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Spiritual Jazz, Vol. 2: Europe

Spiritual Jazz, Vol. 2: Europe

13 Feb 2012
4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Volume 1 of this welcome series from Jazzman Records compiled a bunch of hyper-obscure spiritual / modal themed jazz tracks from around the world. It was a strong compilation slightly let down by suspect sound quality on a few of the tracks and by some track choices that didn't quite fit into the overall 'spiritual theme' being more R&B based.

The problems in Volume 1 have been largely circumvented in Volume 2 which is a much stronger release overall perhaps because it has limited it focus to Euro-jazz rather than ranging worldwide for it track choices that has lead to a more consistent tone and it must be said much better sound quality. Euro-jazz has a somewhat different feel to its US counterpart being more cerebral (probably from a classical influence) which has its upsides and downsides; however for spiritual-themed jazz I think this feel is largely a positive. These tracks are certainly moody and meditative being almost entirely modal with a preponderance of minor keys with one exception; the closer 'Candy Clouds' by Hans Dulfer which not coincidently is by far the weakest track on the set being akin the the R&B-ish ones that let Vol. 1 down. However this single subpar track is alone here and that leaves over an hour of top notch minor keyed jazz including a couple of way out there choral-jazz hybrids (eg. 'Duke & Trane' by Heikki Sarmonto which is half Miles/Trane-styled modal epic and half Latin choral mass!).

In conclusion, if you like modal jazz such as "Teo" by Miles'n'Trane you'll likely appreciate alot on this set and I hope Jazzman sell sufficient numbers of this set to justify a third volume of this underexplored sub-genre.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought the first volume of this series, which I really enjoyed (although I knew just a few of the artists featured when I purchased it) and once again I came to this, the second, with little more than a cursory appreciation of the artists here - I'd run across only Albert Mangelsdorff, Dusko Goykovic, Pedro Iturralde and Hans Dulfer before. And once again I have to conclude that it's another triumph for Jazzman, one of the best boutique labels anywhere.
Unlike the previous reviewer I enjoy the R&B flavoured material in this series just as much as the more classically slanted numbers. Don't be put off if you're not a serious jazz-head, it's all just beautiful (European) music, superbly packaged as always. Roll on vol. 3.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Also a thumbs up. Since purchasing these cd's I've started exploring more of the genre. The good thing is that I was able to sample the music on Amazon prior to purchase.
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