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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.83 | 99 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Kind of Blue Album Cover Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS
4.82 | 133 ratings
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BILL EVANS (PIANO) Waltz for Debby Album Cover Waltz for Debby
BILL EVANS (PIANO)
4.92 | 16 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 | 73 ratings
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HERBIE HANCOCK V.S.O.P.:Tempest in the Colosseum Album Cover V.S.O.P.:Tempest in the Colosseum
HERBIE HANCOCK
4.97 | 9 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 | 17 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Blue Train Album Cover Blue Train
JOHN COLTRANE
4.75 | 65 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
4.87 | 12 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 | 8 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE Live at Birdland Album Cover Live at Birdland
JOHN COLTRANE
4.81 | 16 ratings
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JOHN COLTRANE My Favorite Things Album Cover My Favorite Things
JOHN COLTRANE
4.73 | 56 ratings
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KEITH JARRETT The Köln Concert Album Cover The Köln Concert
KEITH JARRETT
4.74 | 36 ratings
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Something Tomorrow
Something Tomorrow
ENRICO PIERANUNZI
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Honest I Do
Honest I Do
JOHN SCOFIELD
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Room
Room
MWEB (MALTE WINTER ELECTRIC BAND)
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Something Tomorrow
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MWEB (MALTE WINTER ELECTRIC BAND)
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Mark Feldman, Tim Daisy : Circle Bac
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View From Above
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Honoring Pat Martino, Volume 1
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The Eppik
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Type_f
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Live in New York City, February 8, 1975
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ALAN (ALLEN) BRAUFMAN
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Ultraman vs. Alien Metron
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McPhee Marker
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OPUS 5
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A Stone's Throw Away
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Ascetica
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Tord Gustavsen Trio : Opening
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Black Lives - from Generation to Generation
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10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
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Alive (Live at Dièse Onze, Montreal), Set 2
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JEAN-MICHEL PILC
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Alive - Live at Dièse Onze, Montréal
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OUT TO DINNER
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Hafla
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KEITH OXMAN
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Life Is Beautiful
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Far Star
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GILAD HEKSELMAN
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Alan Broadbent Trio : Like Minds
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ALAN BROADBENT
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For The Love Of Fire And Water
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MYRA MELFORD
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Afro Trane
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NAT BIRCHALL
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The Parable of the Poet
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JOEL ROSS
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The Art of Flight: For Alvin Fielder (March 2022 )
Live album
JOE MCPHEE SURVIVAL UNIT (II & III)
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Space
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LISA ULLÉN
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Solo Suites
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BIRÉLI LAGRÈNE
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Silky Way
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KARTET
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MBefore
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Amaryllis
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MARY HALVORSON
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Heat
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Classics
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SCOTT HAMILTON
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Wouldn’t Be Here Without You
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Hardcastle X (The Eclipse)
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The Next Step
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ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND
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DUKE JORDAN
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I Am A Stranger In This World
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Field Guide
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ANDY OSTWALD
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Jangada
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Open Spaces
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MATT OLSON
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The Color of Angels
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DOUG SCARBOROUGH
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Perchance To Dream
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JOHN ZORN
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In a little provincial town
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MARC FRANKINET
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Color Of Wood
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TOM COLLIER
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Each Step
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NATHAN BORTON
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Dois Quartetos Sobre o Mar
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MÁRIO BARREIROS
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Eternal Aporia
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BEN THOMAS
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Forest Floor
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FERGUS MCCREADIE
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High Plains
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STEPHEN MARTIN
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Heteroklite Lockdown
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HENRI TEXIER
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Disasters Vol. 1
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MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING
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Truce 2
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MARKUS REUTER
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StandArt
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TIGRAN HAMASYAN
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The Sundering
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JOHN C. O'LEARY III
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Run, The Darkness Will Come!
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DAY & TAXI
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Bells On Sand
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GERALD CLAYTON
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(D)IVO
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(D)IVO
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K.BYE
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DANIEL DELORENZO
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PAKT Live In Buffalo
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PAKT
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Dedicated To You
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JORGE GARCIA
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The Hideaway Sessions
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TRITONE ASYLUM
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Rotate, Align
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TROKUT
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Stringspan
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JASON RASO
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See You Soon or See You Sometime
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MARTIN ARCHER
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New Sky
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AZAR LAWRENCE
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The Vienna Sessions
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MARKUS BURGER
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Adjusting
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ARNAUD DOLMEN
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Reflections, Vol. 2
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DOMINICK FARINACCI
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Perpetual Pendulum
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LARRY GOLDINGS
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The Role of the Rhythm Section
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STEVEN FEIFKE
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Jazz Samba Pra Sempre
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NATE NAJAR
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Red List
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BRIAN LANDRUS
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Nuvole
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If You Will
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FLORA PURIM
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Fresh Start
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ARMEN DONELIAN
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Live
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AKKU QUINTET
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Disparate Parts
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ROXY COSS
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Amaury Faye X Igor Gehenot
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AMAURY FAYE
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Crisálida
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Fairy Circus
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Stay Now
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JOEL LYSSARIDES
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With Love And Sadness
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MATT SLOCUM
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Diversitonic
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BILL EASLEY
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Blue Vision
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Ritual Dances
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No Answer Project : Barcelona Live
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La Cave Live, Cleveland 1966 Revisited
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You Never Know
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Life In Time
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Good Spirits
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ALEXANDER CLAFFY
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Follow The Signs
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DIEGO FIGUEIREDO
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Four Brothers
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TONY MONACO
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Meet Me At The Loft
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Standards and My Songs
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RON JACKSON
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No Questions, No Answers
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A PRIDE OF LIONS
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Devotion
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KARL IVAR REFSETH
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What Will We Leave Behind
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IRO HAARLA
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Interpret It Well
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CHES SMITH
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12 Stars
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MELISSA ALDANA
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Force Of Nature
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Magma
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Thisness
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MARQUIS HILL
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Inimitable
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The Wine of Astonishment
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Be With Me
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MATT GORDY
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Dedication
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DIETER ILG
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Louise
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IN COMMON
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Me Myself and I
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DOM MINASI
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Numinous
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GUI DUVIGNAU
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My Reverie by Special Request
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Helge Lien Trio : Revisited
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HELGE LIEN
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A Change Is Gonna Come
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The 7th Hand
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Ode To O
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Ballads : Into the Heart of It
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Euphoria
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Sounds of Love
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Pourquoi
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In the Wee Small Hours
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The Cave Of Winds
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TONY MALABY
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LITTLE NORTH
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Plex
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2 Blues For Cecil
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As We Are (with String Quartet)
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En Attendant
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MARCIN WASILEWSKI TRIO
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modern jazz Music Reviews

