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1014 reviews/ratings
MILES DAVIS - Bitches Brew Fusion
MILES DAVIS - Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time Fusion
ALICE COLTRANE - Ptah, the El Daoud Avant-Garde Jazz
JOHN COLTRANE - Ascension Avant-Garde Jazz
ARCHIE SHEPP - Four for Trane Avant-Garde Jazz
ORNETTE COLEMAN - Tomorrow Is the Question! Post Bop
ARCHIE SHEPP - Mama Too Tight Avant-Garde Jazz
DAVE HOLLAND - David Holland Quartet ‎: Conference Of The Birds Avant-Garde Jazz
SUN RA - Sun Ra And His Astro Infinity Arkestra : Atlantis Avant-Garde Jazz
MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD - Radiolarians I Eclectic Fusion
MILES DAVIS - Birth of the Cool Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS - Bags' Groove Bop
MILES DAVIS - Cookin' With the Miles Davis Quintet Hard Bop
MILES DAVIS - 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis) Hard Bop
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis + 19 - Orchestra Under The Direction Of Gil Evans : Miles Ahead Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS - Milestones Hard Bop
MILES DAVIS - Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS - Sketches of Spain Third Stream
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles Post Bop

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Bop 220 4.43
2 Fusion 164 4.31
3 Post Bop 141 4.35
4 Avant-Garde Jazz 104 4.69
5 Pop/Art Song/Folk 57 2.81
6 Soul Jazz 44 4.51
7 Progressive Big Band 33 4.64
8 Latin Jazz 30 4.12
9 Big Band 28 4.75
10 Jazz Related Rock 27 4.44
11 Exotica 20 4.80
12 Funk Jazz 15 4.53
13 Third Stream 15 3.73
14 World Fusion 14 3.54
15 RnB 13 4.23
16 Post-Fusion Contemporary 12 2.58
17 Jazz Related Soundtracks 11 4.86
18 Blues 10 4.20
19 Cool Jazz 9 4.61
20 Bop 8 4.69
21 Latin Rock/Soul 7 4.71
22 Funk 6 5.00
23 Eclectic Fusion 5 4.80
24 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 5 3.20
25 Bossa Nova 4 3.50
26 Nu Jazz 4 3.75
27 Vocal Jazz 2 4.75
28 Dub/Ska/Reggae 2 5.00
29 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2 5.00
30 21st Century Modern 1 4.50
31 Acid Jazz 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

BUDDY RICH Mercy, Mercy

Live album · 1968 · Big Band
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Most Critics would agree with me, This Recording, live from Caesar's Palace, was probably the peak of Buddy Rich's career, Certainly the peak of his late 60's Big Band. All the Charts for this fantastic performance are spectacular, With the Bill Reddie arranged Chanel 1 suite being the zenith of this Cookin' Big Band. Only West Side Story from the album Swingin' New Big Band Is possibly it's Equal. I always liked "Goodbye Yesterday" as well, The bonus tracks added to the remastered CD are also all worthy listens, With The Theme from Mr. Lucky being of most interest, also you might want to checkout the Sammy Davis Jr. album, "The sounds of 66'" With The Big Band backing him up, one of his best singing performances I think. I would have loved to had been in the audience that night in Vegas, I can only imagine how vibrant and exciting this music sounded as it was being played live.

CECIL TAYLOR Unit Structures

Album · 1966 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Cecil Taylor, you love his music or you hate it, fortunately for me, right from the beginning I dug this guys music, and 13 years plus into my modern jazz journey he still is one of the few Pianists that I really can stomach in a solo setting, Keith Jarrett really the only other one, this guy plays the piano like the drums, heavily percussive and full of ideas, this mans genus is great, Now, if you don't subscribe to the Marsalis theory, of this type of music being "self indulgent bull s#@t" then you are in the know, and likely already dig it.

Unit Structures, released in 1966 on Blue Note Records is part of a pair of mid 60's Blue Note masterpieces by Taylor, the other being Conquistador, Unit structures and much of Taylor's music is really "chamber jazz", and always feels like third stream music, classical avant garde at least. This album is an absolute classic of avant garde music, Not a whole lot of swing here, but to me, it does mean a thing, this music demands your attention, sure a few hints of classic jazz show up, especially in Jimmy Lyons alto and Ken McIntire's Tenor tone, the 2 basses of Henry Grimes and Alan Silva add quite a bit of color, not much in the pocket walking for sure, but they play as if they are lead instruments at times, it's an interesting listen, Taylor really holds my interest, with his different moods and that percussive attack, the music has a lot of peaks and valleys, plenty of the free wheeling blowing and seemingly all over the place piano, but the mood shifts remind me of some Hitchcock movie theme at times, the build up the tension and then crash it home, these are well composed and performed compositions. Is this Jazz? maybe 2%, but this is 98% something else, and that something is breathtaking to me.

