Modern Jazz

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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.83 | 90 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue Album Cover Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS
4.81 | 121 ratings
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BILL EVANS (PIANO) Waltz for Debby Album Cover Waltz for Debby
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
4.93 | 13 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 | 67 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 | 15 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Blue Train Album Cover Blue Train
JOHN COLTRANE
4.74 | 56 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE My Favorite Things Album Cover My Favorite Things
JOHN COLTRANE
4.73 | 48 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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KEITH JARRETT The Köln Concert Album Cover The Köln Concert
KEITH JARRETT
4.73 | 32 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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MILES DAVIS 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis) Album Cover 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis)
MILES DAVIS
4.72 | 38 ratings
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HERBIE HANCOCK Empyrean Isles Album Cover Empyrean Isles
HERBIE HANCOCK
4.75 | 24 ratings
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Joyride
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CASE KÄMÄRÄINEN
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Touching & Blood, Revisited
Boxset / Compilation
PAUL BLEY
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soulpipe
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SOULPIPE
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Disconnections
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FINAL STEP
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Solo 7"s Vol​.​1
EP
YAZZ AHMED
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Listen Live at Sweet Basils
Live album
MARC CARY
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Focus Trio : Well Travelled
Live album
MARC CARY
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Trillium Live in NYC 2000
Live album
MARC CARY
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Japanese Flower
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ISM اسم
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Pray
EP
JOE ARMON-JONES
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Reciprocity
Album
MARIA GRAND
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Zoot Suit Funk
Album
GAYELYNN MCKINNEY
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Towards Language Live at Punkt
Live album
ARVE HENRIKSEN
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Papillon
Album
PAPILLON 5TET
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Pujol
Album
PASAJERO LUMINOSO
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The Jazz All Stars Album Vol​.​1
Album
LE COQ ALL STARS
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Inheritance
Album
ALI BELLO
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Chaos Magick
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JOHN ZORN
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Tu Amor
Album
ANDY JAMES
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Idiom
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ANNA WEBBER
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Second Wave
Album
MERIDIAN ODYSSEY
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The Q Sessions
EP
CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE
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Observe the Silence
Album
GREG LAMY
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Big Funk Band
Album
REDTENBACHER'S FUNKESTRA
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Live at Marigny Studios
Live album
KUMASI
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Benn
Album
HERVÉ SAMB
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Nkwa Na Ehia
Album
PAA KOW
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Broken Shadows
Boxset / Compilation
BROKEN SHADOWS (TIM BERNE - CHRIS SPEED - REID ANDERSON - DAVE KING)
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Cafe Fon Fon
Album
PHILL FEST
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Squirmin
Album
THE JAZZ W.O.R.M.S.
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Sankofa
Album
AMARO FREITAS
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Eight Hands One Mind
Album
DOM MINASI
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Midtown Walk
Album
FRANCESCO V. AMENTA
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Understanding
Live album
ROY BROOKS
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Quartet (Standards) 2020
Live album
ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Fly or Die Live
Live album
JAIMIE BRANCH
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Weavers
Album
MAKIKO HIRABAYASHI
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MOBA
Album
ANGELO MASTRONARDI
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Portraits In jazz - Sunday
Album
CLAUS WAIDTLØW
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Upstream
Album
ALEX SIPIAGIN
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Rio
Album
FLORIAN PELLISSIER QUINTET
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Liberation Time
Album
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
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Dunas - Live In Copenhagen
Live album
ROSA PASSOS
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Distinct Machinery
Live album
FRISQUE CONCORDANCE
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Trio, Quartet & Composer, Revisited
Boxset / Compilation
MIKE TAYLOR
