JAZZ-ROCK.COM VIDEO SHOWCASE FOR THE NEW YEAR! ADAM HOLZMAN'S Moog Voyager solo on "Regret #9," with the Steven Wilson Band. Filmed at a soundcheck in Florence, Italy, April 2016.
VyZ - IMPROVyZED MUSIC FOR MOVIESlaunched their 60 minute "SEE THE MUSIC" DVD/Streaming Download... below is the official trailer:
GARY WILLIS' latest album "Larger Than Life" is a delicious collection of fusion-funk for the twenty-first century. See promo video below:
March 5, 2016
JAZZ-ROCK.COM VIDEO SHOWCASE
JANE GETTER has a fantastic new album out called "ON" and put out a documentary video of how she put it together:
VyZ - IMPROVyZED MUSIC FOR MOVIES has a wild new album out called "FREEDOM" and will be releasing a DVD this spring... below is a video from the 2nd track called "Cirucustime."
LEE PEARSON plays an incredibly tasty drum solo at the 2016 SF Jazz Festival this past January. Lee plays drums in the Chris Botti band.
TASSOS SPILIOPOULOShas a great new album coming out this spring called "IN THE NORTH." Here is a video of him playing with his current band of Swedish musicians:
January 20, 2015
JAZZ-ROCK VIDEO SHOWCASE
STANLEY CLARKE has a great new album out called "Up" and put out a video of how he put it together:
Tohpati Ttribal Dance : "Rahwana" - Guitar: Tohpati, Bass: Jimmy Haslip, Drums: Chad Wackerman:
MARCO MINNEMANN's INCREDIBLE NEW ALBUM: EEPS - Order CD at lazybones.com or marcominnemann.com. Please note, Marco plays EVERY instrument on this album. No guest appearances.
JEFF SIPE TRIO - The Trio performing Sonny Rollin's Oleo at Westminster Music Hall in South Carolina. The Jeff Sipe Trio consists of Jeff Sipe- Drums, Mike Seal- Guitar, Taylor Lee- Bass. Check out their debut CD at www.jeffsipetrio.com
Much to the excitement of musicians and jazz aficiandos worldwide, the highly anticipated CD release by jazz-fusion legends Scott Henderson, Jeff Berlin and Dennis Chambers, will be released on Tone Center Records (a division of Shrapnel Records) on October 16, 2012. Considered one of the most phenomenal trios in the history of jazz-fusion, HBC's debut CD delivers a full dose of virtuosic performances guaranteed to thrill and inspire all who listen.
“The trio is all about interplay,” explains guitarist Scott Henderson. “Jeff and I have always had a very high level of communication when we play together, and putting Dennis in the mix notches it up even higher. He's an extremely musical drummer, but at the same time has the ability to bring the energy up to scary levels.” Bassist Jeff Berlin adds, “We pretty much have the same vision of how three strong players should sound together. We function well on many levels; we're friends and love to hang. We're also individually dedicated to high standards of playing.”
The music on the CD reflects the influences and spirit of HBC. Tracks include covers by Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham and originals penned by Henderson and Berlin individually. Says Jeff. “We all agreed to the repertoire but Scott picked most of the songs.” Scott explains, “I thought it would be cool if a guitar trio covered songs by keyboard players like Joe Zawinul and Herbie Hancock, though we did some Wayne Shorter tunes as well.”
Before recording their debut album, HBC hit the road first, refining their repertoire in front of thousands of elated fans. “We try to find new ways to play at every gig,” Jeff explains. “When we are gigging our motor is always set to high.” Scott adds, “Because the three of us have so much experience playing different styles of music, we're able to go from graceful straight-ahead jazz to heavy metal and just about everywhere in between, so it's an extremely versatile band, which makes it a lot of fun."
As we celebrate another amazing year for Jazz-Rock around the world, the recent release of TransFUSION, by keyboardist Art 'Spike" Schloemer, says everything we have to say about the state of jazz-rock on the planet: Fresh and Killin It! TransFUSION features a number of jazz-rock legends such as Scott Henderson and Kirk Covington of Tribal Tech, along with bassists Bunny Brunel and Hadrien Feraud, Bob Franeschini on sax, and the master drummer of master drummers, Dennis Chambers.
