Category Archives: Jazz Fusion

CULT CLASSIC: BILLY COBHAM-MAGIC.

Cult Classic: Billy Cobham-Magic. By 1977, Panamanian-American jazz and fusion drummer Billy Cobham had only been a solo artist since 1973, but he already accumulated a wealth of experience since his discharge from the US Army in 1968. Soon, he had joined Horace Silver’s Quintet, then became the house drummer at Atlantic Records and a …

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CULT CLASSIC: SEA LEVEL-BALL ROOM.

  Cult Classic: Sea Level-Ball Room. In 1980, Southern rockers Sea Level released their fifth album Ball Room, which was a new start for the band. They had been signed to Capricorn Records since the release of their eponymous debut album in 1976. After recording four albums for Capricorn Records, Sea Level signed to Clive Davis’ …

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CULT CLASSIC: LEON THOMAS-FULL CIRCLE.

Cult Classic: Leon Thomas-Full Circle. For Leon Thomas, Full Circle represented the end of an era. It was the last album Leon Thomas released on Flying Dutchman Productions, and marked the end of his “classic period.” It had started four years earlier in 1969, when Leon Thomas released his debut album Spirits Known and Unknown. …

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LOST CLASSIC FOUND: HEAT EXCHANGE-REMINISCENCE.

Lost Classic Found: Heat Exchange-Reminiscence. Heat Exchange’s root’s can be traced to a Toronto high school, in the late-sixties. That was when four school friends decided to form a blues band, which they named Cloud. Just a couple of years later, and Cloud were one of the top bands in Toronto.  Several record labels were chasing …

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ROB LUFT-LIFE IS THE DANCER.

Rob Luft-Life Is The Dancer. Label: Edition Records. When Rob Luft released his debut album Riser in July 2017, it was to widespread critical acclaim, with some critics drawing comparisons to such jazz luminaries as Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny. This was high praise indeed for the twenty-three year old bandleader, composer, producer and guitarist from …

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INSTRUMENTAL GEMS VOL. 1: SPANISH FUNK AND GROOVE 1974/1977.

Instrumental Gems Vol. 1: Spanish Funk and Groove 1974/1977. Label: Adarce Records. During the seventies, many Spanish musicians found themselves struggling to make ends meet. Times were tough, especially for up-and-coming musicians. Some of them had dreamt of becoming a professional musician since the first started to play the guitar, bass or drums. Eventually, after years of practise, …

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ROY BUDD-THE INTERNECINE PROJECT.

Roy Budd-The Internecine Project. Label: Trunk Records. By 1974, London born jazz pianist, arranger, bandleader and composer Roy Budd was twenty-seven, and had been performing professionally since the age of fifteen. A year later, he formed his own quartet, and in 1967,  released his debut album Roy Budd At Newport. The young pianist was a …

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MASAHIKO SATO-KAYOBI NO ONNA. 

Masahiko Sato-Kayobi No Onna. Label: Mitsuko and Svetlana Records. By 1969, Tokyo-born composer and pianist Masahiko Sato about to turn twenty-nine, and had been a professional musician since he was seventeen. He had started out accompanying magicians, singers and strippers in a cabaret in Ginza, a district of Tokyo. Now eleven years later he had …

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GARD NILSSEN’S SUPERSONIC ORCHESTRA-IF YOU LISTEN CAREFULLY THE MUSIC IS YOURS.

Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra-If You Listen Carefully The Music Is Yours. Label: Odin Records. To say that bandleader, composer, drummer and percussionist Gard Nilssen is a prolific musician is something of an understatement. Since 2007, he has played on over seventy albums by all types of groups. Mostly, it’s been with small groups including the …

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MIKE WESTBROOK-LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING: CITADEL/ROOM 315 SWEDEN 74.

Mike Westbrook-Love and Understanding: Citadel/Room 315 Sweden 74. Label: My Only Desire Records. By 1974, composer and pianist Mike Westbrook was thirty-eight and one of the leading lights of the British jazz scene. He had come a long way since he formed his first band in 1958 when he was an art student studying painting. …

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LARRY ROSE BAND-THE JUPITER EFFECT.