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Sensitive
Live album
HARDCELL (BERNE + TABORN + RAINEY)
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Peace
Album
PERRY SMITH
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Cloudland
Album
LARS DANIELSSON
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Trumpet
Album
WADADA LEO SMITH
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Paul Van Gysegem Quintet : Square Talks
Live album
PAUL VAN GYSEGEM
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Natural Habitat
Album
MICHAEL THOMAS
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Oljelenkjer
Album
KARL SEGLEM
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Sacred Ceremonies
Album
WADADA LEO SMITH
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Tread Lightly
Album
DAG ARNESEN
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Hecatombe
Album
SR. LANGOSTA
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More Music
Album
JOEY DEFRANCESCO
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Sounds from The Ancestors
Album
KENNY GARRETT
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Playfield Vol. 3 : After Life
EP
PLAYFIELD (CARTER MUHR ISHITO PLAKS NAMENWIRTH TAKAHASHI SWANSON PANIKKAR)
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Playfield Vol. 1 : Sonar
EP
PLAYFIELD (CARTER MUHR ISHITO PLAKS NAMENWIRTH TAKAHASHI SWANSON PANIKKAR)
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Playfield Vol. 2 : The Middle
EP
PLAYFIELD (CARTER MUHR ISHITO PLAKS NAMENWIRTH TAKAHASHI SWANSON PANIKKAR)
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3, 5, 8
Album
GUI DUVIGNAU
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(mĭth′rĭ-dā′tĭz′əm) I
Album
PIERO BITTOLO BON
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Purest Form
Album
JAMES FRANCIES
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New Love
Album
CHARNETT MOFFETT
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Just a Glimpse
Album
PHILIPP WISSER
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Barco
Single
ORAN ETKIN
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Natural Information Society with Evan Parker : Descension (Out Of Our Constrictions)
Live album
NATURAL INFORMATION SOCIETY (JOSHUA ABRAMS NATURAL INFORMATION SOCIETY)
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Tree Falls
Album
TAYLOR EIGSTI
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Where the Streets Lead
Album
SLOWLY ROLLING CAMERA
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Rooibos
Album
THE ROOIBOS QUARTET
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Keeper of the Flame
Album
TIM MAYER
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João Donato JID007
Album
JAZZ IS DEAD (YOUNGE & MUHAMMAD)
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Into the Night
Album
ERIC GOLETZ
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Dance
Album
LENI STERN
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Infinite Square Well
Album
AUSTIN LOMAN
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Terrain
Album
PORTICO QUARTET
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Freedom
Album
SLOWFOX
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Nascentia
Album
STEVE SLAGLE
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Solitude : Solo Improvisations
Album
RICH PELLEGRIN
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Westward Bound!
Live album
HAROLD LAND
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Solo
Album
RICARDO SILVEIRA
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Flee & Free
EP
KAORU HASHIMOTO
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Stefan Pasborg & Alex Riel : Universe Live
Live album
STEFAN PASBORG
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Opera
Album
AI KUWABARA
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Only Love Will Stay
Album
RALE MICIC
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III
Album
ALDER EGO
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Weird Box : Radio Paris
Album
FRANCESCO BEARZATTI
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Impulses
Album
ROINE SANGENBERG
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SPEED MUSIC ソクド ノ オンガク Vol.4
Album
H ZETTRIO エイチ・ゼットリオ
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SPEED MUSIC ソクド ノ オンガク Vol.3
Album
H ZETTRIO エイチ・ゼットリオ
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Second Lives
Album
GRAHAM COSTELLO'S STRATA
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Nothin' But Net : Live 1998​-​2000
Boxset / Compilation
HAPPY APPLE
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The Standards, Vol. 1
Album
CHRISTOPHER BURNETT
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Power from the Air
Album
BRIAN CHARETTE
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In Moers
Live album
MOVE
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Elegy for an Undiscovered Species
Album
JOHANNES WALLMANN
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Starry Night
Album
HASHIMA
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Raphael Imbert Quartet : Oraison
Album
RAPHAËL IMBERT
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Outrospection : Music Of Gregg Hill
Album
RODNEY WHITAKER
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Irène Schweizer / Hamid Drake : Celebration
Live album
IRÈNE SCHWEIZER
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La Patum
Movie
ANDREA MOTIS
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Raise Up Off Me
Album
RALPH PETERSON
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Nephlokokkgla 1992
Live album
HANS KOCH
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Dual
Album
SMADJ
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Fram
Album
TRIO ELF
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Black To The Future
