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1. The Way Up
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2. Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby
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3. Confidential
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4. Saxophonic
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5. John Barleycorn Must Die [Bonus
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6. Windham Hill Essential Series:
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7. Maiden Voyage
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8. On a Starry Night
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9. Like, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture
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10. Real Illusions: Reflections
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11. Bitches Brew
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12. Headhunters
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13. Unspeakable
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14. Prayer: A Windham Hill Collection
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15. Blow By Blow
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16. Liquid Tension Experiment
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17. Love Coloured Soul
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18. Jaco Pastorius
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19. Birds of Fire
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20. Bright Size Life

1. The Way Up
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0006M4SO6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 363
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

For nearly 30 years, guitarist Pat Metheny and his longtime musical cohort, pianist/keyboardist Lyle Mays, have covered an incredible amount of diverse material. On their debut recording for this label, they and their international group--bassist Steve Rodby, Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez, Vietnamese trumpeter Coung Vu, and the Swiss-born harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret--distill that diversity into a continuous 68-minute opus. The challenge here lies in sustaining the melodic narrative thread while keeping the sound of surprise.Thanks to Mays's evocative pianisms and Metheny's array of acoustic, electric, and synthesized guitars, the group pulls it off.For Metheny fans this disc contains elements of his most acclaimed recordings, from the straight-ahead swing of Question and Answer and the folk-fusion of Offramp, to the Afro-Latin tinges of We Live Here, the atonally adventurous Zero Tolerance for Silence, and the Asian impressionism of Secret Story. --Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

Reviews (117)

5-0 out of 5 stars The album I always hoped they would make
I have been a Metheny Group fan since I first heard "Still Life (Talking)" and "The First Circle" in the mid-80's.These guys always find melodies and changes that sound so logical they seem almost obvious, both when they really are obvious and when they are something we have never heard.For those of us who crave the "new" part of the equation, the transitional segments that occasionally pop up towards the end of medium-length compositions like Minuano (Six-Eight), The First Circle, And Then I Knew, or Lyle Mays' Highland Aire are like that whiff of pine-scented air you sometimes catch in the spring.

May I present an entire cedar forest.Flawless, exhilarating performances, crisp and rich recording, and composition that you can get lost in after repeated listening.Music that is both cerebral and moving.The Group doing what they were always capable of, but never inclined to do before: a work that's long but not stretched, organized but not predictable, tonal but not too sweet, exciting but not raw, thematic but not repetitious.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cocktail of Sounds
You take Imaginary Day , Speaking of Now , We Live Here , add some wild Trumpet and sequence touches and Voalá : The Way Up is Sea Level ... Not bad for a rainy day ... The art work is All The Way Down ... So , not everyday is kind of wonderful , so what , still , good music from some of the best players and writers of the moment ... For lack of Weather Report , get Pat Metheny Group ...

4-0 out of 5 stars Orchestrally amazing, but missing something
I've heard this album so many times I can't even begin to count.I feel bad giving this album 4 stars because I hold Pat to standards miles above everyone else.So this review is based on Pat's standards; keep in mind that it's still a piece of music far beyond the capability of anyone else alive.

This album is basically a bunch of different sections that weave in and out, sometimes overlapping.It works quite well actually--but the middle section is just simply too long and missing that emotional level that usually exists in Pat's music.The intro and closing are fun to listen to because they are busy with strumming, odd beats, full chords and buildup.The first six minutes of Part One introduces the simplest yet most prevalent theme on the album that's played over and over in many different contexts, and almost sounds progressive-rocky.Yet after this section dies out, I feel as if I'm walking across a very long desert.There's a couple of rocks here and there, but mostly it's just a flat walk.I want the moutains that Metheny creates--I don't want to get bored.

The straight-ahead jazz sections kind of pop out of nowhere, and I almost feel like he put those in there as a response to people calling his music cheesy (which it sometimes is, but we learn to get past that).The Way Up definitely has its share of beautiful sections--the pinnacle I'd say being in Part Three (the closing) starting around 7:45 or so when all of the themes sort of come together and build up to a climax.

There's no doubt that Metheny is a master of composition and his instrument.I don't think he went in over his head with his album.I think he was trying to not keep the middle section "too busy," but in doing so he kind of left an opening that needs to be filled somehow.

Just a quick recap on the musicians: Antonio Sanchez (drummer) is out of this world on this album.Cuong Vu (trumpet) makes some really well-fit-in background noises and adds color to this album that no other trumpet player can do--his range isn't amazing, but that's not what he's here for.Lyle Mays takes more of a background approach in this as well--he has a few solos, but nothing extraordinary.Gregoire Maret (harmonica) has his moment of glory, and it sounds nice and Western (because that's how harmonicas sound to me), but I get a little bored when listening.Steve Rodby holds his fort down, and has a little solo where the bass plays the melody (I love this part) in what I call the "whale section"--it kind of reminds me of whale song.And Pat is at his best with soloing here, although I feel like more recently he plays the same licks more and more often.With the exception of his solo in Part One at around 20:00, where he plays one of the best and most melodic, unique, and well developed solos I've ever heard.

Overall, a definite must, but didn't quite live up to its year-long hype.But that would have been nearly impossible.

4-0 out of 5 stars Uplifting.....
Having just been given this album the other day it has made quite an impression on me. Although it is not the 'highest' music I have ever heard it has many beautiful moments and the recording sounds great. I've been off listening to other things for a while so to hear the lyricism of Metheny and Mays is refreshing to say the least.
Other reviewers have described the album in some detail so I won't. What I do want to remark upon is how many reviewers seem to have a very stale and fixed idea of what 'jazz' is and how they pour scorn over anything that does not conform to their limited ideas. This attitude has been a factor ever since Davis started to experiment with different sounds and forms and has continued in the Masarlis vein, etc. So what is jazz? Does it have to be an endless rehash of bebop in 'clever' contexts - nods and winks to the establishment and those who only want to be reinforced and not challenged? Or do we have to play the same standards over and over again? How much can you do with that music that hasn't already been done now? Isn't that why a lot of contemporary jazz sounds so dead and uninspiring? Beyond which quote to pull in the next moment, the spontaneity has been left behind somewhere.
Personally, I am relieved to hear Metheny steering away from yet another 'jazz' album and towards something that's actually sort of unique. I enjoy what I consider to be the best of all musical styles - I love a taste of bebop, free-jazz, modern orchestral, baroque, prog, jazz-rock, folk or even pop. If I don't change between them fairly frequently I get bored.
So to those who deride new music of difference I wish you an eternity locked in a small room listening to the Residents. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maximal musical historisism is what you get...
if you join PMG The Way Up. It is the last 400 years of music history incorporated into multi-layers of sound, individual world class performances (I heard them in Oslo 15. May, amazing!!) and melodic simplicity as the "red thread" through the album. Buy it!

... Read more


2. Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00006785T
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2025
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This is a real sleeper of an album, literally. Smooth-jazz musicians--including Peter White, Dave Koz, Norman Brown, David Benoit, and others--play music here to put babies to sleep. Fans of New Age music, specifically what came out of the Pacific Northwest in the '80s, may find many of these 14 tracks reminiscent of that period. Long-time listeners of smooth-jazz radio may be reminded of the kind of ethereal, spacey music that was played in the early days of the format. Many of the songs are as obvious as Brian Culbertson's somnambulating "Brahms' Lullaby" and Koz's "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," but some are inspired choices with creative arrangements and strong performances. Koz and his brother Jeff shine on the Beatles' title tune and the other Lennon/McCartney chestnut, "Blackbird." Brown's take on James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes" is also moving, while not straying from the stillness of the concept. Perhaps the standout track is the superb performance of vocalist John Stoddart on Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely." --Mark Ruffin ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is probably the most beautiful lullaby collection I've ever heard. My 2 1/2 year old son absolutely adores it . . . especially the versions of Hush, Baby and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. The music is far from old fashioned, yet it is amazingly relaxing and calming --- even for a very excitable little boy. While it is great for a small child, I find it the perfect music for adults to listen to when taking a nice relaxing bubble bath or trying to unwind for the evening.

I'm a huge Dave Koz fan and always adore his selection of guest artists (Peter White, David Benoit) and this CD is no exception. They all made fabulous contributions to this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indescribably Beautiful
From the first lush, bell-like sounds of "Blackbird", it's obvious that this CD is all about the lullaby. And I've never heard a prettier collection of music in my life.

Maybe it's the sentimentality of being the father of a 15-month old, but more than a few tracks brought me near to tears, and that's on the first listen. Each expressive note evokes the sounds of a small stuffed animal, mobile, etc playing those tinky notes that sounds like the sweetest music ever played. Highlights are "Blackbird", Brahm's Lullaby, "When You Wish Upon A Star", "Golden Slumber", and....."Isn't She Lovely". The soft, amazing, understated vocal for this song creates an interpretation that floored me. Be warned - you will never forget it. It's a reworking of the song that rises well above Stevie Wonder's and really brings out the words in a whole new, beautiful way.

I'm sure this is not for everyone. It's very mellow. There's no great improvisations for the jazz purists. But it's a great sound and I think every new parent should receive a copy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Get this one and for sure get ANGELS ALL AROUND too
I like this CD very much. I like it almost as much as my best lullaby CD, ANGELS ALL AROND ULLABIES, by GENIE.

I would get them both.

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect gift for new parents
This CD is amazing. My husband is a fan of David Koz and he bought this for our now 16 month old son. When I first rocked and held him to the sounds of Isn't she Lovely...I just cried at this miracle I held. The songs are very soothing, even to me and as soon as I put this CD on, my son knows it's time for sleep. Of all the many lullaby CDs I have, this is my favorite! I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very soothing music
My sister bought this for my husband and I at the birth of our baby girl. She was touched by the fact that one of the songs was titled after her neice (Charlotte's song). The CD is very soothing, relaxing and beautifully made. It's been one of our favorites all these months. If you are a "smooth jazz" fan, you'll love it! ... Read more


3. Confidential
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0001IN10M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1056
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

What separates White from the crowded pack of smooth-jazz guitarists is his exquisite sense of melody. That skill is on full display on Confidential, easily the most well-rounded album of White's career. Among the highpoints here is the return of vocalist Christopher Cross, who shines on a cover of Brenda Russell's light bossa nova tune, "She's in Love." Other guests include pianist Brian Culbertson, who offers a Bob James-like solo on the title track, trumpeter Chris Botti ("Stormfront"), and saxophonist Mindi Abair, who graces "Are You Mine." But it's White's lines that soar throughout, like melodies in search of words. --Mark Ruffin ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Confidentially, This Is A Hit!
This is Peter White's best effort since Perfect Moment was released in 1998. In tracks such as Talkin' Bout Love, How Does It Feel, and Confidential, he gives us the familiar and beautiful Peter White touch. His playing is up front and in the lead, with the rest of the music surrounding his melodies, complementing and contrasting them.

In other tunes such as, Are You Mine, Lost Without Your Love and Endless Journey, he is content to let other artists have the spotlight. Of special note are Mindi Abair, Brian Culbertson, Michael Paulo and David Sparkman. Chris Botti's playing on Stormfront is the perfect compliment to Peter's gentle, understated rhythm.

This is a mature and beautiful collection of music and is highly recommended. Bravo, Peter White!

4-0 out of 5 stars Soothing...let go, and enjoy Mr. White's gift
I've always loved Peter White's work. His "Caravan of Dreams" and "Perfect Moment" are my two favorite works by him. "Confidential" isn't either of these, but it sure comes close enough to satisfy anyone who's a fan of White.

