Tag Archives: jazz-rock

A Welcomed Return by Mike Stern

Mike Stern – Trip

Mike Stern – Trip (Heads Up International, 2017)

Trip is Mike Stern’s first album about a severe injury to his arms and fingers in his right hand. Thankfully, Stern has recovered and demonstrates that he’s in great shape.

On Trip, Stern delivers a powerful mix of musical influences with jazz at the forefront. You’ll find everything from great fusion and freeform improvisation to swing and more traditional forms of jazz.

Album highlights include the laid back “Blueprint,” where you’ll find Miles Davis influences, with Randy Brecker on trumpet.

Another high point is the funk and fusion-fueled “Screws” where Sterns’ guitar rocks out and jams with Jim Beard’s keyboards and Wallace Rooney’s trumpet.



“Gone” is a delightful acoustic piece with Stern on acoustic guitar accompanied by piano, lightly brushed drums and bass.

Equally good is “Emilia” where Stern adds world music influences, including wordless vocals and West African ngoni performed by his wife Leni.



The breezy “I Believe You” is a feel good piece with great guitar and organ interaction.

The lineup on Trip includes Mike Stern on guitars and vocals; Randy Brecker on trumpet; Jim Beard on piano, Hammond organ, and keyboards; Dennis Chambers on drums; Tom Kennedy on bass; Arto Tuncboyaciyan on percussion; Bob Franceschini on tenor saxophone; Victor Wooten on bass; Bill Evans on tenor saxophone; Lenny White on drums; Teymur Phell on bass; Wallace Roney on tumpet; Will Calhoun on drums; Edmond Gilmore on acoustic bass; Gio Moretti on vocal; Leni Stern on ngoni; Dave Weckl on drums; Edmond Gilmore on bass; and Elhadji Alioune Faye on percussion.

It’s great to see Mike Stern back, delivering masterfully performed guitar-oriented jazz and fusion.

Buy Trip

The Progressive Music Adventures of Lucas Lee

Lucas Lee – Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations (LucasLeeMusic, 2017)

Multi-instrumentalist Lucas Lee showcases his multifaceted progressive music compositions on Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations. Lucas Lee is a formidable musician, deeply inspired by progressive rock and fusion. His style sometimes sounds like a 21st century version of Canterbury masters National Health.

Lucas Lee plays practically all instruments on Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations, except for drums. On the guitar, Lucas Lee switches from skilled jazz fusion techniques to inspired Joe Satriani-style shredding and ambient and avant-garde explorations. Lee also dominates the violin and keyboards, delivering notable piano and electronic keyboard segments. Additionally, Lee uses effects and spoken word to create a superb mix of forward thinking progressive music.

Although some of the promotional material mentions hard rock and metal, do not fear, there is practically no heavy metal.

The drumming couldn’t get better. Drums are played by Marco Minnemann, one of the best and busiest drummers in the progressive rock and fusion music scenes.

Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations features lots of rhythmic and harmonic changes and opportunities for the musicians to have some fun.

Buy the digital download version of Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations or the CD from cdbaby.com/cd/lucaslee14

Progressive Rock Guitarist Phil Miller Dies

Phil Miller

British progressive rock and jazz fusion guitarist Phil Miller died October 18, 2017.

Philip Paul Miller was born on January 22, 1949 in Barnet, Hertfordshire. He was a member of various British bands, including Delivery and the highly influential Canterbury progressive rock bands Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, National Health. He later formed Short Wave and released various solo projects.

In 2005 and 2006, Miller toured with the re-united Hatfield and the North.

Dewa Budjana Releases Free Download Compilation ‘Postcard from Bali’

Dewa Budjana – Postcard from Bali

Indonesian guitar wizard Dewa Budjana has released a free sampler digital download album titled ‘Postcard from Bali.’ The album includes an impressive cast of guest musicians from the jazz, fusion and progressive rock world: Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy Johnson, Antonio Sanchez, Joe Locke, Ben Williams, Tony Levin, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Husband, Peter Erskine, Dave Carpenter, Bob Mintzer, Larry Goldings and some of the finest Indonesian musicians: Shadu Rasjidi, Saat Syah, Indra Lesmana.

The album is available at dewabudjana.bandcamp.com/album/postcard-from-bali-free-download

Fusion Wizard John McLaughlin and 4th Dimension Release Live at Ronnie Scott’s

John McLaughlin – Live at Ronnie Scott’s


Guitar maestro John McLaughlin and his band 4th Dimension have a new live album recorded at Ronnie Scott’s. The band will touring the United States and Mexico in November and December 2017.



Meeting of the Spirits Tour

11/1/17 Buffalo, NY
11/2/17 Albany, NY
11/3/17 New York,
11/4/17 Port Chester, NY
11/5/17 Providence, RI
11/8/17 Boston, MA
11/9/17 Philadelphia, PA
11/10/17 Newark, NJ
11/11/17 Washington DC
11/12/17 Raleigh, NC
11/15/17 Ann Arbor, MI
11/17/17 Chicago, IL
11/18/17 Chicago, IL
11/19/17 Indianapolis, IN
11/21/17 Nashville, TN
11/22/17 Atlanta, GA
11/24/17 Jacksonville, FL
11/25/17 Clearwater, FL
11/27/17 New Orleans, LA
11/30/17 Austin, TX
12/1/17 Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
12/5/17 Seattle, WA
12/6/17 Portland, OR
12/8/17 San Francisco, CA
12/9/17 Los Angeles, CA

Buy Live at Ronnie Scott’s in Europe

Buy Live at Ronnie Scott’s in the rest of the world

Superb Bass from Malta

Simon Sammut – Crossing (Simon Sammut, 2017)

Crossing is the second album by an excellent bass player from Malta named Simon Sammut. The album crosses numerous musical boundaries ranging from funk jazz and fusion to world music and ambient electronic influences.

