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JAZZ ROCK/FUSION

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Jazz Rock/Fusion definition


  1. Jazz Fusion is jazz that is strongly influenced by other styles of music. Jazz fusion is an ambiguous term that provides the first level sub-set down from Jazz. Jazz rock is a sub-sub set from jazz via jazz fusion. The ambiguity comes from an American tendency through the 90's and until now, to freely interchange jazz rock and jazz fusion, when in fact the latter term covers most hybrids of jazz fused with other forms of music. The roots of jazz rock can be traced back to RnB influenced soul-jazz artists such as Les McCann, Grant Green and Jimmy Smith, and young British jazzers such as Graham Bond, Ginger Baker, John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce, Georgie Fame, who were forced to use electronic instruments because the local club's acoustic instruments were reserved for the older established jazz musicians. Probably the first jazz artists that released recordings that mixed modern rock (circa 60s) with jazz were Larry Coryell, Jeremy Steig, Charles Lloyd, The Soft Machine, and The (Jazz) Crusaders. Meanwhile rock artists such as Cream, Grateful Dead and The Jimi Hendrix Experience were getting a lot of publicity and fame with their lengthy improvisations based on blues, rock, psychedelia and some jazz. These rock artists had an impact on Miles Davis who generated a lot of media attention to this new jazz-rock genre with his Bitches Brew album. From there the genre grew and exploded into numerous different directions. One of these directions was brass rock as exemplified by bands like Dreams, Chicago, BS&T and If. These bands combined elements of jazz, rock and classical music with arrangements for brass and woodwinds.

  2. Many other styles of music have been combined with jazz to create fusion including traditional music from around the world, R'n'B, rock, electronic music and pop music and jazz from Africa, Latin America, India and other places. One of the earliest examples of the use of the term fusion comes from the Indo-jazz fusion of Joe Harriott and John Mayer. Some of the more popular early practitioners of fusion included Weather Report and Herbie Hancock's Sextant. A few years later Shakti appears on the scene and expands the boundaries of fusion further, foreshadowing the World Fusion movement of the 90's.

  3. In part Nu.jazz grew out of the British acid jazz scene of the late 80s and early 90s, whilst modern leaders of nu.fusion cite Miles Davis and Jon Hassell as the godfathers of the genre. As the genre began to develop it took on other influences such as world beat/jazz fusion, psychedelic trip-hop, post-rock and mixtures of ambience with modern jazz. The jazz with electronia experiments that Jon Hassell was conducting in the late 80's, with the likes of Eno, were to be a major influence especially on the dance side of nu.jazz, sometimes known as nu.fusion. Three main elements make nu.jazz different from the more traditional jazz (rock) fusion. First of all there is less of an emphasis on instrumental virtuosity in nu.jazz (especially nu.fusion). Second, more use of electronics (especially skilled turntablism) and studio trickery that emphasizes sound textures. Third, nu.jazz tends to use more modern rhythms such as drum'n'bass, hip-hop, post-rock, and various mixtures of world beat rhythms. Progressive nu.jazz artists such as Bugge Wesseltoft, Nils Petter Molvaer and the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.), combine complicated compositions with modern rhythms to create new unheard of soundscapes - while the former two are leaders of nu.fusion, and with more emphasis on jazz playing, EST have been the leaders in straighter nu.jazz. Nu.jazz is loosely connected to other newer jazz fusion genres, particularly the more progressive live, jazz jam bands such as Medeski Martin & Wood or Garaj Mahal. It may seem that the only difference between the two genres is the country the artist is from or what scene they came up through.li>

Only the most progressive of nu jazz, jazz-rock and fusion artists are listed on Progarchives, although accceptability or not here may vary from person to person. All artists have elements of progressive rock in their music (e.g. Jean Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford or David Sancious) or they represent the most forward-looking and progressive element in their genre (e.g. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock or Weather Report). It should be noted that those many Canterbury jazz rock fusion bands, e.g. Soft Machine, Soft Works, Soft Heap, Soft Machine Legacy, Gilgamesh etc. are to be found under the CANTERBURY heading in Prog Archives.

