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JAZZ ROCK/FUSION

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Jazz Rock/Fusion definition


  1. Jazz Fusion is jazz that is strongly influenced by other styles of music. Jazz fusion is an ambiguous term that provides the first level sub-set down from Jazz. Jazz rock is a sub-sub set from jazz via jazz fusion. The ambiguity comes from an American tendency through the 90's and until now, to freely interchange jazz rock and jazz fusion, when in fact the latter term covers most hybrids of jazz fused with other forms of music. The roots of jazz rock can be traced back to RnB influenced soul-jazz artists such as Les McCann, Grant Green and Jimmy Smith, and young British jazzers such as Graham Bond, Ginger Baker, John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce, Georgie Fame, who were forced to use electronic instruments because the local club's acoustic instruments were reserved for the older established jazz musicians. Probably the first jazz artists that released recordings that mixed modern rock (circa 60s) with jazz were Larry Coryell, Jeremy Steig, Charles Lloyd, The Soft Machine, and The (Jazz) Crusaders. Meanwhile rock artists such as Cream, Grateful Dead and The Jimi Hendrix Experience were getting a lot of publicity and fame with their lengthy improvisations based on blues, rock, psychedelia and some jazz. These rock artists had an impact on Miles Davis who generated a lot of media attention to this new jazz-rock genre with his Bitches Brew album. From there the genre grew and exploded into numerous different directions. One of these directions was brass rock as exemplified by bands like Dreams, Chicago, BS&T and If. These bands combined elements of jazz, rock and classical music with arrangements for brass and woodwinds.

  2. Many other styles of music have been combined with jazz to create fusion including traditional music from around the world, R'n'B, rock, electronic music and pop music and jazz from Africa, Latin America, India and other places. One of the earliest examples of the use of the term fusion comes from the Indo-jazz fusion of Joe Harriott and John Mayer. Some of the more popular early practitioners of fusion included Weather Report and Herbie Hancock's Sextant. A few years later Shakti appears on the scene and expands the boundaries of fusion further, foreshadowing the World Fusion movement of the 90's.

  3. In part Nu.jazz grew out of the British acid jazz scene of the late 80s and early 90s, whilst modern leaders of nu.fusion cite Miles Davis and Jon Hassell as the godfathers of the genre. As the genre began to develop it took on other influences such as world beat/jazz fusion, psychedelic trip-hop, post-rock and mixtures of ambience with modern jazz. The jazz with electronia experiments that Jon Hassell was conducting in the late 80's, with the likes of Eno, were to be a major influence especially on the dance side of nu.jazz, sometimes known as nu.fusion. Three main elements make nu.jazz different from the more traditional jazz (rock) fusion. First of all there is less of an emphasis on instrumental virtuosity in nu.jazz (especially nu.fusion). Second, more use of electronics (especially skilled turntablism) and studio trickery that emphasizes sound textures. Third, nu.jazz tends to use more modern rhythms such as drum'n'bass, hip-hop, post-rock, and various mixtures of world beat rhythms. Progressive nu.jazz artists such as Bugge Wesseltoft, Nils Petter Molvaer and the Esbj÷rn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.), combine complicated compositions with modern rhythms to create new unheard of soundscapes - while the former two are leaders of nu.fusion, and with more emphasis on jazz playing, EST have been the leaders in straighter nu.jazz. Nu.jazz is loosely connected to other newer jazz fusion genres, particularly the more progressive live, jazz jam bands such as Medeski Martin & Wood or Garaj Mahal. It may seem that the only difference between the two genres is the country the artist is from or what scene they came up through.li>

Only the most progressive of nu jazz, jazz-rock and fusion artists are listed on Progarchives, although accceptability or not here may vary from person to person. All artists have elements of progressive rock in their music (e.g. Jean Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford or David Sancious) or they represent the most forward-looking and progressive element in their genre (e.g. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock or Weather Report). It should be noted that those many Canterbury jazz rock fusion bands, e.g. Soft Machine, Soft Works, Soft Heap, Soft Machine Legacy, Gilgamesh etc. are to be found under the CANTERBURY heading in Prog Archives.

