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Reviews Written by
J. D. Naylor "jazzfan" (England)

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Eric Clapton & Friends: The Breeze - An Appreciation of JJ Cale
Eric Clapton & Friends: The Breeze - An Appreciation of JJ Cale
Price: £4.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breeze - Eric breezes through this one., 28 July 2014
Not a ground breaking effort here from the great man but an enjoyable one nevertheless. Some quality songs and a host of guest performers lift this one considerably higher then the modest ambitions of "Old Sock". The music is in the blues tradition albeit with pop ,folk and country influences thrown into the mix. What it really cries out for are some serious blues licks from EC but the emphasis here is on the songs and not Clapton's guitar mastery.
A considerable improvement on his most recent effort and should keep the majority of Eric's regular fans content.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2014 3:54 PM BST

Trios Live
Trios Live
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: £10.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trios Live - live trio, 26 July 2014
This review is from: Trios Live (Audio CD)
After a couple of changes of direction Redman is back to exploring the trio format - this time its live. Recorded from three different venues (with varying sound quality) , this a warts and all record with little or no post production or editing.
Basically, what you hear live is exactly what you hear on this CD. Its by no means a straight ahead blowing session and the trio, take their time in shaping the direction of each tune with gradual interplay between sax, bass and drums. Harmonies are extended and many artistic liberties are taken with melodies however, it generally manages to stay on the melodic side of creativity rather than giving way to complete freedom.
This is certainly an album that needs to be carefully listened to in order to appreciate its many creative delights. The sound, at times, is not the very best but I think Redman intended to release the recording exactly as it was heard on the night(s).
A challenging listen for real jazz enthusiasts.

Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: £10.79

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alive - Hiromi's very much alive and kicking, 25 Jun 2014
This review is from: Alive (Audio CD)
Another excellent trio album from Hiromi and her regular trio. You have all the same elements as the other albums and all concerned play their hearts out. The array of musical influeneces is mind boggling from Jazz to Rock and many stops in between. My only criticism here is that this album offers nothing new from the previous two. Other contemporary trios like Bad Plus, Phronesis and others are constantly re-inventing themselves to add variation to their music but Hiromi does not seem to be.
However, it does remain one lively, exciting, rocking good trio album. If you enjoyed "Move" and "Voice" then snap this one up without delay.

Road Shows, Vol. 3
Road Shows, Vol. 3
Price: £12.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roadshows iii - Sonny's still on the road, 9 Jun 2014
This review is from: Road Shows, Vol. 3 (Audio CD)
Another excellent release in Sonny's continuing Roadshows series and, if i am honest, the best one yet. Always better live than in the studio the great man selects half a dozen prime cuts from the last decade of his touring schedule. Although only six tracks, they weigh in at a hefty 72 minutes with "Why was i Born" taking up 23 of those minutes.
Needless to say the music and sound quality are definitely up to scratch with Rollins, at times, in masterful form.
If you are a Rollins fan then you really should add this one to your collection.

The MJQ Celebration
The MJQ Celebration
Price: £14.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MJQ - A Celebration, 7 April 2014
This review is from: The MJQ Celebration (Audio CD)
This recording was brought to fruition by bassist Matt Ridely but conceived by the late Michael Garrick a couple of years ago. They don't try and break with tradition and re-arrange these classic tunes; what they do is perform them in a respectful and tasteful fashion
in keeping with the MJQ themselves.
Jim Hart and barry Green deliver creative and swinging solos on every piece and Dave O'Higgins contributes some fine tenor sax on four tunes including a fine version of sony Rollin's "No Moe". A couple of Michael Garrick tunes are included as a tribute to the creator and mentor of this fine project.
If you don't have any MJQ in your collection then this will be a fine introduction from some of Britains top musicians.