Dick Heath
John 'Easy Money'
Martin 'Alucard' Horst
(Edition 3.2. Nov 2009)

Current Team Members as at 12/24/14

Evolver (Scott)
Man With Hat (Phil)
Darkshade (Mike)
historian9

Jazz Rock/Fusion Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Jazz Rock/Fusion | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.36 | 819 ratings
KIND OF BLUE
Davis, Miles
4.55 | 63 ratings
THE COLOURS OF CHLOË
Weber, Eberhard
4.33 | 1066 ratings
BIRDS OF FIRE
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.33 | 566 ratings
IN A SILENT WAY
Davis, Miles
4.32 | 223 ratings
HIROMI'S SONICBLOOM: TIME CONTROL
Uehara, Hiromi
4.28 | 464 ratings
SPECTRUM
Cobham, Billy
4.30 | 211 ratings
WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER
Nucleus
4.25 | 789 ratings
THE INNER MOUNTING FLAME
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.34 | 116 ratings
STADACONÉ
Sloche
4.25 | 511 ratings
ROMANTIC WARRIOR
Return To Forever
4.24 | 657 ratings
ELEGANT GYPSY
Di Meola, Al
4.24 | 575 ratings
CARAVANSERAI
Santana
4.24 | 535 ratings
BITCHES BREW
Davis, Miles
4.24 | 448 ratings
ABRAXAS
Santana
4.27 | 207 ratings
LES PORCHES
Maneige
4.30 | 128 ratings
A BENEFIT OF RADIM HLADÍK [AKA: MODRÝ EFEKT & RADIM HLADÍK]
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt)
4.28 | 125 ratings
MILESTONES
Davis, Miles
4.30 | 102 ratings
SVěT HLEDAčů
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt)
4.24 | 195 ratings
PAT METHENY GROUP: THE WAY UP
Metheny , Pat
4.23 | 258 ratings
CROSSINGS
Hancock, Herbie

Jazz Rock/Fusion overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Jazz Rock/Fusion experts team

A STORY OF MYSTERIOUS FOREST
Ain Soph
ZASTO NE VOLIM SNEG
Smak
FUSION
Urbaniak, Michal
GET UP WITH IT
Davis, Miles

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Latest Jazz Rock/Fusion Music Reviews


 Cold Heat by SNOWBALL album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.20 | 6 ratings

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Cold Heat
Snowball Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by aglasshouse

2 stars Groovy? Yes. Jazz? Debatable.

Cold Heat is the last album from the Snowball supergroup formed by several wonderful musicians from other bands, like Embryo, Passport, and Nektar. They showed wonderful promise on their first effort, Defroster in '77, although not exactly as prolific as the albums from the bands the members originated from it was not that bad. Now 1977 was already approaching the fringe for the 80's invasion, so that band was to either take the neo-prog revitalization path, or fall, like so many others, down the rabbit hole of the upcoming decade's pop music.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and Snowball took the path that would come to be so utterly beaten that it would become an annoyance. Their second album, Cold Heat, was released in 1979, the dawn of a new era. This time the band really makes themselves seem like a bunch of oxymorons.

Cold Heat turns out to be a balancing act of occasional jazz bursts and cheesy disco-funk that more often than lot swings to the latter. Vocalist Eddie Taylor embodies the archetypal swagger that would become more and more popular as the 80's progressed, almost like a Maurice White without the lovable factor. The few moments where the band breaks into anything remotely jazz-like it's immediately swept away with a sonic cheese onslaught, making for music nothing short of a dishonest. Schultz and Gebauer occasionally throw in echoing buzzes and other effects that does nothing to help the mood. I actually commend Taylor on sax; he's not bad- but he isn't made for jazz. His latin- infused dance style aged extremely poorly and I would go so far as to say that if he was placed in any other kind of musical environment he wouldn't flourish nearly as easily.

So as a verdict: I suggest you either take a look at Snowball's debut or the bands these obviously talented musicians came from. You'll definitely get a bigger bang for your buck.

 The Inner Mounting Flame by MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.25 | 789 ratings

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The Inner Mounting Flame
Mahavishnu Orchestra Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The primal flame to really fused jazz and rock?

4.5 stars

This is perhaps what a volcanic eruption may sound like...

