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Neil Mawer (Lincoln, England)
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Caravan [Keepnews Collection]
Caravan [Keepnews Collection]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Gem from the Great Sextet, 22 Nov. 2008
The previous Jazz Messengers Quintet of Shorter/Timmons/Morgan had based their style on the great Miles Davis Quintet of the 50's, but used original material rather than standards. Although great at the time, their standing has dropped in hindsight as the 1960s Miles Davis 2nd Quintet did it a lot better (in large part thanks to Wayne Shorter).

The Jazz Messengers Sextet of Shorter/Hubbard/Fuller took their style from Coltranes 1957 Blue Note classic "Blue Train", a more aggressive, arranged, but melodic package that has stood the test of time very well, as it was a style Coltrane did not pursue further.

So here we have the 1962 album, first issued on Riverside Records,remastered with 2 alternate takes.Slightly more laid back than the Blue Note albums, but none the worse for that as the slower songs give plenty of light and shade. The title track is an Ellington Classic and this sextet does sound like a Big Band! Great compositions, particularly from Shorter, great soloists and Art Blakeys powerhouse drumming proppelling it all along. One of the all time great jazz groups.


Mosaic
Mosaic
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.01

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Sextets First Album, 22 Nov. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mosaic (Audio CD)
The previous Jazz Messengers Quintet of Shorter/Timmons/Morgan had based their style on the great Miles Davis Quintet of the 50's, but used original material rather than standards. Although great at the time, their standing has dropped in hindsight as the 1960s Miles Davis 2nd Quintet did it a lot better (in large part thanks to Wayne Shorter).

The Jazz Messengers Sextet of Shorter/Hubbard/Fuller took their style from Coltranes 1957 Blue Note classic "Blue Train", a more aggressive, arranged, but melodic package that has stood the test of time very well, as it was a style Coltrane did not pursue further.

So here we have their first album on Blue Note from 1961, a real gem as are all their half dozen studio albums on Blue Note & Riverside. Great band compositions, particularly from Shorter, great soloists and Art Blakeys powerhouse drumming proppelling it all along. One of the all time great jazz groups.


I've Always Wanted To Do This
I've Always Wanted To Do This
Price: £12.76

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Lost Classic, 1 Sept. 2008
What a line up, the mighty Jack Bruce, Billy Cobham, Clem Clemson & David Sancious. Not the jazz fusion jam you may expect but a great selection of Bruce/Brown originals, and one apiece from the others. As with all Jacks masterpiece solo albums, superb songs, masterful vocals & production and world class muscianship.

Issued on CD only in the US in the 90s, this is a superb remastering with great liner notes and makes any previous version redundant

I saw this band live and (after Cream) were the best I've ever seen. So also consider the Jack Bruce Rockpalast Concerts DVD which has a full 90 minute show by them.


Can You Follow-6CD box set
Can You Follow-6CD box set

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Know Cream & Songs for a Tailor ? Then this is for You, 23 Jun. 2008
For his 65th birthday the legendary bassist, vocalist & songwriter gets the box set treatment.

There is very little here that the dedicated Bruceophile will not have in one format or another, but to be fair it is not aimed at that market (hopefully the box set of rarities will follow)This is very much aimed at those people who found Jack at his commercial peak in Cream and left him after Songs for a Tailor. For those lucky people discovering these masterpieces for the first time it will be a total revelation.

Cd One reveals Jack prior to the formation of Cream, a heady mix of Rythmn & Blues with Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, John Mayall & Manfred Mann. Yes, Jack almost had a whole career BEFORE Cream, and this style was to prove a big influence on the content of Songs for a Tailor.

CD Two has a mighty selection of Bruce/Brown Cream classics ( but why two versions of Traintime and no Sleepy Time Time) The first half of CD 3 contains most of Songs for a Tailor, but it will be the remaining 3 1/2 CDs that will stun the casual listener.

Based around his dozen solo albums from 1971's Harmony Row to 2003's More Jack Than God, the quality control of the songwriting (largely with lyricist Pete Brown), the musicianship and rocks greatest bass & voice never falls below astounding.

Interspersed between the solo tracks are collaborations with Tony Williams Lifetime,Leslie West,Frank Zappa, Robin Trower & Gary Moore. Cherry picked their quality is again of the highest order.The only significant omission is any track from his work with Kip Hanrahan in the decade from 1985, but I guess Hanrahan is worth a box set of his own.

So for those who forgot about Jack in 1969, or still believe Clapton was the real talent in Cream, an essential purchase and one that will be marvelled at.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2008 7:07 PM BST


The Anthology
The Anthology
Price: £12.66

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sure....Lots of Notes...... but what a Sonic Revelation!, 18 Jun. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Anthology (Audio CD)
The four electric albums by Reurn to Forever from 1973 to 1976, whilst being hugely influential and beloved of music fans, have always upset the critics. To rock for Jazz Critics, to complex for Rock Critics. Sure RTF played more notes, at higher speed & volume than anyone else,BUT it was always tuneful,always tasteful.

Now that Corea,DiMeola,Clarke & White have reunited for a world tour (after very successful solo careers) we get what could be perceived as the "cash in compilation". How mistaken you would be.

All the tracks have been remixed by Clarke & Corea and the result is a sonic revelation. The thin sound of the polydor recordings has been replaced by a power house remix. The bass heavy and congested Columbia recordings have a new cleaned up and balanced mix. All the echo & phasing has been removed. It is presented, as on stage, drums & bass centre, keyboards right, guitar left. You are just left with 4 superlative musicians playing live in the studio.

You get all of Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, Where Have I known You Before & No Mystery minus the piano tracks and the Whole of Romantic Warrior. With the new remix they sound the same powerhouse band throughout.