My two top picks from this CD: 1.) The aptly titled "Swept Away"...I sure was. 2.) The oh so sweet and seductive "Stormfront" is...well...just listen and enjoy. Both tracks are similar in that they're a bit more mellow (but both are just beautiful), but don't worry, Peter has much more "jazzed up" tunes on this as well; "Jump on It" is fun and playful, and "Coast Road Drive" opens the disc nicely. "Are You Mine" is also a nice toe tapping standout tune.

Another nice surprise was having Christopher Cross "guest star" on "She's in Love", probably the most radio friendly tune (but still not bad).

Peter White fans won't be disappointed, there's enough here to enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A New Fan!
I have been searching for this type of guitar music for a long, long time. (spending quite a bit of money along the way) I saw a segment, of Peter's music, on a public tv show, a couple of days ago. I was so taken in with how smooth and pure the sound was that I bought 1 CD for myself and 1 for a hard-core jazz friend!

With this music playing, one can envision him/herself toolin' down the open freeway~sunroof/windows pulled back/down, music turned up, sun setting in the orange hued horizon and the cool breezes swirling all around....This music has the ability to transport you, without leaving the confines of the room...

Well worth the investment!Wish I knew about him earlier!An amazing talent! CONGRATS PETER ON A SENSATIONAL CD!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fresh, uplifting, fantastic
Peter White does it again. Love this music, great to hear some vocals on a few of his songs. Not just sofa music. Keep this coming Peter!

3-0 out of 5 stars Over-programmed...
Peter White tried to create a "gentle-touch" atmosphere on his latest recording Confidential. Did he succeed? To some extend, and on those tracks that are not so much drum-over-programmed as the first three. If he had used less programming in favor of acoustic instruments (at least on drums side) that would create much better exposure to the confidentiality of White's music...

Vocals on Lost Without Your Love are not different to the most of smooth jazz recordings. Accordion creates an intimate atmosphere on Swept Away. This is probably the most romantic track on the disk.

Overall, Confidential is an OK background music that is better listened to with the volume knob down to avoid boredom of the programmed drums. Listening to the disc on a good audio makes it noticeable that the drums are not only over-programmed, but also over-emphasized - their artificial sound hangs in the air over the mastery guitar work of Peter White. So, if you aim at guitar jazz you better try in other place. Why doesn't' Peter White make a mainstream jazz recording once in a while? ... Read more


4. Saxophonic
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0000CABB5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 875
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars No doubt, Dave Koz is The King of "Smooth Jazz"!
I listened to Dave's new CD, and as usual, he's out done himself again. He just get's better and better with each CD.
Dave, and his brother Jeff, with the help of Brian Mcknight, Jeff Lorber, Culby, and the other writers who contributed to this CD, have done an outstanding job. There are no "bad" songs on this CD, in my opinion. From the very first time I popped it into my player, I was hooked! The cord progressions and arrangements of the chorus parts, (which Dave doubles up on his sax), are just pure genius. But what do you expect with the guy's he's got working with him. If I could be half as good a writer and arranger as these guy's, I would be truly blessed with mad skills. My favorite tracks are: "Love Changes Everything","Definition of Beautiful","All I see", "Only tomorrow knows", and the sensual ballad, "Just to be next to you" makes chills come all over me. :-) This CD will bring out so many emotions in you, that's it's just unbelievable. A definate must have in your music collection. I highly recommend this CD! One last thing, if you've never been to a Dave Koz concert...GO!! Once you see this guy, and feel the energy he projects into his music, and his fans, you'll be hooked!!
NO DOUBT!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Koz Magic went Missing a Bit !!!
On the onset this CD didn't impress me, as I was expecting the same - if not more, of the kind of magic that made 'The Dance' and 'Lucky Man' etc. such great albums. This one unfortunately seemed to lack a bit of that magic. It's not that its 'bad' - its just that I was expecting more- given the exceptionally high standards of his previous albums. My first impression was exactly as one of the other reviewer's ie. it seemed as if Dave was just "fulfilling his recording contract". After listening to it in my car several times, I've grown to enjoy it somewhat- but still not as much as his previous works. Some great vocals on the tracks "Love Changes Everything" &"Definition of Beautiful". If you're an avid Dave Koz fan like me, get it. If you just getting into smooth jazz and want something really spunky by this artist, then I would recommend 'The Dance' anytime.

1-0 out of 5 stars Horrible!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree with C.M. Covias from NY. This cd is horrible!

2-0 out of 5 stars Very Below Contemporary Jazz Standards!!!!!!!!!
As I opened up this cd, I though it might be a cool contemporary jazz package. With the first song, Honey Dipped, I was rather dissapointed, but it wasn't the worst song in the world. I just said, it had its good moments, let me go to the next track. Track after track, nothing got any better. In fact, they were very much worse then, Honey Dipped. Honey Dipped actually sounded good after the next tracks popped into my ears. The rest are just very bad "new age" music influenced with, jazz? The synthesizers and electric instruments, dont make it any better. Most of this cd is, an electronic drum beat over some saxophone playing. Bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Cool CD
If you like smooth jazz, you'll love this one! ... Read more


5. John Barleycorn Must Die [Bonus Tracks]
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000059T1E
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3268
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Traffic's third studio album is also its third best, ranking below the band's superb second record (1968's Traffic) and its psychedelic debut (1968's Mr. Fantasy). The depth of those albums came from having two superior songwriters, Steve Winwood and Dave Mason; by John Barleycorn, Winwood was leading a trio that included Chris Wood on horns and Jim Capaldi on drums. Winwood now supplied guitar as well as keyboards, and songs such as "Glad" and "Freedom Rider" reflected the trio's fondness for instrumental jams. But the 1970 album is remembered most for the title tune, a traditional folk song blessed with one of the finest vocals of Winwood's long career. --John Milward ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm Glad this is back
Whittled down to a trio Traffic solidered on with their finest album. Although not as catchy or commerical as their first two studio albums, JBMD captures the trio at their best. The music smoothly moves from folk to jazzy instrumentals without breaking a sweat. Winwood's vocals are among his best here. His impassioned vocals on Every Mother's Son bring the album to life.

Originally intended as a Steve Winwood solo album Capaldi and Wood offered their services during the recording of the album. The songs and playing meshed so well that Winwood, Capaldi and Wood decided to revive the Traffic name.

The remastering supervised by Bill Levenson is spectacular. Levenson always makes sure that there is considerable care put into all the projects he supervises. The sound is actually superior to the UK counterpart released last year. Levenson's version of JBMD doesn't sound as overprocessed as the British version of the album.

A couple of minor complaints about the UK release are, for the most part, taken care of on the US release. Although the song fragment I Just Want To Know is interesting why was it put in the middle of the UK release? It threw off the flow of the original album and actually detracted from the quality of it as well.

The bonus tracks are a fine addition to this already great album. The sound quality is great. The booklet informative but doesn't suffer from overkill.

5-0 out of 5 stars , TRAFFIC "JAMS"?? WINWOOD + RAY CHARLES = SOUL
As I mentioned in another review - Traffic's "When The Eagle Flies"- this recording "sold me" on Traffic in the early 70's. Steve Winwood's unabashed reverence for Ray Charles was "tempered" by his "ENGLISH SIDE", and the mixture of his love for American Jazz/R & B and Traditional English sounds is the secret of Traffic's success here. The Ray Charles influence in "Glad" soon becomes the more "Anglo-Jazzy" "Freedom Rider"- and the title song is an Old English folksong regaling the fermented brew! There was a time in rock musics history that Stevie Winwood when musics were creative, and the 3 Traffic releases--"John Barleycorn" , "Low Spark...", and "When the Eagle Flies" are great examples. Jazzy, thoughful melodies with competent musical execution ( though Jim Capaldi wasnt the drummer to set the world afire, and Chris Wood's flute playing was pleasantly adequate, his SAX performances were "borderline",a t best..) Traffic was RELIEF from the 3 chord miasma of rock "guitar hero boredom". Clapton, for example should have thanked his lucky star when Winwood agreed to form "Blind Faith" group (look at the drivel he churns up now as a stodgy middle aged rock relic- Winwood was "the guy" from that era in England, I believe . As for the other reviewer comparing the traffic cd to PHISH & the DEAD- this cd wasnt the extended jamfest he alludes to, cant figure out what he was referring to.The other cd, "Low Spark" , of course, featured the "endless piano solo that goes nowhere"(the title track, of course). And here the solo never developes at all, just meanders and takes up valuable listening time, much as many of the Dead's "jams", and I have to be honest, I dont listen to Phish, dont much LIKE 'EM! Buy it, you will love this cd!

5-0 out of 5 stars must have in your collection
I first heard this album when it was released. I have owned it and played it ever since. It is one of my top 3 favorite "desert island" albums. I own it in vinyl, cassette, and CD. Buy it. Now.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Traffic Gem
Times had changed by 1970 ... Dave Mason was off to a full solo career, Chris Wood had joined Ginger Baker's Airforce, and Capaldi was not so sure what he wanted to do, but had not yet decided to quit the drums and be a singer.
This is how this album begins, with only Stevie Winwood in the studio, having already penned a couple of songs -"Every Mothers Son" and, only included in this remastered version, "Sittin' Here Thinkin' of My Love"- and ready to record a solo album.
Anyway, that was the plan but was not what ended up happening. Instead, whatever the real reason was -several stories are told- soon enough Capaldi and Steve's brother, Chris Wood, joined him and this became Traffic third studio album.
Although Mason was gone -his contribution to Traffic's original sound and the two gems they recorded together can never be acknowledged enough- Winwood had enough music, feeling and ideas to carry the load and make "Barleycorn ..." a classic in its own right.
It can be said that although this is very much a Traffic album, it is more heavily dominated by Winwood's musical vision and playing than its predecessors.
There are two strong musical courses, running through Winwood's veins, coming naturally to a crossroads here, the ever-present Jazz/R&B that Winwood had been feeding off since the Spencer Davis Group's days, and his connection to the English Folk tradition.
Actually, when you think that it was recorded over thirty years ago, it is even a more astounding example of how "ahead-of -its-times" Traffic was and, even more conclusively, what a tremendous composer Winwood had already become at 22.
Traffic, as a whole, and this album in particular are, to this day, one of the beacons of popular music that has ever been recorded, even today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Um! Great!
Great album, it will stand next to Radiohead-OK Computer, Who-Who's Next, Beatles-Abbey Road and Red Hot Chili Peppers-Californication in my collection.