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Leverkusen '97

Live album · 2021 · Fusion
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Maxsmusic
The series of live recordings recently released for Allan and his various incarnations of trios and quartets are outstanding. This one from 1997 shows Allan in Germany with Chad and Dave. The album is dedicated to Allan and the late Dave Carpenter (1959 - 2008). The first track: The Sixteen Men of Tain is one of Allan's best late compositions. He also includes his classic tracks such as Letters of Marque, Looking Glass and House of Mirrors. Phenomenal musicianship permeates this session. For any fan of electric jazz guitar this is a must have. The legato is flying. 4.25 stars

BINKER & MOSES Feeding The Machine

Album · 2022 · Nu Jazz
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snobb
"Feeding The Machine" is the fifth album from London's sax/drums duo, Binker & Moses. They started in singer Zara McFerlane's support band, both duo members built an extremely successful career on the burgeoning London new jazz scene of the time, as a duo and collaborators as well. They are probably the best representatives of the movement's leftfield, combining minimalist orchestration with complex techniques and spiritual jazz of the late 60s tradition.

"Feeding The Machine" in realty is recorded by a trio, not duo. The addition of bassist Max Luthert (who played with Sara McFarlane as well) is really significant for the album's sound and common atmosphere. Luthert plays here actually not bass, but modular synth and operates live electronic loops as well. His sound, being always a bit on the back, builds very unique tasteful aerial atmosphere behind the mid-tempo knotty Boyd's drumming and flying free over the birdcalls-like Golding soloing saxes.

This album recalls for me very much the cult work of another times - "Beyond Recall", a masterpiece of sorts, released in 1991 by one of Berlin's electronica school geniuses, Klaus Schulze (who died just a few weeks ago). Huge orange sun of the last sunshine moments over the sea waters and two ducks small silhouettes, very graphical, with the sun behind them. Probably, one of the very last really impressive Berlin electronica school releases, it was mature, almost sounded tired, with a touch of melancholia, but in general very calm. True, it was a pure electronic one.

"Feeding The Machine" sounds very much as a "Beyond Recall" of Generation Z, or music for fans who were born when "Beyond Recall" had been released, or after. So, "Feeding The Machine" sounds more "organic" (or acoustic + analog), slightly less emotional and a bit more energetic, but still that feel of maturity and light melancholy combination is quite similar. Each generation has their own music, which usually changes from explosive creative bravura at the early stage to more well balanced, calculated and matured (at least according to optimistic scenario) moving towards the end of the cycle. London's "new" jazz isn't all that young anymore. It gave to the musical world a lot, partially returning streetwise youth culture in Europe to jazz as a fresh and creative music. This music is still really popular, but another new thing is already probably not too far. "Feeding The Machine" is still no way a swan song of the musical sub-culture, but very possible it's one of its mature monuments.

SUSANA SANTOS SILVA Devil´s Dress

Album · 2011 · Nu Jazz
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Portuguese trumpeter, Susana Santos Silva, is one of today's leading European jazz female trumpeters (ok, there aren't many around). She is based in Stockholm and collaborates with many creative artists from Northern Europe, regularly releasing quite experimental albums as leader as well.