Dick Heath
John 'Easy Money'
Martin 'Alucard' Horst
(Edition 3.2. Nov 2009)

Current Team Members as at 12/24/14

Evolver (Scott)
Man With Hat (Phil)
Darkshade (Mike)
historian9

Jazz Rock/Fusion Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Jazz Rock/Fusion | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.35 | 808 ratings
KIND OF BLUE
Davis, Miles
4.33 | 1057 ratings
BIRDS OF FIRE
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.33 | 559 ratings
IN A SILENT WAY
Davis, Miles
4.47 | 62 ratings
THE COLOURS OF CHLO╦
Weber, Eberhard
4.29 | 459 ratings
SPECTRUM
Cobham, Billy
4.31 | 219 ratings
HIROMI'S SONICBLOOM: TIME CONTROL
Uehara, Hiromi
4.31 | 208 ratings
WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER
Nucleus
4.25 | 779 ratings
THE INNER MOUNTING FLAME
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.24 | 653 ratings
ELEGANT GYPSY
Di Meola, Al
4.24 | 569 ratings
CARAVANSERAI
Santana
4.32 | 127 ratings
A BENEFIT OF RADIM HLAD═K (MODRŢ EFEKT & RADIM HLAD═K)
Blue Effect (Modrř Efekt; M. Efekt)
4.24 | 525 ratings
BITCHES BREW
Davis, Miles
4.24 | 441 ratings
ABRAXAS
Santana
4.24 | 505 ratings
ROMANTIC WARRIOR
Return To Forever
4.32 | 115 ratings
STADACON╔
Sloche
4.25 | 204 ratings
LES PORCHES
Maneige
4.29 | 117 ratings
SVITANIE
Blue Effect (Modrř Efekt; M. Efekt)
4.24 | 194 ratings
THE WAY UP
Metheny , Pat
4.23 | 256 ratings
ENIGMATIC OCEAN
Ponty, Jean-Luc
4.28 | 122 ratings
MILESTONES
Davis, Miles

Jazz Rock/Fusion overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Jazz Rock/Fusion experts team

CRNA DAMA
Smak
LIVE AT MONTEREY (DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA)
Ellis, Don
RAHMANN
Rahmann
ZASTO NE VOLIM SNEG
Smak

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Latest Jazz Rock/Fusion Music Reviews


 Rabenteuer by MORPHEUS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.66 | 19 ratings

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Rabenteuer
Morpheus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. I seem to be in the minority with my great appreciation of this Jazz/ Rock album from Germany's own MORPHEUS. Mind you it took several spins and a closer listen from yours truly to finally unlock it's treasures. Released in 1976 this all-instrumental album is a jammy affair with sax and guitar usually leading the way but man that bass player kills on here. He's so upfront and you know I thought of KRAAN fairly early on as I listened to this and he certainly brought to mind the great KRAAN bass player Hellmut Hattler. Interesting as well that the flute which there isn't a lot of isn't played by the sax player but by the bassist.

"Rabenteuer" apparently in German combines the words "raven" and "adventure" and we see the raven on the album cover with other things that I'm sure have something to do with the song titles. Man this sounds pretty amazing to start the way they seem to tease us with that oh so moving melody that comes and goes. It settles in around a minute with the sax playing over top. The guitar takes the lead a minute later followed by a calm before 4 minutes as the bass and picked guitar take over with drums as it builds. So good! The sax is back quickly though and KRAAN comes to mind here. Some nice bass as well again reminding me of KRAAN. The sax and guitar take turns the rest of the way.

"Brandung" has simply a breath-taking intro with that bass, guitar and drums before it kicks in to a faster pace with sax joining in. Back to that more atmospheric sound from the intro but with melancholic sax this time. Themes are repeated and check out the bass solo late as it speeds up. Great track! "Breitmaulfrosch" allows each member to strut their stuff. It's catchy with some tempo and mood shifts and again the bass is prominent, especially after 3 minutes. Love the calm that follows with guitar leading the way as the sax returns as well. "Oktober '74" is a brighter piece but it's also the shortest at around 2 1/2 minutes. Such a feel good tune with the sax leading the way but the bass jumps out at me a minute in as well.

"Tanz Der Morphine" opens with guitar as we get some high hat sounds before everyone joins in. The tempo changes often and I love the sound before 1 1/2 minutes. I'm not big on the short outbursts but they only happen a couple of times. "Abflug" is the over 15 minute closer. This is where they jam and I'm surprised at the lack of sax in this one. Some atmosphere to start as flute and guitar join in. Clashing cymbals follow before it kicks into gear before 3 1/2 minutes with deep bass lines. The guitar returns as the drums continue. Sax after 11 1/2 minutes and it calms down before 14 minutes to the end. My edition has a 20 minute bonus track called simply "Morpheus Jam" which it certainly is but it's more dynamic than the last track and a nice edition to the recording.