Maybe not, but it still is great. ... Read more


6. Windham Hill Essential Series: Turtle Island String Quartet
list price: $11.98
our price: $11.98
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Asin: B000000NMW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 50432
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique blend of jazz and classical styles
I love the Turtle Island String Quartet because of their use of a traditionally classical music ensemble to create a jazz sound. This CD is wonderful because it uses selections from their earlier recordings as well as their latest ones. ... Read more


7. Maiden Voyage
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our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00000IL29
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3171
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

In the mid-'60s, a distinctive postbop style evolved among the younger musicians associated with Blue Note, a new synthesis that managed to blend the cool spaciousness of Miles Davis's modal period, some of the fire of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and touches of the avant-garde's group interaction. Maiden Voyage is a masterpiece of the school, with Hancock's enduring compositions like "Maiden Voyage" and "Dolphin Dance" mingling creative tension and calm repose with strong melodies and airy, suspended harmonies that give form to his evocative sea imagery. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard was at a creative peak, stretching his extraordinary technique to the limits in search of a Coltrane-like fluency on the heated "Eye of the Storm," while the underrated tenor saxophonist George Coleman adds a developed lyricism to the session. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars A landmark recording
Herbie Hancock reaffirmed his importance in modern Jazz history with this stunning album. Hancock always is a pioneer of Jazz music, and this album takes him to another level of Piano brilliance. Using outstanding musicians as backup compliments this album. With Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and Saxophonist George Colman, Hancock explores each and every song on here with different rythmic spacing, and musical influences from Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman and even Art Blakey. Hancock isn't afraid to go for a new sound and we are all gratefull to this Jazz pioneer. From "Maiden Voyage" to "Dolphin Dance" each and every song on this album (CD) is a delight to listen too. Blue Note recordings did an excellent job of letting Hancock explore and the Jazz world is gratefull for it. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic from the early 60's
This collection with Herbie Hancock fronting a group consisting of the rhythm section of Miles Davis' second quintet; the always amazing Tony Williams and Ron Carter; is an absolute classic from the period. Freddie Hubbard is at times astonishing in his soloing. George Coleman who also did a brief stint with Davis rounds out the group on tenor. While not one of my favorite tenor players overall he does some of his best recorded work on this. Hancock established himself as a composer of jazz standards with Maiden Voyage. His playing on this is comparable to another classic of the period Miles Smiles. Maiden Voyage ,Miles Smiles and Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil are the epitome of where modal jazz was headed in the 60's under the influence of Miles Davis. These fabulous musicians were making history again and again.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best jazz albums ever
Wow...this album blew me away. I'm a kid of the 21st century in a world of new exciting forms of music...the fact that this thing still gets to me shows that "Maiden Voyage" is a timeless jazz album....a classic. Herbie's masterful use of harmony is definitely evident in this recording. The beginning D Suspension and F Suspension chords are so classic...every jazz pianist should know his chord voicings in this song. It is incredible that Herbie is able to create beautiful musical textures in songs such as Dolphin Dance and Maiden Voyage. This recording is an essential item for every jazz listener. Yep, buying this is an option.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maiden Voyage - a classic!
I was listening to this disc just a moment ago and I decided to make justice for it and decided to review it. This is what I've got to say.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

About The Rudy Van Gelder Edition
(In these RVG edition CDs all transfers from analog to digital are made at 24-bit resolution). The remastering done by Rudy Van Gelder is excellent! The sound Gelder gives the recording - which he originally engineered - a more life like balanced sound that is more pleasing to the ears. The listener is able to hear nuances of the instruments (f.ex. fingers on trumpet valves very clearly). Sometimes the remastering makes you believe that the recording session was held only recently.
By comparison most of the mid 80's Blue Note releases - that have been precursors to RVG editions - are muddy and have little bass definition and an inappropriate amount of treble.

About the packaging
I find it very nice! RVG edition CDs contain the original liner notes and also liner essay ("a new look at" as it is called) from critic Bob Blumenthal, that provides interesting historical insight that may - or may not - reveal new information to the seasoned jazz fan, but definitely could be helpful to new listeners discovering the legacy of Blue Note through these deluxe RVG editions. Also some session photos by Francis Wolff that fold out to full view in the booklet are very nice, some of them are well known and some are published for the first time.

About the music
To put its simply - it is beautiful. Other adjectives that I would use to appraise this disc: reserved, complex, elegant, sophisticated, cerebral, refined/mannered...
It is modal jazz that has some post-bop influences. Maiden Voyage is less overtly adventurous than its predecessor, Empyrean Isles, but it is nevertheless full of creativity of these musicians, notably Herbie Hancock who is at the peak of his entire career. It could easily be the finest recording of the '60s, reaching a perfect balance between accessible, lyrical jazz and chance-taking hard bop.
Each member is on top of his game for this session, and the result is a very enjoyable recording. Rhythm section is exceptional; Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Carter and Williams ceate an ideal backround (along with Herbie) where Coleman and Hubbard can do their soloing. Freddie Hubbard plays trumpet with nice phrasing but George Coleman won't stay far behind him as he shines with some of the best saxophone playing ever.
The quintet plays five Hancock originals. They are all simply superb showcases for the group's provocative, unpredictable solos, tonal textures, and harmonies. The quintet does take risks, but the music is lovely and accessible, thanks to Hancock's understated, melodic compositions and the tasteful group interplay. All the elemenst blend together and make Maiden Voyage a shimmering, beautiful album that captures Hancock at his finest as a leader, soloist and composer.
This is an excellent recording, which I unhesitatingly recommend as a great addition to any serious jazz library, and possibly as good a way as any to have Hancock represented as the essential musician he is. This is an excellent CD to begin exploring jazz - it is an ideal introduction for newcomers but also a must have for veterans.
It will immediately let you know that you're listening to a classic and with every listen it gets better.

When I listen to this CD I feel like I'm in one of those tropical isles surrounded by blue-green sea. Sun shines and the sand on the beach just shines pure white. Sky is blue and a few white clouds are scattered here and there. I walk in to the sea and dive to the direction of the bottom of the sea. I see many different coloured fish species swimming around me. A green turtle flows over my head. So much life... But suddenly it all disappears. I see couple of sharks swimming and passing by. And it all just calms down. Life returns. Turtles, fishes, octopussies... Everything shines and colours are bright and warm. It is so beautiful...And when the music begins to fade away I rise from the sea, get back to the beach and just watch as it all gets wrapped around the calmenss of nigth... Beautiful.

This is Essential jazz. Essential Hancock and essential modal jazz. It definitely deserves a five star rating. I have had this CD for a long time. I keep enjoying it time after time. You will do yourself a big favor if you buy this. If you don't believe me, just read what other reviewers have to say.

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfection
I would rate this CD as being a Jazz classic were it not for one or two weak moments in the set; that aside, it rates as one of Herbie hancocks best efforts to date, and is definitely a Jazz essential.

"Maiden Voyage" is a brilliant, mellow track, one that highlights both impressive individual improvisations and stunningly cohesive collaberation. "The eye of the hurricane" is a snappy little number that alomst allows its impressive style to overshadow its rather substantial substance. "Little One" veers back towards the mellow, serving as a quiet interlude before the free-form cacaphony of "Survival of the Fittest," a work that is not as cohesivelly structured as I would prefer. "Dolphin Dance" is a pleasently fitting close to the album. ... Read more


8. On a Starry Night
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000000NMK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3394
Average Customer Review: 4.97 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The party line on most Windham Hill products seems to be that it's either the greatest stuff since wave machines, or that it all sounds alike. On a Starry Night, with its collection of world songs and reputable artists such as Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, the Turtle Island String Quartet, and others, does lean toward a seamlessly understated, homogeneous quality that is broken only occasionally by Bobby McFerrin's piece and a couple of others. That said, there can hardly be a more mellow or sonorous album of kid's music anywhere. Starry Night could calm a nursery with no nurses; why, it could even soothe the pained yelps at the dog pound--and turn a freeway full of bumper-to-bumper sour pusses into pussycats. Effective? You've heard of mind control, haven't you? --Martin Keller ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars gentle music for children and adults
I believe that music is a powerful and innate force in our lives, so I bought a number of CDs geared toward children when I gave birth. Most were harmless enough, many became tiresome after a while .... this CD still gets played regularly at our house after three years.

International artists play and sing old favorites as well as songs new to us, but even the old favorites (Rock-a-bye-baby, Brahms Lullaby) are performed in engaging ways which renew their interest. Heaven knows, I am not one to seek out Kumbaya, but I even like that song here! Seventeen songs are presented from the US, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Ireland, Congo, Ghana, Cuba, Iceland, Israel, England, Russia and Germany. Some are sung, most are instrumental. All are very beautiful and soothing. The CD booklet contains a paragraph about each song with performance credits, original words and translation.

A remarkably soothing collection of lullabies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Will definitely become one of your favorites!!
This CD is beautiful and so soothing. It really does give you a dreamy effect. It's good for the soul! We use it for bedtime music for our 4yr old, and not only does she love it, but we love it. I am so glad I found this CD. It raises the standard of what good lullaby compilations should sound like. First Class music, indeed. Don't hesitate if you're looking for good music for nightime or even a relaxing break in the day for your little ones-this is an excellent choice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Soothing, dreamy music!
I just had to write a review of this cd. It was recommended to me by another mother, and I tried it and love it! We like to listen to it in the living room as nap time approaches, nursing with the lights dimmed. With the fan going and this cd on quietly, both momma and baby start drifting off to sleep. It's absolutely wonderful, and I recommend it to anyone who needs some instant R&R.

5-0 out of 5 stars Your Baby Will Love This CD
We were given "Starry Night" as a gift when our son was born 21 months ago. It is one of the best gifts we have received as he has been sleeping to this CD from day one. The minute we turn the CD on and dim the lights he knows that it's time to sleep - whether it's for a nap in the afternoon or after a long day of running around.

We love this CD so much that both sets of in-laws bought it for our son...

5-0 out of 5 stars Most relaxing compilation of music I've ever heard
This CD is a must-have! My 9-month-old puts her head on my shoulder to drift off to sleep as soon as she hears the first tune - no matter the time of day. She is always asleep before the end of the second track (the delicate, almost haunting Japanese Music Box) and I'm consistently teary by the end of the third (in English it's known as "Go to Sleep" - the lyrics will make any parent's heart ache with love for your child). It even gets the three- and four-year-olds to sleep in my older daughter's preschool class. What would really be great is if massage therapists would play this CD instead of that babbling brook, new age stuff - now THAT would be worth $100. ... Read more


9. Like, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture Box (Totally)
list price: $99.98
our price: $89.99
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Asin: B000068ZVP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1764
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

You want your '80s! Fer sure! This is the mother of alltributes to the era of skinny ties, Reaganomics, andPac-Man! Seven CDs, 142 hit songs, from New Wave to Pop toR&B to Hip-Hop to Novelty, including an incredible 49 #1tracks! Starring Queen, New Edition, Duran Duran, RichardMarx, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Men At Work, Toto, The Cure, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams, Simple Minds,Bangles, New Kids On the Block...and many more. Plus a90-page book with hundreds of historical photos, facts, and memories from the decade that wanted it all! Limitededition sculpted rubber cover! Approx. 10 x 8 x 3/4 inches. 2002. ... Read more

Reviews (39)

3-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't compare to Rhino's 70's box
Okay, I'll concede this point: If you like a lot of 80's pop, from "new wave/new romantic/synth pop" to metal to plain-old top 40, you'll enjoy the music. I'll also concede that the art direction is both amusing and top-notch, in typical Rhino style. Their box sets are beyond compare in terms of presentation.

The problems: Almost all of these songs have been released on other 80's compilations, and many on Rhino's own product. Billy Crystal's novelty song is probably the rarest thing here. This is a general beef with Rhino, which reissues the same one or two tracks by a certain artist over and over as opposed to picking a lesser known hit. My guess is that most people likely to buy a package like this probably has at least some of Rhino's "Just Can't Get Enough" series, perhaps some of their Billboard 80's discs, and some other companies' compilations. I end up feeling like I pay $10 to $20 per song, or end up buying a package because I like the packaging! (It's true -- suckers are born every minute.)

