Progressive Jazz/Fusion. Where to head next.

Skyrm

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The Billy Cobham-George Duke Band “Live in Europe” is a great album too. Features Alphonso Johnson and a young John Scofield.

 

mebeatee

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As you can see there`s a kabillion bands and musicians in this "genre" and like anything, it has it`s cycles.... even fusion had it`s fuzack phase.
I had been playing drums for a few months, saw the following on tv and my world changed.
bt

 

JimmySticks

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A little off the beaten path, does anybody remember Sea Level?

The core was made up with Allman Bros survivors, Chuck Leavel on keyboards, Jaimo on drums and Lamar Williams on bass. Jimmy Niles did some killer guitar work with them as well.

They had a great eclectic mix of jazz/fusion, but also did some great funk and blues rock as well. I really loved this band, so much talent -

 

KevinD

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Great thread and some great suggestions.

I think the Cobham-era Mahavishnu records really set the standard for that genre. Just an amazing chemistry of composition and playing.
I agree once Cobham left, the band was still smoking, but there was just something missing. (Narada always killed it though).

Here is a set of albums that I don’t think have been mentioned yet, kind of obscure (mostly European centered) but definitely fits in with the idiom.

Pierre Moerlen’s Gong (which is an offshoot of the original band of the same name).
Some pretty interesting stuff with Allan Holdsworth (credited for playing violin and pedal steel on some tracks) and some other notable guests.

A friend gave me a cassette of their material when I was in HS. I wore it out (have no idea how he would have heard of these guys in the 80s).
Moerlen was the drummer, heavily influenced by Cobham. Very good player.

Some twisty odd times, and instrumentation. (lots of Vibes, Ponty influenced violin, flute etc)

They put out two albums, Gazeuse! (1976) A.K.A “Espresso” and “Espresso II” (also did some later projects in various configurations.. they did not resonate with me as much. Of the two I prefer Espresso II, but they are both worth giving a listen.

I don’t know if these are commercially available anywhere but YT has various videos featuring those songs. (Just search “Pierre Moerlen’s Gong.”)

Brecker Bros Heavy Metal Be Bop has always been one of my favorite albums, Bozzio just killed it on that performance…

I liked all the Jeff Back albums from that era when they came out… drummers were awesome, but when I revisited them a few years ago, I felt that most of the tunes were (well put together) jams, and not really on the same level composition wise of the Mahavishnu or similar stuff from that era.

For a slight detour to something jazzier check out Jaco Pastorious’ Word of Mouth Big Band. .cool mix of things.
And some Don Ellis stuff (some featuring Mr Crigger) some crazy odd times, awesome players.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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Pierre Moerlen’s Gong
Yessir!
I almost mentioned their "Time Is The Key" album here earlier but thought it might not be as rock-fusion-y as what the OP might be seeking. Great album though, and among my all time favorite "drummy" recordings. The sonic quality & production was world class for it's time and still is, actually.
 

JDA

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As you can see there`s a kabillion bands and musicians in this "genre" and like anything, it has it`s cycles.... even fusion had it`s fuzack phase.
I had been playing drums for a few months, saw the following on tv and my world changed.
bt

That's How I saw them ; thought the drums were black but apparently were dark shade of walnut Gretsch (with a clear Fibes snare) 1973 tour Skating Ring (Alpine Arena) suburban Pittsburgh/same tour. That has to be the best concert footage of them of them all.
 

pgm554

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Check out
Bill Conners(Assembler)
Allan Holdsworth,
Lee Ritenour (Captian Fingers),
Gamalon,
Helmet of Gnats
,UK,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74GBPl2FaK0
Steve Kahn Eyewitness,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDlOsVY1R2A
Patrick Moraz Story of I,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUEWdvwdSxM
Alphonse Mouzon Mind Transplant,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liaYQ0xeVjY
Hiromi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFeouD2IWSA
Simon Phillips Protocol,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNr4Vx5vIIY
Niacin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n63CWqX6RA0
 

Reddy

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For sure, beyond my expectations.
Be careful, this is about a years worth of listening that is being recommended. And its all great. Problem is, as a drummer you might be tempted to throw your drums down the stairs and pick up a different instrument! Some amazing playing there.
 

Prufrock

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Is Magma considered to be fusion?

Well, if depends if we are talking a very narrow definition of a genre, or if we are talking the concept of "fusion," where jazz and rock (and lots of other things in various combinations) come together, usually with a focus on musicianship. Christian Vander said John Coltrane was a major influence on his musical vision, although "fused" in a progressive rock context with an apocalyptic cosmic mythology sung in alien chant. In terms of the more narrowly defined "jazz fusion" genre, however, have a listen to the last bit of their live album (the violin solo starting at 1:10:00), and see if it sounds akin to some of the more obvious "fusion" groups.


I think the label of "jazz fusion" or "jazz rock" had a lot to do with venue and marketing. Miles Davis played "jazz clubs" AND "rock" venues. The late 60s and early 70s were a really exciting time musically, and people were willing to cross genres and try things - and sometimes were given commercial contracts from big record companies to do so. God bless the internet for keeping interesting music available, because the large music companies today seem to support mostly facile music aimed at the largest possible audience. It's about appealing to the masses rather than trying to get people to open their ears.
 
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Prufrock

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Just thought about this. So different from what is normally thought of as "jazz fusion," but what else would you call it? It's what I imagine an album would sound like if Booker T. made a fusion album. Laid back and intense, groovy and "out there" at the same time.


Her version of "My Favorite Things" on this same album is mind altering.
 
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