For me this is an outstanding release and one I'm thankful to own. KRAAN fans should check it out.

 The Third Frontier by UTOPIANISTI album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.98 | 6 ratings

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The Third Frontier
Utopianisti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

5 stars The next (third) album from the incredibly talented Finnish avant jazz composer/bandleader, Markus Pajakkala. I find myself liking this album much better than the previous albums because of it's conhesive flow. On II each and every song sounded and felt so different--which makes a lot of sense considering the use of completely different musicians on each and every song. Also, the increased presence of the operatic vocalization of female vocalist Suvi Vńyrynen (on three songs) gives the album a bit of a Zeuhl (UNIVERSAL TOEM ORCHESTRA) or Canterbury (AMANDA PARSONS, ELIZABETH GASKIN and THE NORTHETTES) flavor--which I love. I just think Markus has probably matured, clarified his vision, and polishing his songs as well or even better than before (he has always shown impeccable attention to detail in the engineering room).

1. "Voodoo Mammoths From Neptune" (4:25) has such clarity in its sound production! It is an odd, cinematic piece with a nicely extended introductory section which allows the listener to get hooked in for the ride. Simply stunning sound! (9/10) 2. "Dr. Gravity's Evil Plan" (4:01) treads more into cinematic jazz like a good spy thriller--or a spoof of a whodunnit. Great ensemble timing opens before multiple trumpets are given solo lines--at the same time! At the end of the second minute some nice organ play bridges into the next section. (Again, the clarity of sound distinction is remarkable!) Awesome organ play gives way to flute while the background ensemble keeps things so tightly glued together! How Markus gets this kind of collaboration from his band is remarkable! Awesome, simple bass line near the forefront holds it all together so well. (10/10)

3. "Universe For Dummies" (5:52) opens with some staccato arpeggi from the electric bass before the wonderful vocalise of Suvi Vńyrynen betrays the composer's Canterbury intentions. Great weave of some quite disparate threads--like from horns, vibraphone and electric guitar--breaks into full force at the one minute mark. Very much like a song from INNER EAR BRIGADE. Great soli (and from some odd instrumental choices/sounds) parade around the foreground while bass and organ continue tip-toeing around with the foundational bob and weave. Truly an astounding song! (10/10)

4. "White Dwarf" (1:24) slows things down as an electric piano (Rhodes?) solos slowly before being joined by reed instruments. Cool sound! (9/10)

5. "Life As We Thought We Knew It" (4:55) opens with a metronomic electric piano riff which is built upon by horns, vibes, guitars and cymbals. Very pretty. At 1:32 the volume turns up though the play of the horn section gives it all a kind of CHICAGO feel--if however briefly. At 2:38 things get more serious. This could be right off of FROGG CAF╔'s 2010 classic, The Bateless Edge (which makes me beg for the presence of some lyrics--like "Terra Sancta"). Nice song! (9/10)

6. "A Hundred Rabbits" (5:03) opens with a little funk coming from the rhythm section of bass, drums, congas, vibes and clavinet. These are shortly joined by horns and woodwinds and, a bit later, the synth-horn-like vocalizations of Suvi. Things are toned down a bit toward the end of the second minute to allow for the isolation of a flute solo. HUBERT LAWS would be proud! A little bass solo bridges our way into a protracted solo from a seething electric guitar. HENDRIX would be proud! Awesomely woven into the funky horns until it finally fades away into the background so that Suvi and the horns can take us out. Awesome song! (10/10)

7. "Spanking Season" (2:33) the first song I heard from the album has vocals! Odd, cabaret-like vocals--not unlike the stylings of HUMBLE GRUMBLE, PINGVINORKESTERN, KNIFEWORLD or MAJOR PARKINSON. Fun, funny, laughable and eminently clever song! Great solo from a 'Space Invaders' synthesizer toward the end. (9/10)

8. "13 Demons In The Disco Dimension" (3:12) opens with some odd radio clip before a campy melody and odd time rhythm establish a kind of Zappa-esque envirnoment--sophisticated, highly disciplined, and sleek. Not my favorite song but I truly respect and understand it. (8/10)

9. "The Last Reflection" (7:00) Has a bluesy soul and proggy feel to it, as the whole band seems to ride as one wave while the drums are free to play beneath! The delicate part in the fourth minute which opens up space for the vocalise soloations of the gorgeous voice of Suvi Vńyrynen is perfection! Great restraint is shown throughout this song from both the composer and his musicians. Even the climax starting at 5:15 shows great emotion and sympathetic feel from all: horns, bass, drums, organ, electric guitar--I can really feel it from all of them! Amazing! (10/10)

All in all, Markus Pajakkala has packaged together a masterpiece of incredibly well contrived and well executed theatric jazz. Consistently, this is one of the best ensemble performances of very sophisticated music that I've heard in a while. Definitely one of the funnest albums of the year (so far).

