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Shining Sweet Shanghai Devil album cover
3.00 | 14 ratings | 1 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Firewalker (2:43)
2. Where Do You Go Christmas Eve? (5:29)
3. Jonathan Livingston Seagull (4:54)
4. Sink (5:50)
5. Shanghai Devil (3:54)
6. Misery's Child (5:39)
7. Cellofan Eyes (5:57)
8. Herbert West - Reanimator / After The Rain (9:18)

Total time 43:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Jørgen Munkeby / tenor sax, flute, composer
- Morten Qvenild / piano
- Aslak Hartberg / acoustic bass
- Torstein Lofthus / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Nicolai Schaanning Larsen

CD Jazzland Recordings ‎- 038 266-2 1 (2003, Norway)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SHINING Sweet Shanghai Devil ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (29%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SHINING Sweet Shanghai Devil reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars SHINING continued its all acoustic avant-garde jazz style on its second album SWEET SHANGHAI DEVIL which featured the exact same lineup as a quartet that included founder Jørgen Munkeby on saxophone, flute and clarinet with Asiak Hartberg on acoustic bass, Torstein Lofthus on drums and Morten Qvenild on piano. While the musical compositions which were almost exclusively created by Munkeby were originals, this album found the track "Sink" composed by Morten Qvenild and a cover of John Coltrane's sizzling "Herbert West - Reanimator / After The Rain" which showcases the band's infatuation with the more avant-garde side of post-bop of the early 1960s.

While the debut "Where The Ragged People Go" was so authentic that it really could've passed as a long lost Coltrane album, the band really stepped things up on this sophomore release and therefore SWEET SHANGHAI DEVIL is chock full of more creative moments that while still sonically sounding like it could've existed on the 60s timeline, infused more avant-garde ideas that never would've been found in the world of jazz during that time and although it's still impossible to predict that the band would change gears into the more caustic world of extreme metal after this release, it is obvious that the band was finding its own voice although still distant behind the barrage of bop-fueled bass runs, jazz drumming workouts and incessant squawks of sax, clarinet and occasional flute.

The album starts off much like the first but the phrasing is much more adventurous and the four musicians have become true jazz masters by finding a completely separate musical role that conspires to become a vital sum of the larger whole. The music is every bit as talented as some of the 60s legends and the production is top notch and due to the fact that there is more creative mojo flowing on SWEET SHANGHAI DEVIL, it makes a more interesting listening experience of the two pure jazz releases. While starting out more traditional, the album really is on fire by the time the sixth track "Misery's Child" cranks out. Lofthus has become a drum playing machine with incessant barrages of complex rolls but the most prominent feature of this one are the excellent piano rolls of Morten Qvenild who has mastered the art of impressionism.

While those seeking the metal part of SHINING's career, you can skip to the next album "In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster" which begins to adopt new ideas and to "Grindstone" for the full metal approach, SWEET SHANGHAI DEVIL is a decent pure jazz album for sure and much more developed than its predecessor. While much of the album is pure Coltrane and Ornette Coleman worship, the band had clearly honed its chops to the point where it was capable of crafting some excellent experimental rock which would put these guys on the world's stage for a short time. All in all if you are a serious jazz buff this probably won't get you overly excited as the 60s classics will forever dominate that jazz world but it's certainly not a waste of time either. The intricate musical parts is fascinating to follow. A small step up from the debut.

3.5 rounded down

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