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Favorite Jazz Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

884 reviews/ratings
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - The Louis Armstrong Story, Volume I: Louis Armstrong And His Hot Five Classic (1920s) Jazz | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Agharta Fusion | review permalink
EARTH WIND & FIRE - Gratitude RnB | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Speak Like a Child Post Bop | review permalink
FRANK ZAPPA - One Size Fits All (as Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention) Jazz Related Rock | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Crossings Fusion | review permalink
PARLIAMENT - Mothership Connection Funk | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - Thrust Funk Jazz | review permalink
SUN RA - Angels and Demons at Play Progressive Big Band | review permalink
SUN RA - Sun Ra And His Astro Infinity Arkestra : Atlantis Avant-Garde Jazz | review permalink
SANTANA - Santana Latin Rock/Soul | review permalink
FUNKADELIC - America Eats Its Young Funk | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Live At The Fillmore East Fusion | review permalink
HERBIE HANCOCK - V.S.O.P. Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Get Up With It Fusion | review permalink
JIMI HENDRIX - Electric Ladyland (Jimi Hendrix Experience) Jazz Related Rock
MILES DAVIS - Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Nefertiti Post Bop | review permalink
MILES DAVIS - Big Fun Fusion | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Jazz Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Fusion 115 3.67
2 Avant-Garde Jazz 69 3.91
3 Post Bop 57 4.10
4 Hard Bop 56 3.83
5 Soul Jazz 48 3.42
6 World Fusion 41 3.61
7 Big Band 40 3.83
8 Eclectic Fusion 40 3.73
9 RnB 37 3.61
10 Jazz Related Rock 32 3.75
11 Progressive Big Band 28 4.02
12 Nu Jazz 28 3.45
13 Bop 28 4.04
14 Funk Jazz 27 3.56
15 Pop/Art Song/Folk 23 2.80
16 Third Stream 22 3.89
17 Funk 21 3.90
18 Exotica 18 3.42
19 Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 18 3.39
20 Latin Jazz 15 3.80
21 Post-Fusion Contemporary 13 3.46
22 Cool Jazz 13 3.69
23 Dub/Ska/Reggae 13 4.04
24 Vocal Jazz 12 3.54
25 Jazz Related Soundtracks 11 3.91
26 Jazz Related Improv/Composition 10 3.40
27 Blues 10 3.80
28 21st Century Modern 10 4.20
29 Swing 8 4.00
30 Latin Rock/Soul 6 3.75
31 African Fusion 5 4.00
32 Acid Jazz 4 3.50
33 Classic (1920s) Jazz 2 4.50
34 Dixieland 1 3.50
35 Afro-Cuban Jazz 1 4.50
36 Bossa Nova 1 3.50
37 Jazz Education 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

DAVE LIEBMAN Light'n Up, Please!

Album · 1977 · Funk Jazz
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Dave Liebman is probably one of the top saxophonists to come out of the 70s scene. He has played with greats including Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, Miles Davis and so many more, but even the greats have an off day, and for Liebman that would be this album, “Light’n Up Please”. Its not a terrible album, but far from a great one for sure. Initial problems occur just looking at the cover. Who does a photo op in the back of a Ford Pinto? Not only was it a complete crap car, but if someone had struck the car‘s infamous backside, Dave and his lovely missus would have surely gone up in flames. Then on the back cover you get a sticker telling you that the track listing on the album back cover is incorrect and you are to read the record label to get the correct listing. We haven’t even placed the album on a turntable and we are already off to a bad start, ha.

Apparently “Light’n Up” was Dave’s shot at funk jazz, a hugely popular style at that time, but this just isn’t Dave’s forte. He even enlisted JBs member Pee Wee Ellis to help out, but it didn’t work. To the novice this album may sound okay, but just play it back to back against the JBs, the Meters or the Headhunters and you will hear that something is just not quite right. Part of the problem is in the rhythm section. The cuts that feature Tony Saunders on bass and Jimmy Strassburg on drums are the better ones, but the ones that feature Jeff Berlin on bass and Al Foster on drums suffer. Jeff is a good prog and fusion bassist and Al is top notch in post bop and fusion, but as a funk team, they just don’t lock with each other, and Dave doesn’t lock with them either. Dave plays his usual flowing post bop lines instead of the short punchy riffs that make funk work. I’m reminded on Monk’s famous advice to Steve Lacy, ‘make the drummer sound good’.