Speaking of Dennis, did you catch his great solo on the Letterman Show on 8/25/2011? Gotta love Letterman at the end asking Dennis to play even more and "go nuts" to close out the show!
As for one of the surprises of 2011, Chris Taylor's "NOCTURNAL" album is at the top of the list for ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
For several years now, John Scofield has been playing with jam band extraordinaire, Medeski, Martin and Wood. They just released a new double-live album, "IN CASE THE WORLD CHANGES IT'S MIND." Here they are at the Bear Creek Music Festival on Nov. 12, 2011:
On the rock side of the jazz-rock spectrum... Adam has been recently touring with Porcupine Tree founder, Steven Wilson, performing Wilson's newest solo album, "GRACE FOR DROWNING." The album has been nominated for a Grammy Award. Adam says to look out for a live album of the tour and a new studio album coming out in 2012. Check out the cool video below:
And on the jazzier improv side of the jazz-rock spectrum we have been most impressed by the uniquely atmospheric BABOON MOON album from trumpeter Nils Petter Movaer. See video below recorded in Bulgaria at the Sofia Live Club on 10/23/2011:
Last, but not least, to usher in a new Jazz-Rock age in 2012, we leave you with one of the great monster percussion solos of all time by Stephane Edouard of Paco Sery's SIXUN band...a 2 minute intro to end all intros! This is off their "Live at Cigale" DVD - TURN UP YOUR VOLUME AND ENJOY! Happy 2012!!!!
The "LETTING GO" album is by the Asaf Sirkis Trio with Asaf on drums, Tassos on guitar, and bass player extraordinaire, Yaron Stavi. Special guest Patrick Bettison adds Harmonica on tracks 3 and 6.
The "ARCHIPELAGOS" album is composed by Tassos with Asaf and Yaron, as well as special guests, Kenny Wheeler on trumpet and John Patricelli on guitar. You can check out more info by going to their jazz-rock.com artist pages: Asaf Sirkis | Tassos Spiliotopoulos
Check out the 2 videos below of the Asaf Sirkis Trio playing Asaf's composition, "DREAMS" (2 part video).
DREAM - Part 1
DREAM - Part 2
Other jazz-rock news for 2010 is a wonderful interview with jazz-rock legend Bill Bruford speaking about "Creativity" (see below).
2009 WAS THE YEAR OF JAZZ-ROCK ON YOUTUBE
The REAL news for 2009 was the multitude of jazz-rock videos online... can you say "YouTube"? Thousands and thousands of hard-core jazz-rock fans and musicians are checking them out and uploading new ones everyday!
We thought it was a good idea to share a few "gotta see" video clips and celebrate some of our favorite musicians courtesy of YouTube.com.
Starting from the golden days of jazz-rock we have the following video retrospectives laying down the immutable laws of jazz-rock protocol: improvise, mix it up, experiment, and play your ass off.
So where were you 25 years ago? ...hey, who is that dude sitting behind the keys? Check out our fearless Jazz-Rock.com editor, Adam Holzman, playing with Miles during a 1986 coast-to-coast broadcast to promote the new"Tutu" album... live on national TV!
Miles Davis Documentary (Part 1)
Here below is a video clip to really set this Spring 2009 issue of Jazz-Rock.com on fire... are you ready for some serious LIVE "Magician" from "Romantic Warrior"? For your supersonic viewing pleasure: Return to Forever (1976).
And you know when tribute is paid to "Return to Forever" there must be room to celebrate another great pioneering jazz-rock supergroups of the supergroups: Weather Report.
"Black Market" Weather Report (1978 Germany)
Check out master Jaco in his prime! (dedicated to Tommy T)
And how about those jazz-rock guitar-gods? See Jeff Beck and Allan Holdsworth below.
"Blue Wind" Jeff Beck, Jan Hammer, & Simon Phillips
"Proto Cosmos" Allan Holdsworth<>
From the rock n roll side, drummer and composer, Bill Bruford, perhaps personifies the very definition of what jazz-rock has always been: a constant mix of musical styles that emphasizes creative beats and insanely adventurous, and oftentimes athletic, musicianship. He has come from the progressive sounds of Yes and King Crimson, to his own hybrid mix of rock/jazz music beginning with the unforgettable band "UK" and then his own groups, "Bruford" and the much more jazz influenced "Earthworks". There are 5 "YouTube" clips from his "Rock Goes to College" DVD at Bill Bruford's jazz-rock.com page.
