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Short Album Reviews

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ranojoy

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We already have a popular thread "Right Now I Am Listening To ...." where we post the names of our favourite artists / albums, etc. However, the thread does not have any explanation regarding WHY we like what we like. I think we can have an additional thread where we explain very briefly why a certain album appeals to us.
We have to remember here that it could be a very well known album as well. That is to say, we all know that The Wall is a great album which everybody has heard and which need not be reviewed any more. But still it could appeal to me in a way thats different from the way someone else likes it, i.e. our individual reasons for liking it may be different. It would be fun to share these different reasons, isnt it ?
As a starting point, here goes my take on "Sounds of Silence" :-

S&Gs strengths were always their lyrical imagery and the harmonics. The album opens with the title song which has both. Has anyone ever heard of a more anguished anthem to loneliness ? Although its an all-time favourite, I somehow like the non-drum track version included in Wednesday Morning 3 AM.
Another favourite is "Leaves that are Green" because of the evocative phrases ("she faded in the night, like a poem I meant to write", "watch the ripples run away, and they never made a sound", etc etc) and the high pitched guitar plucking.
April Come She Will and Kathys Song are love songs, or are they ??? The first song makes us look at seasons in a different light. The second song is supposed to be an ode to Paul Simon's one time girlfriend Kathy and the first paragraph imagery is so vivid, its almost like a movie playing in your mind.
Finally, its somehow fitting that an album which starts off with "loneliness" ends with "isolation" in "I Am A Rock", with the final lines being "And a rock feels no pain; And an island never cries".
 
Last edited:

rikhav

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Indeed a nice idea and I know there are many like me who are getting introduced to music genres like jazz and have no idea who are the better known artists and which albums by them are highly acclaimed
 

ranojoy

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Indeed a nice idea and I know there are many like me who are getting introduced to music genres like jazz and have no idea who are the better known artists and which albums by them are highly acclaimed

:lol:That was the whole idea of starting this thread. I know zilch about jazz and was hoping that the experts would help out in that area.
Jazz gurus - please help.
 

coaltrain

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cool idea for a thread, ranojoy. i'm looking forward to people posting stuff i've never heard before, so that i can part with my hard earned cash more readily :)

regarding your and rikhav's query on jazz:

i wouldn't call myself a 'jazz guru', but i'm definitely a major fan who's been listening to the genre for over 30 years now. lots of friends have asked me for advice on where to begin, as there's so much variety and good music to explore. given below is the gyan i normally dish out :) i hope you find it useful.

since hardcore jazz is a totally new experience for most, i usually ask people what they listen to currently. then, i recommend a 'fusion' album that combines jazz with the kind of music they like.

for eg, if you're a rock fan, i'd point you towards:

afec1363ada01e4fb42ad010.L.jpg

great electric guitar and bass, powerhouse drumming and amazing compositions.

or, if you're into indian classical, you could start here:

579521040_971c21993d.jpg

the saxophone sounds like a throughly 'indian' instrument in places.

in this way, you can get a taste of jazz while still listening to something you're used to. if you like what you hear, you can progress to albums that are more jazz oriented, and discover a whole new world of music out there.

i know this is a pretty simplistic answer to a complex question! but if you guys can give me more info on your likes/dislikes, i'll try and provide a more detailed answer.

happy listening :)
 

sameer kumar

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but if you guys can give me more info on your likes/dislikes, i'll try and provide a more detailed answer.

happy listening :)

Please suggest few more albums like RETURN TO FOREVER ROMANTIC WARRIOR.
I have been enjoying classic rock for the lat two decades and now started collecting & enjoying JAZZ albums.

Thank you
 

psychotropic

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i love this album, but my favourite song is "we got a groovy thing going baby" :)

We already have a popular thread "Right Now I Am Listening To ...." where we post the names of our favourite artists / albums, etc. However, the thread does not have any explanation regarding WHY we like what we like. I think we can have an additional thread where we explain very briefly why a certain album appeals to us.
We have to remember here that it could be a very well known album as well. That is to say, we all know that The Wall is a great album which everybody has heard and which need not be reviewed any more. But still it could appeal to me in a way thats different from the way someone else likes it, i.e. our individual reasons for liking it may be different. It would be fun to share these different reasons, isnt it ?
As a starting point, here goes my take on "Sounds of Silence" :-