"Devil's Dress" is her debut, released eleven years ago. From a decade's distance, it's interesting to hear where it all started. Containing solely her original compositions, "Devil's Dress" sometimes sounds a bit raw and directionless, but on the strong side, one can find there are a lot of unusual combinations of acoustic strings and popular at the time simplified rock song aesthetics against complex "compositions", and all the time Silva's trumpet, breaking the rules and trying to fly free. Predominantly mid-tempo, often meditative, the music here isn't easy listening as it probably looks from the first impression. Silva's trumpet sounds warm, but easily producing dissonant sounds as well, there is not even a single composition where she avoids playing free at least for a few moments. This music is hardly a classifiable genre which hardly helps it to find a wider attention. For listeners who know Silva from her later works, and who like them, "Devil's Dress" is probably interesting as historical evidence about "where all that started".

NICOLAS MEIER Nicolas Meier World Group : Magnificent - Live - Stories

Album · 2021 · World Fusion
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On Nicolas Meier’s latest album he decided to give his fans an extra treat, in that what we have here is not one, or two, but three CDs of excellent music. First there is “Magnificent”, a studio album featuring his ‘World Group’ ensemble, then there is, “Live”, which is the same group recorded in concert, and finally, “Stories”, which is Nicolas performing solo. The group is the same one that recorded the previous “Peaceful”, Kevin Glasgow on bass, Richard Jones on violin, Demi Garcia-Sabat on percussion and Nicolas on a variety of guitars. In fact, “Live” is made up of the same tracks that were featured on “Peaceful”, only performed in front of an audience this time around.

Nicolas’ compositions draw from a mix of Spanish, Turkish, Balkan, Middle-Eastern and North African influences. His ensemble, with its mix of violin, unfretted guitar, high end fretless bass and hand percussion is perfect for this style of music. Much of the music from the aforementioned cultures leans heavily on unfretted string instruments that allow for the colorful ornaments that are added to the melodies. We are all familiar with western artists such as Paul Simon or David Byrne who plunder other cultures and then cast them aside. Such is not the case with Meier who displays a deep understanding and commitment to the cultures he is interested in. His original compositions breathe these various musical styles in a very natural way. Nicolas is an excellent composer with a gift for remarkable melodies that capture the sounds of the different regions that inspire him, which he then presents with art pop gem like structures reminiscent of artists like Brian Wilson or Brian Eno.

The band has very balanced interactions in which soloists and accompanists blend to make an ensemble sound of intertwining voices. Particularly noteworthy is how Jones will add counter melodies on the violin behind Meier’s guitar solos. On the live CD, Jones occasionally uses an echo device which gives the band an expansive psychedelic sound. On the solo CD, Nicolas covers several jazz standards and shows he is no slouch on the jazz tip with his broad open sound similar to Pat Metheny or Bill Frisell. One surprise is a reading of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” which becomes a jazz standard with a few chord extensions here and there.

CLARE FISCHER Thesaurus (aka 'Twas Only Yesterday)

Album · 1969 · Progressive Big Band
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Its kind of interesting how some great jazz musicians get slated for immortality and some do not. Clare Fischer was a top notch modern big band arranger, if he is not in the same class as Gil Evans, Don Ellis or Quincy Jones, he is very close, yet you don’t hear about him near as much as the others. Part of Clare’s problem is that he was putting out big band, Latin and post bop albums during an era when record companies were banking all their money on fusion acts with rock star vibes. Yes, Clare looks pretty conservative on the cover of “Thesaurus”, but the music contained herein is just as dynamic and creative as anyone else during this era. Fischer is also an accomplished writer as well as arranger, with four songs on “Thesaurus” written by himself, as well as two by his brother, trumpeter Stewart Fischer.

Side one opens up with “The Duke”, with Clare making it clear that the Duke is one of his favorite arrangers and the tune does carry some Ellington influence, but with a larger brass section than the Duke usually had. The Latin flavored “Miles Behind” does not seem to channel Miles Davis much, with trumpeter Conte Candoli turning in a bright solo that is almost the opposite of Miles. The top track of side one though is Lennie Tristan’s “Lennie’s Pennies”, a brilliant tune that takes bebop to a new modernist level. This is also Fischer’s best arrangement with Gary Foster and Warne Marsh presenting very different takes on this song’s interpretation.

Top tracks on side two include “Bitter Leaf”, a moody tone poem that features Clare’s impressionistic electric piano blending with the tone colors of his band in a style almost more French impressionism than jazz. Also noteworthy is his arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s complex, yet swinging, “Upper Manhattan Medical Group”. The album closes with a brief but moving ballad dedicated to the then recently assassinated Kennedy brothers. Fans of big band arranging from the 60s to today should take note, Clare Fischer’s “Thesaurus” rates up there with the best of them.

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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“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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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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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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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)