First effort of one of the big 3 fusion bands of the 70's, with WEATHER REPORT and RETURN TO FOREVER, "The Inner Mounting Flame" can be considered as the first record to genuinely combine the raw fury of hard rock with free unconstrained jazz. Of course, funk, jazzy rock or jazz incorporating rock elements have already been heard since the end of the 60's, but I cannot think any other artist went so far in this fusion of genres before. Compared to pioneering records such as Miles Davis' "In a Silent Way" or Frank Zappa's "Hot Rats", "The Inner Mounting Flame" marks a clear evolution. This debut album is a pure magma, an acoustic and electric maelstrom sculpting heavy musical mantras inside mountains. Jazz, rock, blues and Indian ragas find themselves melted together to fuel an unique loud, rapid and mystical fire, with multiple uncommon time signatures and complex rhythms.

Like most line-ups from this time period, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA's members are all virtuosi in their respective instrument and form a true dream-team: incredible guitarist John McLaughlin, who just spent 2 years at Miles Davis' school to record no less than pioneering albums, organist Jan Hammer, who will later compose Miami Vice theme, whirlwinding violinist Jerry Goodman, bassist Rick Laird and extraordinary drummer Billy Cobham. The fast and spiritual aspects of the music is logical when you know John McLaughlin was the only composer as well as a disciple of the Indian guru Sri Chinmoy. That's certainly where these stylistic choices come from.

The disc opens with the incandescent "Meeting Of The Spirits". Violin and drum explodes in a lava of burning guitars. Wow! After all this condensed fury, "Dawn" arrives as a welcomed spacey pause. A calm beautiful jazzy and bluesy kind of ballad. Then appears the raging "Noonward Race". This high-speed delirium jazzy hard-rock can stand for an overboosted jam. In contrast, "A Lotus On Irish Streams" is the perfect soundtrack to wander barefoot in peaceful hanging gardens. A bit mystical and dominated by Jan Hammer's relaxing keyboard textures, this track is a delicate and soothing passage.

Back to life with "Vital Transformation", maybe the hottest and grooviest composition of the album. Not really sounding like an ancient Center American ritual, "The Dance Of Maya" starts with a dark oppressive pattern. This first half tends to become a little repetitive though. Then it surprisingly mutates into a heavy blues-rock! The slow desert jam "You Know, You Know" is enjoyable, nonetheless not varied enough. The record finishes in fireworks with its wildest track, "Awakening". A thundering and breathtaking piece, fast-paced, with multiple breaks and corrosive moments. Guitar, bass, violin, keyboards, drums, each musician displays his virtuosity here!

As the debut opus of a legendary band, "The Inner Mounting Flame" was already, and still remains nowadays, a true sonic blast, stunning and innovative. Such an advanced mixture of hard rock with complex time signatures in the improvisational jazz mold was never heard at the dawn of the 70's.

Simply an essential listen for anyone interested in fusion music. Not the most accessible MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA offering, but undoubtedly their rawest!

 ÓRBITAS by TRYO album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.50 | 2 ratings

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ÓRBITAS
Tryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgFusionMusic

5 stars TRYO (Chile) : "Órbitas: A Journey through the Cosmos and the Being towards a New Consciousness" (2016)

Órbitas is the new and long awaited album of the outstanding South American band "TRYO" (Chile), with nearly 30 years of extraordinary artistic career in their home country and abroad. This amazing work (the first completely conceptual in their discography) represents -according to the artist- : "A journey through the Cosmos (macro cosmos - universe) and the Being (the micro cosmos that each of us is). The voyage is a metaphor for a human, spiritual, and transcendent experience, a learning path that will take us from ignorance to wisdom, darkness to light, and from an ego to a soul culture, all expressed through the universal language of music".

The album consists in 7 very interesting and varied tracks, each inspired by the various meanings, elements and characteristics of the 7 major energy centers in our subtle body, called The Chakras (as recognized by the Hindu spiritual tradition). In this sense, this travel goes from the macro cosmos (outer world) to the micro cosmos (inner world), and from the 1st chakra (track 1) to the last chakra (track 7).

