J.A.M. | J.A.M.

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by J.A.M.

A magical marriage of hard rock, jazz, blues, metal and fusion by 3 of guitar's most exciting practicioners, Joel Rivard, Alessandro Benvenuti and Milan Polak. With guest key solos from Lale Larson.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Usual Unusual
6:44 $0.99
2. 2 Sides of the Same Trouble
6:35 $0.99
3. Lydian Field
8:39 $0.99
4. Hot Room
7:09 $0.99
5. Back on the Track
5:21 $0.99
6. Transcendence
8:03 $0.99
7. S.L.O.W.
5:51 $0.99
8. Perfect Angel
7:28 $0.99
9. General Relativity Jam
5:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Enjoy project albums? CDs which feature several amazing musicians with different yet compatible musical styles, all clamouring for your attention, all with something unique to offer? Then J.A.M. is for you. A marriage of European and American talent, J.A.M. is a mixture of hard-edged rock and blues fusion, pop rock, even ballads; all immersed in some seriously O.T.T. soloing from some of the finest musicians in the business.

Joel Rivard, Alessandro Benvenuti and Milan Polak all possess a wealth of experience under their belt, having performed live many times and having contributed to several musical projects utilising many diverse styles. J.A.M. witnesses a collaboration of the highest, with each player writing 3 songs over which the others solo.

The project also features keyboard maestro, Lale Larson (last heard on LNR's Richard Hallebeek Project CD). J.A.M. is a feast of fantastic musicianship and unrestrained virtuoso playing which absolutely CANNOT be missed!



to write a review

Mr J Westcott

wow what a great bunch of musician's
this is talent. tremendous captivating yea captivating that's what it is. a must absolutely. joe uk

Mikolaj Furmankiewicz

J.A.M. - s/t
The main figures of this project are Joel Rivard, Alessandro Benvenuti and Milan Polak. The project's name derives just from their first names and makes us think of jamming or jam session. Joel is an American guitarist, playing mainly in his own The Joel Rivard Jazz Group. Alessandro is an Italian guitarist whose solo CD - "Sonic Design" was reviewed in this DoV's issue. I won't write at length about Milan, because you can find a few words on his artistic activity in that DoV's number as well.

There are nine tracks on the album, and every instrumentalist is a composer of three ones. The idea of J.A.M. consists in that each of them plays first fiddle in all tracks of their authorship, but also they play guest solo in their colleagues' compositions. Let's start from Milan Polak who offers us a dose of fusion with emphasis on swinging fragments in the opening track. There are not shortage of guitar and keys melodies. The latter ones are owed to a Swedish keyboardist - Lale Larson. "Back on the Track" is something different - with an aftertaste of groove and blues-rock feeling. Personally, I most liked a romantic "Perfect Angel". Alessandro Benvenuti begins with "2 Sides of the Same Trouble", that is a composition based on two contrasting parts. I must admit that I have always liked similar ideas. Alessandro goes in another direction in "Hot Room", performing it in fusion style and thanking Allan Holdsworth for the inspiration. Undoubtedly, "S.L.O.W." is one of most distinctive tracks for the sake of a slow tempo and participation of a female singer - Marzia Palisi. However, Joel Rivard's "Lydian Field", "Transcendence" and "General Relativity Jam" can be regarded as a complementary whole. Joel ia a musician who specilaizes in combining rock music with jazz and fusion. As far as kinds of jazz are concerned, we can most often come across flashes of so-called bluegrass (a kind of country music performed at a rapid tempo on banjos and guitars) in Rivard's compositions, althought there are funk and Rhythm'n'Blues influences in "General Relativity Jam" as well. In other words, I recommend his music to the fans of Eric Johnson and Shawn Lane.

In spite of not large stylistic differences between J.A.M. guitar heroes, they have the same attitude towards melody. It is a structural basis of every composition, and musicians add personal flavours and ideas around it. I am convinced that if trio went on well-organised and well-promoted tour, they would accomplish comparable success to G3 project for sure. That CD is best proof of my thesis. In any case, it isn't only my personal opinion, because a Canadian website "Guitar Mania" gave it "album of the month".

Andy Craven at Virtuosity One

J.A.M. have chalked up a victory in the instrumental releases of 2004 category. Great playing within classic strong structures and home to an ace production for this genre. Whilst not breaking any new ground in the instrumental guitar field, J.A.M. does provide an hours worth of exciting and captivating guitar work and for that reason alone comes highly recommended.

Mike Sandomirsky of Guitar Mania

Remember the invigorating days of bands like Weather Report, ultra composers such as Chick Korea and guitar maestro’s the likes of Al Dimeola. Well my friends those exciting musical times are making a big resurgence and much of the music is coming out of the Liquid Note Records camp. LNR have been putting out some of the most vibrant and cohesive prog, rock, jazz and fusion releases since those exhilarating days of yesteryear.

