For a couple of years some of my friends and I have been sharing music. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.
Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters (1973)
Here’s where Herbie Hancock departed from pure jazz and delved more into funk. It’s a landmark album for jazz fusion. With just four tunes, these are some long grooves.
I feel like every high school jazz band plays Chameleon. And for good reason: as one of the first jazz fusion tunes, it helped set the standard. Although I am more used to listening to it a bit “cleaner” (although not necessarily tighter); high school jazz bands tend to be a lot brass-heavy and don’t have as much fuzz on the bass. They also seem to omit one of the best grooves, about 2/3 of the way in, instead focusing on the main riff and soloing off that.
It’s got a great bass groove and classic horn riff. After that, you just have to turn up the volume a little and chill out. It’s a compliment to the music that it doesn’t feel nearly 16 minutes long.
And the rest of the album follows suit. In some ways, I like those other songs more because they aren’t as fuzzy. But they aren’t as ear-wormy either. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, but in the end, they aren’t as memorable.
Watermelon Man is a re-recording from Hancock’s first album, and I think I like the original better. I can’t quite put my finger on why, though.
My two criticisms are that the guitar riff competed with the keys solo (which got a little psychedelic) in the middle third of Chameleon, and I didn’t really care for the string synth voice in the last third. 4.25/5
Audioslave – Audioslave (2002)
I’ve had Audioslave on my list to share for a while, and it really just so happened that they were the next thing I planned to share. Since Chris Cornell passed away a couple of weeks ago, it happens that this is also relevant.
Plus, I didn’t mention it when we were recording the podcast, but I later realized that the vocals from The Editors at times reminded me of Chris Cornell’s.
Anyway, here’s a classic early 2000’s hard alt. rock album for you guys to listen to this week. Here’s what my friends have to say:
“I held off on my review until I gave it as many and as good of listens as I could. When I first heard of audioslave, a mission companion told me they were basically Rage Against the Machine without the rap and political agenda. Sounded epic. Perhaps that was the problem: too high expectations, but when I finaly listened to this album, I was pretty disappointed. Tom Morello does awesome guitar work, Chris Cornell on vocals is a master, why don’t I like this more? After a few listens, I’m starting to like it more. I hear Tom’s cool whammy stuff on Bring “em Back. I like that a lot. I like Gasoline and Like a Stone, which sound familiar like they may have been radio hits back when I wasn’t listening to radio. I like this, but its still not quite what I hope for for some reason. Probably nostalgia surrounding Rage compared to this which is still new to me.” 3.9/5 – Spencer
Feel free to share your own in the comments section down below.