Progressive Jazz/Fusion. Where to head next.

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Congrats on expanding your listening musical horizons!!! There are many places go from there (and elsewhere.) Sometimes it takes time to absorb denser, deeper music, nothing wrong with that. The musical tragedy would be just stopping. Some of the most obvious music has been mentioned, so I'll skip those and go a little deeper.

Older Weather Report like "Live In Tokyo." Freer, looser, w/ drummer Eric Gravatt (maybe not your thing, but as far from Heavy Weather as it gets.) "Black Market" would have been my first choice too, but "Heavy Weather" get's all the attention because of Jaco.

Larry Coryell and Eleventh House w/ Alphonse Mouzon, sort of a funkier Mahavishnu.

Also Alphonse's stuff with McCoy Tyner is jazz with a "noter fusion" influence "Enlightenment," and "Sahara" and "Focal Point" w/ Gravatt. Alphonse Mouzon "Mind Transplant" is an even funkier and rockier version of that Mahavishnu approach w guitarist Tommy Bolin.

Cobham's "Spectrum" and "Crosswinds" are both classic, and "sort of" Billy's extensions of Mahavishnu (though a little tamer.) Then there is the band "Dreams," with Cobham and the Brecker's.

An even funkier thing is the early George Duke stuff "Faces in Reflection" and "I Love the Blues, She Heard Me Cry." w/ Ndugu Chancler, I love that stuff.

A band that everyone forgets is "Fourth Way" w/ Michel Nock, Ron McCure, Michael White, and Eddie Marshall, pretty cool jazzier fusion, there is even a classic John Handy "Live" record that was sort of a precursor to Fourth Way, and is in this same vein (but with drummer Terry Clarke and Don Thompson playing FUSION!)

I really dig Narada Michael Walden's band The Warriors, there is a live record from 1983, KILLER!

When Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer first hooked up on their "Live" record with drummer Tony Smith it was a rockier version of a Mahavishnu type of thing.

Then there is Jan's "Oh Yeah?" w/ Tony Smith. Must have, ESSENTIAL!!! That might be a great nextstep!

When Jan collaborated on Steve Grossman's "Some Shapes To Come" w/ DRUMMER Don Alias, it messed people up! Again essential! That band evolved in "Stone Alliance" a trio with Jan, Gene Perla, and Don, which was a little jazzier but some of my favorite music EVER!

Santana's "Lotus" (live) was the second band moving into a fusion exploratory place. Pretty cool! And Santana and Mahavishnu John did at least one record together (not my favorite though.) Santana's "Swing of Delight" is very good though.

Stanley Clarke "S/T" is pretty essential Fusion Tony with Bill Connors (playing guitar.) Jan, and Stanley (not much space for anyone else with those four.) Great record!

Which (of course) leads into Tony Williams Lifetime (which since you hadn't heard Mahavishnu, maybe you haven't heard this.) If so, THAT is your next move!!!! "Believe It," "Million Dollar Legs." And while you are at it, how about the seeds (precursor) of Mahavishnu, Tony's Lifetime "Emergency!" Freer, and the first Jazz Rock "fusion."

Sometimes it's fun and more enjoyable to go BACKWARDS from a musical point to see how it came to be. That would involve going to back Miles' "Jack Johnson" and John's "Extrapolition," "Where Fortune Smiles" and "Devotion."

If you get this far, I might suggest the first Steps band (w/ Gadd and then Erskine.) The "Smoking at the Pit" was GREAT. And then Steve Khan "Eyewitness" w/ Steve Jordan, and The Brecker Brothers "Heavy Metal Bebop," "Detente," and "Straphangin."

Get back to me in a few years, that will set you up just fine!
Have fun!!!!!!!!
MSG
Definitely agree that Tony’s “Lifetime” should be included as one of the OP’s next steps. Tony’s singing and lyrics are pretty cheesy, but the opening track alone is worth the price of admission.
 

Rock Salad

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Is Sun Ra not considered to be this fusion genre?
and the offshoots
 

Matched Gripper

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I saw Steps Ahead live - great band. Even got to meet them and get signatures after the show.
I saw them live myself, this particular personnel. Didn’t meet them though. They were the warm-up band for Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams with the Marsalis brothers.
 

Prufrock

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Found a CD in my car today that I purchased not long ago by a recent French band called Caillou. The group is instrumental, and has some affinities to Magma. Here is a very strong track from the album, as well as a live version (the album version has great audio quality; the live version nice to watch).


 
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Skyrm

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I saw them live myself, this particular personnel. Didn’t meet them though. They were the warm-up band for Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams with the Marsalis brothers.
Wow!

I saw those guys separately, the VSOP Tour with Herbie, Tony, Wayne, Ron and Wynton. Great show.
 

pgm554

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I saw Steps Ahead live - great band. Even got to meet them and get signatures after the show.
One of my best stories is going to Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus and seeing them live for the first time.
They'd just released their first album and in an auditorium that seats about 2000,there were maybe 3 to 5 people.
Basically a private concert to anybody that showed up.
 
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pgm554

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Check out some math metal for the heck of it.

 

RIDDIM

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Found a CD in my car today that I purchased not long ago by a recent French band called Caillou. The group is instrumental, and has some affinities to Magma. Here is a very strong track from the album, as well as a live version (the album version has great audio quality; the live version nice to watch).


- Nice tune and they aren't phoning it in.
 

Tornado

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Found a CD in my car today that I purchased not long ago by a recent French band called Caillou. The group is instrumental, and has some affinities to Magma. Here is a very strong track from the album, as well as a live version (the album version has great audio quality; the live version nice to watch).


Holy crap was that good!
 

Tufty

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This rocks. The only track on the album with Jaco and Steve Jordan. Bob Berg I think is playing tenor.
 

Deafmoon

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What Mahavishnu did was pkay aggressive improvisation within a loosely structured context. Tommy Bolin & Energy were early leaders in doing this as well. Weather Report was like this early on too, but Heavy Weather is far too late to get into Weather Report seeking experimentation in the music. They were a song pumping machine of jazz rock by this time. You need to hear WR in Tokyo for a closer approximation of who they were. But the real deal in fusion isn’t from America at all. Go and seek out Jukka Tolonen from Finland. Michel Herr or Abraxis from Belgium. Spheroe, Transit Express, Didier Lockwood, Magma all from France. Perigeo, Area and Arti e Mestieri from Italy. Space Circus from Japan. Soft Machine, Brand X and Turning Point from the U.K. Iceberg from Spain. International players and bands never cared about the money that the American fusion artists seemed to crave so they could get on par with rock bands. But experimenting with an Echoplex in a 9 minute song won’t get you on the radio, so that’s why we ended up with fusion just becoming a stale head of cabbage.
 


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