Liquid Note Records has released another superb offering that continues to breathe new life into the world of music. I have said it before and I am going to say it again here – LNR have released another revolutionary statement in what is fast becoming a catalogue of the best fusion available anywhere. You really owe it to your self to purchase this CD – an absolute must have for serious guitarists and music lovers worldwide.

MJ Brady of ProGGnosis

J.A.M. is an interesting little slice of fusion, interesting in that it is a compilation of 9 songs, divided into three individual groups, each group provides 3 songs to the cd, and these groups are led by different guitarists, so it's almost a sampler cd of these musicians so to speak. Yet given the fact that the guitarists are all writing intensely motivated music, the cd flows together well. First you have Milan Polak, who has been making a name for himself for his solo efforts as a shred style musician, he plays some very intricate songs on this cd, showing excellent flair for technical arrangements that fully compliment his amazing playing. Alessandro Benvenuti, who's cd Sonic Design is reviewed here at Proggnosis, plays in the style of Greg Howe ultra fluid playing that accompanies complex arrangements, a perfect marriage of power and beauty go hand in hand on his three contributions with J.A.M. Joel Rivard is the one guitarist here that I am familiar with, but he is in good company here, from what I can tell you, he has a very nimble style that reminds me a LOT of the great Shawn Lane, and plays with the same tasteful expression and freedom the Shawn did.

Strutter 'Zine

This band released an instrumental album under the bandname J.A.M., which stands for guitarist/bassist Joel Rivard, guitarist Alessandro Benvenuti and guitarist Milan Polak. Together they recorded a great quality instrumental record which makes Progressive Rock,. Hardrock and Fusion/Jazz-Rock into one exciting style. Comparisons are clearly STEVE VAI and JOE SATRIANI, because they combine unusual rhythms with atmospheric melodic guitarsounds. Highlights are “The usual unusual”, “Hot room”, “Back on the track” and “Perfect angel”. Concluded, a recommended piece to fans of instrumental Progressive/Fusion-Rock.

Philipp Eder

Interesting - Innovative - Incredible Groove - J.A.M.
I'm not a lover of pure guitar-music like it's played by Steve Vai or Joe Satriani (although both are great artists!). So I was looking for something new, that had this rock guitar-feeling of but also a bit of Jazz, Funk Grooves and Fusion. I found all on the J.A.M. CD, which one can regard as the perfect mixture of all these styles, groovy songs played by real guitar-virtuosi.

The songs that I personally like best are "The usual Unusual" with its funny jazz-swing intro and really difficult time (don't try to count it), "2 Sides of the same Trouble", where I really like the funky wah Wah riff at the beginning of the solo-part, also "Back on the Track" (this song grooves madly!), and surely the perfect completion of this album, "General Relativity Jam", where you get the impression that one soloist gives the other an incentive to even exceed his solo performance.

What I would also like to mention are the great performances of all the sidemen on this album, all the drummers and bass players, and also especially of the always amazing Lale Larson. I would like to point out the great musical contribution of Flo Holoubek (dr.) and Peter Schönbauer (b.) on the songs of Milan Polak, they are two of the grooviest and most fascinating musicians and they really form the perfect rhythm-section.

All in all, J.A.M. is an album really worth buying and hearing, for guitar-fans, but also for lovers of good music. (I hope that everyone here enjoys this album like me, a 17 year old music-freak)

Dmitry M. Epstein

Abbreviation means brevity. Brevity means eloquence. The three guitarists mean it.

Note the dots in the title: J.A.M. comes from the names of Joel Rivard, Alessandro Benvenuti and Milan Polak who throw in their resources together to throw these dots away. In other words, they play solo on each other's pieces, though the cuts are too restrained to be called a jam - if the word 'restrained' can be applied to the top-notch fusion. Still, like a jam, it's all about the mood, and there could be no better opener than "The Usual Unusual" which swings and kicks before pulling the heartstrings apart in memory of another guitar master, Shawn Lane. After this, letdown is off the cards, with only highs on display, with an acoustic pop delicacy in "Lydian Field" and a mighty pinch of rock in "2 Sides Of The Same Trouble" that, despite their musical literacy and progressive un-brevity, come brimful of feelings. From Benvenuti's wah-wah to rockabilly strum - Polak's "Back On The Track" a masterclass in style - and enveloped by Lale Larson's keyboards, there's a flight of thought and fingers, while Rivard's cuts are more of contemplative kind. But "General Relativity Jam" embraces it all and bends for fun. Getting jammed in such a spaciness is welcoming.

Bernie Zwass

Words cannot describe how great this cd is
Great cd and great players. Alessandro is a cool personal friend of mine. The music here is very inspiring. I look foward to the next disc that these players put together with bassist Jon Reshard. Was great seeing you Ale at Namm. Let's keep in touch bro. Anyone into guitar shredding and awesome songwriting? BUY THIS CD!!! Features my favorite guitarist and great friend!!!!!! Alessandro is a god!!!