Dean Street Nights
Dean Street Nights
Price: £15.18

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dean st Nights - Mellow magic from the Modern Master., 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: Dean Street Nights (Audio CD)
Another mellow masterpiece from US born but UK resident scott Hamilton. Recorded live at the Pizza Express Jazz Club this captures Hamilton at the top of his game. Accompanied by his regular trio of John Pearce(piano), Dave Green(bass) and Steve brown(drums) they have become a relaxed and close knit unit. Of course its standards all the way and fine one's they are too.
Hamilton of course never seems to put a foot wrong with his unhurried style and gorgeous full tone, he is tailor made for this kind relaxed swing. John Pearce on piano, as always, is swinging, lyrical and highly tasteful and the rhythm section doesn't really get any better than this. The cosey confines of the Pizza Express club lend themselves perfectly for live recordings and the sound quality is particularly good.
In case you havn't worked it out yet - i liked it !

The Two Minds Big Band
The Two Minds Big Band
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Minds big band - Single minded jazz, 28 Feb 2014
Excellent album and a novel idea to boot ! Dave O'Higgins and Pete Wraight got together to agree on some themes for their big band album and that was where their writing colaboration ended. They both went their separate ways and wrote pieces based on the agreed themes. The results are never less than interesting and the execution from the musicians is excellent. O'Higgins, as you would expect, has writtien pieces in the tried and trusted jazz tradition with head-solos-head arrangements. Wraight however shows his compositional skills,honed over the years in TV and Film, to create atmosphere and mood without the tradional jazz solos you would expect.
They both use exactly the same musicians but with quite different results. Take the openers "New Orleans"; Wraight creates a hot, sultry atmospheric piece without solos, whereas O'Higgins makes good use of a second line drum beat to create a more traditional new Orleans jazz piece (Altoist Sammy Mayne produces the best solo of the whole album on thsi piece).
And there you have the basic principal which repeats itself throughout the album.
This is fun, creative,thought provoking music that improves with repeated and concentrated listening.
Will they write together for the next album i wonder ?

Price: £7.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Standards - Dave's setting new standards, 26 Feb 2014
This review is from: Standards (MP3 Download)
Quite simply a superb set of standards from the seemingly ever improving Dave O 'Higgins. Recorded in his own home recording studio, with the tunes of Frank Sinatra as his inspiration, he has recorded a joyous session of swinging tunes. Glad to hear the hard swinging Robin Aspland is back with O'Higgins and he is pretty much the perfect pianist for this type of session; hard swinging and creative but setting the right mood for each piece. O'Higgins himself is in great form with endless streams of creative ideas flowing from his attractive sounding tenor Sax.
I just love a well performed set of standards and this one was just what the Doctor ordered.
Thanks Dave !

8 Classic Albums Vol.2
8 Classic Albums Vol.2
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic albums - Classic stitt, 26 Feb 2014
This review is from: 8 Classic Albums Vol.2 (Audio CD)
As long as you are not somebody that likes all of the minute details of a recording session; times,dates,places,song credits etc then its hard to fault these sets. The most annoying thing is when two complete albums don't fit on one disc and the last track ends up on another disc; otherwise this is great value for money and worth the price for the two Stitt/ammons albums alone.
Stitt didn't receive the credit he richly deserved for his great linear improvisations and his quickfire technique so hopefully these bargain price sets will introduce him to some new listeners.
I'll say it again, these sets really can't be faulted for the music quality.
Buy and enjoy.

Brooklyn Playground
Brooklyn Playground
Price: £13.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Brooklyn playground - Fred's not playing around though., 25 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brooklyn Playground (Audio CD)
Bought this one expecting to here Fredrik tearing up every tune in sight with his fleet fingered style. What you actually get though is some superb tunes, wonderful harmonies and more feeling from Kronkvist than I thought him capable. As an improviser he is not up there with the best but he plays with more spirit and heart than many of today's up and coming musicians. I guess you could put this in the contemporary Bop category as most of the tunes have a modern feel although there is an excellent version of Ellington's caravan.
An excellent rhythm section and superb sound quality make this one of the early picks of 2014.

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