What's most disappointing, however, is that Rhino did a much better job with their 70's box set. The 70's box set DID contain a few rarities from some big name artists. In fact, their "Have a Nice Decade" box is the ONLY place I'm aware of that one can buy the single version of David Bowie's "Fame" on cd. Similarly it was one of the first cd's to feature the single edit of Gladys Knight and the Pips' "Midnight Train to Georgia." These are just two examples. The only unusual sounding mix I heard on this box was the Romantics' "Talking In Your Sleep", and I didn't listen closely enough to be sure that there was something different about it.

The 70's box also had many interesting sound bites from the 70's (Nixon, Patty Hearst, etc) placed at amusing points during the program. The 80's box contains NO sound bites. This makes this box set more of a collection of tunes and less of an "experience." Sure, the music alone evokes nostalgia but sound clips from Reagan, Bush, Quayle, or "Murphy Brown" would have been interesting. Imagine a soundbite from the news of the shuttle exploding right before Peter Shilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)". That's the kind of fun the 70's box provided.

I also thought the first essay in the booklet was lame, but that's neither here nor there.

I know that my critique may seem overly harsh to some. If I were reviewing this only for people who didn't have any 80's music on cd and wanted a great amount and variety of tunes, I'd certainly recommend this at the 5-star level. Somehow I don't think that is the primary market envisioned for this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Is this enough '80s music for you?
My biggest gripe is this: there are seven CDs in this package, and my CD player only holds five CDs! :-(

OK, seriously, this is quite a comprehensive collection of 80's music, and just about every genre is represented to some extent. There's Eddie Rabbit, Blondie, New Edition, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Devo, Simple Minds, Duran Duran, just to name a few. Of course, though, it is heavy on the pop numbers, and it certainly brings back memories of high school for me, particularly since the collection seems to lean heavily toward early to mid '80s music. There's not much on it after 1987, which doesn't bother me personally, but I would have liked, for example, "We Didn't Start the Fire," by Billy Joel.

Indeed, that is the one problem with this collection, but that can be said for any collection. For all the wonderful songs on there, so many more were left off. There's nothing by A Flock of Seagulls, Journey, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and each artist that is there is represented only once. Why was The Thompson Twins represented with "Lies" and not "Hold Me Now" or "Doctor Doctor"? Where was Howard Jones? Still, it was well worth the money.

Now, I just need a CD player with more spaces . . .

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice overview - may be addictive...
Be forewarned, the sugar-coated empty calories found in the LIKE, OMIGOD... box set from Rhino will just leave you wanting more. 142 tracks across seven CDs and it just scratches the surface on a shallow, yet oddly endearing decade.

LIKE, OMIGOD... hits almost all of the popularly acknowledged high points, including "867-5309/Jenny," "Tainted Love," "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," - as well as great novelty numbers and underground tunes like "Pac-Man Fever," "Da Da Da," and "Turning Japanese." While not in strict chronological order like Rhino's 70s set, HAVE A NICE DECADE, LIKE, OMIGOD... is well-sequenced and provides a relatively satisfying trip - as well as a great set for any party. No need for "random play" here - just load this set, hit "play" and dance away.

While this set is almost certainly a one-stop shop for the music fan simply looking for a well-balanced 80s collection, the completist and discerning collector will no doubt view this as the tip of the iceberg. Those such as myself, more enthralled with the simultaneous New Wave movement, will find lots more to love (approximately 300 tracks worth - with minimal duplication) in Rhino's 15-volume JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH 80s collection. Even then, LIKE, OMIGOD... will spur you on to fill up your shopping cart with with entire albums by Billy Squier, Duran Duran, The Fixx, Pretenders and more.

The only downside to be found is that LIKE, OMIGOD... also forces the listener to take the bad with the good (or the worse with the bad?), presenting end-of-the-decade stinkers such as New Kids on the Block and Richard Marx toward the end of the seventh disc. For this listener, those musical tragedies are still too recent, too terrible to revisit with any degree of nostalgia.

As gaudily packaged as the decade it represents, LIKE, OMIGOD... is presented in a hardcover book format identical to HAVE A NICE DECADE and contains a similar full-color booklet complete with essays, trivia, 80s timeline and notes on each of the performers and songs included. The sound of the CDs, as with all Rhino product, is pristine. As for the sound of some of the music - well, you can't blame Rhino...

5-0 out of 5 stars FREAKIN' AWESOME COLLECTION!
I can't tell you how many 80's compilations I have and, aside from each of them usually having the same couple songs, like The Fixx or Squeeze, (which isn't on here), you're always surprised when you listen to a compilation by which songs you hear that you never knew the name for and all of a sudden you're "like, omigod! (no pun intended) That's THAT song!?! I KNOW that song!" LOL...hearing a lot of these brought back some great eighties memories for me, even though I was only a kid back then. This compilation had most of my fave 80's songs on it, so I could just copy the one or two songs off my other compilations, make one CD out of them, and sell the rest. I advise anyone who's interested in this to do the same. But read Amazon's list of songs first, if you haven't already, to make sure your favorites are on here. Definitely worth the money, considering you're getting seven CD's, so it equals out to about ten dollars or so per CD, (I got mine for $73). As further proof, I'm letting my co-worker listen to disc 6 right now and she's so impressed, she's downloading it to her hard drive at work and will be purchasing it with her next check to bring it home! :-p If you love 80's, get this compilation. No collection is complete without it. Plus, the awesome booklet it comes with gives you a little info on each song, a historical timeline following the songs, and many many many colorful photographs! Impressive and worth it!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for any 80s fan!
Like, OmiGod! This set is awesome! It has almost every song that came out from any one hit wonder during the 80s like You Dropped a Bomb on Me (The Gap Band) and Turning Japanese (The Vapors). It's definitely a pop culture box with its songs on General Hospital, Pac Man and Valley Girls. This is a must for anyone who still dwells on the decade of E.T. and The Breakfast Club. Not to mention that I'm a huge Star Wars fan and it has a medly from The Empire Strikes Back. ... Read more


10. Real Illusions: Reflections
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007GADZO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10906
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11. Bitches Brew
list price: $24.98
our price: $22.99
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Asin: B00000J7SS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1353
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

The revolution was recorded: in 1969 Bitches Brew sent a shiver through a country already quaking. It was a recording whose very sound, production methods, album-cover art, and two-LP length all signaled that jazz could never be the same. Over three days anger, confusion, and exhilaration had reigned in the studio, and the sonic themes, scraps, grooves, and sheer will and emotion that resulted were percolated and edited into an astonishingly organic work. This Miles Davis wasn't merely presenting a simple hybrid like jazz-rock, but a new way of thinking about improvisation and the studio. And with this two-CD reissue (actually, this set is a reissue of the original set plus one track, perfect for the fan who's not so overwhelmed as to need the four-CD Complete Bitches Brew box), the murk of the original recording is lifted. The instruments newly defined and brightened, the dark energy of the original comes through as if it were all fresh. Joe Zawinul and Bennie Maupin's roles in the mix have been especially clarified. With a bonus track of "Feio"--a Wayne Shorter composition recorded five months later that serves both as a warm-down for Bitches Brew and a promise of Weather Report to come--this is crucial listening. --John F. Szwed ... Read more

Reviews (81)

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Jazz album
I first heard this album in my friends car. Only Pharoah's dance and the beginning of Bitches Brew, which sounded like chaos, and was pretty much ignored. All I heard of the first song was the intro, slithering and dark, and I loved it. But you can't casually listen to this album or this music. It is so complicated, with ensemble playing of the highest order, that to casually listen would be to miss almost all of it. This is not music for the close minded, or someone who doesn't like dissonance. The day I finally bought it I took it out on my balcony and listened to the whole thing once, and the first cd twice. At twenty minutes, Pharoes dance should be impossible to listen to twice in a row. I have. It is my single favorite song. Period. Bitches Brew is incredibly nasty, especially Maupins hushed trombone, and Mile's soloing. Never mind the three stellar pianists on electric keyboards, including Zawinul and Corea. One of the greatest flaws of the incredible music that is jazz (and I'm not knockin jazz, I love it more than any other music) is that traditionally build up tended to occur only in a given solo by a particular player. Once he finished, another soloist takes over, meaning that even the most incredible songs, with the greatest accompanyment still feel like exhibitions for the soloists, which they were. This music changed that. Pharoahs dance moves forward at all times, building and diving, towards, and into chaos, before triumphantly emerging from it. As chaotic as it sounds, it is one of the most well structured pieces in existence. How else could so many disparite elements sound so focused and in such cohesion. The piece begins with one of the most haunting intros in jazz, builds to a frenzy when Miles arrives, takeing you into caverns of dark intensity. Each player is like a shining crystal in the dark, and a bat might flutter by, and beneath it all there is the subtereanean well of passion that only music like this can create and drink from. At the twelve minute mark, Wayne Shorter plays a magnificent solo that feels like its being played in the darkest tunnels ahead, beckoning you forward. And the climax (Oh yes, unlike most jazz tunes, this song is always building, always roaring or running towards its climax) is the greatest five minutes in a Miles Davis recording. It bubbles and froths, first softly and then as each player returns, one after the other, more intensely, until, not realizing until now how vigourously you're tapping along, the geyser of a whole life of genius emerges from the ground, the great Pharaoh of jazz, Miles Davis. His final solo is typical miles, eloquent and lyrical, and above all, understated. The discipline of his playing is unmatched, as it has always been. By phrasing less he says infinitly more. Simply the nastiest playing by Miles ever. Vicious and without a wink of sentimentality, or whimsy, this is elemental stuff. And of course the accompanyment feels like an entire city. With all of its hidden thoughts and hopes, and pools of water. The endless rush of people, but Miles is the one guiding principle, the passion in the blood rushing through everyones vains as crystalized in music. And then you think of the title, and look back and imagine the correlation between the songs structure and buildup with the theme of an incantatory dance to bring forth Egyptian Gods. Listen to it and tell yourself it isn't the most passionate song ever recorded. You can't.

2-0 out of 5 stars The biggest reason for the decline of jazz after 1970!
I agree that Miles Davis is one of the giants of 20th Century jazz, but this vastly overrated album is the biggest reason why jazz has lost its sales impact. Miles new approach "Rock-Fusion" aliented jazz fans, because instead of improvising off the tradional melody lines, he opted for improvising off say two dark chords. The result is aimless meandering, which is dark, gloomy and quite simply boring. Ken Burns recent Jazz series opened a renewed awareness to the greats of the 20th Century like Parker, Armstrong, Ellington, Monk and earlier Miles, when there was a melody, some romantic intrugue, beauty in improvisation and outstanding technique. This album singlehandedly, turn jazz into a brooding, dark and dissonant music, which has taken nearly 30 years to recover. A lot of young jazz listeners back then were sheep, the only reason they bought this was because it was perceived as cool, and their buddies bought it too. Answer this? Does anyone in his right mind after a stressful day put this CD on? I don't know of anyone who listens to this waste of time anymore! Please be careful, if you're thinking of suicide, don't listen to this, it'll bring you over the edge. Stick to Miles' recordings from 1957 to 1965, his peak period.

5-0 out of 5 stars He's not another Zappa, but this is very addictive
Music is to be listened to. It's not to be applied as a reaction to one's social environment. If the derivative, formula-reliant, three-minute pop or rap ditty is all you really stick to, you might want to stay away from this...or even better, use it to force your ears open.

In the realm of "music for its own sake," this is among the most successful non-Zappa attempts to turn improvisation into composition.