Album
SONS OF KEMET
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Leaning To The Left
Album
JERRY KALAF
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Al Gir Dal Bughi
Album
DINO PIANA
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Message
Album
TOM TALLITSCH
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Quarks
Album
TIMOTHÉE ROBERT
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Hotline
Boxset / Compilation
JOHN ABERCROMBIE
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Skarbø Skulekorps : Dugnad
Album
ØYVIND SKARBØ
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Yeti Season
Album
EL MICHELS AFFAIR
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Numbers Maker
Live album
DESERTION TRIO
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Liudas Mockūnas & Arvydas Kazlauskas : Purvs
Live album
LIUDAS MOCKŪNAS
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Solo Ballads
Album
PASQUALE GRASSO
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This Strange Life
Album
DAMIAN COCCIO
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Beyond the Stars
Album
BHEKI MSELEKU
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Salt
EP
JOEY ALEXANDER
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The New Cool
Album
DAVID HELBOCK
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Live at BRÅKFEST
Live album
KODIAN TRIO
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Charles Owens Trio : 10 Years
Album
CHARLES OWENS (1972)
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Mo Foster & Friends in Concert
Live album
MO FOSTER
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In Residency at Bitches Brew
Live album
LIUDAS MOCKŪNAS
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Sahel Notes
Album
MARK WIBBERLEY
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Loveland
Live album
GEORGE HASLAM
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Calm Down Cologne
Album
GARAGE A TROIS
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A New Dawn
Album
MARIUS NESET
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Xxxx
Live album
MICHAEL WOLLNY
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Ballad for a Rainy Afternoon
Album
MARK SOSKIN
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Reminiscence of a Soul
Album
KEN STUBBS
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This Song Is New
Album
LORNE LOFSKY
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Squint
Album
JULIAN LAGE
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Wolves and Mirrors
Album
SHANNON BARNETT
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Somit
Album
PUNKT.VRT.PLASTIK
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Script Original
Album
L'ÉTAU
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Circles Live
EP
ANNE PACEO
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Sing to the World
Album
BENITO GONZALEZ
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Brotherhood
Album
BELMONDO QUINTET
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Sunrise Reprise
Album
CHRIS POTTER
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Another Land
Album
DAVE HOLLAND
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Caminando
Album
JUAN CARLOS QUINTERO
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Episode 6
Album
GERALD GRADWOHL
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Ombak Trio : Look For The Difference
Live album
CENE RESNIK
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Piano
Album
KJETIL MULELID
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Music Room 1985
Album
WAYNE KRANTZ
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To Be Frank - Solo Guitar
Album
FRANK WINGOLD
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Dialogues
Album
LUCIANO BIONDINI
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The Hit
Album
W.R.D.
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Sleeping Beauty
Album
BLAZIN' QUARTET
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Fly! Fly! Fly!
Album
T-SQUARE
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Firefly
Album
ALEXA TARANTINO
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Live at Pro Musica
Live album
QUIN KIRCHNER
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Autoportrait
Album
CLOVIS NICOLAS
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Moonlight Becomes You
Album
VLADIMIR SHAFRANOV
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Mike Taylor Quartet : Mandala
Live album
MIKE TAYLOR
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Thunda
Album
NOAH PREMINGER
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Oblivion
Album
YULIA MUSAYELYAN
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Toluca Lake Jazz
Album
DOUG MACDONALD
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Imaginary Road
Album
REZA KHAN
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The Bond
Album
DOPOLARIANS
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Unconditional Love
Album
AMIT FRIEDMAN
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The Painter
Album
TOBIAS MEINHART
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Asp Nimbus
Album
CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN
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This Is Latin Jazz
Live album
CHARLIE SEPULVEDA
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Still Doing Our Thing
Album
BEHN GILLECE
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All Knavery & Collusion
Album
EVAN PARKER
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The Latin Side Of Wes Montgomery
Album
NELSON RIVEROS
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Sorte
Album
ABE RÁBADE
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Field Theory
Album
MATT PANAYIDES