Five stars; a true masterpiece of progressive music.

 Solar Plexus by SOLAR PLEXUS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.83 | 5 ratings

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Solar Plexus
Solar Plexus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is the debut double album from Sweden's SOLAR PLEXUS released in 1972. The band featured the drummer and guitarist from MADE IN SWEDEN along with vocalist Tommy Korberg who was very well known in Sweden, as well as Monica a very accomplished keyboardist and vocalist and finally Carl-Axel also on keyboards. You know I was reminded of "666" by APHRODITES CHILD not because the music is at all similar or that both are double albums but because this is unique and all over the place and for some strange reason I'm blown away by it all. I have the English version which I'm thankful for because the vocals are not forced and I detect no accents.

"Bouillabaisse" is one of many standout tracks on this recording. The electric piano, drums, bass and organ sound amazing to start and the guitar joins in before a minute but it's brief. It settles down and the contrasts will continue. Some cool bass lines in this one and the guitar does return late. "A Polka For Orsa" is less than a minute of flute. "My Song Is For Her" is my favourite. Tommy on vocals kills this and he reminds me so much of another Prog vocalist that I can't put my finger on and it's been driving me crazy. The lyrics are so meaningful in this smoky, jazzy tune and I really dig the guitar style. I can play this over and over. "Loveliness" sounds pretty amazing with all the atmosphere with the cymbals clashing slightly and the bass and flute. Beautiful stuff. It's slowly building and the guitar becomes prominent after 4 minutes. It calms right down before 6 minutes like the beginning right to the end. Great track!

"Wallenberg" is one of those songs that you have to move to, so catchy with those vocal melodies. Check out the distorted keys before 2 minutes after the vocals stop. So good as drums and pulsating organ support. A change 3 1/2 minutes in as it settles down and male and female vocals arrive. This reminds me of Canterbury even the humerous lyrics. It kicks back in with those vocal melodies around 5 1/2 minutes. "The Eye Of Odin" has shimmering keys, bass, percussion and a relaxed horn. Gorgeous sound here. It does pick up and turn fuller but not by lot. Piano to the fore after 3 minutes as the horn stops temporarily. "Like A Spinning Sun" opens with piano and I think Spanish guitar as Tommy comes in on vocals. When it picks up at 1 1/2 minutes it's so catchy and uplifting. It's like this band has a gift for being melodic and funny and experimental, they do it all so well. I like the pulsating keys and the guitar after 2 1/2 minutes. Back to the opening soundscape after 3 minutes.

"Concerto Grosso For Pop Group And Symphony Orchestra" is the over 23 minute orchestral piece with an actual orchestra helping out. I'm not really into orchestral music but they add enough "Rock" elements to keep me happy. I like the bass after a minute and the picked guitar and flute around 3 1/2 minutes all while the orchestral sounds lead the way. A change before 7 minutes as the orchestral stuff stops and drums and organ lead the way. Check out the bass solo 8 minutes in then the organ leads as the brass and strings come and go. It turns classical before 10 minutes then the drums and distorted keys join in. Nice. A drum solo is fairly brief then the strings return after 11 minutes. Guitar around 14 minutes. A change after 18 minutes as the guitar stops and strings take over. Dual keys only before 19 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in to an orchestral mode at 20 minutes with bass and piano too as drums follow. Many aren't thrilled with this suite but it adds to the charm in my opinion.

"Phrygian Samba" is another killer track with bass and electric piano to start as drums and more join in quickly. Great sound! Guitar joins in before 2 minutes. Catchy is the word. "Think When We Live All Together" is another silly song sounding like it's out of the thirties or something especially the male and female vocals that are channeling that vibe. The laughter to start the song is a clue what's to follow. Piano support the vocals. "They're Building Their Cities" is another memorable song that opens with mono- tones female vocals and an experimental backdrop bring RIO to mind right away. It does change before 1 1/2 minutes as it picks up with drums, organ and bass as the male vocals join in. Electric piano too. An instrumental break before 3 minutes and the guitar joins in as he starts ripping it up. Male vocals are back after 4 1/2 minutes then it ends like it began. "A Real Goodun'" is the jazzy closing number with bass, drums and organ leading the way as the guitar joins in around 2 minutes.

