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Added by shotswerefired on 19 Apr 2019 09:30
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All That Jazz

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Someone should reappraise Calvin's place in the history of jazz because he's more than just an amazing guitarist. All the albums I've listened to of his have been of a very high quality, not just in musicianship but the composition side. It is well proportioned, with plenty of curved peaks and valleys to hold your attention - just like a beautiful woman. The lines are clean and the surface feels smooth which is remarkable considering the many textures and timbres at play here.

It is refreshing to see someone not adhering to the standard sax, bass, piano and drum setup. Because the sound can be so familiar I find myself dismissing a lot of musicians who might otherwise have excelled in other ways. With Calvin, it was love at first hearing. He was different yet there was an immediacy to his meticulously crafted music. A wide array of instruments common and uncommon to the jazz repertoire are incorporated to his enchanting psychedelic mix of jazz funk combined with post-bop. You've got the flute in partnership with the guitar providing the main tune, but becomes ancillary to the chaos in another track. Then you throw in some backing chords of the electric piano and garnish the lot with wisps of tambourine bells. Even the old fashioned hoseaphone makes an appearance lol.

An important figure in latin and Afro-Cuban jazz. Since Valdes' formation of the band Irakere, the world has been treated to some of the most inventive and craziest experiments ever. This was not the band's original intention however. Initially, the crew members were simply interested in playing the jazz of the US, but were denied that right by their government. So they had to make do with what resources they had in order to cobble up something. They basically tossed in as many folklore percussive instruments into the brew as they could find to see what came out of it. It turned out to be a masterstroke. As the blend of Latin jazz with songo and timba dance flavourings proved to be a hit with critics and audiences alike. "Chekere-son" was a culmination of their findings and its horn line style became a blueprint for various genres of Cuban music.

Irakere has changed its lineup several times, and as a result, other influences have crept in. Although their later stuff does sound more commercialised, they haven't entirely discarded their earthy roots as evidenced in tracks like "Son Montuno." Valdes, more than anything, wanted to achieve the dexterity and passionate abandon of his hero Art Tatum, and you definitely see glimpses of it in this stage of his career.
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0

If there is no such thing as the best guitarist then what about the most complete guitarist? Lenny Breau might well be the winner of that category. His knowledge and technique of the instrument is total. He can mix different genres together as if they were meant for each other. He can pick several lines of melody at once to sound like three guitarists playing. He can come up with new passages on the fly without diminishing the piece in any way. He can play the hardest songs imaginable. He can play fast (I mean very fast) and he can play slow (the style he prefers). He can make the guitar sound like a harp. For all I know, he could do all that with his eyes literally closed.

But to top it all off, he was just as good on bass too apparently, of which there is no recordings to speak of. I'm sure everybody is well aware of how tough it is already to be the best at one instrument in a lifetime, yet Lenny somehow managed to be godly at two, all while dying at a relatively young age. Had he lived, who's to say he wouldn't have done the same with four lol.

70s Britain was a hotbed of musical creativity. One genre was leading the charge which gave rise to the emergence of some seriously amazing bands of that era. That genre was progressive rock. One guy saw the potentiality of this growing trend and decided to shake things up. His name was John Mclaughlin. The combination of Miles Davis fusion, Hendrix's wah distortion tones and the use of Indian classical musical scales created a raw and aggressive sound nonpareil in jazz and rock circles.

There wasn't much fraternal love to be found within the group, but it didn't seem to have an adverse effect on the finished product. The best music came from the original lineup, which seems to be the case with nearly every band I know of lol. They're brilliant live and never veer too far off the source material unlike a lot of jazz bands these days.

There were two phases which characterised the jazz-fusion band's music. First is their latin period containing Spanish dance influences such as flamenco to give it some kick. "Spain" remains a classic but I'm also very much enamoured by the subdued nature of some of the other pieces. The second phase is their rock period, with the guitar playing a prominent role and driving the bold melodies for a lot of their songs. Their crowning achievement in this period I believe though is "Romantic Warrior," in which the star of the show is the electric bass of Stanley Clarke which pulsates and throbs to the beat of Corea's luscious piano comping.
People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0

The label avant-garde jazz at first glance seems to hint that there's a daunting task ahead for the listener. Like there's a riddle or puzzle that requires strenous activity of the frontal lobe in order to decifer its majesty. I don't get that with Eric Dolphy's music, or at least Out to Lunch, which is what it's pigeonholed under. It could easily grace the background of the vast majority of American and French new wave crime/mystery films of the 50s and 60s which targeted a wide demographic. It has the feel of cool yet with danger lurking around the corners just like in those aforementioned movies. In tracks like "Hat and Beard," instrumental solos such as his bass clarinet and the vibraphone are interspersed along the patterned grooves of the drum and bass. There's no big payoff but I relish in the details of each performance.

This was a seminal jazz album of the 60s, and yes, it was superior to the overrated "The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" no matter how much fans like to shove it down people's throats. It's a good thing I don't hang around rateyourmusic, otherwise I would've turned out to be like the other sheeps who forced you to ride on Mingus' dick, grovel beneath Joanna Newsom's pretty toes and pray before the altar of Neutral Hotel Milk.
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0

I'm not completely sold on free jazz. Some compositions can either be described as an incoherent mass of impenetrable noise, or a pleasant trainwreck of wildly dissonant notes. I find Dave to land in the latter territory. One also gets the feeling of clarity and order when listening to him even if he throws the rule book out the window.

There's plenty of things played unconventionally or 'out of tune,' with asymmetrical time signatures all over the place but done in service to his philosophy.
People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0

The most in demand violinist in jazz. Ponty is out on his own in his instrument. His solos have always been immaculate no matter if he fiddled with the electric violin or not. I like everything I've listened to of his so far, but since I've heard so much jazz fusion over the years, I find it difficult to be truly spellbinded by Ponty's efforts in that area when so much of it is similar to what the other guys were doing. I'm more at home with his world fusion content which is him at his compositional peak. His grace and aptitude is all over that album The Atacama Experience, I enjoy it to bits. He's lost none of that virtuosity which made him famous in the early days, so there's a healthy dose of solos to be found. But there's also refrain to cut out the fat. When it all comes together, it's music that is of impeccable class and sophistication.

I love jazz. It's my favourite genre in music next to Classical, whom I consider roughly equal in stature. It doesn't have the thematic range and possibilities of Classical. For example, I can't remember any piece that was intended to generate terror or fear from the listener, therefore it wouldn't be suitable as background for media based on the horror genre. But in terms of inspiring joyful and romantic feelings, it's the genre I tend to go for. Would that be a declaration of the limits of its expression? Maybe, but it does a damn good job at what it's best at.

Of all the things blacks have brought to the music world; hip hop, reggae, funk, blues etc, jazz is easily their godsend. It's fun, therapeutic and you feel invigorated after every listen. The universal appeal of this genre also enabled it to be an inadvertent political force, smashing racial boundaries whereever its notes travelled and bringing blacks and whites together. Now jazz has become global where we see different cultures and ethnic groups add their own twist leading it to spiral into new subgenres of their own.

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