Jazz Related Improv/Composition

Jazz music community with review and forums

The art of improvisation in music did not begin with jazz, but the appearance of jazz in the early 20th century has certainly heightened the popularity of improvisation in all styles of contemporary music.

The artists featured in JMA's Jazz Related Improvisation genre play improvised music that has strong similarities to jazz, especially avant-garde jazz. The boundary between the Jazz Related Improvisation genre and the Avant-Garde Jazz and Fusion genres may not always be clear, but generally the JMA Avant-Garde jazz artist comes from a jazz background, while the Jazz Related Improviser may come from a more eclectic background. Also, the artists listed in this genre may include groups that mix jazz artists with other experimental artists.

jazz related improv/composition top albums

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CLAUDIO MILANO Il gioco del silenzio (as NichelOdeon) Album Cover Il gioco del silenzio (as NichelOdeon)
CLAUDIO MILANO
4.95 | 2 ratings
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SUPERSILENT 5 Album Cover 5
SUPERSILENT
4.67 | 3 ratings
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BACK DOOR Back Door Album Cover Back Door
BACK DOOR
4.44 | 7 ratings
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THINKING PLAGUE In Extremis Album Cover In Extremis
THINKING PLAGUE
4.50 | 2 ratings
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MARC RIBOT Spiritual Unity Album Cover Spiritual Unity
MARC RIBOT
4.20 | 5 ratings
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BOBBY PREVITE The 23 Constellations of Joan Miró Album Cover The 23 Constellations of Joan Miró
BOBBY PREVITE
4.25 | 2 ratings
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FRED FRITH Speechless Album Cover Speechless
FRED FRITH
4.08 | 6 ratings
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MARC RIBOT Asmodeus: Book of Angels, Volume 7 Album Cover Asmodeus: Book of Angels, Volume 7
MARC RIBOT
4.06 | 6 ratings
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RADIATA 5TET Aurelia Aurita Album Cover Aurelia Aurita
RADIATA 5TET
4.09 | 4 ratings
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CLAUDIO MILANO Adython (with Erna Franssens) Album Cover Adython (with Erna Franssens)
CLAUDIO MILANO
4.00 | 5 ratings
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FRED FRITH Gravity Album Cover Gravity
FRED FRITH
3.98 | 6 ratings
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LAST EXIT Köln Album Cover Köln
LAST EXIT
4.00 | 3 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

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jazz related improv/composition Music Reviews

ROBERT FRIPP (No Pussyfooting) (with Eno)

Album · 1973 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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js
Robert Fripp and Brian Eno’s “No Pussyfooting” will probably be regarded as a ground breaking recording in the long run of music history, but it was barely noticed when it came out in the mid-70s. In fact, I would imagine that many who bought this back then were pretty disappointed in what they had just purchased. Both artists at the time were enjoying successful art rock careers and I am sure many were looking for a cross between Fripp’s King Crimson and Eno’s Roxy Music, only to find that their collaborative effort sounded nothing like either of those bands. This album is not the first ambient album, but it is one of the first to be marketed toward a rock/pop audience, and as such it broke all sorts of new ground that both artists would go on to enjoy as ambient music continued to be a big part of their careers, as well as the careers of the thousands of artists that they inspired. Ever since the mid-90s electronica boom, ambient music has become a very popular genre, and you can trace the roots of that popularity right back to Fripp and Eno.

Side one opens with an F# drone that Fripp solos over in a raga like style in the Dorian minor mode. His solos are given infinite sustain via Eno’s tape loop methods. Once again, Eno was not the first person to use tape loops like this, but possibly the first to use them in this sort of Hendrix meets Shankar psychedelic sound that would eventually attract the more experimental side of the rock world. Side two uses a busier backdrop via Eno’s VCS3 synthesizer as Fripp solos in E Ionian, Mixolydian and Lydian modes before finally fading out. Fortunately Robert is a very talented soloist who has no problem constructing an interesting narrative over a drone like background, otherwise, this album could have been a real snooze-fest.

Given the long history of ambient music at this point, this album does not sound particularly unusual anymore, but back in the day many of us were watching the record spin around for the first time and wondering when was the drum beat going to kick in, ha. It never kicks in. Welcome to your brave new ambient future.

YUJI MUTO & MAKO KIMATA Fission

Live album · 2020 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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DamoXt7942
"Fission" was released in May 2020 as the second shot of Yuji's improvisation series, in collaboration with a female metalcore drummer Mako KIMATA. Each of them has already been renowned as a session musician in other metal / jazz / avantgarde units as you know, and you have definitely been looking forward to such a instrumental battle between the two talented artists. Wondering where two eccentric originality would go ... if they could be united or not. An everlasting amazement will end up with this brilliant stuff.