Sure this isn't perfect just like "666" isn't perfect but I'm a sucker for electric piano and it's played by two of the members so it's prominent, but also the talent that is featured in this band just boggles my mind. The compositions, playing and singing all clicked with me from the very first listen.

 The Third Frontier by UTOPIANISTI album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.98 | 6 ratings

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The Third Frontier
Utopianisti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars UTOPIANISTI is a Finnish act led by composer and sax /flute /clarinet /additional keyboards & percussion player Markus Pajakkala. The albums No. 1 and 2 were quite patchy, all-over-the-place kind of works in which the musicians varied almost from track to track. In 2014 Utopianisti grew from a recording project into a stable live band and started the real action with a successful Mexican tour. I myself have also witnessed the group's cheerul energy in their hometown Tampere last year. It is evident that this third album benefits from the tight band, and it was even recorded mostly as a live in the studio except for some instruments and solos. All material is new on this 38Ż-minute album that is a whole lot more focused set of complex jazz- rock.

Pajakkala tells in the publisher's info sheet how he wants to bring together all things he loves in music: the overwhelming energy, tight combo playing, instrumental acrobatics, challenging harmonies, influences from especially FRANK ZAPPA and PEKKA POHJOLA, wild groove, the search for beauty from unexpected places and so on, but at the same time staying away from self- indulgent difficulty. He's truly succeeded in his goals. Must say that the preceding albums contain some hilarious stuff I'm not so fond of, underlining the will to be humorous. Now all nine tracks grow from a very solid musical substance and I enjoy them all, with one exception though: 'Spanking Season' features quite brutal vocals by Pharaoh Pirttikangas and I always skip that brief track.

Female voice (of Suvi Vńyrynen) colours three tracks nicely. My clear favourite is 'The Last Reflection' that features the vocalese element and operates on the more emotional side than several uptempo tracks full of rhythmic complexity. I'm proud to say that the man I've changed few words with makes fantastic and excellently played music that any lover of fusion by Zappa, Pekka Pohjola, PASSPORT etc. from all over the globe will find deeply gratifying. Although it's not a perfect album, and also it could be a bit longer, I believe now is an appropriate time to use the rare full rating. Remember the name UTOPIANISTI!

  Floating Music  (with Come to the Edge) by YAMASH'TA, STOMU album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.84 | 16 ratings

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Floating Music (with Come to the Edge)
Stomu Yamash'ta Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Stomu Yamash'ta is a Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist who's specialty is vibes, percussion and keyboards. He moved to France in the early seventies and recorded one album before moving to the UK where he recorded most of his seventies albums. On this particular album we get a couple of future BRAND X members in Morris Pert and Peter Robinson, in fact the only track not composed by Stomu is the song "Xingu" which Pert created. Man I've enjoyed this recording so much, it's a it of a grower but the combination of percussion, vibes and electric piano just hits the spot for me.

"Poker Dice" opens with what sounds like chimes as vibes and experimental sounds help out. This is very laid back to begin with. Then the bass joins in after 2 1/2 minutes as electric piano and vibes help out. Drums follow but it's still laid back until it turns louder before 5 minutes. Nice. A change after 6 1/2 minutes as a new soundscape of bass, electric piano and vibes take over, drums too as it builds. Lots of intricate sounds here. It sounds like the theme for "Mission Impossible" after 12 minutes. A change after 14 minutes as drums, percussion, electric piano and growly sounds lead the way. "Keep In Lane" is different from the rest of the songs as we get these crazy vocal expressions to start before the horns(sax, trumpet & trombone) come in blasting while the drums and vibes support. This is jazzy with plenty of horns and busy drum work. Some dissonant horns too as the bass throbs and the drums pound. Check it out after 4 minutes! Those crazy vocal expressions are back around 8 minutes to the end.

