Szun Waves – New Hymn To Freedom

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Modern atmospheric jazz rock with electronic textures

Moods

Live at pompeii for spiritual robots

Thoughts

A modern spiritual jazz-rock record. Effective  use of synths modernizes things and adds an interesting texture. Perhaps the only true rock element is the percussion which feels like it keeps things moving forward in rock fashion.  Couple of highlights:

Fall into water- spacey and patient.

High szun maybe a bit more rock oriented. Certain tension is maintained with a noisy keyboard layer. Works while patient solos build around it.

Quite enjoyed this release.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Szun-Waves-New-Hymn-To-Freedom/release/12494167

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAO60apkxEo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNEmFHrdNdA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdaHQESTu4U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R12-Qn4g72Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txraa21q8FQ

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Szun Waves – New Hymn To Freedom

Description: Album Review of Szun Waves – New Hymn To Freedom


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Lee Morgan – Caramba

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

post bop

Moods

jivey dinner party

Thoughts

The title track stands out but the rest I thought was just ok, good from a post-bop perspective.

Great instrumentation, especially Morgan's trumpet playing, so it's hard not to enjoy if you're into jazz.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Lee-Morgan-Caramba/release/3094292

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArqJanZPY9A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXDRzy2Xip4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGn3HKIlj4s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBx9ktBnb4E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbTtUHi6bxM

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Lee Morgan – Caramba

Description: Album Review of Lee Morgan – Caramba


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Francis Lai – Un Homme Et Une Femme (Bande Originale Du Film)

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

French Samba

Moods

Cigarettes on the Champs-Elysées

Thoughts

I liked parts but the samba is kinda corny overall

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Francis-Lai-Un-Homme-Et-Une-Femme-Bande-Originale-Du-Film/release/2608416

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SRzGV1Vtgk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTPpwZ1-ELc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e8jjXaMkus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlIGpTti3UQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljt5kCbuGhA

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Francis Lai – Un Homme Et Une Femme (Bande Originale Du Film)

Description: Album Review of Francis Lai – Un Homme Et Une Femme (Bande Originale Du Film)


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Wes Montgomery – A Day In The Life

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

Light guitar driven jazz

Moods

Wedding cocktail reception

Thoughts

A bunch of covers done in this kinda corny, guitar driven light jazz; overly dramatic string arrangements don't really help things much.

As much as I don't like this record I do include these tracks in mixes when entertaining. Easily recognizable melodies in this 'soft’ format serve well as background music.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Wes-Montgomery-A-Day-In-The-Life/release/10040768

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjHiSePn1ts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86oaCxW2daU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0KZk2Ojxn8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJyarNALJFc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vp4O3fOLy8

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Wes Montgomery – A Day In The Life

Description: Album Review of Wes Montgomery – A Day In The Life


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Miles Davis – A Tribute To Jack Johnson

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

Sounds like?

Rock and Jazz fusion

Moods

Groovin – the perfect miles record for rock fans

Thoughts

Perhaps the most 'rock’ record in the miles discography. Purists might disagree but I think this is an exemplar of rock and jazz fusion due to it's heavy rock lean and accessibility. The mixing is weird: no single tracks but rather two lengthy sides where thing's fade into the other, often forcing unfinished ideas to come together abruptly; almost like an impatient DJ. Anyhow the music:

Side 1 is the better example of the miles 'rock’ thing with a driving bass line and angular guitars propelling things forward. It’s an extended classic  70s rock jam with a groove.

Side 2 is where thing's get a bit more chilled out and experimental. The music wanders and isn't as focused. Still.. things are being worked out and it's fantastic music by any means. A highlight is the moment ‘in a silent way’ breaks through. Glorious!

I consider miles electric period one of the pinnacles of music and this is one of the best intros, especially for non-jazz fans.

Essential music.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-A-Tribute-To-Jack-Johnson/release/1941575

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8TdZFVj6tA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoH6kFbuYRQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfLvNwxnj6g

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Miles Davis – A Tribute To Jack Johnson

Description: Album Review of Miles Davis – A Tribute To Jack Johnson


Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Crackazat – Rainbow Fantasia

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

Sexy electro

Moods

Cheesy modern hotel bar

Thoughts

Aside from midnight in sector seven I found this to be bland. Seemed too buttoned-up and overly polished.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Crackazat-Rainbow-Fantasia/release/11103373

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK4Slc-uSZ8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eGeqsOBv4w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLMmbQ8_oYQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUGvJkZEDZ0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czXi-Lctnuo

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Crackazat – Rainbow Fantasia

Description: Album Review of Crackazat – Rainbow Fantasia


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Hip modern funky chill jazz

Moods

Feeling cool

Thoughts

I like the instrumentation a lot, groove focused over technical playing (he played keys on that makaya mccraven ‘where we come from’ album I enjoy). Competent bass keeps a hip hop flavor alive, ‘mollison’ is great pure dub revival that I bet is a fun jam live. Vocals really detract on 'starting today' which felt forced but work on 'too far' which reminds me of thundercat in it's melancholic mantra repetition and 'London's face' where the tempo is kicked up a bit.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Joe-Armon-Jones-Starting-Today/release/11972498

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdz9jHg-mWM

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Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today

Description: Album Review of Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Mary Halvorson Octet – Away With You

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Big, modern, swinging avant-garde jazz

Moods
Feeling.. technical

Thoughts
She’s been hyped a lot for her live shows here in New York and as my first introduction to her I can see why as this is a must hear for anyone interested in modern compositions. Meticulously arranged, this offers layers of strings, brass and rhythm executed flawlessly.

Hats off to the vision and level of playing. Nothing sexy here, its ‘dooty’ plain vanilla jazz but damn those are incredibly interesting compositions.

Side one is where it’s at. Rewards repeat listens.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Mary-Halvorson-Octet-Away-With-You/release/9341908

Listen!

Youtube

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Mary Halvorson Octet – Away With You

Description: Album Review of Mary Halvorson Octet – Away With You


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Guitar driven classic rock

Moods
Collins Basement

Thoughts

The songwriting reminds me of prog rock due to a series of time changes and chops but at its core this is ‘classic rock’ through and through.

Songs are structured around Beck’s guitar playing and feature some great keys solos and impeccable drumming and bass. Beck’s style is fantastic: technical and precise while still maintaining a groove.

While later tracks like ‘scatterbrain’ kick things into full-on rock, I really like the easy-going, latin-tinged ‘she’s a women’.

Solid record.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Jeff-Beck-Blow-By-Blow/release/1929704

Listen!

Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwUq8ZE3d7c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcGlc45uHOo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_9C5MUJVHQ


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Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow

Description: Album Review of Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Vels Trio – Yellow Ochre

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Funky modern jazz trio with rock chops

Moods
Couldn’t get into Snarkypuppy so I saw the vels trio instead

Thoughts
Damn this is a tight group. Add vels trio onto the list of recent good modern jazz releases. Has just the right amount of funky keys and rock chops to keep the songwriting engaging.

This feels like a great release to get a friend into jazz as it’s got enough groove for anyone to hook into.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Vels-Trio-Yellow-Ochre-/release/10484847

Listen!

Youtube





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Vels Trio – Yellow Ochre

Description: Album Review of Vels Trio – Yellow Ochre


Rating: 3 out of 5