Crossing is beautifully-packaged with innovative fold out packaging and fascinating artwork. It goes well with Simon Sammut’s multifaceted bass sounds.

The lineup on Crossing includes Simon Sammut on upright bass and electric basses; Tony Sammut on piano; Mark Attard on piano; Melchior Busuttil on drums, percussion and programming; Marc Galea on classical and electric guitars; Jonathan Ellul on electric guitars; Kris Spiteri on melodica; Kevin Abela on trumpet; Ivan Borg on tenor saxophone; Godfrey Mifsud on baritone saxophone; Jesmond Azzopardi on bass trombone; and Marlene Sammut on vocals.

Buy the MP3 version of Crossing.

Jazz Guitar Maestro John Abercrombie Dies at 72

John Abercrombie


Acclaimed jazz guitarist John Abercrombie died on August 22, 2017 after a long illness.

John Laird Abercrombie was born on December 16, 1944 in Port Chester, New York. In a press release, ECM Records’ Tina Pelikan wrote: “He will be much missed, for his sensitive musicality, his good companionship, and his dry humor which enhanced many a session. He leaves behind an extensive discography which will be studied as long as people continue to play jazz guitar.

John made his first recording for ECM, the appropriately-titled “Timeless”, in the summer of 1974, with his lifelong friend Jack DeJohnette on the drums, and Jan Hammer on organ. Over the next four decades, he was active as leader, co-leader and sideman on dozens of ECM projects. A creative writer of jazz tunes, John also loved to play freely as much as he loved to play standards. Many of his albums combine all of these resources, unified by his fluid, silvery tone and improvisational eloquence. In conversation he would speak of his enduring fondness for Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery, primary influences, and also of the liberating examples of Ornette Coleman and Jimi Hendrix; Bill Evans’s sense of lyricism was also of crucial importance to him.

John Abercrombie


John Abercrombie led a number of very fine bands, and he was particularly proud of his last quartet with Marc Copland on piano, Drew Gress on double bass, and Joey Baron on drums. This quartet released two albums, “39 Steps” and “Up and Coming”, the latter just released in January 2017.



Highlights in his recording career were many and include the Gateway trio albums with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, the duo albums with Ralph Towner, the Special Editions albums (with DeJohnette, Lester Bowie and Eddie Gomez), Jan Garbarek’s “Eventyr”, Charles Lloyd’s “The Water Is Wide”, Collin Walcott’s “Grazing Dreams” (where John and Don Cherry play together), Enrico Rava’s “The Pilgrim and the Stars”, Kenny Wheeler’s “Deer Wan” … the list goes on.

John died peacefully at Hudson Valley Hospital outside of Peekskill, NY, in the presence of his family.”


Machine Mass Plays Hendrix

Machine Mass – Plays Hendrix (Moonjune, 2017)

Belgian progressive rock outfit Machine Mass transforms classic songs by the rock music trailblazer Jimi Hendrix into scorching, high intensity jazz-rock fusion pieces. Although all the track were recorded in a studio, the musicians essentially played live, with no overdubs and very little editing.

Machine Mass is led by guitarist Michel Delville and drummer Anthony Bianco. They are joined by a young talented keyboardist named Antoine Guenet.

The album lineup includes Michel Delville on guitar, Roland GR09, loops, stylophone, electronics, samples; Tony Bianco on drums, percussion; and Antoine Guenet on keyboards, synthesizer, acoustic piano.

Buy Plays Hendrix

Finely Crafted Cypriot Fusion

TriCoolOre – World Without Words (Garden Of Dreams Records, 2017)

TriCoolOre is a great fusion band from Nicosia, Cyprus. The foundation of TriCoolOre is a trio of virtuoso musicians on electric bass, keyboards and drums. On World Without Words they are beefed up with a guest trumpet player.

On World Without Words you’ll find a tasty mix of Eastern Mediterranean and Greek influences combined with progressive jazz fusion and even some Latin American elements on the rhythmic side.

While the first pieces have significant world music influences, the final three tracks lean much closer to jazz-rock fusion and funk jazz.

Throughout the album, TriCoolOre treats the listener to superb bass work, supported by the keyboards and drums. The lineup includes Nikos Doukas on electric bass & loops; Angelos Doukas on keyboards; and Vasilis Vasiliou on drums & percussion.

Guests: Pantelis Stoikos on trumpet; Takis Barberis on guitar; and Dimitris Lappas on fretless guitar.



TriCoolOre delivers a set of finely crafted fusion pieces with a world music edge.

Buy the MP3s of World Without Words or the CD from tricoolore.bandcamp.com