Although, it is a very visual music that reflects correctly the concept that inspired this work, the album´s title and each track´s name includes subtitles that seeks to support the listener in a better understanding of each stage of this spiritual journey. The song lyrics also play a useful role, providing appropiate references that light the path of the cosmic traveller. The message is deep, coherent, relevant and optimistic, and the artist encourages to search within us (individually and as a society) to achieve the necessary solutions to our problems, reach the best version of ourselves and a New Global Consciousness (all crucial goals considering the complex, selfish and competitive world we are living in).

The inclusion of more compositions with vocals, the addition of instruments ? equipments ? sonorities never recorded before, and the participation of recognized Chilean and international guest artists, represent important efforts of the band to take its art to the next level.

TRYO makes it clear that even though its work fusions different musical genres (rock, jazz, folk, prog, world, classical and vanguard music), its unique sound is all of that and much more.

Órbitas is really a true masterpiece, one of the most important Prog - Fusion comebacks of the year and also between the best Latin American albums of 2016. In 43 minutes, the band shows all of its great power, sensibility, creativity, virtuosity and versatility, in electric-acoustic formats and instrumental - vocalized songs.

This new TRYO´s album has an excellent sound, a very important message to deliver and the complement of a beautiful - elegant art work. Undoubtly, it constitutes the renovation of the band`s sound and image, an enormous triumph of their art (confirming that they are back and in the best shape ever), and the opportunity to give an important new step forward to their international consolidation in the major leagues of Prog - Fusion music. It really seems like the only limits for these three amazing musicians are the ones that they can put to each other ... its great to know that we will have TRYO´s music for many years more!

 ÓRBITAS by TRYO album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.50 | 2 ratings

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ÓRBITAS
Tryo Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Stephen Conrad

4 stars Review of TRYO (Chile) "Orbitas"- an album was given me by the band and the review written at their request.

Warning- nothing good comes easy! This is especially the case when challenging music with challenging themes is presented. In this case, TRYO (Chile)- to distinguish this TRYO from any other bands named "Tryo"- reminds me of the moment when the birthing- room nurse placed my firstborn, wrapped neatly in a tiny bundle, in my arms. It was a spiritual moment. I'm not referring to religion. "Church". Synagogue. Temple. Rather, I'm thinking of something Greater Than, the Transcendent, something like collective energy, the Divine?perhaps even Love. I burst into tears, with no conscious thought, holding my daughter- a miracle! I fell in love. But little did I know what was ahead. As any parent can tell you, there is joy, and there is suffering in parenthood. TRYO (Chile) presents us with a spiritual work using music, lyrics, and collective energy from this veteran band (closing in on 30 years together, all three original members). Impression number ONE: It takes time to learn to love this music. Impression number TWO: It is well worth taking that time. TRYO (means TRIO- in Spanish) includes Felix Carbone Kind- drums/percussion; Francisco Cortez Aguilara- bass guitar, cello; and Ismael Cortez Aguilar, guitar. Collectively, and with the help of their manager Ignacio Carvajal and the album's artist (design), Ivan Gonzalez Smith, this trio of musicians becomes more than the sum of their individual parts. Impression number THREE: There is inherent spirituality in the collective energy of three skilled musicians who have something to say. Each of the seven tracks represent one of the chakras- the energy points in the "subtle body". 1. Viaje Cosmico (Cosmic Voyage), first chakra- the roots, the basis, survival. The music is electric, vibrant, intricate, filled with rhythm and interplay. 2. Orbitas (Orbits), second chakra- emotions, the search for growth and balance. The music here, also electric, features the careful use of guitar effects interwoven into the tapestry of the music. 3. Crudo (Crude). third chakra- represented by fire, and concerned with power, control, and discovery of the true self. This electric piece if filled with raw energy, opens boldly, subsides, then builds. Bassist Francisco shines, at times taking the lead. 4. Cyan, representing one of the elemental colors of the spectrum, as a metaphor regarding the fourth chakra- balance, acceptance, equilibrium. Cyan abruptly shifts us into another dimension, as it moves into an acoustic sound. There's an Indian flavor to the vocals of Pascuala Ilabaca, mournful, a lament? This music suggests the spiritual quest for something beyond, for greater truth, and for communications from the heart. 5. La Montana (The Mountain), fifth chakra- ether, sound, vibration. The mountain represents the spiritual challenge- it's one thing to hold a newborn. It's another to raise a child. This too is acoustic- delicate, chiming guitars, violin (guest Boris Del Rio), and vibraphone- interwoven, intuitive. This is the result of almost 30 years of working together. 6. El Despertar (The Awakening), the sixth chakra- light, the 3rd eye. Here the ensemble playing is also acoustic and filled with the intuitive, feeling, and thought. 7. Condensacion(Condensation), "the Spiral, the Source, and the cosmic consciousness." Back to the energy of the electric TRYO. First the meditative opening. Then thunder, and vocals that represent the seventh chakra, "Together as one?together we are one." In about 43 minutes we have taken an intense and enlightening journey- one could say, spiritual- from darkness to light, from ignorance to wisdom.