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Misty for Direct Cutting
Album
TSUYOSHI YAMAMOTO
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Giant Steppes
Album
DENNIS REA
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An East African Journey
Album
OMAR SOSA
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Uneasy
Album
VIJAY IYER
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Quarte : Ringin' Bells
Album
DAVE LIEBMAN
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Black Light Collective
Album
BLACK LIGHT COLLECTIVE
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Jappa - The Complete Jazz at The Polytechnicum 1967-1968
Boxset / Compilation
EERO KOIVISTOINEN
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Many Worlds
Album
MENAGERIE
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Acertijos
Album
PEDRITO MARTINEZ
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The Glass Delusion
Live album
KUZU (DAVE REMPIS / TASHI DORJI / TYLER DAMON)
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Nights on Saturn (Communication)
Live album
AHMED أحمد
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Fifty-Fifty[1] New York Sessions
Album
PIERRICK PÉDRON
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MP85
Album
MICHEL PORTAL
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Serenata
Album
GREGG KARUKAS
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New Funk
EP
ANTONIO FEULA
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Tales from the Punjab
Album
SHEZ RAJA
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Law Years : The Music of Ornette Coleman
Live album
MIGUEL ZENÓN
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Samā'ī
Album
AZMARI
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Other Worlds
Album
SOUND PRINTS (JOE LOVANO & DAVE DOUGLAS)
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Flow Trio with Joe McPhee : Winter Garden
Album
FLOW TRIO (THE FLOW)
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Machine Mass Sextet : Intrusion
Album
MACHINE MASS
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Frequency Equilibrium Koan
Live album
MICHAEL GREGORY JACKSON
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Imperfect Measures
Album
MICHAEL FORMANEK
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Sacred Hearts
Album
RICK MARGITZA
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Morning Dream
Album
SATOKO FUJII
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Stories
Album
RONI BEN-HUR
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Food For Thought
Album
SOLSTICE (UK)
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Quartet Sessions
Album
CHAD LEFKOWITZ-BROWN
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Jazz
EP
RODRIGO Y GABRIELA
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Michael and Peter Formanek : Dyads
Album
MICHAEL FORMANEK
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Live At Fasching
Live album
GUSTAV LUNDGREN
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Columbia Albums 1976-1982
Boxset / Compilation
WEATHER REPORT
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Shreddin' at Sweetwater
Live album
MARBIN
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Span
Album
HIDDEN SYMMETRY
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A Place Where We Once Lived
Album
DAN MCCARTHY
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Black Top Presents Some Good News
Live album
BLACK TOP
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The Quiet
Album
PHIL TURCIO
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Leverkusen '97
Live album
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH
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Jihye Lee Orchestra : Daring Mind
Album
JIHYE LEE ORCHESTRA
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Preaching to the Choir
Album
VINCENT HERRING
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live at the bird's eye
Live album
ARNE HUBER
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Plays Jobim Vol. 2
Album
ALBARE
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Eternal Fiction
Album
MARIO ROM'S INTERZONE
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NU Live in Glasgow
Live album
DON CHERRY
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Hindsight
Album
CHARLIE PORTER
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Grifone
Album
PULCINELLA
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Rhapsody
Album
ANDY LAVERNE
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Two Places
Album
BRUSSELS JAZZ ORCHESTRA
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Afuera
Album
ERNESTO ZEPPA
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Milo's Illinois
Album
HARRY ALLEN
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Aliens & Wizards
Album
SPIKE WILNER
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Un Autre Monde
Album
NAÏSSAM JALAL
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Cosmonauts
Album
PLS.TRIO
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Crispell / Prevost / Smith : ConcertOTO
Live album
MARILYN CRISPELL
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Polaris
Album
GREG SKAFF
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Strambulisma
Album
JANI MALMI
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Wisdom In The Wings
Boxset / Compilation
STAN TRACEY
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Meretrio "Choros"
Album
EMILIANO SAMPAIO
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Wes Reimagined
Album
NIGEL PRICE
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Adventures Of The Wildflower
Album
YELENA ECKEMOFF
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The Summer House Sessions
Live album
DON CHERRY
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modern jazz Music Reviews