S&Gs strengths were always their lyrical imagery and the harmonics. The album opens with the title song which has both. Has anyone ever heard of a more anguished anthem to loneliness ? Although its an all-time favourite, I somehow like the non-drum track version included in Wednesday Morning 3 AM.
Another favourite is "Leaves that are Green" because of the evocative phrases ("she faded in the night, like a poem I meant to write", "watch the ripples run away, and they never made a sound", etc etc) and the high pitched guitar plucking.
April Come She Will and Kathys Song are love songs, or are they ??? The first song makes us look at seasons in a different light. The second song is supposed to be an ode to Paul Simon's one time girlfriend Kathy and the first paragraph imagery is so vivid, its almost like a movie playing in your mind.
Finally, its somehow fitting that an album which starts off with "loneliness" ends with "isolation" in "I Am A Rock", with the final lines being "And a rock feels no pain; And an island never cries".
 

GeorgeO

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Making Music is outstanding.

George

cool idea for a thread, ranojoy. i'm looking forward to people posting stuff i've never heard before, so that i can part with my hard earned cash more readily :)

regarding your and rikhav's query on jazz:

i wouldn't call myself a 'jazz guru', but i'm definitely a major fan who's been listening to the genre for over 30 years now. lots of friends have asked me for advice on where to begin, as there's so much variety and good music to explore. given below is the gyan i normally dish out :) i hope you find it useful.

since hardcore jazz is a totally new experience for most, i usually ask people what they listen to currently. then, i recommend a 'fusion' album that combines jazz with the kind of music they like.

for eg, if you're a rock fan, i'd point you towards:

afec1363ada01e4fb42ad010.L.jpg

great electric guitar and bass, powerhouse drumming and amazing compositions.

or, if you're into indian classical, you could start here:

579521040_971c21993d.jpg

the saxophone sounds like a throughly 'indian' instrument in places.

in this way, you can get a taste of jazz while still listening to something you're used to. if you like what you hear, you can progress to albums that are more jazz oriented, and discover a whole new world of music out there.

i know this is a pretty simplistic answer to a complex question! but if you guys can give me more info on your likes/dislikes, i'll try and provide a more detailed answer.

happy listening :)
 

coaltrain

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Please suggest few more albums like RETURN TO FOREVER ROMANTIC WARRIOR.
I have been enjoying classic rock for the lat two decades and now started collecting & enjoying JAZZ albums.

Thank you

sure thing, sameer. given below are a few albums i'm sure a rock fan would enjoy. as jazz cds are hard to come by, i've tried to list those that are more easily available in india. rhythm house in b'bay, landmark in b'lore/chennai and habitat in b'lore are good places to scope out for jazz. also, do check out samples and reviews of these albums on amazon, before taking the plunge. i'd hate to have someone spend money on something they don't like, based on my (s)advice! :)

herbie-hancock-head_hunters_album.jpg

rock, funk, jazz and some awesome basslines.

hw.jpg

one of the classic fusion groups with the incredible jaco pastorius on bass. the track 'birdland' was a dance hit in the 70s!

front.jpg

shobha gurtu's son is a fantastic showman. the drums and exotic percussion on this live recording will have your neighbours running for cover :)

JohnMcLaughlin_floatingpoint.jpg

recorded in chennai with a whole host of indian musicians, this one has everything: jazz, rock and indian spices!

album-beyond-the-blue-horizon.jpg

grooving jazz guitar, with a great cover of miles' classic 'so what'

PS: do let me know if i'm recommending albums that are already known to all. will dig out some obscure ones instead! :)
 
Last edited:

thevortex

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cool idea for a thread, ranojoy. i'm looking forward to people posting stuff i've never heard before, so that i can part with my hard earned cash more readily :)

regarding your and rikhav's query on jazz:

i wouldn't call myself a 'jazz guru', but i'm definitely a major fan who's been listening to the genre for over 30 years now. lots of friends have asked me for advice on where to begin, as there's so much variety and good music to explore. given below is the gyan i normally dish out :) i hope you find it useful.

since hardcore jazz is a totally new experience for most, i usually ask people what they listen to currently. then, i recommend a 'fusion' album that combines jazz with the kind of music they like.