 The Dancer by BOYLE, GARY album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.22 | 21 ratings

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The Dancer
Gary Boyle Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars I really liked Gary Boyle once playing with Isotope, the specific skills and his distinctive style is surely proving a mention, alongside with John McLaughlin, Alan Holdsworth, Al Di Meola, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, to name a few other extraordinary genre guitarists. 'Dancer' is the album which initiated his solo career. Just to remark, the line up features a who is who of jazz rock and fusion. First and foremost it was the song Maiden Voyage that brought me close to this release.

I do love that version! Recorded on cassette tape from a radio broadcast some decades ago, for quite a long time I thought, it was the one produced for Brian Auger's Trinity in 1970, when Gary still was a member. Eventually though, after researching a bit, I had to recognize, that this has been recorded later, in reminiscence, additionally equipped with the subtitle 'for Brian Auger'. That means, the author is not aboard here actually, the spirit is definitely alive though, yeah!

So besides Gary on acoustic and electric guitar - now it's vital to pay attention - such a masterpiece is featuring Doni Harvey (bass), Simon Phillips (drums), Zoe Kronenberger (electric piano), Robin Lumley (moog, synths) and Morris Pert (percussion) - wow, a wonderful implementation! This does not mean, that the rest of the songs is out of order, or something like that, not at all! Here we have a crystal clear production, partially reminding of Return To Forever. If you are keen on accessible fusion stuff, you'll be on the right trip here, definitely.

 Atavachron by HOLDSWORTH, ALLAN album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.07 | 36 ratings

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Atavachron
Allan Holdsworth Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars This is very good, but not an essential progrock album.

The main focus of this album (just look at the albumcover) is the synthaxe. The Synthaxe is an extemely ingenious instrument and apart from Holdsworth, all I know is that Ian Crichton of Saga played it.

For me it is really simple: if all Holdsworth records would sound the same, why record multiple records? I love the fact that an artist tries something new and explores areas that are unexplored.

If you want electric guitar muscle music buy Steve Vai or Stevie Ray Vaughan, if you want something completely different and are curious to what a Synthaxe sounds like, buy some 80's Holdsworth.

That being said: the compositions are really nice, soft 80's fusion with excellent drumming by some of the best drummers around (Husband, Williams and Wackerman). Also some great keyboard-work by Childs and Pasqua. So there's nothing wrong on the musician-side. A nice extra is the singing of Rowenna Mark on All Our Yesterdays.

The production is digital but works excellent for this kind of music. If this kind of music had a grittier production, it would end up sounding too chaotic. This album marks the first of a string of (succesful) Synthaxe-albums by Holdsworth. I am a great enthousiast of both Holdsworth as the Synthaxe, so this is a great album for me. If you don't like, don't bother.

 Ni Vent... Ni Nouvelle by MANEIGE album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.06 | 107 ratings

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Ni Vent... Ni Nouvelle
Maneige Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars This album by Maneige abandons the baroque and classical influences of their earlier work.

The band's musical direction is more towards uptempo fusion with funky tendencies. All songs are instrumental and have the same feel: lots of flute, piano, sax, vibes and guitar. Also loads of percussion, wich resembles Kraan a bit. Furthermore the album has some Canterbury (Caravan) and Gentle Giant-moments, but still manages to be unique, creative and suprising.