I love the ominous bass clarinet of Ken McIntire on the title track, this composition starts of slow then builds into a free for all, with Taylor going insane, McIntire is really doing the job, Lyons over blows to glory on his alto, it's really hard to describe this music, you must hear it for yourself, but be warned, if you are someone who rather prefers, safe and swinging jazz, and I like that too, this is not for you, or the faint of heart.

ROVA Orkestrova – Electric Ascension

Album · 2005 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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Rova's take on John Coltrane's Ascension, the second go around for Rova, The first time they did it straight in 1996, and fairly faithful to the original, This time they turn it upside down and inside out in a live setting, tripling the number of collaborators and this time adding electricity, the Musicians include, Rhythm & Noise: Chris Brown: electronics; Nels Cline: electric guitar; Fred Frith: electric bass; Ikue Mori: drum machines, sampler; Donald Robinson: drums; Otomo Yoshihide: turntables, electronics. Strings: Carla Kihlstedt: violin and effects; Jenny Scheinman: violin. Rova::saxophones: Bruce Ackley: soprano saxophone; Steve Adams: alto saxophone; Larry Ochs: tenor saxophone; Jon Raskin: baritone saxophone.

There is a lot going on here, the Ascension theme is stated and it does sort of fall in line with the original, but to be honest, I find this more interesting than the Coltrane original, The strings and electronic touches seem natural for the music, the bass is also much more present on this, a product of 21st century technology as well, the instruments all ring clear and can be picked pick out with out much trouble. One interesting thing is guitarist Nels Cline, his freakout guitar adds a lot to the performance, Amazing how he seems right at home, I understand he did a duet album from 1999 covering Coltrane's Interstellar Space, I need to hear that I think, I hear a lot of structure and melody within Electric Ascension, which is a good thing, the electronics and samples are also all over the map, big Stockhausen vibe throughout, unlike Coltrane's Ascension, there is some breathing room employed, a quiet section with the samples going, then Fred Firth's Bass comes in to accent the mood, I believe at this time dual Violins enter into the music, I find the whole thing very interesting, It's free jazz for sure, and demands a very open mind to get anything out of this, for my way of thinking, I believe this has more in common with Stockhausen or Third Stream Music than Coltrane, if you have heard some of George Russell's early 70's albums, with Terje Rypdal, that would be a good reference point I think.

If you like Ascension or like free jazz you should enjoy this reworking, if you don't like free jazz or the avant garde, go elsewhere.

BOBBI HUMPHREY Blacks and Blues

Album · 1974 · Funk Jazz
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If ever there was an album for driving around with the top down on a hot summer night, Blacks and Blues is it. I can see no flaws in the music what so ever, if you take it for what it is, a Contemporary jazz funk album, The music just feels urban, it feels like a party in the heart NYC.

It can not be overlooked the contribution of the Brothers Mizell, Larry and Fonce, with all the compositions and arrangements from the pair, Bobbi Humphrey has a nice voice on flute, obviously this album is a studio creation, with many session players, but unlike The Donald Byrd Mizell brothers produced albums like Black Byrd, Bobbi gets quite a bit of solo space, and the album feels more like hers than some of those other albums did, she really stretches out in the R&B; setting, this music is not really jazz, and that's ok, it's roots are still in the Blues, and any music that is that, is OK by me, The synth work is quite good, and never gets tasteless as some funk can get, but it's not so safe that I would want to fall asleep, Bobbi also sings 2 ballads "Just a Love Child" and "Baby's Gone", her first on record, you would never confuse her for Aretha Franklin, that for sure, but her light voice is a nice rest from the harder groovers.

"Harlem River Drive" and "Chicago Damn" are the ringers on Blacks and Blues, they are easily, "stone funk classics", with fantastic stock back ground singing by the Mizell brothers. The overall mood of the album is just so positive and absorbing, I can't find anything wrong with it.

ANDREW HILL Mosaic Select 16

Album · 2005 · Post Bop
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Mosaic Select #16 Andrew Hill, is easily one of the best of the select series of reasonably priced 3CD sets that the company has put out in the last 10 years, The sets focus on obscure or neglected artists, and Mosaic produces these sets limited to 5000 units, and all their sets can bring 2 or 3 times what the originally sold for, though in recent years the prices have dropped considerably in the secondary market, so if you have your sights on any of the out of print sets, don't wait, if the economy improves, the prices will rise, in fact, I have noticed many of these 3 CD sets selling at original cost to just 25 to 50% above that price.

Many of you may not know, and here is a tip, many of the Mosaic Select issues are available for download at major on line retailers as "The Capital Jazz Vaults Series" including this one, I suspect that is another reason for the bottom falling out of the market on these, If your some one who doesn't need the physical product or the quite good liner notes, discographies and essays, that may be the way to go, I did purchase the Don Pullen set in this format, it cost less than 20 dollars, wow!

Michael Cuscuna, Co founder of Mosaic, contributes the fantastic liner notes, he gives a first hand account of the music, why it laid in the Capitol vaults for 30 plus years, and many thoughts from the late pianist on the music, Liberty Records had bought out Blue note in 1967, and Liberty went a much more commercial direction, therefore artists like hill were on the out side looking in.