Lovely, violent, insistent, original, dreamy, merciless, one-of-a-kind....this is a companion piece to the prior album, In a Silent Way, and scratches brain-itches that you didn't even know you had.

If it's too "weird" for you, listen to it about 20 more times and then come back and talk to me.

MUCH more interesting than Miles's earlier, more customary jazz. And what good is music unless it speaks for itself instead of reflecting a limited, bygone era?

Miles would never be a Coltrane or Parker on a blown instrument, and nor would he ever be a Zappa, Fripp, Emerson or Anderson, regarding combining previously segregated idioms like jazz, funk, classical and rock. But there's only one Bitches Brew in history, and your ears will thank you for it. It won't even need a label, a compartment, a square to draw around it.

A video game for the aural senses, a lotion for the lobes, caffeine for the blood and an adventure for any dreamer, it's an album that will let you down if you come to it expecting something in particular. Inversely, it will surpass your expectations if you keep your ears open and stay ready for anything.

5-0 out of 5 stars the turning point in a prolific career
A lot of people go "I'm a big Miles Davis fan but Bitches Brew sucks. It's too loud and wandering and the tracks don't go anywhere." Maybe they have a point. Disc one is just two songs that are, like, 20 minutes each. The recording of these two features long repeated sections that were apparently spliced by tape by Teo Macero. The second disc has songs of a more manageable length, but the discordant jazz rock fusion is still too much for some people, even with songs like "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down."
Artistically, he was building up to this for years, ever since the jam-oriented material of the late second quintet, much of it staying unreleased for years. He was allured by the rock stardom of the likes of Sly and the Family Stone and managed to lure some of the finest musicians anywhere (maybe back then they just had potential, it's hard to tell in this setting) to complete his daring vision. The fact is that this album (and also In a Silent Way) turned jazz on its ear, maybe for the worse, but its reversal of the conventions of form and its entire rejection of swing not only signaled that Miles Davis was never turning back, but jazz was never turning back. Miles davis derailed about six years after this, reappearing only to go further in the electronic direction until the early 90s, when Doo Bop found him costarring with subpar rappers. This album is one of the more fresh and listenable works of Miles' 70s electric period; many other works are even more overburdened with cocaine-addled masturbatory jam-orgies that drag on without semblance of melody or form or sometimes even time. This is one of the better representatives of a style that was radical in its inception, but which, for Miles at least, failed to go anywhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely The Most Groundbreaking Recording Ever
Still to this day the most groundbreaking recording ever...period!!!!!This one absolutely changed my listening habits in music forever. Don't believe me?...Turn out the lights and listen uninterupted, start-to-finish. I gaurntee it will make you a believer. ... Read more


12. Headhunters
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002AGP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2952
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Keyboardist Herbie Hancock's remarkable career took a surprising turn with this funk album--one of the first jazz albums to be certified gold. Hancock's already-storied career had included an extended tenure with Miles Davis as a member of both the classic quintet of the '60s and the trumpeter's groundbreaking electric dates. As a leader, the pianist had followed a similar course, cutting both outstanding acoustic dates (Maiden Voyage, Empyrean Isles) and experimental electric sessions (Sextant, Crossings).

Head Hunters, however, was something different: a stripped-down date featuring reedman Bennie Maupin as the only horn player, and a funk-oriented rhythm section made up of Paul Jackson, Harvey Mason, and Bill Summers. Hancock traded in his sophisticated piano performances and complex compositions for simple melodies, slow-burn funk grooves, and light electric keyboard splashes. The results, particularly on the tracks "Chameleon" and "Watermelon Man," had a profound impact on other musicians, although critics charged Hancock with playing to the galleries. But the album has stood the test of time--something neither the wealth of Hancock's imitators nor his own subsequent albums in this vein have been able to do. --Fred Goodman ... Read more

Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST HAVE, MUST HAVE MORE ALBUM
Either too much or not much can be said about Herbie Hancock's monumental masterpiece, HeadHunters. It is, without a doubt, one of the best and most influential recordings of the 20th century. Even 28 years from its inception, HeadHunters continues to influence music. All the "greats" of Hip Hop and Rap, from Puff Daddy to Dr. Dre have Herbie Hancock to thank. Herbie created funk grooves and instrumental inventions still advanced to latest attempts. Yet, sadly enough, Hilfiger-sporting, bleach-haired, suburbanite preps have no idea that the lastest masterpieces by Eminem couldn't have been without Hancock and the HeadHunters.

Hopefully, you, the prospective buyer, have either heard HeadHunters before or are listening to the samples at this moment. You should be beginning to understand the impact that this album made. If you are familiar with previous fusion, you know that this sound hadn't really started yet. And if you have a virgin ear, perhaps you are hearing the future during the past for the first time. My favorite song on the album remains to be "Watermelon Man". It is hip-hop, funk, and jazz at its finest. When I hear this song, I hear the beats and grooves of so many artists twenty years after, desperately trying to match its intensity. Furthermore, although there are so many highlights in HeadHunters, Saxophonist Bennie Maupin stands out. He is able to bring smooth, melodic, fast, and furious sounds into all the sounds and should be commended. HeadHunters appeals to such a broad audience because there is so much of "it" there, exactly what you want to hear at exactly the right time.

I have found only one qualm with HeadHunters, and it is not necesarily bad. I wanted more. I would listen to HeadHunters again and again and I needed more grooves, improvisations, and tricks. HeadHunters is incomplete, but that isn't bad. The follow up album, Thrust, in my opinion, closes what Herbie Hancock was trying to create. Put Headhunters and Thrust together and you have a vision, a focus, making a full circle of a musical style. But just HeadHunters itself still makes a powerful statement. Nevertheless, it's a safe bet that if you get HeadHunters, you're going to want more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep Grooves and Funky Rhythms
If anything could epitomize the pure sense of funk music, this album would be it. Herbie Hancock's career certainly contained some extremely creative and legendary work, but this is the first album of his that recieved a considerable amout of attention and record sales, providing the public with a perhaps more mainstream-oriented style of fusion. The grooves are, like any fusion from the era, inspired by 60's Motown and R&B rhythm lines, rooted deeply in the bass and drums. Herbie takes this, combined with superior musicianship, outlandish effects and his own skill with writing music to create a funky, dramatic and completely original creation. "Chameleon", the hit track of the album, starts it off on the right foot, with bassist Paul Jackson laying out its famous infectious groove, and drummer Harvey Mason providing a better-than-sufficient hi-hat/snare line. Hancock's array of keyboards provides a spectrum of sounds on top. "Watermelon Man", a remake from Herbie's first album, rolls along at a comfortable pace, with some great solos from horn player Bennie Maupin. "Sly" is multi-sectioned and more advanced than the other tracks, with syrup-thick grooves and intricate drum and bass interplay. "Vein Melter" is aptly named, sure to make any woman swoon, twisting and beautiful. Overall a brilliant album, universally listenable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funktastic Must-have
This album started a revolution. "Chameleon" is a staple for any band these days. After getting tired of hearing terrible versions by Gov't Mule and The String Cheese Incidint (Who by the way really are an incident and couldn't play a good song if they got payed a million dollars), I thought that I was finally sick of "Chameleon" Well... I was so wrong! I went back and got out my copy of "Headhunters" and it refreshed my faith in the song. Herbie adds that kind of Disco part and brings the funk up a notch. His whole band really jams on that song. There may be imitators, but Herbie is the only one who can really play "Chameleon" the way it should be played.

"Watermelon Man" is another instant classic. I was really diggin' the crazy tribal screams and the guy blowing on the jugs. "Sly" is also really funky going in and out of the groove, and "Veinmelter" delivers as well. Although I wouldn't label this as "One of my favorites of all time" it is definatley crucial to any collection. Whether you like Jazz, rap, Funk, rock, or whatever... You'll dig this fo' sho'.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Album For New & Old Funk-Jazz Fusion Lovers
I was introduced to this album upon a recommendation by a friend and the decision to buy the album was well worth it. I must however warn that the tracks on this album are VERY long and sometimes sound a little repetative. But with that in mind, the actual musical content is very enjoyable. Herbie was one of the great pioneers of the Funk-Jazz fusion era and this album truly showcases his unique talent. If you enjoy this album, I also highly recommend checking out some of his older stuff just so you can see how versatile an artist he is (his music from the 60's sounds completely different! - much more mellow and a more traditional, standard jazz feel to it, ex: "Cantaloupe Island").

5-0 out of 5 stars In the present is the future meeting the past
The jazz on this absolutely funky fusion album was ahead of it's time when originally released on vinyl in 1973, and it was an instant turn on for this reviewer, a college freshman at that moment. Though I couldn't possibly have known it then, Herbie Hancock would become one of jazz music's funk icons; he was a true innovator at the forefront of electronic jazz...melding synthesizer keyboards with jazz's traditional acoustic elements.

The band includes Paul Jackson on electric bass, Bennie Maupin on woodwinds, Harvey Mason on drums and Bill Summers on all kinds of percussion.

Chameleon is the longest tune on the album at just under 16 minutes and is a driving jam improvisation around a rhythm that is pure funk.

Watermelon Man, the shortest tune on the album at 6.29, is an updated version of a tune originally released by Herbie in 1962. It is an exploration of rhythm and soloing that draws the listener into the heart of the ensemble and touches the very soul of the listener.

Vein Melter, at 9.10 in length, has always been my favorite tune on the album. There are so many rich, unique elements of sound in this slow and experimental song that it seems like the band is painting a sound picture that sits just out of reach.

Bennie Maupin's soprano and tenor sax, saxello, bass clarinet and alto flute will draw you in like a moth to a flame and envelop you in the overarching mystery and intrigue of sound exploration that awaits the listener of this album.

Reach for the sky and embrace the future. All the best to you. ... Read more


13. Unspeakable
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Asin: B0002JP4IC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2336
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Stylistic shifts are nothing new in the career of Bill Frisell, who changes musical directions more often than Madonna. In fact, he even covered a Madonna song once. Unspeakable continues that tendency as Frisell teams up with Hal Willner, a willful musical eclectic. The two have worked together on collaborative projects including tributes to Nino Rota, Walt Disney, and Charles Mingus. Willner, who is also the turntabulist here, orchestrates a landscape of turntable spins and space jams using generic library production discs for much of his source material. '60s Dragnet jazz horns and orchestral Twilight Zone stylings lend the modern sound of Unspeakable a strangely nostalgic hue. Frisell finds himself in a landscape of Ligeti-like strings, bongo percolations, and Ghanian tribal calls, most of it super-charged by the rhythm team of bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Their funky beats lay the terrain for Frisell's angular crossfire solos, but he can also wax sweetly nostalgic on "Hymn for Ginsberg" for guitar and string trio. Bill Frisell is filed in jazz, but he continues to be a genre unto himself. --John Diliberto ... Read more


14. Prayer: A Windham Hill Collection
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Asin: B0000AM6L0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3020
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Reverent, beautiful
After criticizing Windham Hill in the past for often recycling the same songs over and over in various collections, I have to hand it to them with the new "Prayer" CD. It's a fine set of all-new acoustic versions of hymns or spiritual songs, plus a good number of original compositions. Producer Dawn Atkinson has done an excellent job of lining up a bunch of top-drawer people for "Prayer," and in working with the artists on the song selection.