The final two tracks were recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, January 10th 1972. 'Xingu" hits the ground running with random drum patterns and avant horns. Quite experimental until it all stops before a minute and electric piano echoes as percussion and faint sounds help out. The bass before 2 1/2 minutes is impressive then the keys kick in with a full sound before 3 minutes. Drums and percussion dominate 5 minutes in as the electric piano stops for now. The previous soundscape returns after 6 minutes, this is so bright and uplifting. It's just a pleasure the rest of the way especially the distorted keys. Insanity before 12 1/2 minutes to the end. "One Way" is led by flute and relaxed percussion early on then it calms right down around 4 minutes as vibes and percussion lead the way. Check out the bass 6 1/2 minutes in. It's getting intense a minute later with all those percussion sounds. It calms down again and the flute returns around 10 minutes as it stays mellow to the end.

A very solid 4 stars, in fact this was a pleasure.

 Italian Luxury Style by MOOGG album cover Studio Album, 2016
5.00 | 2 ratings

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Italian Luxury Style
Moogg Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Nikols

5 stars Five years after the release of the debut album called "Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni" Italian band Moogg pleased with the new album. Essentially, the new work of the Italians is a wonderful continuation of its predecessor. "Italian Luxury Style" is an excellent jazz rock/fusion with some Canterbury flavour, with a predominance of the instrumental component. Although, in some tracks there is some vocals. But it a bit and it is always appropriate and pleasing to the ear. Very pleased that along with the high level of performance of the musicians of the collective they don't forget about the melodic component. Therefore, the album listens easily and with pleasure. Each musician brings their own flavor, this album is the talent of each member of the group manifested perfectly. But, perhaps, especially to allocate the drums - listening to them a pleasure!

I give this album the highest rating and highly recommend it to listeners of prog-rock!

 25 or 6 to 4 / Where Do We Go From Here by CHICAGO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
3.42 | 7 ratings

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25 or 6 to 4 / Where Do We Go From Here
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have to say that I never have listened to a full album from CHICAGO. I only have listened to some of their Hit Singles being played in some oldies FM Radio stations in my city. Like BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS, a band with a similar musical style, at least with the use of some brass instruments, this band has never been very interesting for me with the exception of some of their early singles like this single from 1970.

"25 or 6 to 4" is a very good song with a very characteristic guitar and bass riff and very good brass arrangements. It is maybe one of the "heaviest" tracks that I have listened to from them, with a very good lead guitar part and very good lead and backing vocals. It is maybe one of their most known songs, at least in my country. But the version that was released in this single is an edited version of the song which originally has a duration of five minutes. Anyway, the song sounds good in both versions, but I prefer the original version.

"Where Do We Go from Here", in the Side 2 of this single, is a very good ballad, without brass instruments, which maybe shows, with less "sugar" than other of their singles, some of the good ballads that this band has recorded during their very long musical history.

CHICAGO was one of the very few International Rock bands that came to play to my country in the seventies, a time when Rock concerts were almost "prohibited" because very often there were riots. If I remember well, there were riots outside one of the venues in which this band played in my city in 1975. The same happened with PROCOL HARUM in the same year. (I was too young to attend both concerts). It was until 1989 when ROD STEWART played some concerts in my country that International Rock Concerts here became a very common thing. It seems that the public that went to the concerts in the eighties-nineties finally learned to "behave well". But the seventies were very hard times for Rock music in my country.

 Terre II by JULIEN, JULIAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.99 | 12 ratings

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Terre II
Julian Julien Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Jazz from planet Earth?

Looking for original, creative yet refined and accessible jazz? Classically trained composer JULIAN JULIEN's "Terre II" may well be your destination. Adopting a genuine cinematographic approach, this third self-produced album is composed of short soundtracks depicting professional photographs from all around the world. With a wide range of various influences, such as JOHN SURMAN, zheul, krautrock, ambient, Eastern, and even concrete music, these compositions are a true invitation to travel to different countries from Earth, but also to unknown worlds.

The reference to photography is also perceptible with the tracks named "Iris" (Iris are adjustable diaphragms in optical capture devices). Thought as interludes by the artist, these short pieces are more atmospheric than the other compositions, and are interesting for their highly crafted sound work.

This time, JULIAN JULIEN plays percussions instead of saxophone, as numerous guest musicians were invited to play on this opus. Mainly from the jazz universe, the palette of instruments used is quite large. However, the music do not resemble traditional jazz or fusion at all, but rather elegant, intriguing and sometimes enigmatic soundscapes.