As everyone should know by now, one of the hottest jazz-rock groups currently touring the world is the Scott Kinsey band featuring Matt Garrison on bass, Gary Novak on drums, and Scott Henderson on guitar. These guys eat, drink, and dream about "jaming their ass off" every day.
Here they are at Joe Zawinul's Birdland in Austria 2006...
On more of a jazz-rock experimental cinema soundtrack level, we invite you to take a listen and look at the new website your friendly neiborhood Jazz-Rock.com editors composed at www.artofsuperman.com. We orchestrated 8 new jazz-rock soundtracks for 8 classic superman cartoons from the golden age of animation (1941-1943). The project gave us a good excuse to fool around and have some fun with new music for some of the greatest animation ever made by the infamous Fleischer Brothers (Popeye, Betty Boop, Guliver's Travels).
As for the past year, it has been a truly slammin blur smorgasbord of supremely tasty sweet new music, as well as, unbelievably great, vintage jazz-rock CDs and DVDs! To further explore the vast spectrum of everything jazz-rock, visit the hugely successful online stores: Abstract Logix and Audiophile Imports.
One last thing, don't forget to check out the 38 page Jazz Rock Article (pdf) written By Rick Calic with contributions from Billy Cobham, Peter Erskine, Adam Holzman, Richard Kolp, Dave Liebman, and John McLaughlin.
Hope you liked all the movies and there are thousands more at YouTube.com!
by Adam Holzman
Why jazz-rock? One can make the case that the last major development in creative instrumental music was, perhaps, the early 'golden age' of jazz-rock (roughly 1969 to about 1975). When a new sound emerges, it is in that moment of discovery, the beginning of a new style, that often the freshest music is made. There is a kind of energy that happens when an old form is pushed to its limits and a new form breaks out. The energy of those early jazz-rock classics is undeniable, and the music has stood the test of time. To oversimplify, the density of be-bop gave way to more open approaches in the late '50s and early-to-mid 60's; hard bop, free jazz and modal. But after Coltrane, where can you go? By the late 60's one of the only unexplored areas left was the exploration of actual Sound, which at that point in history meant electronic sound.
It also had the nice side effect of appealing to a wider audience, a mass audience that (thanks to Hendrix, the Cream, etc.) was starting to become accquainted with the idea of extended solos. Tony Williams was one of the first people to really understand this (check out the early Lifetime records!), and Miles and Weather Report were with him in the vanguard of this new movement. By the time Headhunters, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return To Forever came out, the public and the rock biz were ready. Jazz-rock was triumphant! The world was saved! Hoo-ray!!
Around this time I was a teenager living in Los Angeles. To my friends and I, bands like Mahavishnu and Return To Forever were pretty much the same as big rock bands. I was really drawn to the style. I remember seeing Weather Report at the Long Beach Arena and thinking that there might be a real future with jazz-rock, especially since it already seemed so popular. I assumed that jazz-rock would move forward for many years as an Important Branch of Music.
However, like any great creative period, the moment passed. Critics starting dissing it first, then some of my heroes put out less-than-great albums. The market had really stepped in and people started releasing a lot of boring music. Jazz-rock became associated with fast licks and drum solos. What a lot of people didn't realize (musicians included) was that what made the classic albums great was NOT the fast solos but the Writing and the Vibe.
Then came the neo-traditional movement of the 80's and early 90's. For the first time the center of jazz was no longer the creative NEW shit, but a style that had been popular years before. Jazz-rock lost momentum. A lot of good players drifted towards other areas of music. People stopped trying to push the form. 'Smooth jazz' became a popular radio format, the only 'electric jazz' widely played on the radio at that time.
In the mid 90's it was pretty much a done deal. By that time the radio formats were so rigid that nothing got any airplay besides smooth jazz and traditional acoustic. Without radio behind the style the major labels backed off. And there it was: Electric Jazz, stalled before its next Great Phase.