Things get started with Tim Story's lovely piano rendition of the "Sanctus" from Faure's Requiem. The quiet and reflective tone of that piece carries throughout the CD. Other highlights include Paul McCandless's moving "Lord's Prayer" version and Steve Erquiaga's "Ave Maria." "Prayer" is a perfect disc for background listening if you're engaged in some activity that needs harmonious yet unobtrusive accompaniment. ... Read more


15. Blow By Blow
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Asin: B00005AREQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3842
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Album Details

Digitally Remastered Version of his Classic 1975 Release.produced By George Martin. ... Read more

Reviews (52)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Generation Later, BLOW BY BLOW Still Dazzles The Ear
Though BLOW BY BLOW had antecedents in the seminal heavy fusion of Coryell, Cobham, Larry Young's Spaceball, etc, for Jeff Beck this was a quantum leap forward in sound, an inspired mix of styles/genres that not only works, but single-handedly made the all-instrumental rock album, heavy on lead guitar, commercially viable. BLOW BY BLOW featured Beck out of his usual guise - noise merchant strangling his Strat - and his artistic restlessness leads him into subtler and more varied hues of playing on such diverse offerings as "You Know What I Mean" (jagged-edge funk), "Scatterbrain" (high-powered fusion) and "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" (permafrost blues), to cite only three. This opened the doors-of-perception of any number of guitar-hero acolytes at the time (quite a few journeys towards the inner mounting flame pitstopped at this album for refueling on the way), as well as cementing Beck firmly in the all-time Guitar Pantheon. People who don't know guitar players from Adam know who Jeff Beck is - at least partially, if not mostly, due to this terrific album. To some of us who bought this on vinyl Way Back When, BLOW BY BLOW's huge sales and high profile are hopeful signs that now and again, even if by accident, the public-at-large actually gets it.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of instrumental rock's all time best
This CD is a classic, I mean before then I wasn't really into instrumental rock but when I first heard Freeway Jam on a digital station, I quickly fell in love with it and it was Jeff Beck's first gold record. It begins with You Know What I Mean, another Jeff Beck classic, She's a Woman was originally done by the Beatles, Constipated Duck is the shortest track on this CD, AIR Blower is a classic headbanging tune and it's a good song to listen to when you feel down about yourself, Scatterbrain kind of has the vein to AIR Blower, Cause We've Ended as Lovers is a beautiful instrumental with an excellent guitar solo, Thelonious is a decent track but nothing really special, the FM staple Freeway Jam is easily the best song on this album, and remember he was one of Aerosmith's idols, Diamond Dust is a beautiful masterpiece clocking in at over 8 minutes long.
If you love instrumental rock or classic rock, then you should get this album cause they don't make music the way they used to and I wish that they did.....Highly Recommended.

Also Jeff Beck was also a member of the Yardbirds as well as the project band Beck Bogert Appice.

5-0 out of 5 stars amazing instrumental album, arguably one of jeff's best
... Ok I'll admit when this album came out I didnt pay any attention to it, and Im sorry for doing that. For those of you that dont remember blow by blow caused quite a stir among both fans and music critics. And in some ways put Jeff Beck "back on the map" . This was because this album is completely instrumental! In fact the only lyrics are some Frampton style "guitar talk" on a couple of songs. This was considered a very bold thing to do, and if you think about it in some ways doing instrumental music is a little daring. But like Jeff explained hes a guitarist, not a singer...

Anyway the attention the album received was equally for its utter brilliance, and again for being a marketing stunt. Thirty years later though blow by blow still stands up very well, and because Beck and his band focused more on composition rather than speed or weird tones, blow by blow really doesnt sound dated at all...

Style wise this album has been called jazz/rock and fusion. Which is a little strange (a lot of it sounds more like funk to me). But becareful about who you describe this to as being "jazz".

Anyway as far as the album goes I got to enjoy it recently when a friend let me borrow it. And after hearing "cause we've ended as lovers" I was instantly a Jeff Beck fan. But dont get me wrong the rest of the album is flawless and the only slight low-point is "scatterbrain". The song is just a little repetitive.

Bottom line: Get this album!, there is something that you will like about it. Even if you're not a fan get it its a good album and belongs in your music collection!

1-0 out of 5 stars SACD hybrid surround buyers beware!
fine cd! great music!
get the remastered CD version. This is a warning, however, on the SACD version. It is a marginal surround hybrid mix and contains not a trace of bass in the subwoofer channel. all of the guitar comes from behind the listener. it's a pity this one couldn't have been done right.
jeff probably has never heard the blasphemy of it all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Huge album
Back when this release came out... it was such a ground breaker. It's hard now to even think of how innovative this was, because so much has happened over the passage of time. Jeff Beck still has his chops together, which is certainly indicitive with the caliber of musician he is. I have this in CD and play it every now and again. I will have to say that this album influenced 3 or 4 follow up releases before Mr. Beck started changing his formula, riding the wave of earlier things that worked. But this was cutting edge stuff back in the day... and he still is releasing cutting edge stuff.... need I say more? ... Read more


16. Liquid Tension Experiment
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Asin: B0000067YK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3662
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Over-wrought, self-indulgent, bombastic--hurl every clichéd prog-rock epithet you can think of--this group will suck 'em in and spit 'em right back in a deafening flurry of notes plucked, struck, hammered, and slapped. Without question, these guys ( Dream Theater's drummer and guitarist Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci respectively, keyboardist Jordan Rudess, and bassist Tony Levin) are masters. And they make no apologies for having recorded an album of intensely virtuosic instrumental hard rock. Armed with chops, taste, and panache, LTE groove seamlessly from the lightning-fingered metalfest "Paradigm Shift" to the comical drum & bass duet "Chris and Kevin's Excellent Adventure"; from the full-throttle jamming on "Universal Mind" to the house-crushing mayhem of "Three Minute Warning." Throughout, the staggering speed and technique of both Portnoy and Petrucci consistently grab center stage. It's a riveting work from start to finish and a scorching testament to the power of musical inspiration and collaboration. --Michael Mikesell ... Read more

Reviews (87)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!!!
LTE: they take music to the highest definitions ever....the break of rhythm, the complex compositions, the change of tones, the clinics they give on each instrument. Yes, you got it, we are talking about real masters, this is a must have for real-music-lovers-addicts......Just imaging Dream Theater with much more complicated rhytms and music paths. Let me comment on the tracks by number: Track 1 is an introduction for the rest of experiences you'll get later on.. Track 2 will take you to the fields of serenity, in this track the only thing missing is a Pat Metheny solo(just imagine that!)..Track 3 shows a complicated path where Portnoy wont lose the beat no matter what Petrucci does... Track 4 and 6 is where Levin shows us a lession.. Track 5 is complete story...Track 7 is a great lullaby, when suddenly track 8 hits you with Petrucci making us believe that fingers think on their own. And you wont believe the remaing 30 Minute lesson they give then....Again, a must have album for a serious listener. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars This was the start; not for the faint of heart.
Prog jam records have a history of being indulgent and unlistenable...the few notable exceptions can make us believe in a higher power again. This album is one of those exceptions. Liquid Tension was the project that started the current direction of Dream Theater. Fast, furious, spontaneous rock, aggro-prog, funky goof rock, space rock, legato neo-classical, sizzling fusion, mellow world flavors, teeth-bared metal...it's all here. From the thunderous juggernaut kickoff of "Paradigm Shift" (this song almost made me spontaneously relieve myself) to its dreamy, Stick-flavored midsection to Egyptized-metal closer riffing, it segues into the moody, ethereal, Peter Gabriel-like Osmosis. Close on the heels is the Rush-like crunch of Kindred Spirits, the cheesy funk of the Stretch, to the dramatic, slowly anthemic buildup of Freedom of Speech...sedgeway to the playful Stick-shuffle of "Excellent Adventure"...followed by the beautiful, almost hymn-like guitar/keyboard duet "State of Grace"...only to have your ears blasted off by "Universal Mind(blower)" which continues the fast and furious antics of the opening song with odd-time riffing, speed metal, graceful classical piano, screaming fusion, to Satriani-like guitar heroics, to one of the best bass/drums riffs in 7 I've ever heard, rounding it all out with an anthemic closing buildup back to the Satchlike opener and taking a few playful swipes at reggae and circus music on the side. 3 minute Warning? Lordy I barely make it through this one. 'Nuff said.

DT, the Dregs, or Tony Levin have never made a record like this before or since. Don't brush it aside; it beckons to those who love kick-ass instrumental rock but yearn for a band-like sound. I still enjoy it immensely and always will.

4-0 out of 5 stars Now these guys do instrumentation the right way
Instrumental stuff can be boring, very boring. But when you got Mike Portnoy on drums, John Petrucci on guitar, and Jordan Rudess on keyboards, and Tony Levin on bass...great music is bound to happen.

These guys know how to write a song and not make it seem so boring. "Paradigm Shift" is a great song, "Osmosis" is amazing, "Kindred Spirits" is amazing, everything is great here.

However, to me the shining moment of this album is "Three Minute Warning." Now this track just shows how great these guys really are. These guys IMPROVISE this entirely, it clocks in at 28:31, and somehow...it's not boring at all!

This album is definitely for all Dream Theater and instrumental freaks. If you haven't bought this album already...do it now!

4-0 out of 5 stars Prog Metals Finest
Dream Theater being my second favorite band, I knew I had to check out Liquid Tension Experiment. I wasn't sure what exactly to expect, a bunch of insturmentals I figured it'd be overall a hit and miss album. A few good tunes, a few bad ones, and some that have moments. Suprisingly practically all 70+ minutes of this CD is awesome!

Paradigm Shift starts off with an insanely fast opening that totally shot me off balance. It gets slower as the song progresses, and loses some steam, but the last minute kicks back up. Osmosis and State of Grace are some calmer pieces, featuring some great percussion work from Portnoy and excellent keys from Jordan Rudess. Kindred Spirits is one of the best tracks on here, which sounds like it was inlfuenced by some classic rock. Petrucci really shines here, as the song features a bunch of varied tempo changes. Freedom of Speech is possibly the best song on here, starting off with a soothing intro, and then breaking into a more upbeat number with a great baseline from Tony. Finishing the "composed" pieces is Universal Mind, which seems to take all the previous songs and meld them into one cohesive song. It starts out kinda like Paradigm, but then kinda feels more like Freedom mixed with Kindred. Afterwards comes the 28 minute Improv piece 3 Minute Warning. Personally I like it, so long as you take it for what it is. 4 muscians just jamming away, fooling around, and trying to get a rhythm going from scratch. Granted it starts off kinda slow, and has some monotonous parts, but by the last 3 tracks they seem to pull it together and come up with something quite unique and enjoyable. The two tacks I neglected to mention are the Stretch, and Chris and Kevin's Excellent Adventure. These really aren't otustanding tracks, the latter featuring just Portnoy's Durms and Levin's Bass accompinied by some whistling. However both tracks are quite short, only 2 minutes, so they don't detrach too much from the overall album.

This album remians fresh and fun with every listen. It's great if your looking for killer riffs, or just some background ambience. Really, don't be turned off because it's got no vocalist, these guys are superb at their insturments and don't need a singer to make a good album. Chances are if you're already a fan of Dream Theater, you've already checked this out. For everyone else, if your looking for something new and tasteful go for it.