I love how the band uses no synthesizers or keyboards (except for the electronic piano) and that makes for a very organic sound. The rhythm section is tight, playful and never extracts from the music. The band without troubles manage to create soft atmospheric parts and more loud (rock) parts with dizzying solos on sax or guitar.

The only modern bands that can come close this wonderful music are Tangent and Flower Kings. But I'd still rather listen Maneige because of the warm production.

 Slaves Mass by PASCOAL, HERMETO album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.15 | 23 ratings

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Slaves Mass
Hermeto Pascoal Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by crimson_smoog

4 stars My first review at ProgArchives. Sorry for any written error.

Introduction: Multi-instrumentalist, Hermeto Pascoal is one of the greatest brazilian musicians. The names of the musicians he played with, like Miles Davis and George Duke, speak for his greatness. Even being from Brazil i only found out about his career when i was 17 years old (year of 2014) but soon after i became hooked by some of his music and Jazz Fusion bands like Mahavashnu Orchestra and Miles Davis.

The Album: Slaves Mass - I believe this album could be the synthesis of his previous works, "Hermeto" (Jazz with some experimentation) and "A Musica Livre De Hermeto Paschoal" (Northeastern Music/Regional music from Brazil) with more experimental music. Probably the most versatile and complex album in the 70's brazilian music.

Songs: "Mixing pot" ("Tacho") - Jazz, Experimental and the Brazilian vibe of the Bossa Nova. The vocals of Hermeto follow his notes, his big stamp. It is noted the participation of Genesis's tour drummer, Chester Thompson.

"Slaves mass" ("Missa dos escravos") - It's really curious to think that Pink Floyd in the same year of 1977 made artificial sounds of a pig with Gilmour's electric guitar in Animals. Soon after, seeming that Hermeto felt challenged, "a wild pig appears" in this track. Curious vocals. Really experimental.

"Little cry for him" ("Chorinho para ele") - The most Bossa Nova track with "That walts". Great work with the keyboards.

Cannon (Dedicated To Cannonball Adderley) - Dedicated to Cannonball Adderley who died in 1975. There is some melancholic feeling but the vocals and the heartbeats make the song very scary.

Just Listen (Escuta Meu Piano) - It's how the song's title says, just listen his piano, the only instrument played in the track. The song alternates to Jazz, regional and experimental music in a incredible way.

"That waltz" ("Aquela valsa") - Short length. Bossa Nova-ish.

"Cherry jam" ("Geleia de cereja") - Longest track. Amazing keyboards. The way that the acoustic bass builds up tension in the track is great. Hermeto playing soprano sax is impressive!

The review is not completed with the bonus tracks, when i get the CD i'll finish it. I really recommed to any Jazz Fusion aficionado. I am proud to say that i saw this incredible musician alive in a free concert celebrating his 80 years.

 Black Rock by ULMER, JAMES BLOOD album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.91 | 3 ratings

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Black Rock
James Blood Ulmer Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Black Rock indeed!

James "Blood" Ulmer's reinterpretation of Rock, the way he envisions it, in his own planet, one orbiting near the Jimi Hendrix one.

"Black Rock",1982, states the kind of unapologetic and heartfelt black power Rock which never really came to be after Jimi Hendrix' s premature death.

Following his own intuition, his personal influences (which are, actually, the farthest distance from Prog as you could ever imagine them to be), yet close to Prog's Jazz/Fusion in the form of Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman which are also shining moons in these orbits.

Progressive to the top as far as time signature syncopation, according to the Prog's unwritten "book of protocols", goes and breaking away from all kind of "what expected" Jazz/Fusion cliched habits by owning a unique musical language, both as performer and composer, which includes his majestic and deep vocals, when he sings, which happens briefly in this album in which he features vocalist Irene Datcher on a couple of tracks.

As far as giving an explanation of what to expect, music wise, for those not previously acquainted with the "BLOOD", this album explores the possibilities in blending SIMULTANEOUSLY> Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Punk and funky Psychedelics in a very Prog and un-Jazz/Prog fashion, which irreverence, here and there, may scare away some Rock/Jazz purists, but will welcome some F. Zappa kind of followers here and there the same.

Daring and personal with a loosely/tight clockwork 4 piece unit (+ sax on two tracks) performances, his personal musical language continues what the previous and groundbreaking "Free Lancing", 1981, proposed.