Larry Rose Band–The Jupiter Effect. Label: BBE Music. Release Date: ‘17th’ April 2020. Usually, at this time of the year, dedicated crate-digging DJs and discerning record collectors spend  much of their spare time searching for oft-overlooked albums and long lost hidden gems in back-street record shops, thrift stores and dusty warehouses. This is the natural …

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CULT CLASSIC: MIROSLAV VITOUS-THE BASS.

Cult Classic: Miroslav Vitous-The Bass. In 1967, twenty year old Miroslav Vitous was playing alongside Clark Terry in a Chicago club. It was just the latest gig for the up-and-coming Czech bassist. He had made America his home in 1966, when he won a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music, in Boston. Now …

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MUSAX BACKGROUND MUSIC LIBRARY VOLUME 1.

Musax Background Music Library Volume 1. Label: Farfalla Records. The resurgence of interest in library music that began a few years ago is still continuing, with collectors keen to add to their burgeoning collections. For many, it’s original releases from the golden era of library music which covers the late-sixties through to the mid-eighties. Alas, …

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MILES DAVIS-BITCHES BREW AT 50.

Miles Davis-Bitches Brew At 50. Although Miles Davis’ recording career began in 1951, when he released his debut album The New Sounds, he soon had established a reputation as a prolific, and innovative musician. He released further forty-three albums between 1951 and 1969. This included classics like 1957s Round About Midnight and 1959s Kind Of Blue. …

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OTO NO WA: SELECTED SOUNDS OF JAPAN 1988-2018.

Oto No Wa: Selected Sounds Of Japan 1988-2018. Label: Music For Dreams Denmark. Each and every week of the year, record companies from all over the world, release countless compilations into the global music marketplace. These compilations range from lovingly curated compilations released by small indie labels to the cheap and cheerful, nostalgia-inducing budget box …

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CULT CLASSIC: GARY BARTZ-LOVE SONG.

Cult Classic: Gary Bartz-Love Song. By 1976, saxophonist Gary Bartz’s reputation was on the rise.This came as no surprise to those within the jazz community. Already, Gary Bartz had played with some of the biggest names in jazz. Especially before he formed his own band in 1969. Baltimore born Gary Bartz had started his career …

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CULT CLASSIC: RUPTURE-ISRAEL SUITE/DOMINANTE EN BLEU.

Cult Classic: Rupture-Israel Suite/Dominante En Bleu. Over the last fifty years, bands and artists have penned ambitious concept albums about all manner of subjects. No subject matter it seems is off-limits when it comes to the concept album. There’s been concept albums about bureaucracy and censorship, death and dreams, evolution and revolution, heaven and hell, …

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CULT CLASSIC: FREDDIE HUBBARD-GLEAM.

Freddie Hubbard-Gleam. By the time thirty-six year old Freddie Hubbard arrived in Japan, in March 1975, he was already regarded as one of the most influential trumpeters of his generation. That had been the case since the early sixties when, Freddie Hubbard’s career began, and he brought what was a new perspective to bebop and …

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CULT CLASSIC: CUASARES-AFRO-PROGRESIVO. 

Cult Classic: Cuasares-Afro-Progresivo. In 1972, a new Argentinian band Cuasares, entered the recording studio and began work on what became their debut album Afro-Progresivo. This was the latest project that was masterminded by arranger, composer and pianist Waldo Belloso who previously, had been a member of Los Abrodo Brothers and recorded a sexploitation soundtrack in …

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CULT CLASSIC: DON ELLIS-AUTUMN.

Cult Classic: Don Ellis-Autumn. Bandleader, composer and trumpeter Don Ellis’ life was changed forevermore in 1974, when he was diagnosed with an abnormal heart condition. Just a year later, in 1975, he suffered his first heart attack which very nearly cost him his life. Fortunately, Don Ellis recovered and by 1977 signed to Atlantic Records. …

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