Browsing All posts tagged under »jazz rock«

Various Artists – Album Roundup

September 8, 2014

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Richard Pinhas and Yoshida Tatsuya are legendary figures in the French and Japanese experimental rock scenes, respectively. ‘Experimental’ is a term that implies a bit of diversity, and the projects they’ve been involved with have covered quite a range of approaches, so there is nothing predictable about this record, and nor would there have been, whatever it sounded like. Pinhas is a guitarist with a penchant for live looping technology, which he uses here to create shimmering skeins of sound rather than hard-edged rhythmic repetitions, mutating colour fields with texturally filigreed surfaces and pelagically roiling depths. He uses quite pronounced distortion, which takes the music into the fringes of noise, but it is soft and warm, amniotically …

Robert Wyatt – ’68 (avant-rock)

February 2, 2014

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Robert Wyatt has very few rivals for the title of most influential percussionist in British underground music (among many other things), but he hasn’t played drum kit in over forty years, after losing the use of his legs in an accident. The release of an album on which he does just that (among many other things) is something of a significant event for many listeners, then, and there are other reasons for the great interest (and appreciation) with which ’68 has been greeted. It offers a snapshot of his musical development at a crucial moment in the growth of the more creatively rigorous side of British …

Isamu McGregor – Live At The Baked Potato (jazz)

September 25, 2012

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Jazz fusion, after the initial excitement attending its arrival, organised itself into two broad sets of practices: one organised musical materials drawn from various forms of popular music, embracing new musical technologies, with the harmonic erudition of jazz, into complex, highly organised arrangements; the other really just carried on doing jazz, but did so with new sounds and a new phraseology. The latter approach is typified by Miles Davis’ late 60s albums, and continues to be about the creativity of performance, about composition as a pretext for playing, rather than musicianship as a means to realise composition. For me this approach reached its apotheosis with Herbie Hancock’s 1974 album Thrust, a far more coherent record than his more …

Goosepimp Orchestra – Swagadelic Fertilizer Castle (funk/ latin/ jam-band)

February 8, 2012

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Music has many functions, central among which is entertainment. For all that fans of its more abstruse, intellectual forms might claim otherwise, I would argue that it’s a central function of all music; the stuff that seems self-consciously serious, or which adopts a texture at odds with conventional notions of the aesthetic, is still entertainment, it’s just that it’s directed at a particular audience. To those artists who claim to be motivated exclusively by their own creative needs, I’d point out that if they didn’t care about anyone else hearing what they have to say, they wouldn’t say it out loud. Music is an act of communication…

Heavy Ethics – Rhubarb (jazz/ fusion/ prog)

June 24, 2011

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It says prog up there at the top, and that’s both a nod to the band’s self-identifications, and because this music is decidedly progressive, although, to be honest, if you’re looking for something that sounds like archetypal prog-rock this will probably sound like jazz to you. It has dissonances aplenty, and frequently hazy tonality, although it is never quite atonal, but for all Heavy Ethics’ avant-garde tendencies, these elements are contextualised by the vocabulary, and tend to read (to my ear at least) in the same way as the dense chromaticism of...