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Album Review

Mike Westbrook: Live 1972

Read "Live 1972" reviewed by Roger Farbey


Mike Westbrook Live 1972 captures a fleeting snapshot of the transitional group Westbrook assembled in between hisMetropolis era big band and the jazz rock venture Solid Gold Cadillac featuring Phil Minton's irrepressible vocals. This quintet lasted only a few weeks but the line-up boasted Gary Boyle, guitarist of the legendary band Isotope. Also, George Khan on tenor saxophone and drummer Alan Jackson both stalwarts of Westbrook's previous ensembles were present along with newcomer Roger 'Butch' Potter on bass guitar, who ...

6
Album Review

Chris Spedding: Songs Without Words

Read "Songs Without Words" reviewed by Duncan Heining


Recorded for Harvest in 1970, Songs Without Words was only originally released in Japan. At the time, Chris Spedding was a much sought after guitarist in jazz and rock with one of the most impressive of CVs--Mike Westbrook, Michael Gibbs, Jack Bruce, Ian Carr's Nucleus, Pete Brown and Frank Ricotti amongst others. The reason for its shelving/limited release seems to resulted from the guitarist's desire to move his career in other directions than the jazz-rock with which he was increasingly ...

6
Album Review

Chris Spedding: Songs Without Words

Read "Songs Without Words" reviewed by Roger Farbey


All five musicians on this retrieved-from-the-vaults archival release were at various times alumni of bands or recordings directed by British veteran jazz composer Mike Westbrook. Songs Without Words was produced at the end of 1969 under the aegis of Peter Eden (who produced several early Westbrook records for the Deram label), on the condition, imposed by Chris Spedding, that if he didn't like the finished product it wouldn't be released. So it was shelved after the recording, probably because Spedding ...

287
Extended Analysis

Ron Geesin: Biting The Hand (BBC Radio Broadcasts 1969 - 1975)

Read "Ron Geesin: Biting The Hand (BBC Radio Broadcasts 1969 - 1975)" reviewed by Nic Jones


Ron Geesin Biting The Hand (BBC Radio Broadcasts 1969 - 1975) hux records 2007

Even in the state of cultural flux that was Britain in the late 1960s, multi-instrumentalist Ron Geesin must have stood out. The BBC radio sessions which make up much of this double-CD go a long way to showing why. Geesin could have been defined by what he was not as much as anything else, so essentially it's no surprise that ...

300
Album Review

Pentangle: One More Road & Live 1994

Read "One More Road & Live 1994" reviewed by John Kelman


Amongst the artists who, to a greater or lesser extent, explored ways to marry traditional British folk with the energy of rock in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Pentangle stand out as three of the most memorable. But while Fairport and Steeleye would move further towards a rock aesthetic, Pentangle remained driven and defined by the sound of two acoustic guitars, courtesy of Bert Jansch and John Renbourne. Electric instruments and driving drums weren't ...

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Album Review

Incredible String Band: On the Airwaves: BBC Radio Recordings 1969-1974

Read "On the Airwaves: BBC Radio Recordings 1969-1974" reviewed by John Kelman


Looking back at the British rock scene of the late 1960s, it's hard to believe that bands as diametrically opposed as Pink Floyd and Incredible String Band could share a concert bill. Floyd were mining early psychedelic territory, while the largely acoustic ISB--essentially multi-instrumentalists/singers Mike Heron and Robin Williamson--were creating a kind of contemporary traditional British folk music. ISB's esoteric and eclectic nature--ranging from use of ethnic instruments to material rooted not only the British tradition, but in American folk ...

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Album Review

Soft Mountain: Soft Mountain

Read "Soft Mountain" reviewed by John Kelman


As the late saxophonist Elton Dean's final recordings are released, his remarkable ability to fit into any context becomes clearer than ever. From total spontaneity to groove-centrism, from rock-edged improv to detailed form, Dean consistently brought his own freewheeling yet never self-indulgent voice to each and every context. A year after he unexpectedly passed at the age of sixty, Soft Mountain is a bittersweet reminder of what's been lost.

Soft Mountain is another in a long line of “Soft -related ...

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Album Review

Matching Mole: On the Radio

Read "On the Radio" reviewed by John Kelman


Matching Mole may have lasted just under a year when it surfaced 35 years ago, but public interest in drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt's first post-Soft Machine project continues to be strong. On the Radio isn't the first archival live release, and nearly three-quarters of the material was previously available, but only for a short time. This remastered reissue of five BBC Radio studio and live dates features significantly improved sound, but what sets it apart from the earlier Windsong BBC release ...

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Album Review

Nucleus: Hemispheres

Read "Hemispheres" reviewed by John Kelman


While general interest in Soft Machine continued long after the seminal British jazz/rock group disbanded, the spotlight on trumpeter Ian Carr's Nucleus seemed to go dark following the band's breakup in the early 1980s. With the reissues of the group's back catalogue that have come out in recent years, that spotlight is back on, reminding listeners that Nucleus was just as seminal a jazz/rock outfit. Hemispheres is the first archival live release to feature the original lineup from Nucleus' first ...

250
Album Review

Nucleus: Hemispheres

Read "Hemispheres" reviewed by Roger Farbey


Any release by these British jazz-rock pioneers is a major event. Hemispheres is no exception, and the musical anthropologists at Hux Records have unearthed some genuine hidden treasures from the Palaeolithic Era of fusion. The recording comprises two different European Nucleus sessions, recorded barely a year apart. But from the very beginning, when the short-lived original lineup was playing live, they were unbeatable, as they were to prove both at the Montreux and Newport jazz festivals. There are four previously ...


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