Miles's later albums pointed to new directions, and Herbie and Scofield have constantly evolved. When I started playing with Miles in the mid-80's, he was working with a more open-ended groove approach that was often structured around the bass lines. The idea of chromatic melodies and dense polychords on top of a serious groove opened up another world of possibilites (check out "Decoy"). The instrumentation in Miles' band was almost like a rock band, but the sound wasn't really jazz-rock, it was something else.
So, jazz-rock is not really a style but an Approach. There is room for a lot more great music using these tools (musicianship + electric instruments) combined with good compositions. Jazz-rock hasn't croaked, it's just retreated to smaller labels and European tours where it can Survive. Why Jazz-rock? Well for one thing, it's an opportunity to be completely creative. If you can squeeze by, it's almost worth it! But those days are Over... The time has come for us jazz-rockers to stop grovelling in our little clubs, to step out into the bright light of the market place, to seize the Moment! -- Adam
A CALL TO ACTION:
The true nature of the assault on the jazz-rock masses has now revealed itself. Reactionary forces have conspired to unseat the spirit of Progressive Face Melting from the power nexus of contemporary music. Revisionist swine have combined with puppet politicians to Control the Gateway of Influence and Culture. Our cause is united. No longer can the funk-based groovers and the phrygian mode riffers afford to bicker and squabble over insignificant intra-party controversies. Our enemy has raised himself in all his corpulent commerciality. He must be Deep Fried. These are the most Mediocre of times. We must make things Excellent in the World! Jazz-rockers of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our Black & Decker Mighty Sweep patio cleaner. -- AH
The real question is, what's happening in jazz-rock today?
Well, not as much as we'd like...
There are the real chops-oriented guys; I won't name names (most of
them are guitarists), and some of these players have done great things
over the years (and continue to play to large and loyal followings).
However, many of these guys have given jazz-rock, as a genre, a bad
reputation for being a cold, speed-driven riff-fest. But at the same
time they are also partly responsible for keeping the burning spirit
of jazz-rock alive. Although I still appreciate it, this brand of
jazz-rock doesn't particularly excite me anymore.
Dissing smooth jazz is kind of a cliche at this point. Everybody knows
that most of the stuff on the radio that's considered 'smooth jazz'
is suction cup fluid. But every style has its originators and I was
lucky to work with one of the few masters of this genre, Grover Washington
Jr. When Grover established his sound in the early 70's it wasn't
called 'smooth jazz'; it was a natural mix of jazz and R&B. Following
a Miles thread, Marcus Miller has done some excellent stuff over the
past few years, and his band is very cool. But at the moment, jazz-funk
with heavy grooves and moving 4ths and polychords doesn't seem as
interesting to me now as it did in the late-90's.
This is an area of jazz-rock where I have kind of set up camp with
my own band, Brave New World, for the past few years...but now I'm
ready to Move Forward. Towards Mars. Although there are still some
great bands out there (like the Yellow Jackets and others) it seems,
recently, that there's been more creativity coming from the "rock"
side of jazz-rock, where artists like Peter Gabriel and Radiohead
are trying harder to do something new.
So expect to read more about other styles of music here as well! We
love it all: straight ahead, R&B, funk, rock, prog-rock, hip-hop,
gospel, world, experimental, classical, you name it!
Of course the remaining Masters are still out there, touring and recording,
like Herbie, Chick, McLaughlin, Wayne and Zawinul, although most of
these guys, the Miles Alumni, have recently been leaning towards a
straight ahead format, with the exception of Zawinul and Herbies "Future
2 Future" project. Scofield has been touring and recording with a
good electric band, but Mike Mainieri's Steps Ahead and even Bill
Bruford's Earthworks have evolved into all-acoustic groups.
In other words, the Originators of Jazz-Rock are no longer pursuing
an electric sound. To quote from Bill Bruford, our featured artist:
"...It's a musician's job to spot these changes and ride with them.
From 1974 onwards, all the creative stuff had already been done. It's
always like that if you look at any art movement. With jazz-rock there
were two or three great years when the thing was invented. After that
all the late comers arrive and copy the original and you may as well
move on because there is nothing new left... It is people going through
the motions. I am sure they do it extremely well. But it is NOT the
age of discovery. It is deja vu." [as told to British music journalist
So we have to push jazz-rock forward into a NEW AGE OF DISCOVERY.
That is the creative challenge of the 21st Century!