SEPPE GEBRUERS Rorschach

Album · 2019 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
"Rorschach", or more precisely, "Rorschach test" is controversial psychological test developed in early 20s and named by its author Swiss Hermann Rorschach. It's based on psychological analizes of personal interpretation of inkblots and suggested to be used for examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning. Such inkblot example is used as front cover art for unorthodox Belgian quartet named "Rorschach" debut album.

In combination with seven untitled free form compositions, subjoined with authors recommendation "title the music pieces with your own associations", it become obvious that the listener is offered to participate in such test of sort, just interpreting musical pieces, not inkblots.

Rorschach quartet is in fact existing Antiduo (teacher/pupil pianists duo Erik Vermeulen and Seppe Gebruers) expanded adding two drummers, Eric Thielemans and Marek Patrman. When all above said on paper sound quite confusing and even probably dready, in real life this album consists of seven beautiful etudes, very different from often hardly accessible free form improvisational music. Two pianos plays lot of melodic snippets, often with obvious roots in European romanticist classics, what builds very moody atmosphere, with touch of sentimentalism, almost dreamy. True, musical compositions has no special structure and develop unpredictably but somehow pianists control that process very well. Drummers are both delicate, with use of mallets more often than sticks, and are more responsible for adding some sound accessories to the whole music than for framing or anchoring the sound. Abstract and impressionistic, this music has more modernism spirit of 20th than of destructive and noisy fashion of more current experimentalism.

As album's authors suggested in their liner notes, I tried to interpret their offered sound-blots as I felt them. Short excursion to Rorschach testing evaluation analizes says as that interpretations of the same inkblots varies depending on many factors, even person's origin and cultural background. So, every listener will probably hear something different, but I expect many will like what they hear anyway.

FRED WESLEY Damn Right I am Somebody (wth the JB's)

Album · 1974 · Funk Jazz
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js
Damn Right I am Somebody’ is an excellent jazzy funk release recorded by the JB’s during their second peak after reforming under the leadership of tromboner par excellance, Fred Wesley. Wesley’s records usually reflect the style of the people he is working with at the time, in this case that would be one of James Brown’s very best early 70s ensembles. This is hard grooving James style funk with the characteristic slight swing feel and Afro-Cuban accents from conga player Johnny Griggs. Unfortunately, the musicians on here are not listed, but some givens include Jimmy Nolan on guitar, Maceo Parker on sax, John Starks on drums and James Brown on incidental vocals. If you have ever seen Eddie Murphy’s hilarious send- up of James’ nonsense syllable improvisations, you will love album opener ‘Damn Right I am Somebody’ where Brown unleashes a constant stream of onomatopoeia crazyness.

If you know your early hip-hop samples and loops you will know that this is the JB’s album with the synthesizer. Some references claim that James is the synth player, while others list vocalist Bobby Byrd. Either way, the persistent synth noodling on several cuts adds an excellent exotic flavor to this record. All the songs on here are great, but one stand out is ‘I’m Payin Taxes, What am I Buyin’, where Jimmy Nolan provides a killer guitar riff that won’t quit. Jimmy Nolan is the god of rhythm guitar .. word.

Most of the songs on here are classic JB’s funk except for ‘Make Me what You Want Me to be’ which is a classy orchestrated soul-jazz pop number, likewise their lover’s groove re-make of Marvin Gaye’s ‘You Sure Love to Ball’ sets a different mood as it closes the album and turns down the lights for the rest of the evening.

TOMAS FUJIWARA Triple Double

Album · 2017 · Eclectic Fusion
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snobb
Boston-born Brooklyn-based drummer Tomas Fujiwara is quite well known by participation in leading last decades' projects playing with Matana Roberts and Michael Formanek among many others. On "Triple Double", his own album as leader, he combines two unorthodox reeds-guitar-drums trios in one band (including 2/3 of Thumbscrew trio of Thumbscrew trio of Formanek-Halvorson-Fujiwara trio, without Formanek).

All-stars band of two drummers (Tomas Fujiwara & Gerald Cleaver), two guitarists (Mary Halvorson & Brandon Seabrook) and two reedists (Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet & Ralph Alessi on trumpet) plays modern high energy fusion with lot of free jazz elements.

From the very first opener's sounds with great old-fashioned separated by channels guitars sound (with recognizable Halvorson's guitar on the left side and Seabrook on the right) it became obvious that "Triple Double" is not another explosive attack on listener's ears. With heavy anchoring drummers, often playing in unison and framing the music (with longish just-drummers solo piece in a list though), melodic and emotionally rich compositions sometimes sound as if they are complex rock pieces, but all-the-time changing rhythms, plenty of guitarists and reedists free solos and in all very complex, almost big-bandish, multilayered sound remind listener that we're listening to real jazz band.

Catchy tunes, excellent techniques and perfect interplay makes this album one great example of modern creative jazz, difficult to classify and cross-genre, and often because of that appealing to very different listeners. It would be extremely interesting to see such band playing live, it looks their announced 2020 European tour (with second trumpeter Adam O’Farrill instead of cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum) has been postponed due to COVID19 pandemic, with some concerts moved on-line.