The opener "Prelude" immediately sets the tone. A true prelude for a journey to an unidentified destination. A beautiful mesmerizing overture, with a bit of JOHN SURMAN and a slight middle-eastern touch. The title track is more melancholic and hopeful, as its combination of piano and saxophone works perfectly. Sounding typically French at the beginning, the location is always evolving, you don't know where you are anymore. Paris? New-York? This mixture of different cultures is very nice. Then arrives the first ambient experimental "Iris", which surprisingly changes the atmosphere. As it title may suggest, "Ailleurs" ("Elsewhere" in English) does well carry its name. An aerial flute piece, with a mystical ambiance and crystalline sonoroties. With elements that can remind concrete music, early TANGERINE DREAM or KLAUS SCHULZE, the mysterious "Iris II" is spacey and floating, showing the artistic research on sound work. Nonetheless, the "Iris" tracks are not all short ambient pieces. The echoing horns of "Iris III" is a cry into the depths of the universe, like an astronaut seeking help from the infinite void. Quite cosmic, this is my favorite "Iris".

On the contrary, as the only track with wordless vocals, I found the sad "Une attente" a bit lengthy. Back to spacey experimentations with "Iris IV" and its little dissonant trumpet. Maybe the only 'difficult' passage of the disc. "Doudou" possesses a genuine ethereal beauty. An unreal soundscape depicting several places from Earth. Magic! Concerning "Iris V", it combines exotica and ambient music in the vein of modern electronic bands such as AUTECHRE or PLAID. A little strange but still pleasant. The 8 minutes "Non-Sens" is the longest track of the record. With a style resembling JOHN SURMAN's, this melancholic composition is really good. The last "Iris" sounds like music made with glasses, displaying crystalline and enigmatic notes. The album concludes on a lighter tone with "Mr John Barry", showing also JULIAN JULIEN's inspiration from the cinema. This closer can be described as a jazzy and East-European "Peter Gunn", due to the presence of a cymbalum. A bit more conventional compared to the rest of the disc, but still pretty uncommon, refreshing and very cool.

"Terre II" is a true journey around and beyond our planet. From his numerous travels and influences around the world, JULIAN JULIEN has really created a musical universe on his own, made of melancholic, mystical, touching and spacey soundscapes. Hard to describe, but not to listen to, this music is innovative and refreshing, yet varied and accessible. This is neither typical jazz/rock/fusion, nor complex free jazz here, but rather jazz instruments played for other purposes, refined and elegant ambiances, depicting Earth and space. Highly recommended!

With the important sound work, JULIAN JULIEN's style is well suited to soundtracks. The artist already did some in the past, maybe he'll compose more and more soundtracks in the future, and maybe one day an artist will release a song named "Mr Julian Julien", who knows?

 Nevergreen! by MISSING LINK album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.79 | 32 ratings

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Nevergreen!
Missing Link Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by maryes

4 stars 4,5 stars !!! MISSING LINK "Never Green" certainly a indispensable item from German prog admirers ! Mixing jazz/blues and (of course) krautrock. However... to me this album not start with good moments. The first two tracks aren't exciting prog themes . The good moments be in track 3 "Time will change" with his jazz waltz introduction and the unexpected blues intermission in the middle theme and the return to introduction theme. The track 4 "Only Me" with the expllosive overture and the strong theme with brass and wah-wah guitar ( the best track of the album). The track 5 "Sorcery" is in a very close style of previous track and are almost so good. The last track "Kids hunting" shows a intermission in rock'n'roll and besides this very good overture ! Only due the two first tracks above mentioned, I can't give the maximum quotation, my rate is 4 stars !!!
 Vali by PHLOX album cover Live, 2013
4.47 | 6 ratings

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Vali
Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ALotOfBottle

4 stars Canterbury, Kent, Estonia

Phlox was formed in Tallin, the capital city of Estonia, in 1999 by a guitarist Kristo Roots, percussionist Raivo Prooso, drummer Rainer Kapmann, and bassist Priit Holtsmann. Despite numerous personnel changes, since its very early days, the band's sound has been shaped by the Canterbury scene bands such as Hatfield and the North, National Health, Gilgamesh, and even Soft Machine. After four official albums, in 2013, Phlox released the live-cut Vali which as of June 2016 is their most recent album. Vali was recorded and broadcasted live for Areaal, Estonian Classical Radio, in April 2012.