for eg, if you're a rock fan, i'd point you towards:

afec1363ada01e4fb42ad010.L.jpg

great electric guitar and bass, powerhouse drumming and amazing compositions.

or, if you're into indian classical, you could start here:

579521040_971c21993d.jpg

the saxophone sounds like a throughly 'indian' instrument in places.

in this way, you can get a taste of jazz while still listening to something you're used to. if you like what you hear, you can progress to albums that are more jazz oriented, and discover a whole new world of music out there.

i know this is a pretty simplistic answer to a complex question! but if you guys can give me more info on your likes/dislikes, i'll try and provide a more detailed answer.

happy listening :)

A very good, if esoteric selection, coaltrain. I have this album and have to warn people that it did not impress me on the first listen or the second. Each song in this album builds up slowly - very slowly and then rises very slowly to a climax. It is all very natural and this CD lends itself for casual lounge listening like very few other albums.

Not warning you off this CD. Just asking you to be a little patient to get the most of this.

If you are a fan of Zakir Hussain - the track 'Dark Melody' from Vanaprastham is a must listen. An excellent melding of tabla with traditional piped instruments. A mood-setting song.
 

Hiten

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@ ranojoy : Nice thread you have started. (I listen to all types of music Indian/Western Classical, Pop Rock, Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati but honestly I cant describe what I liked about it. I listen what feels good to my ears I have zero knowledge about music) So this thread would be kind of educational to me.

@ coaltrain : Only introduction of jazz to me is Dave Brubeck I liked his Take Five, Blue Rondo, unsquare Dance. what other jazz music would you recommend ?
Thanks
 

moktan

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i think keith jarret(at least some of his albums), oscar peterson, herbbie hancock (especially Cantaloupe Island) etc are musically quite accessible to begin the jazz journey...
it would also be quite meaningful to be acquainted with jazz literature...and Philip Larkin's polemics against modern jazz is too good stuff to give it a miss...i think his The Daily Telegraph essays have been compiled into a book published by Routledge ..the man is opinionated , incisive and eviscerating..but slightly too old school for my liking...
 

sameer kumar

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sure thing, sameer. given below are a few albums i'm sure a rock fan would enjoy. as jazz cds are hard to come by, i've tried to list those that are more easily available in india. rhythm house in b'bay, landmark in b'lore/chennai and habitat in b'lore are good places to scope out for jazz. also, do check out samples and reviews of these albums on amazon, before taking the plunge. i'd hate to have someone spend money on something they don't like, based on my (s)advice! :)

Thanks a ton.I have JohnMcLaughlin 'floatingpoint' album.I think the other four albums are available at Landmark.
 

thevortex

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i think keith jarret(at least some of his albums), oscar peterson, herbbie hancock (especially Cantaloupe Island) etc are musically quite accessible to begin the jazz journey...
it would also be quite meaningful to be acquainted with jazz literature...and Philip Larkin's polemics against modern jazz is too good stuff to give it a miss...i think his The Daily Telegraph essays have been compiled into a book published by Routledge ..the man is opinionated , incisive and eviscerating..but slightly too old school for my liking...

Thanks moktan for the pointers on a few Jazz artists. Forgive me but how exactly would reading a man's polemics against Jazz help us in getting into that genre? Or is there some else you wanted to refer to by that statement?
 

moktan

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just in a nutshell...in the canon of jazz one of the most important figures is louis armstrong who represents the old school, 'musical' form of jazz..you know stuff that you can shake a leg to or those that will warm the cockles of your heart (gone fishing (with cosby) mack the knife, just a gigolo and any number of duets with ella)...
the other fountainhead of jazz is charlie parker whose genius( vision and a certain political outlook) with the instrument introduced a complexity in the genre that old foggies like Larkins could never warm up to...
so Larkins polemics against this new (at least then) form of jazz was by extension a diatribe agains all the modernistic elements in the Arts as a whole... a bit like an essay by DH Lawrence who was apparently so befuddled by the stream of consciousness experimentation of Joyce that he wrote an essay called Surgery for the Novel; or a Bomb...
 

thevortex

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just in a nutshell...in the canon of jazz one of the most important figures is louis armstrong who represents the old school, 'musical' form of jazz..you know stuff that you can shake a leg to or those that will warm the cockles of your heart (gone fishing (with cosby) mack the knife, just a gigolo and any number of duets with ella)...
the other fountainhead of jazz is charlie parker whose genius( vision and a certain political outlook) with the instrument introduced a complexity in the genre that old foggies like Larkins could never warm up to...
so Larkins polemics against this new (at least then) form of jazz was by extension a diatribe agains all the modernistic elements in the Arts as a whole... a bit like an essay by DH Lawrence who was apparently so befuddled by the stream of consciousness experimentation of Joyce that he wrote an essay called Surgery for the Novel; or a Bomb...

