Queen is my favorite band of all time. They are diverse, cheeky, fun, extremely talented, and above all pioneers in the art of recording and songwriting.
Jazz is an album that finds Queen at the end of their 70's over-the-top expiremental phase. It contains all the early trademarks that made their sound so great.. "Jazz" is definately not Queens strongest output (fill in your own album here)... However, what makes this album different than the others is how 'fun' the album sounds. Most of Queen's work sounds as if they've had something to prove, where 'Jazz' sounds like they were having the time of their lives recording it. Each track is unique and cheeky in their own extravagant ways, but the arraingements sound very sophisticated and well thought out. It is a very brittish-sounding album, compared to the american-esque "News Of The World" the year before.
On the other hand, my only complaint about this album is the overall 'production/mixing'. As a musician, I don't particularly enjoy the way the guitars and drums were recorded. The drums tend to have a 'boxy' or 'clunky' sound to them, whereas the guitars are mid-rangey and muddy throughout. They are no where near how crisp Brians guitar work has been in the past, but then again this is what makes Queen unique. None of their albums sound the same!
So when you buy this (and you will!), listen to it front to back. You'll hear the cheekyness and fun they had, and you'll hear a band that is at the pinnacle of excess and sucess (and it shows with their 'I don't care' attitudes). Hopefully the production value won't hinder your opinion of the album too much..
All The Best, -The AndyMan- ;o)