Three items from the last seven days at Jazz Journal

JJ 05/80: Beyond the Mainstream – Avant Courier

Up You JackWhen a criticism begins "A revolutionary alto saxophonist named Ornette Coleman plunged jazz down a...

James Taylor Quartet: People Get Ready

James Taylor operates on the basis that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. For the last...

MilesStyle: The Fashion Of Miles Davis

When asked whether Miles was always a sharp-dresser, even when he started out in the 1940s, his...

James Taylor Quartet: People Get Ready

James Taylor operates on the basis that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. For the last 30 years or so the keys player and his party-time quartet...

Bazzer’s bounty

As a writer for Jazz Journal for many years, Barry McRae built up a massive collection of vinyl and, later, CDs. Many...

Obituary: Jimmy Cobb

The drummer Jimmy Cobb once said during an interview that he was just trying to get it done. "You have to be at the right place at...

Bazzer the jazzer

My appreciation of the esteemed critic Barry McRae (Jazz Journal, 17 May 2019) has certainly produced some interesting correspondence. I observed in my piece that Barry’s book The Jazz Handbook certainly...

JJ 05/90: Billy Cobham’s Glass Menagerie – Stratus

Opening with a drum solo, this vintage fusion set reminds us of an era when drum gymnastics were a mandatory part of the fusion repertoire. Later, Cobham returns to centre stage for a three and a half minute solo titled - soundly enough - Drum-Solo. Cobham's turn-of-the-decade fusion was typified by the kind at sparsely scored bluesy, modal funk which has long since been overtaken by harmonically more adventurous stuff. The title track, with its simple, mostly pentatonic theme and violin/guitar unisons harks back even further, to the kind of thing Cobham encoun­tered in the Mahavishnu Orches­tra almost a decade earlier. Another period indicator is bas­sist Tim Lander's reggae groove All Hallows Eve, conceived at time when white reggae bands like The Police and Madness were becoming widely influential. Contemporary fusion fanciers will note the presence of guitarist Mike Stern, who was concur­rently a member of Miles Davis first comeback band, or at least about to join it. Here we hear a number of guitar solos which show all the familiar...

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