Gotcha! Especially like your comparison:) I need to read some D.H.Lawrence for a change:).
 

coaltrain

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@ ranojoy : Nice thread you have started. (I listen to all types of music Indian/Western Classical, Pop Rock, Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati but honestly I cant describe what I liked about it. I listen what feels good to my ears I have zero knowledge about music) So this thread would be kind of educational to me.

@ coaltrain : Only introduction of jazz to me is Dave Brubeck I liked his Take Five, Blue Rondo, unsquare Dance. what other jazz music would you recommend ?
Thanks

hiten, don't let anyone, including yourself, give you fundas on what is right/wrong about the music you like! going by your list, you appear to have a wider taste in music than me. and, you've mentioned an affinity for one of the essential jazz albums of all time! not bad for someone who claims to be a jazz newbie :)

the album you (and i) like - time out by dave brubeck - is a classic example of 'cool jazz'. ie, the music simmers on a low flame, and never assaults your ears with a searing solo. if you'd like to try something a little warmer, i would highly recommend the album below. you'll find kind of blue on every top 5 jazz list on the planet. it may not be as 'smooth' as take 5, but i'm quite sure you'll be moved by it's emotional impact.

as i've mentioned before, try and check out samples before you buy. and do let me know how it turns out :)

miles-kind-of-blue-cover.jpg
 

coaltrain

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i think keith jarret(at least some of his albums), oscar peterson, herbbie hancock (especially Cantaloupe Island) etc are musically quite accessible to begin the jazz journey...
it would also be quite meaningful to be acquainted with jazz literature...and Philip Larkin's polemics against modern jazz is too good stuff to give it a miss...i think his The Daily Telegraph essays have been compiled into a book published by Routledge ..the man is opinionated , incisive and eviscerating..but slightly too old school for my liking...

the bible for any self-respecting jazz aficionado, imho :) now in its 9th edition, it's a crucial, and highly entertaining, way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

51A9cRJ4l3L._SS500_.jpg
 

coaltrain

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A very good, if esoteric selection, coaltrain. I have this album and have to warn people that it did not impress me on the first listen or the second. Each song in this album builds up slowly - very slowly and then rises very slowly to a climax. It is all very natural and this CD lends itself for casual lounge listening like very few other albums.

i must confess, i'm very intrigued by your take on romantic warrior. i can see how the early rtf albums might be misconstrued as 'lounge' by the casual listener. but rw? between al di meola's hypersonic sixteenth note runs, and stanley clarke's seismic pizzicato bass lines, there's not much room for lounging! :)

ah well, it just goes to prove my caveat urging folks to 'try before you buy'! my favourite signature on this site is - of course, ymmv :)
 

suresh lalwani

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Hi,
Listen to Bobby Watson, Spyro Gyra, Lenny White, Return To Forever.
All very very similiar to "Romantic Warrior", tight sound and enjoyable funky , foot tapping jazz.
Suresh.
I have been on the jazz scene for 50 years now.




Please suggest few more albums like RETURN TO FOREVER ROMANTIC WARRIOR.
I have been enjoying classic rock for the lat two decades and now started collecting & enjoying JAZZ albums.

Thank you
 

thevortex

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i must confess, i'm very intrigued by your take on romantic warrior. i can see how the early rtf albums might be misconstrued as 'lounge' by the casual listener. but rw? between al di meola's hypersonic sixteenth note runs, and stanley clarke's seismic pizzicato bass lines, there's not much room for lounging! :)

ah well, it just goes to prove my caveat urging folks to 'try before you buy'! my favourite signature on this site is - of course, ymmv :)

I was purely talking about Zakir Hussain's Making Music, coaltrain:). I have not heard 'Romantic Warrior'.:)
 
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