFETT
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Cosmic Dream
Album
VINCENT BOURGEYX
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Laurent Dehors Trio : Moutons
Album
LAURENT DEHORS
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Beyond The Forest
Album
YOSHIO SUZUKI
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Lo Que Te Traigo
Album
NEW SWING SEXTET
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What's Hidden
Album
SILVA ŠÍROVÁ
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Extended Whispers
Album
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE CHOLET
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Brazilian Album
Album
TRIO ELF
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Secret Place
Album
JUSTIN STANTON
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Danzon Cubano (Live at Viersen)
Live album
MARIALY PACHECO
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Rainbow Sessions
Boxset / Compilation
KETIL BJØRNSTAD
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Madera, Cuero Y Unas Campanas
Album
ADRIÁN IAIES
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Basel 1980
Live album
WOODY SHAW
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Head First
Album
JOHN TURVILLE
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Alula
Album
CAROLINE DAVIS
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The Rundle Sessions
Album
JACK WILKINS (SAXOPHONE)
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Aventurine
Album
LINDA MAY HAN OH
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Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen
Album
TIMO LASSY
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I'm All Smiles
Album
GEORGE CABLES
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Phoenix Rising
Album
DAVID KIKOSKI
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Groove Machine
Album
CHARLIE APICELLA
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Our People
Album
GERRY GIBBS
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KingMaker
Album
JOEL ROSS
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In Sides
Album
JAVIER MORENO
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Another Fantastic Individual
Album
MARTIN ARCHER
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Devotion
Album
DAVE DOUGLAS
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Kaskaden
Album
JULIA KADEL
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Phalanx Ambassadors
Album
MATT MITCHELL
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More Arriving
Album
SARATHY KORWAR
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Csinvat
Live album
KADA
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European Quartet Worldwide
Album
WALT WEISKOPF
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Stax
Album
MAX STADTFELD
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Wort Zong
Album
WHISKY LICKS
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Carte Blanche
Album
PHILIPPE PICOT
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The Fine Line
Album
BOB SHEPPARD
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Steppin'
Album
CHESTER THOMPSON (DRUMS)
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El Musico
Album
JEFF BABKO
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Solo in Bonn
Live album
DIMITAR BODUROV
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Solo Piano : Remembering Miles
Album
DENNY ZEITLIN
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Solide
Album
SHOB
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Bloom
Album
JEFF WILLIAMS
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Jacopo Ferrazza Trio : Theater
Album
JACOPO FERRAZZA
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Blue in Green
Album
EUGENE MARLOW
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Year of the Pig
Album
FLASH PIG
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Be Known - Ancient/Future/Music
Album
ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE
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Alexi Tuomarila Trio : Sphere
Album
ALEXI TUOMARILA
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Ontology
Album
XOSÉ MIGUÉLEZ
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Jikan
Live album
ARASHI
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My Americana
Album
ERNEST TURNER
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Papa Loves Mambo
Album
NICKI PARROTT
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Emergence
Album
LARRY CORBAN
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San Francisco '82
Live album
DEXTER GORDON
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Mlk Convergence
Album
MARLENE ROSENBERG
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Courvoisier & Feldman : Time Gone Out
Album
SYLVIE COURVOISIER
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The Balance
Album
ABDULLAH IBRAHIM (DOLLAR BRAND)
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This Should Be Fun
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First Meeting
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Solo Piano at WKCR 1977
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So Miles
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Absolutely Live!
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Standards and Other Songs
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New Industries
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Who Cares?
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Mark Turner Meets Gary Foster
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Near And Now
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Evans in England : Live at Ronnie Scott' s
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Complete Communion : Live in Hilversum May 9, 1966
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Both People
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Open Sesame
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Signature
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Mostly Covered
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Channels
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Down
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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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Correlations
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More Than One Thing
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Scene Is Clean
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Face to Face
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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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Metamodal
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Do Outro Lado Do Azul
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Blue into Gray
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The Kennedys at Beaver Point
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What Is To Be Done
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Polyphony
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The Artist
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Autumn Colors Suite
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In The End Of The Night
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Live At Frankie's Jazz Club
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Right On Time
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Immigrance
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Showing Up
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Clockwise
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Beat
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Quality Studio Live
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Songs of the Degrees
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modern jazz Music Reviews