So bin the old Cd's, buy this set and i'll see you at the O2 in July, for their only UK gig on the world tour, to see four of the greatest musicans ever to plug in.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2009 8:09 PM BST


Emergency
Emergency
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.70

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If only Jack was singing on this one., 20 May 2008
This review is from: Emergency (Audio CD)
I agree with the 5 star reveiwer, say what you will about Bitches Brew, THIS is where jazz rock started, and it was never so energetic again (If you don't believe me listen to Schofields/DeJohnettes & Goldings Trio Beyond versions of Lifetime classics. Brilliantly recorded, fairly boring by comparison)

And so to this albums faults. Yes it was recorded on a faulty 8 track tape machine. This Verve remaster is just a clearer version of the faults!Try and find the 1991 Polygram U.S. REMIX. Legendary engineer Phil Schaap, actually modified an old 8 track machine to negate the faults on the session tapes, then remixed the 8 tracks to a new master.(Polydor 849 068-2)

And when he remixed it he should have left out the vocal tracks of Tony Williams (I hesitate to call it singing)The album should have been all instrumental from the start! Or Schaap could have called in the great Jack Bruce to do the singing, as Tony Williams did in 1970.

So historically important, 50% totally brilliant (especially the remix), but oh those vocals. At least Tony Williams realised that and brought in Jack Bruce as a member in 1970 for live gigs and an appearance on their final 45 "One World/Two Worlds".


Divine Light: The Music Of Carlos Santana
Divine Light: The Music Of Carlos Santana
Offered by extendedpaul
Price: £13.74

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carlos enters the fusion era, 14 May 2008
After testing the jazz/rock fusion waters tentatively with Caravanserai in 72 with the original Santana band, Santana became fully immersed in 1973 with collaborations with both John McLaughlin on Love Devotion Surrender and 74's Illuminations with Alice Coltrane.

The originals, although interesting as asides to Santana's own group output, never really siezed the jazz/rock imagination in the same way as the studio albums did with his own band featuring Tom Coster and Micheal Shrieve.

Bill Laswells magical remix takes tracks from both Illiminations & Love Devotion Surrender and melds them into a fantastic Santana fusion era album which can now viewed as the equal to classics like Welcome & Borboletta.

Some will argue it is a retospective rewriting of musical history .Maybe so, but this ground breaking music was already on tape in 1974 and Laswell has just put it into sharp focus.

As good as Return to Forever, this is Santana at his musical peak. After Borboletta in 1975 he returned to a more commercial latin flavoured sound, as found on his first three albums, and has ploughed that furrow ever since. But this is a reminder of when Santana really mattered and music was not restricted to categories.

After 25 years 5 stars for this remix, buy Caravanserai as well. That should prepare you for the rocket proplled fusion live album that is Lotus.


Jack Bruce and Friends in Concert
Jack Bruce and Friends in Concert
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £26.87

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best version of this Special Gig, 4 April 2008
This gig from Denver in November 1980 has appeared in several different versions ( Concert Classics No9, Doing This on Ice & Live in America), but this is the best version as it has decent liner notes & cover by someone who knows what they are talking about, it features the complete concert with encores and has the best sound.

Many Bruciephiles think this was his greatest solo band ( Clem Clempson Guitar, Dave Sancious Keyboards/Guitar and the great Billy Cobham on drums)

There is a BBC whistle test Cd and a Live at Bottom Line CD (of dubious origin) by this great band, but this double disc should be your first port of call.It is also worth checking out the Rockpalast DVD set to see them in action.


HR-Bigband Featuring Jack Bruce
HR-Bigband Featuring Jack Bruce
Price: £21.59

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack's Back Live, 4 April 2008
The worlds greatest rock bass player is back, and of course singing, composing, playing acoustic guitar & piano!!. This concert was his first since the Cream reunion and rather surprisingly it is the Cream songs that benefit most from the Big Band arrangements. I suspect this is because the solo songs ( mostly from Songs for a Tailor & Harmony Row)were originally arranged for larger bands. The original german live radio broadcast was marred by Jack having flu and lost most of his voice. I suspect therefore his vocals have been re recorded. The remix is magnificent and this may well be his finest solo live recording


Jet Set Jewel
Jet Set Jewel

5.0 out of 5 stars Unreleased (WHY?) Gem from the 70's, 14 July 2007
This review is from: Jet Set Jewel (Audio CD)
People are sometimes confused by Jacks solo career after Cream. They should not be his dozen TRUE SOLO albums from 1969 Songs for a Tailor to 2003 More Jack than God are totally consistent. Brilliant Songs written with Master Wordsmith Pete Brown, world class musicians and of course that famous voice and bass.

The Confusion has arisen with his Non Solo collaborative works which cover everything from Free Jazz, the avant garde to Hard Rock. Although they have their moments of genius to,these are really for the devotees. Anything with Jacks name alone on the sleeve is a true gem.

This one dates from 1978 and features his then current touring band of Simon Philips , Tony Hymas & Hughie Burns. Tighter than the previous years Hows Tricks set (They had been touring for 18 months)As has been said songs on here have appeared on other Jack Cds in the intervening 25 years, but it is unfair to say these originals are inferior. And I've seen him play SIX out of these ten tracks live, so the previous reviewer needs to see more live Jack, as Jack obviously rates this album. Another Solo Masterpiece.

Get them all: Songs for a tailor,Harmony Row,Out of the Storm,Hows Tricks, I've always wanted to do this, Automatic, Somethin' Els, Deserted Cities Live,Monkjack, Shadows in the Air & More Jack than God. The quality control NEVER slips.


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