There is undoubtedly something that saves Phlox from sounding like just another Canterbury-style jazz-rock outfit. And yet, there is no other way to describe the band's music. Take the best instrumental elements of the music of Hatfield and the North, mix them with the improvisational qualities of post-Wyatt era Soft Machine and soft, mellow smoothness of National Health's music. The dish that is already tasty is seasoned with straight-up jazz-rock influences of Nucleus and Mahavishnu Orchestra. And voilÓá, you're being served modern Canterbury sound of the highest order! The music of Phlox is largely improvisation-based, Vali is dripping with lengthy saxophone jams and synthesizer solos. In addition, the band has a great dynamic range. They can go from a delicate, dreamy parts on Fender Rhodes electric piano to heavy, noisy, and wild workouts in a great taste. At times gentle, mellow and calming, at times unsettling, loud, and disturbing - Phlox has got a very wide variety of flavors in store for the listener.

The keyboardist Pearu Helenurm could very well be regarded as the engine of the band, allowing it to go to the Canterbury scene-oriented territories. His virtuosic style shows evident inspiration of keyboardist such as Dave Stewart, Alan Gowen, and Mike Ratledge. His extensive use of electric piano is intermingled with a synthesizer, usually used as a solo instrument. Kalle Klein, a virtuoso saxophonist, handles alto and soprano saxophones with great ease. His playing may remind one of that of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, especially on the dissonant, free-form parts. Ravio Prooso with his "thumpy" bass guitar tone provides great grooves for the rest of the band to work on. Madis Zilmer's is characterized by heavy and dynamic rhythms. The band's guitarist, Kristo Roots, rarely finds himself playing rapid Phil Miller-like guitar solos, his guitar most often plays a role of a rhythm instrument, which lays down a theme for the rest of the band to work on. Allan Prooso enriches the group's sound with percussion instruments such as wood blocks or a triangle. All in all, Phlox without a doubt consists of skillful musicians with great amounts of technical know-how.

Vali opens with "80 000 lj÷÷d Maa All", a heavy Canterbury-inspired jazzy jam, which at one point or another displays work of every instrument. Next up, "Almus" begins with an almost pop-like intro on Fender Rhodes, which dissolves into improvisation with a loud distorted guitar, synthesizers, and a high-pitched saxophone. "KŘttearve Pńikeselt" is another one that opens with a mellow passage on electric piano, this time put through a tremolo effect. Then, drums and saxophones kick in and the track loses itself in improvisational madness and a great interplay of Roots' guitar and Klein's saxophone. Later on in the piece, Pearu Helenurm gets a brief synthesizer solo. "HŘlge Hing" is the first track to feature a grand piano - a much-welcome variation. "Paigalelend" opens with a dry guitar riff, which returns in between jams throughout the tune. "Hunt (5 Minutes to Armageddon Version)" starts with a somewhat mellow feel, which slowly descends into heavy, noisy, jazz-fueled mayhem. The last track on Vali, "Kurehirm (Doom Night Ornithology Special)" begins with a quiet interaction between percussion (which sounds a bit like frogs in a swamp), Rhodes, and a saxophone. Being the lengthiest piece on the album, saxophone gets some naked solo parts without any other band members accompanying.

Vali is by far the only live release from the Estonian outfit Phlox, showcasing their energetic, inspired, and vigorous sound. It raises a smile to see a contemporary band play fresh, interesting jazz-rock to a high degree inspired by Canterbury scene bands such as Hatfield and the North, National Health or Gilgamesh. Highly recommended to fans of the Canterbury scene!

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Bands/Artists Country
3RD WORLD ELECTRIC Multi-National
4 FRONT United States
7 FOR 4 Germany
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ABLUTION Sweden
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ABUS DANGEREUX France
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AIN SOPH Japan
AKA MOON Belgium
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ALKEMY France
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AMIGDALA Italy
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ANTIH╔ROE Argentina
APOTHECARY United States
AQUARELLE Canada
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ARCANA United States
ARCHIMEDES BADKAR Sweden
ARCO IRIS Argentina
NEIL ARDLEY United Kingdom
BRUCE ARNOLD United States
ARSENAL Russia
ARTI E MESTIERI Italy
TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Yugoslavia
ASSOCIATION P.C. Multi-National
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ATMOSPHERES Multi-National
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AXIS Greece
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B F Estonia
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BACK DOOR United Kingdom
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IL BARICENTRO Italy
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BEDJABETCH France
BELLA BAND Italy
BEN United Kingdom
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ALESSANDRO BERTONI Italy
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HEAD United Kingdom
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IZVIR Yugoslavia
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