ROB RYNDAK Rob Ryndak & Tom Lockwood : Gratitude

Album · 2019 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
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js
Apparently Rob Ryndak met Tom Lockwood when Lockwood bought a house in Ryndak’s neighborhood. When Rob went over to greet Tom they discovered that they were both pro musicians and educators with similar interests in jazz and world music. Soon Tom was performing in Ryndak’s band and the rest is history as they eventually decided to record an album together. The resultant CD, “Gratitude”, shows the two combining their song writing and performing talents into a diverse set of tunes that combine contemporary jazz, pop, RnB, hard bop, Latin and Caribbean grooves. To assist in their endeavor they brought in a variety of instrumentalists who help give each track its own distinct sound and tone color. Rob plays piano and percussion, while Tom handles all manner of woodwind instruments, to that they also added musicians on bass, drums, guitar, cello, trumpet, percussion, vibraphone and additional piano. Ryndak in particular creates creative orchestrations with his mini orchestra, particularly on the ballad like title tune, “Gratitude”.

Throughout the album, Ryndak’s tunes lean more towards the art pop side of things, while Lockwood’s favor swinging hard bop and Latin jazz. The first track is a Ryndak composition, while the second belongs to Lockwood, the tracks alternate this way for the rest of the album which makes for a nice musical blend. Bob’s song, “Just as They Are”, seems to reference a well known Latin folk song, but I will not give away which one, you will have to hear that for yourself. Most of the tunes are fairly concise and to the point, but there is still room for some great solos from Lockwood, Brian Lynch on trumpet, Sasha Brusin on guitar and Steve Talaga on piano. “Gratitude’ is more or less a jazz album, but there is plenty of melodic material that easily crosses over to fans of all manner of sophisticated instrumental music.

JAMIE SAFT The Jamie Saft Quartet : Hidden Corners

Album · 2019 · Fusion
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snobb
Pianist/keyboardist Jamie Saft is one of more interesting figure connecting New York down town jazz with burgeoning London jazz scene (through collaboration with London-based RareNoise label). His newest all-star quartet's album "Hidden Corners" continues this direction presenting Saft & Co.s touch on such a fashionable in London spiritual jazz.

Album's opener "Positive Way" is possible the best illustration what "Hidden Corners" are all about - soulful composition influenced by "Love Supreme"/Coltrane circa '65 music will obviously attract fans of Pharoah Sanders spiritual jazz re-birth. It is most memorable song coming from the album, what comes after is quite a mixed bag though. Right after very skilled but not same inspired quartet offers freer journey which is quite bulky and directionless.

Rest of the album contains a songs collection of two types - more soulful and spiritual (though a bit faceless) compositions and freer but too formal and emotionless pieces. Music here is well played but has no chances to win in a competition with enthusiastic youngish British bands dominating on London scene. Today's spiritual jazz attracts new listeners mostly because of its fresh, maybe partially naive, atmosphere and re-invented spirit of late 60s. Saft's quartet sounds as a bit bored bunch of pros playing some fashionable tunes on request (or because of contractual obligation). Not a bad music, but it lacking inspiration.

JOHN ZORN John Zorn / George Lewis / Bill Frisell ‎: More News For Lulu

Live album · 1992 · Hard Bop
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snobb
John Zorn is one of key figure in New York down town scene for some last decades who for many listeners associates with radical experimentation and/or prolific accessible jazz-related releases long lasting history. Both tags are right, but Zorn has much more faces then just this. In late 80s, besides of developing one of his most shocking and influential Naked City project, based on Japanese brutal avant-rock jazzier interpretation, Zorn played in unusual trio with his regular guitarist of that time Bill Frisell and AACM trombonist George Lewis. Two albums has been recorded - both in Europe.

First one - "News For Lulu" - is mostly studio work, when its continuation "More News For Lulu" contains similar material but this time coming from two gigs - one in Paris and the other in Basel, Switzerland. Unusual trio of sax player, trombonist and guitarist plays Blue Note material,or more precisely - hard bop compositions from Sonny Clark, Hank Mobley, Big John Patton, Kenny Dorham, and Freddie Redd, in addition to one selection from Misha Mengelberg.