Dave’s song writing on here is not great either, for supposedly being funk tunes, a lot of the music is just clumsy. One of the better cuts, “Chicken Soup” is just a straight up rip off of Maceo’s “The Chicken”, yet Dave puts his name on the song writing credits. The best song on the album, “Tranquility of the Protective Aura” is the only song not written by Liebman, instead it was penned by keyboardist Harold Williams and it is a luxurious piece of Ravelish exotica. Once again, this isn’t a really terrible album , but if you really love good funk music, you will hear the weaknesses pretty quickly.

SUN RA Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra : Secrets of the Sun

Album · 1965 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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It is so nice that you can go in record stores now and get classic Sun Ra records in brand new condition. “Secrets of the Sun” originally came out in 1965, but it has been recently re-issued and is available at better record stores today. The cover credits this album to Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra, but actually this is one of those Sun Ra small group albums, which are often special and unique. If you are familiar with “Angels and Demons at Play” and “Night of the Purple Moon”, then you are familiar with some of Sonny’s small group albums, but unfortunately, “Secrets” is not quite as good as those two masterpieces, but its not bad either. Like all 60s Sun Ra albums, the recording quality is not great, the piano is out of tune, and the mixing is just bizarre, but all these things are standard trademarks of classic Sun Ra.

The first two tracks on side one feature somewhat laid back semi-free jazz played over vague rhythmic ostinatos, with performers wandering in and out of the mix. Ahrt Jnkens (possible fake name) plays the ‘space voice’, which sounds like someone vocalizing through a horn and changing the sound with a plunger. It sounds like Ellington’s horns on acid and downers. It’s a little bit annoying but seems to fit in with the vibe okay. Closing track, “Space Aura”, is the closest thing to a real jazz song on here as the combo hits an off-kilter hard bop groove while Pat Patrick, John Gilmore and Marshall Allen turn in solos.

Moving on to side two, on “Love in Outer Space”, Marshall Allen solos on the ’morrow’, which sounds a lot like a bass clarinet, while accompanied by somewhat faint and distant percussion. “Reflects Motion” is the closest track to sounding like classic 60s free jazz, with John Gilmore and crew sounding similar to what Archie Shepp was doing during this time period, but of course it was Archie who learned all this from John in the first place. This track has a bizarre opening as Gilmore and Marshall Allen play a fast and lengthy unison line that sounds like a cross between be-bop and an atonal tone-row concoction. Throughout this album Sun Ra focuses his piano solos on playing dense block chords in interesting rhythmic juxtapositions. It is somewhat similar to things Dave Brubeck would try, but Dave sounds so square and forced compared to what comes to Sonny with ease. “Secrets” is a good album for Ra fans, its just unique enough to add another facet to the Sun Ra legacy. it’s an interesting album, but not a great one.

GEIR SUNDSTØL The Studio Intim Sessions vol. 1

EP · 2022 · Dub/Ska/Reggae
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Every now and then you come across an album on which every note is so perfectly placed that it sparkles like a rare gem. Such is the case with Geir Sandstol’s “The Studio Sessions Volume 1”. Geiris is a very popular session musicians who specializes in a variety of string instruments such as guitar, dobro, pedal steel, banjo and the Indian Shankar guitar. He occasionally releases solo albums which are usually sparse ambient affairs that reflect the wide open spaces of Norway, but his new album reveals something entirely different, dub reggae from Jamaica. The Nordic guitar work is still there, but everything is backed with very well played dub riddims.

This music is attractively somber and melancholic, often reminding one of early Bill Laswell albums such as “Hear No Evil” and “Hallucination Engine”, and also Ry Cooder’s sparse slide guitar work for the “Paris Texas” soundtrack. This is music for reflection that reaches deep into your soul. Every track is thoughtful and essential, there are no wasted moments on here. Album opener, “Gem”, features the purest dub, while other tracks are closer to dub fusion similar to the work of Laswell again, and Jah Wobble. The Indian Shankar guitar blends with the pedal steel guitar providing nice tone colors on “Dogg”. On “Snik”, Geir plays the stringed harp producing an exotica styled melody. Sampled choir gives album closer, “Whole” a spiritual impact. The top track though may be “C’est Vide en Ville”, on which Middle eastern melodies alternate with a folk melody sung in French. Throughout the entire album the expected dub style ambient breaks and psychedelic effects add to the soundscapes.

