Recent Reviews

Jul 28, 2020
SamBrende -
92
It's the combination of Madlibs brilliant sample arrangements and heavy, grimy production style with Doom's vivid poetry, dense rhyme schemes and loose, spitting delivery that makes this LP one of the greatest hip hop has ever seen.
Jun 27, 2020*
SamBrende -
100
The greatest work in modern classical. What Stravinsky does with dissonance and tonality is so brilliant and yet it forms such a small part of this piece. With an orchestra of 25 winds, 18 brass and 6 percussive accompanying a massive string section, the structural backbone provides incredible timbre on its own. However, Stravinsky takes it so much further in his arranging. Each section and instrument is utilized to its maximum effect, providing contrasting tone colors and wild interactions ... read more
Jun 20, 2020*
SamBrende -
40
Even more inconsistent than Revolver. Obviously this LP is very rudimentary in its writing quality throughout with a lot of generic melody structures on top of lackluster instrumentation, but there are certainly quality tracks like "Norwegian Wood", "Michelle" and "In My Life" with fun, straight forward, catchy hooks and refrains.
Jun 20, 2020*
SamBrende -
45
While I do greatly appreciate a few Beatles LPs, this release is wildly overrated. "Eleanor Rigby" and "Good Day Sunshine" are two of my favorite tracks in their entire discography and two of their best, but there are simply too many poorly written tracks in the second half. "Yellow Submarine" is a bad joke, "And Your Bird Can Sing" is an instant headache, "Doctor Robert" is a generic mess and "I Want to Tell you" is somehow even more ... read more
Jun 20, 2020*
SamBrende -
70
One of their best releases. While this LP contains some of their best written pieces, there are a few lackluster, rudimentary tracks that hold it back. Simple melodic structure can be incredibly beautiful as we see in a track like "Here Comes the Sun" or "Oh! Darling", but there is a point where that simplicity can lose its virtue without the creative hooks and refrains that are so essential to a Beatles track. This is displayed unfortunately well on "Mean Mr ... read more
Aug 6, 2020
Hello! Hopefully, someday I’ll be able to muster up enough creative energy to give those albums the due credit they deserve. “Before Driving...” might be the soonest one I might cover, as I have been particularly mesmerized by the work of Keith Rowe and Co. ”Before Driving...” speaks to me as one of their most ”Lightning-in-a-bottle” moments ever recorded! You are right it is unfortunate that many of these incredible albums are not widely recognized as the masterpieces they are.
Jun 22, 2020
Well, ALS is constructed by a quartet, whereas The Black Saint is experimental big-band, which is quite a difference. However, I do think that the two stand together shoulder-length in "greatness." Both are equally majestic in their own right. Both are around the same length and cover just as much ground. While The Black Saint is poetic and has such remarkable rhythmic beauty, A Love Supreme is a masterclass in intricate melodies, which you brought up. Both are masterfully covering two of the building block elements of musical composition. I do think however, that there is a significant amount of timbre exploration to be found in Elvin Jones drum solos.
Jun 21, 2020
knack for dancing masterfully around a given theme. You are also right, Elvin Jones is quite remarkable on the record as well! A Love Supreme is truly a marvel!
Jun 21, 2020
A Love Supreme is so dynamic in its presentation of musical ideas. There are shards of atonality (which is a piece of music that is not in a set key), hard bop references, and most importantly its modal framework as you mentioned. This allowed the band to play freer, crossing boundaries into other modes instead of staying within the boundaries of one fixed tonal center. A love supreme in my opinion is the completion of what was started with Giant Steps. While giant steps is an excellent jazz standard classic it is somewhat limited by its very pronounced chord changes. On A love Supreme those chords are spread out much further and coltrane seems to connect them with incredibly spiritual emotional notes. Which is surprising given that the album is centered around that iconic upright base-line and is still able to employ those rapid modal and chordal changes which would seem to limit the explorations. This of course is nothing new, coltrane had such a...
Jun 21, 2020
It depends on how you interpret the word "greatest." In the general sense, it may very well be the "greatest" jazz album of all time, but is it the "best" jazz album of all time; not in my opinion. However, it is an excellent album, both emotionally and aesthetically. Which is why it is so consistently hailed as the most celebrated or most infamous jazz record. While it is definitely interesting because of its experimentation in modes as you mentioned, I think you are able to find a freer and fuller picture of the use of directional modes on Miles's second great quintet outings.
I actually would not recommend KOB, as an entryway into the jazz realm, I would recommend "A Love Supreme" for its compact integration of nearly every jazz component, whereas Kind of Blue fits perfectly in the cool jazz idiom and not much else. Please don't hesitate to ask all the questions you like!
Jun 21, 2020
I typically try to evaluate redundancy amongst the tracks, if there is an overabundance of solos or lack of. I also try to notice how the general motif or theme is extrapolated throughout the track; if it's predictable or unpredictable. In my opinion, for jazz-fusion, my philosophy is that the melodies should not overtake the rhythms. Since jazz-fusion relies more on its rock roots and rock is inherently very (although not entirely) rhythmic, never should there be a profusion of melody. The melody is most impactful when it appears in the track sparse and is utilized sparingly. Of course, this is my preference, but for this reason, is why I'm not particularly fond of IMF because of the plethora of melodic solos. Returning to BB, because the tracks are much longer in length, the melodic complexities found in Miles, Shorters, and Maupin's horns sound dispersed and airy even though in actuality their solos are incredibly complex and dense.
Jun 21, 2020
I would have to disagree about BB not having structure. All that structure has to be is simple as a stable baseline that supports the complexities of the melodies. Their foundation or structure grounds even the most free-flowing free jazz record. Ascension is another example of an unlikely or subtle structure. The rhythmic accompaniment that Mccoy Tyner and Elvin Jones lay down throughout is what gives that album it's the backbone. That foundation is strong enough to contain the weight of all those horns. Also, BB demonstrated significant restraint in its presentation and allowed space between their solos, whereas here, everyone shows off their chops right out of the gate. In conclusion, I think that BB, as compared to IMF, comes down to maturity vs. immaturity.
Jun 20, 2020
...most of Mahavishnu! Without Miles Davis' vision and direction, I feel like these tracks are mostly jam sessions with no grounding elements.
. I rated it a 54 because I believe the talent is all there, but a visionary direction is lacking. However, I do enjoy the track "You Know, You Know," which shows the band executing a more thoughtful and tasteful approach. Please understand that these are simply my thoughts regarding the record and you obviously don't have to agree with me. I would love to hear a rebuttal!
Jun 20, 2020
I appreciate the question. There is no doubt about it that John Mclaughlin and Co. are incredibly talented musicians and are capable of their respective instruments. However, the way the band incorporates that raw talent into their songs in my opinion leaves quite a lot to be desired. I know that every jazz-fusion fan has their own favorite band but I tend to be partial with miles davis's iteration of fusion, especially from the song "Spanish Key". The genius behind that song is its structure. What grounds Spanish key is its rock-solid rhythm section that gives the band ample room to play atop of. While Mahavishnu is their own band and I don't like comparing bands, I do have some problems with their song structures. They are either all one-dimensional and in-your-face, or predictable. There is hardly any contrasts within the songs; they are filled with energetic solos falling into each other. Returning to Spanish Key, the musicians that played on that very song actually make up
Jun 20, 2020
About
90= Masterwork
80
70
👍60
50= NEUTRAL
👎40
30
20
10= Unlistenable
Rating Distribution
90-99
 
47

80-89
 
58

70-79
 
61

60-69
 
42

50-59
 
38

40-49
 
26

30-39
 
10

20-29
 
2

10-19
 
5

0-9
 
8

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