Most unusual is the fact that this music, recorded almost in the same time when Zorn worked with Naked City,sounds very bright, swinging, light-full and in general very optimistic. Surprisingly enough, trio doesn't cross hard bop frames too often and their down town touch on material is noticeable mostly by modern arrangements and some freer soloing.

Probably a bit too long (lasting one hour and 18 minutes),the album demonstrates some repetitiveness in a second half, but in all it's an enjoyable example of three highest class musicians' work, one among best music John Zorn ever recorded under his name and excellent entry point for newcomers with mainstream jazz background interested in John Zorn massive legacy and unorthodox modern jazz in general.

MAISHA Welcome To A New Welcome

Live album · 2016 · World Fusion
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snobb
Looking from the few years distance on what were a roots of amazing London young jazz scene of today, Maisha's debut requires bigger attention. SE London sextet led by drummer Jake Long plays live on this short release and they do it really well.

Everyone familiar with spiritual jazz legacy from 60s and 70s will easily hear in their music Pharoah Sanders soulful tunes, Alice Coltrane meditative beauty and John Coltrane ecstatic sax soloing. Just three songs but the listener gets enough to jump in that spiritual jazz magic known from the decades ago once again.

It happened for me to listen Pharoah Sanders playing his old songs just a few years ago (yes, he is really popular again, at least in Europe), and it was a great possibility to touch a legend. Still, he sounds now more like a history even if there are already a generation of two who never heard his name before. Maisha play his music (or music which was his and some others almost half a century ago)in a way that makes this music sounding actual again. For young listeners just founding their jazz the band brings that spirit and a beauty of jazz often as a very new experience.

Quite relaxed compositions are all beautiful, with strong jazz roots(post-bop)influence but at the same time scented with African rhythms and enough catchy for being accepted by non-jazz listeners. Sax player Nubya Garcia delivers solos Pharoah himself would be proud of(soon after she will leave starting extremely successful solo career) and participation of electric guitarist Shirley Tetteh injects true blood to this beautiful musical body.

Maisha will release their full-size debut album in 2018 on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recordings with wider distribution and stronger support but everyone interested in best new London's jazz could be interested in listening to their first release - this small album is worth to be heard.

ERNIE WATTS Ernie Watts Quartet : Home Light

Album · 2018 · Hard Bop
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kev rowland
Double Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Ernie Watts is back with the latest album with his quartet, which has had the same line-up of Christof Saenger (piano), Rudi Engel (bass) and Heinrich Koebberling (drums) since 2011’s ‘Oasis’, although Watts originally formed the quartet in 2004. But his own history goes back much farther than that, as he originally won a won a Downbeat Scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. While he was there, Gene Quill quit Buddy Rich's Big Band, and trombonist Phil Wilson (a professor at Berklee), was asked to recommend a student as temporary replacement. A young Ernie Watts was referred, and “temporarily” stayed with Rich from 1966-1968 and toured the world, and since then has been a professional musician who works in popular music (Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan etc.), TV and film (“Ghostbusters” among literally hundreds of others), but whose first love is jazz, ever since he was blown away by Coltrane on what was then the brand-new Miles Davis album ‘Kind of Blue’.

When someone has been playing music for as many years as Watts, it is of course no surprise that he has an amazing tone, and when four top musicians have been together for this long, they all know each other incredibly well and bounce ideas off each other with panache. Watts’ sax is often the lead melody instrument, but not always, and the feeling is that this really is a band as opposed to one person with a bunch of supporters behind him. It is fresh, it is exciting, powerful, uplifting music which also includes a sense of fun and joy. It is bright, full of life and light: the sun breaking through on the horizon is a perfectly apt photo for the cover as it ties in directly with this. The band work through different styles from bebop and gospel through to the likes of swing, always with aplomb, care and direction. Watts will even sit back out of the music for complete sections to allow the others to take the lead, knowing he doesn’t always have to be in the thick of it for magic to happen. Ian Patterson at All About Jazz has been quoted as saying about Watts “Not just at the top of his game, but at the top of THE game”, and here is yet another example of why that is the case.

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.

Artists with Modern Jazz release(s)