TRITONE ASYLUM The Hideaway Sessions

Album · 2022 · Fusion
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I’m not really sure how the band Tritone Asylum got their name. The tri tone is the name of the most dissonant harmony in western music. When I first heard this band name, I expected some severe avant-garde jazz of the blaring horns variety, but instead, the Asylum performs fusion that is energetic and creative, but also quite often ‘radio friendly’. This is a Los Angeles based collective led by Phil Topping and Peter Sepsis. Peter plays the bass and Phil, who was originally a trumpet player, had to switch to EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) because of an injury to his lip. They cite Herbie Hancock, Eddie Harris, The Brecker Brothers and Pat Metheny as influences. The performers on here are top notch, and the songs are often good too, although there are some that are better than others.

“Grasshopper”, one of the best tracks, leads things off with an ear candy melody voiced with double tracked trumpets that recall Herb Alpert, and that is a complement. There are two ballads on the album, the best of which is “The Road to Hue”, on which flute and electronic instruments blend for a nice pastoral effect. “Malawi” features Baba Sissoko, from Mali, on vocals and percussion. The song’s syncopated rhythm brings out the best in the soloists, particularly pianist Mitch Forman who builds an almost orchestral solo on top of the rhythmic foundation. The best cut for jamming is the live, “Simple”, featuring Ian Vo’s swinging tenor sax and the searing electric guitar of Andy Waddell. These are all good points, on the down side there are a couple tracks that just don’t seem to elevate as well. The EVI, (not to be confused with EVO), may be an acquired taste for some. At best, it sounds like a keyboard synthesizer, at worst it seems to have a wobbly intonation and a very wide track vibrato at times. Overall though, this is a solid fusion album that features some very top notch soloists

JOHNNY GRIFFIN The Little Giant

Album · 1959 · Hard Bop
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Johnny Griffin is a power house tenor player that deserves more recognition, but really, almost any great sax player who is not Coltrane or Charlie Parker could use a little more props. Johnny’s album, “The Little Giant”, came out in 1959, right in the middle of that mid 50s to mid 60s period in jazz when all the recordings sounded great and so many musicians were at a creative peak. Joining Griffin on here is an all-star cast, including a very young trombonist, Julian Priester. Julian will go on to perform avant-garde jazz with Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock’s electronic sextet and also some very out there combos of his own, so its interesting to hear him playing swinging solos in a hard bop context. The three man horn line is completed with Blue Mitchell on trumpet, giving the group an almost big band sound at times.

The three songs written by Norman Simmons make the most of this horn ensemble with complicated arrangements that often imitate big bands in their call and response between horn sections, and between soloist and ensemble. His, “Olive Refractions”, opens the album with high speed bop and the best arrangement on the album. Other tracks include Babs Gonzazlez’s, “Lonely One”, an exotic number that has Griffin playing a melody over tympani like tom toms before moving into a high speed free modal jam. “Playmates”, by Saxie Dowell is an odd choice with its bright major key contrasting with all the minor blues on this album. The song sounds like a cross between early New Orleans jazz and a TV beer commercial, but its sunny flavor does make for an interesting contrast. Griffin penned “63rd Street Theme”, a noire blues that would work great as a ‘crime jazz’ soundtrack.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 day ago in 2021 3rd Stream and Chamber Jazz Albums
    Contemporary chamber jazz with Giovanni Falzone:https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kNmcuXRDyCRSh76mHpSnMzymjM_UIxkKc snobb2022-12-03 12:37:18
  • Posted 2 days ago in Jazzy tracks from unexpected sources
    Glen Campbell is mostly known for his 70s pop songs, and his fisticuffs with law officers, but he is also one hell of a jazz guitarist.[TUBE]S4PEf7yYCZE[/TUBE]
  • Posted 4 days ago in 2019 World Fusion & World Beat albums
    Gokhan Surer Quartet     "Chimera"https://rocafortrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chimera-ep snobb2022-12-01 05:10:23

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Warthur wrote:
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Hey dude,

You've banned me from the forums but I can still access the review submission system and site interactions.

If that is intentional then fair enough but if not I thought it'd only be honest to give you a heads up.

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more than 2 years ago
js - please clear some space in your PM inbox, I'm trying to send you something.

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