****4 PA stars

 Kind Of Blue by DAVIS, MILES album cover Studio Album, 1959
4.36 | 819 ratings

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Kind Of Blue
Miles Davis Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars Jazz with pizzazz- a phrase with many 'z's but in reference to an artist that keeps doesn't let you sleep a wink.

Miles Davis was a pioneer for his time, undoubtedly. Although not as progressively experimental as future jazz fusion bands like Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, Davis (among a other notable jazz groups/musicians) did a complete turnover on the jazz scene around the end of the 50's and the rest of the 60's with unheard-of experimentation. Incomprehensible by many of the jazz critics at the time, artists like Davis were scolded for changing the industry in such a drastic way, but over time garnered sensational praise with how revolutionary they were.

While not exactly jazz-rock fusion like electric period Davis, Kind of Blue is no doubt progressive jazz. While following typical 4/4 standard (mainly with the drumming by Jimmy Cobb), the famous dual saxophonists John Coltrane and "Cannonball" Adderley tender an eclectic vocal-like melody of illustrious toots in a back-and-forth sort of way. They are really what make this album what it is, as they can change in a snap without hesitation from soft to booming. Miles Davis himself is very similar, except as the royal trumpeter of this engagement hitting the highest notes. The brass section really does a good conjoined job of throwing up some unique patterns unseen on most jazz albums of the time. A problem much jazz faces is that sometimes the saxophone/trumpet/really any kind of brass overcomes all other instruments. This means it's up to the brass to be unique with such a mainline part, and much like vocals, if not done correctly can lead to some extremely irritating music. This is untrue of Kind of Blue- Davis, Coltrane, and Cannonball make for a really unique and creative experience that doesn't fade in quality even after all these years.

Enough about the brass, how's the rest of the band? Cobb is a standard drummer but I laud him for his vitality to keep up a clean beat even when faced with a doozy like 'All Blues', an eleven minute epic. Paul Chambers on bass and Bill Evans (and Wynton Kelly even though he only plays on track two) on the keys really go hand in hand as the backup. They rarely get moments to shine as a fronting instrument, they always manage to keep a cool and laidback atmosphere, really working well with the idea of cool-jazz better than most.

Kind of Blue is not fusion in the slightest but it is undeniably a classic. It deserves reverence and I suggest you hasten to check it out.

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Jazz Rock/Fusion bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
3RD WORLD ELECTRIC Multi-National
4 FRONT United States
7 FOR 4 Germany
EIVIND AARSET Norway
JOHN ABERCROMBIE United States
ABLUTION Sweden
ABRAXIS Belgium
ABUS DANGEREUX France
ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI Italy
ADDISON PROJECT Canada
AERA Germany
AFROSKULL United States
AGHARTA Canada
AGORA Italy
AIN SOPH Japan
AKA MOON Belgium
JAN AKKERMAN Netherlands
ALAS Argentina
ALKEMY France
ALKOTRIO Russia
ALTRUISMOS Argentina
AMARILLO CIAN Y MAGENTA Costa Rica
AMIGDALA Italy
ANAMORPHOSE France
ANANGA RANGA Portugal
ANIMUS TRIO Argentina
APOSTOLIS ANTHIMOS Poland
ANTIHÉROE Argentina
APOTHECARY United States
AQUARELLE Canada
ARATTA REBIRTH Armenia
ARCANA United States
ARCHIMEDES BADKAR Sweden
ARCO IRIS Argentina
NEIL ARDLEY United Kingdom
BRUCE ARNOLD United States
ARSENAL Russia
ARTI E MESTIERI Italy
TIHOMIR POP ASANOVIC Yugoslavia
ASSOCIATION P.C. Multi-National
ASSOLO DI BONGO Italy
ASTRAKAN United Kingdom
ASTRO CAN CARAVAN Finland
ATMOSPHERES Multi-National
ATTENTION DEFICIT United States
BRIAN AUGER United Kingdom
AUM Brazil
AURORA United States
AVANT GARDEN United States
AVIOLINEE UTOPIA Italy
AXIS Greece
AYERS ROCK Australia
AZIGZA United States
B F Estonia
BAALBEK Argentina
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