Disc 1 is music that reminds me of Point Of departure from 1964 on Blue Note, with the exception of "Diddy Wah" and "Ocho Rios" which bring to mind the Grass Roots session, the last 2 tracks "Monkash" and "Mahogany" and the first 4 tracks on disc 2 "Illusions","Poinsettia", "Fragments" and "Soul Mate" are Quartet performances augmented by a string quartet, these are all interesting, with a few tracks being focused on the string quartet, and a few funkier pieces that seem to not really need the strings, but still an interesting experimentation.

Disc 2, after the 4 string quartet numbers, we have some very interesting trio music from 1967, With Ron Carter on bass and a drummer named Teddy Robinson, he played on Donald Byrd's Chant album, and disappeared into obscurity, This Robinson is no slouch and offers fine support for some very free sounding piano music, very complex, and any Hill fan needs to hear these trio performances, Andrew actually plays some soprano sax on "Six at the Top" and Organ on sections of "Nine at the Bottom" and "Resolution", again, very interesting hearing the the experimentation in the music.

Disc 3 is the main reason to acquire this set in my opinion, both of these sessions from 1967 are stellar, free jazz, but not completely free from melody or structure, very much in the vein of Some of Sam Rivers Mid 60's Blue Notes, in fact it's a shame this music was not released until this set, for both sessions feature Sam Rivers to great affect, The Oct. 1967 session also features Woody Shaw on trumpet and Howard Johnson of Tuba and baritone sax, This music is tight and crisp and definitely lifts the legacy of Andrew Hill, The Feb.1967 session features Rivers again with Robin Kenyatta on alto, and Nadi Qamar playing African Thumb Piano and assorted bells to add some color to the music, unfortunately this session could only be found in the original mono Van Gelder session tapes, no stereo copy could be located, but the sound is still remastered and each instrument is clear, the latter session is a little more laid back than the previous, especially on track 6 "Awake" which reminds me of some of the music on Bobby Hutcherson's Dialogues album with Andrew.

I highly recommend this set, It is now out of print, but can be had a reasonable prices, and that Capitol Jazz Vault Download, Any one who likes advanced hard bop that borders at times on free will enjoy this wildly varied set, this set cleaned out the vaults, with the Passing Ships issue and a few others, every ounce of Hill's music with Blue Note is now available to the public.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in PayPal
    [QUOTE=Matt]What do you all think is a great thing, as is, or if like me you think that they really should have competition. PayPal seem to forget that you are the customer using their process for payment which if one notices they keep changing their rules to suit themselves. Eg, Do you know they only give 45 days for a complaint to be lodged ( Ebay same)  Monopolies [/QUOTE] That 45 day thing can be a real problem too, I once had an order on eBay, 300 worth of merchandise that never arrived, It was insured, anyone who knows anything about USPS insurance claims, they won't even let you file a claim for 30 days in most cases, then if your lucky, you get a first response 2 weeks after that, the guy I purchased from kept begging me to give him time on the USPS claim, but on the 44th day I had to file the claim on PayPal, USPS rejected his claim he said, I got my money back through PayPal, But I was thinking this guy may have been gaming the system some way, holding me off untill that 45 days, I don't know if he really did for sure. but never allow that 45 days to expire no matter what. darkprinceofjazz2012-02-14 08:41:37
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Best Zombie Film
    A zombie thread on a jazz review site? "When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth"Easily for me, 1978's Dawn of the Dead is the quintessential zombie flick, though mightily different in style than 1968's Night of the Living Dead,  Director George A. Romero once described it perfectly, As a Social satirical action adventure romp. Complete with the Off color blood, that adds to the comic book style of the film, also in my opinion, what sets this one apart from the others from the same time period, is the unusually high quality acting from the 4 principle characters, certainly not Oscar caliber of course, but above average in my opinion. Romero was such an under appreciated director as well, is editing style is hap hazard and disjointed at times, but it adds to uneasiness of the mood, especially in the one on one zombie scenes.But for me it is the action adventure angle that does it for me, at times it's like watching a Chuck Norris flick with zombies. Dawn of the Dead has everything I like in an action movie, plus I like the crude gray zombies, and the 100% hand made special effects of Tom Savini,  this low budget nature adds to the charm of these movies, Zombie Movies today have way too much Computer generation for my tastes.I personally do not like Evil Dead, or Shaun of the Dead that much, Shaun of the dead is just too comedic for me.Romero's Day of the Dead is pretty good too, but the acting quality is very mixed.If you get a chance to listen to Romero and Savini discuss the film of the DVD, Do so, the story of the making of the film is classic. 2 hours of commentary. darkprinceofjazz2012-01-03 19:34:08
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in anyone remembers Brass Rock???
    I have a few vinyl copies of Lighthouse and IF, I think they would surely qualify as Brass Rock, IF is the better of the two in my opinion, In fact, IF's first 4 album measure up quite well with Chicago's first 3 or 4.


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