Tag: Jazz Rock

1978, Music

Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978) by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

For some reason, so much of my experience of Beefheart is tied up with Safe as Milk and Trout Mask Replica, and how the latter is such a huge departure from a former, that when I hear latter Beefheart records that are closer in spirit to his early work than Trout Mask Replica I’m not …

1993, Music

Cure for Pain (1993) by Morphine

The thing that makes Morphine so unique is, in some ways, the thing that keeps them from ever being a band that I will truly love. That’s not their fault, of course, but it does make them one of those bands who I like more or less depending upon the quality of their songs.

1993, Music

Focus (1993) by Cynic

Most of the time, when I encounter “progressive death metal” (which this sounds like to me, but which it isn’t categorized as on RYM), I think “this isn’t very progressive.” It usually sounds like more ambitious death metal, but it doesn’t sound very proggy. Well, not so here. If there is one thing this record …

1998, Music

Black Music (1998) by Chocolate Genius

It’s pretty hard to talk about this record without talking about the title. Clearly, the title is intended as some kind of statement challenging the tendencies in media to characterize certain music as “black” music, because what’s here is, for the most part, not what would be associated with “black” music in 1998 – except …

1973, Music

Countdown to Ecstasy (1973) by Steely Dan

I don’t like Steely Dan. I’ve given them four albums (if you include this one), and I find their early stuff way too poppy for my liking and their “mature” stuff to be way too “hipper than thou,” but also far, far too slick. But lo and behold, I like this record. And it’s making …

1998, Music

Before These Crowded Streets (1998) by Dave Matthews Band

I have always been the kind of person to go left when everyone else was going right, when it comes to cultural things. If a song is everywhere, it’s pretty much guaranteed I won’t like it. If a movie is getting celebrated a little too much, I want to not like it. What does this …

1974, Music

Introducing The Eleventh House With Larry Coryell (1974)

This is fusion very much in the Mahavishnu Orchestra mode. In fact, listening to the opening of “Birdfingers,” you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking this was the Mahavishnu Orchestra itself, or perhaps Jeff Beck and the Jan Hammer Group, or something like that. As jazz fusion goes, a lot of it is very much on …

1967, Music

Mr. Fantasy (1967) by Traffic

Traffic is one of those bands I’ve come at bass-ackwards, being way too familiar with their jazz rock reunion iteration and not very familiar with the original psychedelic rock band. It’s a stupid way of approaching any band, but particularly one that changed its identity as much as as Traffic did.

1997, Music

Fabulosos Calavera (1997) by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

In 1997, I fell in love with Grosse Pointe Blank, the only romantic comedy that was violent enough for my 15 year old soul to feel okay about liking. I liked it so much I went out and bought the soundtrack. (Well, the first soundtrack as there’s a Volume 2 I never purchased.) It was …

1970, Music

Kooper Session (1970) by Al Kooper, Shuggie Otis

Al Kooper tries to capture lightning in a bottle again, replicating the old Super Session format this time with Shuggie Otis and a complementary change in sound. Both halves have their hits and misses but, for me, there is enough here to enjoy, even if this isn’t anything revelatory. The two halves definitely appeal to …

1968, 1969, Music

The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper (1969)

Much like Super Session (the studio version of this record), this album suffers a little from happenstance: Mike Bloomfield had a habit of wearing himself out and he’s not present on all tracks (much like on Super Session where he was replaced for half of it by Stephen Stills). But he’s present on most (and …

1986, Music

We Became Snakes (1986) by Saccharine Trust

A lot has been made of the latent jazz influences on hardcore and post hardcore bands – Black Falg is supposed to have listened to Free Jazz for example. But never was I expecting a hardcore band to make music you might actually confuse with jazz. There are times on this bizarre, crazy record that …

1981, Music

God (1981) by Rip Rig and Panic

It’s no secret the influence American funk had on post punk. But Rip Rig + Panic take that influence to extremes not seen in the rest of the movement.And the influence isn’t limited to funk, but extends to many different forms of African American music, including jazz, which should come as no surprise given that …

1970, Music

The Grass is Greener (1970) by Colosseum

I didn’t realize this was a weird, US-only hybrid album when I bought it. I somehow convinced myself it was their most recommended album (I guess I was listening to some US critics…). Anyway… The influence of Cream is particularly heavy here, on the opening track and the Bruce cover (even though it wasn’t a …

1979, Music

Buy (1979) by James Chance and the Contortions

Take English post punk, add some free jazz, some Pere Ubu and some Magic Band (specifically the slide guitar) and you get this record. New to No Wave (it seems), this is totally not what I thought this was going to sound like. I thought it was going to be Branca-eque detuned guitar industrial noise. …

1966, Music

Instrumental Asylum (1966) by Manfred Mann

Jazz fusion and jazz rock barely existed, if they existed at all, when this bizarre EP was recorded. Manfred Mann drops their pop music and their lead singer for a horn section and keyboard and vibraphone (!!!) solos on fairly radical covers of rock and pop songs. What did Jack Bruce do to this band? …

1976, Music

The Royal Scam (1976) by Steely Dan

My first Steely Dan record doesn’t really endear me to them. (Nor does reading that Aja is mellower…) I love jazz, but I can’t say I love R and B with a jazz influence, which is what this sounds like to me. Too much R and B, not enough jazz, for my tastes. I like …

1976, Music

Strange New Flesh (1976) by Colosseum II

Note: I have never listened to the original Colosseum… “Dark Side of the Moog” gets things off to a great start, despite its title, with some typically bonkers (“mathy” is probably the word we would use now) European jazz rock. I used to eat this stuff up when I was younger, and still have a …

1969, Music

Live/Dead (1969) by the Grateful Dead

Before this album was released, I suspect much of the world didn’t realize what the Dead actually sounded like. After all, they had only been around for a couple of years and their studio albums to this point didn’t exactly give you an idea of what they were like on stage  – the studio albums …

1966, Music

Projections (1966) by the Blues Project

To some extent, I can see how the Blues Project could be dismissed as second rate Paul Butterfield Blues Band, especially in their jammiest moments. These guys are not necessarily as good at improvising as Butterfield’s band was when it was getting into Indian music and jazz.