The first track "Killer Hornet" kicks you away from the real world, along with Yuji's deep, heavy, explosive but sincere, polite guitar play and Mako's eccentric, complicated, strict drumming. An improvised magnificence is perfectly concordant with another play. Let me say at first, this superb session was live upon stage, actually. "Killer Hornet 2" gets more impressive and innovative. The middle part full of melodic cores and dramatic drumming is kinda killer. You can easily suppose such a powerful, complex stuff could not be played at one stretch without breathing.

On the contrary, the second one "Fission Improvisation" gets started with Yuji's quiet, gentle, but eccentric guitar phrases. Sounds like his guitar might give a speak to the audience in front of him, and Mako's drumming be supportive of Yuji's attempt to be a poet, especially the former part of this track. However, the latter stage is crazy ectopic and dissected. Their excessive play reminds you slightly of Behold ... The Arctopus, in spite of the fact they are only two.

In "A World Inside A Dew Drop" Mako's percussion play fills your brain with percussive dew drops. A gorgeous, beautiful tune really ... happy to imagine the audience listened to this one with tremendous emotion. The last "20-6", that I don't know the real meaning of, is quite relaxing. Apparent is such an expression the two instrumental atmosphere got merged and crystallized completely. You can feel aftereffects of comfort, after being knocked out by their bombastic plays.

An evaluation for improvisational creations should owe a lot to how technical and completely harmonized. In this sense, their works are great indeed. On the other hand, quite difficult to find and get to so-called sound innovation via such material. All the same, this album is fantastic.

JASON HARNELL Total Harnage

Album · 2019 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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js
Jason Harnell is a top notch jazz session drummer who has worked with big names such as Dave Douglas, Maynard Ferguson, Larry Goldings, Alan Pasqua and many more. “Total Harnage” is his first and only solo release and finds him playing selections from the drum solo show he performs at the Oyster House Saloon in Studio City Ca. Jason doesn’t just play the drums, but instead acts as a one man band by singing and utilizing electronics, loops, samples and apps to accompany his compositions. Essentially what we have here are oddly orchestrated drum solos, each with a totally different sound and approach. When I mention ‘drum solos”, don’t picture the thunder and flash of the Billy Cobham and Neil Peart crowd, instead, Jason is a subtle “thinking man’s” drummer and is more similar to masters of abstraction such as Eddie Blackwell, Paul Motian, Chico Hamilton and Max Roach. There is also a lot of Africa and India in Jason’s percussive excursions. Although there are many different tracks on here, they all seem to flow together, connected by Jason’s rambling rhythms.

It does not matter how much avant-garde music you have listened to, you have never heard anything like “Total Harnage”, not because it is particularly difficult or dissonant, in fact when Jason sings “When Your Smiling” to sparse drum accompaniment, it just sounds like an old radio broadcast, only a little off kilter when it ends with the sound of a Pac Man session closing down. Jason isn’t just off the beaten path on here, this album is it’s own path by itself. This LP should have special appeal to fellow drummers, in fact much of this reminds me of drummer comedian, Fred Armisen, who has entire comedy routines best appreciated by other drummers and pro musicians who have to deal with that one guy in the band ‘who really isn’t a musician’. Some highlights on here include Jason drumming along with Glenn Gould performing a Bach prelude, and another cut that has him adding percussion to Quint the Shark Hunter’s ‘bad fish’ speech from the movie “Jaws”. Harnell also performs George Crumb’s “The Magic Circle of Infinity”, as well as some ambient trance compositions of his own.

“Total Harnage” is a very non-cliché listen that has grown on me as I hear more, and many of these tracks would work great as change ups in a radio show or mix tape of unique music.

YUJI MUTO & MIEKO SAKAI Reflection

EP · 2019 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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DamoXt7942
You cannot avoid Yuji's phantasmagoric guitar expression and Mieko's drumming in a full-minded manner. This newest call titled "Reflection" created by a super duo Yuji and Mieko was performed and recorded upon stage via an improvised gig. Quite amazing to know the reason the two brilliant artists can get perfectly harmonized and crystallized under such an improvisational situation, and you can realize each player should completely understand the other one, simultaneously tense atmosphere at a gig, in collaboration with the enthusiastic audience.

The first titled track is kinda great touch. Slow, gentle guitar stream in the beginning gives you massive expectation. Percussive, dramatic, and sometimes assertive drumming drives you crazy. Their synchronized battle of play sounds like a dragon flying up to the heaven. Through the second "Desert Yellow" you can hear sorta tough circumstance upon a desert along Yuji's crazy heavy guitar explosions, and something shining via Mieko's strict but heartwarming drumming and percussion play. Colourful sound diversity can be noticed, according to Yuji's guitar sounds inspired by rock, jazz, metal, and so on.

The last and the longest one "The Beginning" can be recognized as one of the most primitive improvisational chasing for the duo. Here is definite flexibility-flooded sound appearance. Speedy, fire-flamed musical crosstalks, dramatic phases like a moonshine, deep, heavy interactive performances will remind you of Eiliff's "Close Encounters With Their Third One". Musically "alternative" should be here for them, let me say. But at the same time simply enjoyable. It's a pity I could not attend their fantastic gig ... wish I could have peered and contemplated their super-artistic play.

