For the magazine reviews you can see the full text by clicking on the quote.  For internet reviews you can click on the  link to view the whole review:



“There’s something for everyone on this second release from Brit-jazzers Compassionate Dictatorship – think Partisans in the consummately contemporary fusion of gutsy rock and more considered jazz influences.  Indeed, there’s probably something for everyone in a single track, the appropriately titled ‘Mr Mish Mash’, which fills its restlessly rumbustious seven-and-a-half minute running time shuttling between driving funk, breezily laidback swing and free-form metal wig-out.  As in all eight tracks here, it’s beautifully executed by leaders Franks on electric guiatr, and Freestone on sax…” Robert Shore, Jazzwise Magazine Aug 2010 issue.

“Cash Cows is a fine album of delightful tunes, excellent playing and tremendous warmth. If there was any financial justice in the world of jazz the album’s title would not be ironic—but for now the members of Compassionate Dictatorship can rest easy in the knowledge that they have created one of the most engaging albums of 2010.” Bruce Lindsay,, 30 June 2010 

“The four musicians are individually strong and collectively exhilarating. The ebb and flow of improvisation between players is excellent. They have a wonderful facility for listening to each other: the outward effect is smooth and alive, sensual, inventive and beautifully cohesive.” ‘The Spin’ gig review, Miranda Rose, The Daily Info Oxford, 15 June 2010.

“This area of the music, occupied in the 1990s by Sco/Lo and in the present day by the likes of Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Allison and the UK’s own Partisans, is extremely hospitable to the particular combination of power and sensitivity encapsulated in the band’s name, and Cash Cows, which is at once immediately accessible, with its bright, gutsy sound and brisk, fleet soloing, and subtle enough richly to reward repeated exposure to its eight tracks, should serve as a tasty appetiser to the quartet’s unequivocally enjoyable live performances.” Chris Parker, Vortex Jazz Review, June 2010

“The second album from ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’ will resonate with fans of Partisans and Jonathen Bratoeff’s quartet with its effective marriage of an energetic rock feel, earthy grooves and moments of reflective tenderness.”  Thomas Gray,, 14 June 2010

“With their guitar/saxophone front line ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’ are sometimes reminiscent of the brilliant ‘Partisans’, a comparison that is re-inforced with their tricky, complex, yet throroughly accessible music.  Both groups favour jagged, mercurial melody lines and clever, time shifting rhythms…Cash Cows is a thoroughly enjoyable album with much to engage the listener…a sturdy slice of contemporary British jazz” Ian Mann, 10 June 2010

“Cash Cows hits all the right contemporary buttons in the ease with which it splices idioms and time patterns, the ingenuity with which long-spun melody lines unwind and the poise with which the improviser’s spring off the writing.” John Fordham, the Guardian, June 3 2010



“Each member of ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’ has their own unique improvisatory identity; far from the clash one might expect, the four voices complement each other well.  This is especially true of Franks and Freestone who are both listening and reacting to each other; the resulting interweaving melodic lines are a high point of the album”,, Nov 2007

“Compassionate Dictatorship makes for a very impressive listen, both through the improvisation and loose, at times free-ish group dynamics….the group stretch and improvises loosely over delightfully open grooves” – Tom Barlow, Jazzwise Magazine Dec 07/Jan 08

“Αντίθετα ο πολύ δουλεμένος και σοφιστικέ ήχος τους, κινείται μεταξύ χαρντ και ποστ-μποπ, μελωδικής μπαλάντας και φάνκι ρυθμών, θυμίζοντας συχνά τους Underground του Chris Potter” March 2008, Jazz and Tzaz, Vangelis Aragiannis

“The musical rapport between electric guitarist Jez Franks and tenor saxophonist Tori Freestone is, as the programme sugested, the spark that ignites the bright, driving, sophisticated music of Compassionate Dictaorship…this is a muscular but intelligent band playing immediately accessible, spirited yet carefully wrought music”, Chris Parker, Vortex Jazz Review Sep 2008

“Tori and Jez both play in a contemporary manner without straying too far into uncharted waters. Indeed some of the finest moments came in what I took to be carefully rehearsed ensemble passages; if they weren’t then they really are something else!” Feb 2009, Newcastle Cluny,

“This is a great quartet, showcasing the fruitful musical relationship between Guitarist Jez Franks and sax player Tori Freestone. They’ve really got everything; interesting compositions, two excellent front line soloists, a superb bass player in Jasper Holby, and a mutual understanding which makes for strong interaction the way jazz is supposed to allow, but is hard to bring off…The two front people are both thoughtful, largely cliché free players – Franks especially is as good as any of the current crop of stand out guitarists, to my ears (Robson, Outram, Walker…). I hope they go on as a band as long as Partisans, another favourite sax/guitar led quartet, who they somewhat resemble.” Mar 2009 Bebop Club, Bristol gig review, Jon Turney, Mainly Jazz in Bristol

“Compassionate Dictatorship have some great original tunes, their first CD is highly recommended, and they have an eagerly anticipated second album due out this year, but as a live band they truly raise the bar of what live music can be and do.” Mar 2009, The Be-Bop Club gig review, Bristol, The Bristol Jazz Collective

“The band played..cohesively with Freestone engaged in proceedings in her deceptively fluid and sinuous style.  Franks moved easily between chiming chords, churning spazz rock and rolling the jittering, edgy encore, the whole band were playing with fiery purpose”. Mar 2009, The Venue, Leeds, Steve Walsh, Vibrations Music Mag.