3-0 out of 5 stars This'll no doubt be my least popular review ever...
I hope for the sake of all involved Liquid Tension Experiment was more fun to record than it is to listen to. The guilty parties include John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater and Tony Levin (King Crimson) & Jordan Rudess, each of whom has played their respective instruments from sun up to sun down most of their natural born lives, apparently at the expense of personal growth. I offer that scathing character judgment not out of personal spite but because, like 99% of these pretentious jazz-fusion experiments LTE also displays a chilling lack of emotional context, more a third-string mish mash of other people's thematic ideas than a cohesive statement of it's own. Mike Portnoy pines apologetically in the liner notes about the makeshift group having a mere week to improvise and record this album, but that's far more than the two sessions it required Miles Davis and company to produce his masterpiece Kind Of Blue. Perhaps that's an unfair comparison, but it serves to illustrate the whole pointlessness of exercises such as Liquid Tension Experiment. All of the musicians involved can play their asses off, granted, but there's nothing experimental... nothing RISKY... found here. On the contrary, if ever there was a concrete example of musicians going through the motions, this album must be that crowning moment. To be fair, "Paradigm Shift" and "Universal Mind" at times approach a Satriani-like melodic sophistication, but any inherent listenability the album may have had as a whole is sunk convincingly with the ridiculously overwrought "Three Minute Warning", which despite it's title clocks in at almost half an hour. Of course the band anticipated negative reactions, and put a "caution" on the sleeve proclaiming that the song is not for the "musically faint-hearted, impatient, or critics of extreme self-indulgence". Don't be fooled- there's nothing intense or revelatory about the track's aimlessness. It merely seems like the guys took all of their most pointless ideas for the project and strung them out into one endless song. "Three Minute Warning" has arguably the fewest blistering leads of any song on the album in spite of being three times longer than anything else on offer. For musicians who just don't know what real passion's all about, I wholeheartedly recommend Liquid Tension Experiment. ... Read more


17. Love Coloured Soul
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Asin: B000787ZSK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3762
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Smoothjazz.com Review
Ken has outdone himself on his latest project, which was created innovatively and interactively through his website, www.kennavarro.com . LOVE COLOURED SOUL contains no compromises...no filler...it's quality we've come to expect from Ken Navarro's guitar-work and production standards, but now even more evolved and nuanced. He's been a part of this music genre since before it was even called Smooth Jazz, and if anyone knows how to hit the mark in this format, it's Ken Navarro. The music on LOVE COLOURED SOUL is consistently solid from the first note to the last of eight compelling originals and two well-chosen and beautifully crafted covers (Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic" and John Klemmer's lovely "Glass Dolphins"). Of the originals, "You Are Everything" has that Smooth Jazz hit sound to it, with Ken's signature guitar sound starring in a beautifully produced setting. Ditto for "You Did It Again" (with the addition of Rob Holmes' tasty soprano sax work) and the compellingly rhythmic "Breathe." This is another superb collection of radio-friendly hits that will gain a healthy share of air time throughout the coming new year. If you're already a Ken Navarro fan, as I am, and own some, if not all, of Ken's other 15 albums...his new one is a no-brainer. If you have yet to own a Ken Navarro album, then you need to start someplace. LOVE COLOURED SOUL is unquestionably that place! ~Scott O'Brien
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18. Jaco Pastorius
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Asin: B00004VWA7
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2894
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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In 1976, the first 10 minutes of this eponymous disc took the listener on a jazz world cruise directed by the instrumentalist-composer Jaco Pastorius, who thus gave notice that there was a new sheriff in town and that narrow definitions of jazz would simply not do. More so even than his groundbreaking work as a member of Weather Report, Jaco's music on this, his debut album as a leader (and in a trio setting with his soulmate Pat Metheny on the guitarist's maiden voyage, Bright Size Life), defines his greatness, his outreach, and his ambition. Boppish changes à la Miles Davis come through with Jaco's incredible touch, tone phrasing, and rhythmic locomotion--as does the musical leap of faith from bebop to funky-butt R&B delivered with lyrical majesty on Jaco's aptly titled "Continuum."

This reissue greatly enhances the fidelity of Jaco Pastorius, particularly in the bassist's famous, elusive tone, from lightly chorused, vocal-tenorlike glissandos on "Continuum" and the bell-like harmonics of "Portrait of Tracy" to his percussive, hand-drumlike rhythmic cycles underneath Peter Gordon's august French horn on "Oknokole Y Trompa." Even more stunning are the manner in which Jaco deploys a steel drum choir underneath Wayne Shorter on "Opus Pocus" and the ferocious Latin-inflected groove Jaco, Lenny White, and Don Alias conjure under Herbie Hancock on two takes--one unissued until now--of "(Used to Be a) Cha-Cha." Pat Metheny contributes an extraordinary set of liner notes to this set, putting Jaco's contributions to jazz and the bass in sharp perspective. Still, a spirit of innovation and discovery suffuses every note on Jaco Pastorius, and it is startling how modern and engaging this music remains. --Chip Stern ... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking
I honestly cannot praise this album enough. Although each song has a different personel and a completely different feel, the whole album feels like one concise unit, making it hard to name a standout track.

"Donna Lee"- a glorius, and pretty damn hip, intro to the record. Just a duet with percussionist Don Alias.

"Come On, Comne Over"- written by Jaco and Bob Herzog, who was originally supposed to do the vocals. Famous for featuring Sam & Dave and Jaco's ultra-funky 16th-note groove.

"Continuum"- a beautiful composition featuring Alias and the great Herbie Hancock. Herbie's electric piano (fender rhodes) playing is a great compliment to Jaco's singing bass.

"Kuru/Speak Like A Child"- a jazzy tune propelled by a string section and Herbie's fantastic acoustic piano playing. Like "Cha-Cha", Hancock is integral to this tune. Oh, and the bass ain't bad either.

"Portrait Of Tracy"- a beautiful bass solo by Jaco. Filled with harmonics, learning this song is a rite of passage for aspiring bassists.

"Opus Pocus"- a calypso-tinged jam featuring steel pans player Othello Molineux and Weathe rReport saxist Wayne Shorter. An awesome tune.

"Okonkole Y Trompa"- tasteful percussion, Jaco's propeller-like bass figure, and a solemn French horn turn this into a track much like "Contuinuum". Just a nice ensemble of players.

"(Used To Be A) Cha-Cha"- dominated by Hancock's piano playing (acoustic), it also features some heavy flute and clavinet work by Hubert Laws, and some sweet solos by Jaco.

"Forgotten Love"- Herbie is the star of the show in this finale, as Jaco does not perform. A beautiful way to end the original album.

The bonus tracks are also interesting. While the retake of "Cha-Cha" may only thrill fans, the brand-new "6/4 Jam" is a treat to all, with it's funky bass and distinctive time signature (which is obviously 6/4).

All, this record is not just for bass players. It's not just for jazz fans. It's not just for breakfast anymore. This is an album where music lovers of all kinds can come and appreciate the talents of one man: John Francis Anthony Pastorius III. Or, simply call him JACO.

5-0 out of 5 stars A true musical genius.
Jaco Pastorius was undoubtedly a brilliant musician, in every sense of the word. Not only was he an incredible bassist, but he was a gifted composer, who really knew how to get the most out of his instrument. This, his first solo album, is excellent from start to finish. There's plenty of diversity here, and a regular who's who of musicians backing him up. The list includes David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and many more. There are three drummers on here, Bobby Economou, Narada Michael Walden, and Lenny White. All three put on a great performance, but Lenny's is undoubtedly the most impressive.

As I mentioned before, this album is very diverse. There are two bass solo songs (only bass). The first, "Donna Lee", is the opening track, and is a prime example of Jaco's incredible prowess. The second, "Portrait of Tracy", is more laid-back, and shows that in addition to being a technical virtuoso, he had a great sense of melody as well. "Come On, Come Over" has more of a 70's funk feel, and is the only song on the album to feature vocals. "Opus Pocus" is a bit unusual, with odd complex bass work, and some cool steel drums to give it a bit of a tropical feel. "Forgotten Love" doesn't even have Jaco on it, and is perhaps the least interesting track here, but still a nice tranquil piano piece. "6/4 Jam" is a bit repetitive, but Lenny's jaw-dropping performance makes up for it.

The best songs, without a doubt, are "Kuru/Speak Like a Child" and "Used To Be a Cha Cha". Both feature some very fast and infectious basslines, and incredible piano from the great Herbie Hancock. Very technical and diverse songs, with great melody as well. At around 8 minutes each, both go by quite fast.

So there you have it, an excellent album from one of the best bassists of all time. Highly recommended to anyone with even the slightest interest in jazz. I haven't heard quite enough to say this accurately, but this is possibly one of the best albums of the genre. Definitely a must-have.

5-0 out of 5 stars MASTERPACE
Jasco is the best bass player ever. come on over has sam and dave ov vocals. all the songs are amazing. it is so hard to say how good it is. he is the master of the bass. he does stuff only people dream of. this cd is a perfect 10. if you like fusion jazz or the bass go buy this. i would say this is one of the best jazz cds ever. jaco went before his time. R.I.P. Jaco

5-0 out of 5 stars Jaco the genius
When i first got interested in bass, I started reading about Jaco Pastorius and I really wanted this album.
Finally, I had the oppurtunity to buy it and I absolutely loved it! I usually listen to rock, brit rock mostly, but I really enjoyed this record. Jaco Pastorius is definetly the best bassist EVER!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cliff Burton??!! BAHH!!
This is the greatest bass player of all time's first solo album. I LOVE Flea a lot and he is the master of slapping but I have to say Jaco takes it all in terms of quality and control. What I hated is on the Flea message boards where people shredded Flea and said Cliff Burton was the real bass genious, NO! not true at all, Cliff just used distortion and wah to hide his sound, he never played anything big and true like Flea and Jaco did. Cliff burton was in Metallica! METALLICA! That tells you he can't be that great. ... Read more


19. Birds of Fire
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00004VWA8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8755
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Thanks to yet another pristine digital remastering from the archivists at Legacy, we are drawn deeper into the creative vortex of John McLaughlin's groundbreaking fusion ensemble, captured at the peak of their powers in August 1972. By this time, Mahavishnu were headliners, and by offering greater bass extension, more air and resolution, and a clearer sense of distinction between the component parts, McLaughlin's collaborators sound clearer in their shaping of the group's overall sound. Clearly, guitarist McLaughlin was the creative lightning rod, as his chanting solo on the title tune suggests, colored as it is by the cathartic melodic fire of late Coltrane and Hendrix. Likewise, his interest in the vocalized scales and extended rhythmic cycles of Indian classical music reveals itself in the round-robin solo exchanges on showstoppers like "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters" and "One Word" and in the more formal designs of "Hope" and "Resolution."