MACHINE MASS Machine Mass Sextet : Intrusion

Album · 2021 · Eclectic Fusion
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js
“Intrusion” is the fourth album by Machine Mass, and it continues their tendency to try something new on each album. The core of the band is Michel Delville on guitar and Tony Bianco on drums. For this fourth album Michel brought on some cohorts from his jazz rock group, Wrong Object, Antoine Guenet on piano and Damien Campion on standup bass. Making the group a sextet are a horn frontline of Laurent Blondiau on trumpet and Manuel Hermia on saxophone. Despite the addition of a couple of rockers from Wrong Object, “Intrusion” is Machine Mass’ most jazz centered album to date, but there is also a good dose of their more expected psychedelic fusion too.

The album opens with Coltrane’s “Africa”, with the band staying true to the original’s spiritual jazz/post bop swing, with Delville’s scorching distorted guitar solo being a definite Machine Mass signature addition to this classic. Following track, “Intrusion”, is very much in the current North European jazz sound, and is a bit different from Mass’ previous albums. Its good for bands to try new things. From here we get a short free jazz section that settles into the off center funk fusion of “Not Another Loud Song”. “The Roll”, has Mass back on the modern jazz tip with that drumnbass bop style that is so popular in NYC these days, while “ED” brings the band back to their trademark psych fusion roots with a massive prog rock chord sequence buildup. The CD closes with Machine Mass’ second time to record “In a Silent Way”. Its hard to add much to this tune and Mass does about as well as anyone could hope to, Guenet’s piano chord voiceings add something unique.

PAUL VAN GYSEGEM Paul Van Gysegem Quintet : Square Talks

Live album · 2021 · 21st Century Modern
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snobb
Leaving aside stars of the past such as Django Reinhardt and Toots Thielemans, Belgian jazz is only fragmentarily known outside of their domestic scene. Besides classical music, most of what the outside world knows of Belgian music for the last couple decades is quirky non-conventional avant-rock bands.

Still, even for local jazz fans, seasoned bassist Paul Van Gysegem is hardly a household name. Omniscient Google says he's a sculptor and shows some examples of his art. Still, one can find out that in the magical, for jazz, year of 1971, Van Gysegem released a free jazz album on the renown French label, Fortuna, plus a few more albums during the next half-a-century.

"Square Talks" is Paul Van Gysegem's extremely rare release as a leader. Recorded live in 2019, he leads a sextet of seasoned Belgian musicians (trumpeter Patrick De Groote even played with Van Gysege on his above mentioned debut in 1971!) plus younger generation Czech ex-patriate drummer Marek Patrman.

I listened to this album during the last few days, when the weather outside was really freaky - the snow was falling day after day in the end of April, which isn't usual, even for us living in Northern Europe. It recalled for me the times when I was much younger, probably a teen, when winters were much colder and much longer. "Square Talks" music fitted pretty well to this deja vu feeling.

Van Gysegem's band doesn't demonstrate virtuosity or technical equilibristic at all. They play mature mid-tempo chamber avant-garde jazz as if it is still early 70s outside. Warm wooden bass, excellent sound and an almost non-existing anymore atmosphere of freedom, and escape with a touch of lyrical melancholy. Yeah, we all know that this world doesn't exist anymore, but what a beautiful world it was!

During some last years I found out some excellent artists, playing music without even a touch of some of the modern trends of the few last decades - fusion, hip-hop, electronics, even funk. Free-jazz, coming straight from the late 60s, plus some European chamber traditions, sometimes local folk elements. These artists are often based outside of the world's jazz capitols, as New York or London, and playing their own jazz in such different places such as Sardinia or Serbia. That absence of whole musical layers or decades of influence makes their music sound very special. Paul Van Gysegem's music works the same way, it's a nowadays recording but with a well-preserved spirit of European late 60s without being nostalgic or self-parodying at all. Not sure, if it works for those knowing about 70s from internet and movies only, probably to feel that spirit one needed to experience it in one way or another from living when it was the elixir of the day.

Those with still a strong memory will recognize it in this music quite soon , others can just try, why not?

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)