And let me say too ... the sleeve is quite fantastic too!

ANDREA MORELLI Andrea Morelli & Silvia Belfiore : Black Lands A Tribute To Africa

Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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paperoga58
Take a classical and heterodox pianist, author of singular research on African cultured music, with a curriculum of over five hundred concerts and about fifteen discs in the studio and live. Add an imaginative and evocative saxophonist of equally long course with a lasting interest in modal jazz of African-American character. You will have in your hands Black Lands: A Tribute to Africa, disc entirely designed, made and produced in Sardinia, released last June of this 2018. Silvia Belfiore at the piano and Andrea Morelli at the winds deliver a beautiful and unusual record, very far from a long theory of jazz productions of great technical and compositional qualities but with reiterated and commercially reliable contents. We were talking about cultured African music, that is of music intentionally left in writing by contemporary composers of the continent. Works that find their roots in the oral and musical traditions otherwise not noted, exempt from aesthetic extemporaneousness and related to specific ritual and social circumstances of work, nomadism, marriage, death. The field research and the interpretations of Silvia Belfiore therefore go to compose the entire structure of absolute formal and executive rigor on which Andrea Morelli inserts his infinite melodic textures of improvisations and steps of scale.

The genesis of the title attributed to the album is passed by a denotative Mysterious Adventure to a more representative Black Landscapes, finally arriving at the now known Black Lands. And of purely black territories it is in fact, without the possibility of misunderstanding with western artistic interference except for the mere coming from Belfiore and Morelli from the island of Sardinia. An amazing work of a strongly identity nature, Black Lands consists of ten pieces executed at high level without interruption, qualified by an intense rhythmic component that finds its apex in the splendid Ukom on scores for talking drums by Nigerian Joshua Uzoigwe and in rhythms chasing broken Herero Wedding Dance on music by the Ghanese Fred Onovwerosuoke. In the album there are also three tributes: to Duke Ellington (Fleurette Africaine) to Abdullah Ibrahim (The Wedding) and John Cage (Mysterious Adventure), with the intimate final cameo of Andrea Morelli dedicated to Asmara, his city of choice and frequent returns, to close this latest production unexpected and of great value. Vanni Boni

Prendete una pianista classica e eterodossa, autrice di singolari ricerche sulla musica colta africana, con un curriculum di oltre cinquecento concerti e una quindicina tra dischi in studio e dal vivo. Aggiungete un sassofonista immaginifico e evocativo d’altrettanto lungo corso con un duraturo interesse per il jazz modale di impronta afro-americana. Avrete tra le mani Black Lands: A Tribute to Africa, disco interamente pensato, realizzato e prodotto in Sardegna, uscito lo scorso mese di giugno di questo 2018. Silvia Belfiore al pianoforte e Andrea Morelli ai fiati consegnano un disco bellissimo e inusuale, ben discosto da una lunga teoria di produzioni jazzistiche di grandi qualità tecniche e compositive ma dai contenuti reiterati e commercialmente affidabili. Dicevamo di musica africana colta, ossia di musica lasciata volutamente in forma scritta da compositori contemporanei del continente. Opere che trovano le proprie radici nelle tradizioni orali e musicali altrimenti non annotate, esenti da estemporaneità estetizzanti e correlate a specifiche circostanze rituali e sociali di lavoro, nomadismo, matrimonio, morte. Le ricerche sul campo e le interpretazioni di Silvia Belfiore vanno dunque a comporre l’intera struttura di assoluto rigore formale e esecutivo sulla quale Andrea Morelli inserisce le proprie infinite trame melodiche di improvvisazioni e salti di scala.

La genesi del titolo attribuito al disco è transitata da un denotativo Mysterious Adventure a un più rappresentativo Black Landscapes, approdando infine al Black Lands ora conosciuto. E di territori puramente neri infatti si tratta, senza possibilità di equivoco con interferenze artistiche occidentali eccezion fatta per il mero provenire di Belfiore e Morelli dall’isola di Sardegna. Opera sorprendente, di natura fortemente identitaria, Black Lands è costituito da dieci pezzi eseguiti ad elevato livello senza soluzione di continuità, qualificati da un’intensa componente ritmica che trova il suo apice nello splendido Ukom su partiture per talking drums del nigeriano Joshua Uzoigwe e nei ritmi a inseguirsi spezzati di Herero Wedding Dance su musiche del ghanese Fred Onovwerosuoke. Nel disco anche tre omaggi: a Duke Ellington (Fleurette Africaine) ad Abdullah Ibrahim (The Wedding) e John Cage (Mysterious Adventure), con l’intimo cameo finale di Andrea Morelli dedicato ad Asmara, sua città di elezione e di frequenti ritorni, a chiudere questa recentissima produzione inattesa e di gran pregio. Vanni Boni

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Artists with Jazz Related Improv/Composition release(s)

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