But in Billy Cobham, McLaughlin had found his Elvin Jones. Cobham's ability, with bassist Rick Laird, to focus ferocious energy toward making odd meters groove, and the band's funky, backbeats swing--while playing with an enormous tonal palette and a keen sense of dynamics--balanced the formal and improvisational aspects of each arrangement. Likewise, Jerry Goodman's soaring violin is the ideal vocal foil for an electric guitar, and the woefully underrated electric pianist and synth innovator Jan Hammer clearly helps flesh out the harmonic fabric on every arrangement, such as the funky changes of "Miles Beyond" and the classical airs of "Thousand Island Park." Ultimately, the joy of seeing Mahavishnu live was in sharing their sense of adventure and discovery, and that collective chemistry is what makes this reissue of Birds of Fire so vital. Truly, the sum was greater than the parts--too bad you can't go home again. --Chip Stern ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars McLaughlin takes us to the highest highs
One of the ultimate achievements of the fusion genre, "Birds of Fire" features soaring, blazing riffs from John McLaughlin on guitar, Jerry Goodman on violin and Jan Hammer on synth, all grounded by the thunderous drumming of Billy Colbham and Rick Laird's sinuous bass. Combining the melodic sensibility and improvisational fluidity of jazz with the frenetic intensity of rock, the band creates some of the most exciting music ever recorded. The best tracks feature guitar and violin playing dual leads in front of Hammer's electric piano, then suddenly explode into a barrage of improvisational fireworks. The lead instruments trade licks at a dizzying pace, and every solo is a madcap journey into the upper stratosphere. The eastern-influenced title track is probably best, although "One Word" is absolutely incredible despite the lackluster double bass drum solo from Colbham (his least interesting work on the album). Almost as powerful are "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters" (on which Hammer uses a particularly ballsy synth sound), the looser, slightly bluesy "Miles Beyond" (with upward bending punches a la Miles Davis), and the exquisite "Open Country Joy" to which McLaughlin's finger picking and Goodman's fiddle-type runs lend a folksy feel until, after a long tease, the rhythm section comes back in with a driving, funky beat.

Of course, just as a continual scream would quickly become unbearable, there is an undeniable need for some quieter moments. "Thousand Island Park" is a staid, plodding acoustic number, despite some twittering lead licks, and "Sanctuary" is almost funereal. It's a little much to say that these are bad tracks; this reviewer finds them a welcome respite after flying around the room for ten minutes, but admittedly, an album comprised entirely of such material would be a colossal bore. Also included are three very short tracks - one of which, "Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love", may be the mystical Brit's idea of humor. The other two, "Hope" and "Resolution", seem to be experiments in minimalism; they both capture the named emotions very convincingly, but neither of these compositions is likely to be anyone's favorite.

Mahavishnu's music combines a ferocious energy with a mystical, one might say, spiritual, sensibility, but this is by no means a safe, relaxing kind of album. Even fans of the genre may not love every single track, but overall, this is a musical experience of the highest order and an absolute must-have album for jazz guitarists as well as electric jazz musicians.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Classic 2nd LP
Whoever says that this album sucks apparently didn't spend too much time listening to it. All of the musicians play with an intensity that I have heard nowhere else. Was "Inner Mounting Flame" more intense? Yes, but the music on that album had a much darker feel than on this album, so the band needed to generate a more ferocious sound. Frankly, I think the JAZZ on this album is more open to repeat listenings than IMF. I could hit repeat on the title track and let it run all day and not get tired of it. Jerry Goodman's violin solo in that song (and it took me quite a while to realize that it was a violin in the second solo section) blows me away every time! Billy Cobham is simply the best fusion drummer there is. It's a shame that he was never able to duplicate the musical success of "Spectrum" in the rest of his fusion catalog. Jan Hammer was an awesome keyboardist (note the "was"). Rick Laird, well, when he laid into a groove, he wasn't moving for anything; wonder what he's done since Mahavishnu! And there's nothing anyone can say about John McLaughlin. As a guitarist myself, I can tell you: this man is beyond all definition and comparison. Over the years, he has made complete 180 degree turns in his style that he just refuses to be pigeonholed. If I could play with just one quarter of his talent, I would...well, I don't know what I'd do, but a be a pretty freakin' good guitarist!
And all I'm talking about is the FIRST SONG on the album. You still have 9 more tracks to go!

5-0 out of 5 stars with the fire birds a swirling
you thought mr jan hammer was only around for the cool clean pleated linen and soothing lucre of miami vice?
tsk, tsk..

5-0 out of 5 stars Great guitar work and great music
this is one of the best cds i have ever gotten. i love milesdavis when mclaughlin was with him, so i looked up mclaughlins stuff. i found mahavishnu orchestra and listened to the clips and read the reviews for it. i am currently listening to it and it is great. it is even better than i expected it to be, and i expected it to be a five star to me.
Now i need to get intermounting flame. someone who made a review said the remastered was crappy, but that is the one i got and i am blown away by it. if you have heard jeff beck's Wired, or Blow by Blow, this is like it but way heavier and better, even though i love Wired and Blow by Blow. I heard some of Shakt with Mclaughlin, dont get it, this is much heavier and energetic.

From,
bootsysrubberband

5-0 out of 5 stars Mahavishnu Played Fusion
The Mahavishnu Orchestra are widely known for breaking new ground in the world of popular music. They (unsurprisingly) upset many jazz purists (one of them would be musician Wynton Marsalis), while conversely, offering new ways of looking at jazz. This band may have been responsible for helping listeners (particularly of the younger crowd) ease their way into works of "pure" (for lack of a better term) jazz, but saying that largely undermines the integrity and musical power that The Mahavishnu Orchestra possessed. So to be more specific, this band may have helped broaden the appreciation of jazz, especially to a younger audience, while also (and more importantly) blowing the minds of many with their own dazzling musicianship.

Led by guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin, the Mahavishnu Orchestra specialized in blending rock with elements of jazz, Eastern, R&B, classical, country and other elements to form an indescribable brand of music. Not only that, every musician in this band were virtuosos, so the band were not without exhibiting feverish flights of aggression and intensity. However, this band were one of the rare breed of virtuosos who displayed a sense of taste, passion and fluidity in their virtuosic displays, and could rarely be criticized for dryness, or exhibiting nothing more than virtuosic chops all by itself. Another gift this band seemed to possess was a certain accessibility to their music -- it was complex and technical, yet, it could be very addictive, and utterly inviting.

These tracks (which were all composed by John McLaughlin) all seem to be exercises in spirituality. Birds are creatures that fly - they seem to soar above everything. Fire = passion, inspiration, stamina, energy - a life-affirming source. This is transcendent, high-energy music played with soul, passion and purpose. The title track features a main lick, which gives off a slightly ominous, but penetratingly regal sound, while drummer Billy Cobham's crash cymbal seems to add a bit more atmospheric relevance to it's mystical aura. This main lick in an assumed 9/8 meter features McLaughlin (guitar) and violinist Jerry Goodman dueling to the point where the two respective instruments sound indistinguishable - the two seem to become one. On a personal note: I've listened to this one track on repeat for two hours straight, and I could have easily kept it on repeat -- it was THAT addicting.

The band softens things up with tracks like "Thousand Island Park" and "Hope." The former sounding like an unconventional cross between Indian classical and folk-country music (very hard to describe), which is very beautiful and soothing, though it isn't without some lightning-fast soloing. The latter sounding like a mix of Oriental, classical and instrumental ballad. On "One Word," the band really lets loose with a forbidding and frightening fire that will send many running for cover. For the majority of the first half, the band seems to play in a straightforward R&B-rock jam: John uses the wah-wah (or what I call the 'wow-wow') pedal to tasty effect, and bassist Rick Laird lays down some solid grooves underneath it all, and later, the rest of the musicians trade licks with one another on their respective instruments. The second half is where it gets more intense, as tension is built from drummer Billy Cobham, as he gets a solo spot. Here, he exhibits his drumming skills, which start off smoothly, then escalate in speed and dynamics. Upon hearing this, you know to expect some sort of explosion ahead. Then, John McLaughlin (and band) kick in with a 13/8 meter, and for the rest of the song, this 13-rhythm continually increases in speed to reach a hair-raising climax. Within this 13-rhythm, closer inspection will reveal an almost mathematical technique in McLaughlin's guitar line: a 6-5-4-3-2 -- 6 strokes/notes on the first line, 5 on the second, 4 on the third, 3 on the fourth and 2 on the fifth. That pattern is repeated throughout.

Much of the album is hard to describe in mere words, so this review is pretty much over. This album is recommended to all rock music fans, particularly if you're a fan of Hendrix or King Crimson. Prog-rock fans will probably love it, since it seems to fall closer to that category, than it does pure jazz. If you're new to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, this is probably the best place to start, then pick up 1971's INNER MOUNTING FLAME. ... Read more


20. Bright Size Life
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0000261L9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5065
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Larger ensembles may have provided Pat Metheny with his most visible successes, but he's repeatedly fired up his most fluid and personal playing in leaner trio settings, starting with this, his 1976 debut as a leader. Bob Moses brings both delicacy and effortless dynamics to his drumming, but it's the late Jaco Pastorius's lyrical electric bass that clinches the guitarist's coming-out party: with Metheny already displaying the liquid tone and exquisite touch that define his sound, old friend Pastorius radiates a sympathetic lyricism and unerring sense of swing. Metheny would match, but not transcend, this level of interplay in justly celebrated troikas with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins (on Rejoicing) and Dave Holland and Roy Haynes (on Question and Answer). --Sam Sutherland. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Required Listening
This album is required listening for anyone who calls themselves a jazz listener. On this album you will hear Pat Metheny at his purist. No effects and no studio wizardry. Just good pure jazz.

This album is not just another collection of jazz standards done in the mainstream fashion by another young guitar stud. Each title is original except for the last track, "Round Trip/Broadway Blues" which was written by Ornette Coleman. Each composition has a fresh and contemporary sound. You will hear all of Metheny's skills as a guitarist, sideman and composer. In addition we are given a glimpse of the things that were later to come as Pat Metheny developed into what is arguably one of the most influential musicians of his generation.

While instrumentation is basic, the musicianship is superb. Pat is accompanied by the late Jaco Pastorius who gives us one of his greatest recorded performances. Bob Moses accompanies Pat on drums and even though his drumming can almost be called minimal it's perfect for situation. Perhaps the best thing about this combination of musicians is way they all played off of each other, each musician coming in just when needed.

This album is part of jazz history. "Bright Size Life" is to Pat Metheny what "Kind of Blue" was to Miles Davis

You cannot miss this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best jazz cd if not the best ever
Pat metheny and Jaco on bass are awsome toghter. the guitar on the cd is out of this world and it aslo as awsome paino and bass. Its hard to say how good this cd is you have to hear it for yourself. Art has its mona lisa jazz has pat metheny.

AMIPLY AMAZING!

5-0 out of 5 stars MASTERPIECE
Pat Metheny has always been ahead of every musician. This album was released in 1976! It sounds like these songs are way too modern to be from the 70's. That's what is always great about Pat's albums.

I couldn't have asked for a better line up on "Bright Size Life". Jaco's basswork is amazing as usual. He complements metheny's flowing lines with just the right notes. Bob Moses is a rhythm section in himself and always keeps the song moving UP. I wasn't alive in '77, but I cannot imagine opening up the record back then and listening to the first track. I would have had a heart attack. It would have been too much to handle for me, TOO AMAZING. Pat's playing just blew me away on this album especially on the self-titled track. He's solos really take you somewhere. There is not a "bummer" track on here like there are on alot of albums. Every track is great... From the upbeat "Round Trip/Broadway Blues" to the beautiful, moving "Midwestern Night's Dream". As every reviewer has said. "You must have this album"!

5-0 out of 5 stars No gimmicks. This is a classic.
I am not a big fan of Pat's later albums but this is one of my all time favorites. Each track wears well with time and sounds astonishingly original and polished.

Though Pat has regularly come up with great compositions on his later albums, this surpasses them all in terms of overall quality. While one can faintly hear the echoes of other avant garde jazz of the 70's notably Weather Report, BSL sounds like nothing before it (or since).

5-0 out of 5 stars Any jazz fan who is without it...two words...
GET IT! So much has been said about this album, but it is a little bit like Kind of Blue as far as listening pleasure goes. A little bit. That, to me says a lot! ... Read more


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