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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)

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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

4.37 | 676 ratings
KIND OF BLUE
Davis, Miles
4.35 | 939 ratings
BIRDS OF FIRE
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.36 | 470 ratings
IN A SILENT WAY
Davis, Miles
4.35 | 178 ratings
WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER
Nucleus
4.35 | 174 ratings
TIME CONTROL
Uehara, Hiromi
4.59 | 40 ratings
THE COLOURS OF CHLOË
Weber, Eberhard
4.30 | 391 ratings
SPECTRUM
Cobham, Billy
4.28 | 422 ratings
BITCHES BREW
Davis, Miles
4.26 | 680 ratings
THE INNER MOUNTING FLAME
Mahavishnu Orchestra
4.26 | 572 ratings
ELEGANT GYPSY
Di Meola, Al
4.34 | 103 ratings
MILESTONES
Davis, Miles
4.24 | 498 ratings
CARAVANSERAI
Santana
4.33 | 102 ratings
MODRÝ EFEKT & RADIM HLADÍK
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt)
4.23 | 450 ratings
ROMANTIC WARRIOR
Return To Forever
4.24 | 373 ratings
ABRAXAS
Santana
4.32 | 101 ratings
STADACONÉ
Sloche
4.25 | 236 ratings
CROSSINGS
Hancock, Herbie
4.28 | 146 ratings
MAIDEN VOYAGE
Hancock, Herbie
4.39 | 60 ratings
L'AXE DU FOU
Forgas Band Phenomena
4.26 | 182 ratings
THE WAY UP
Metheny , Pat

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

RAHMANN
Rahmann
CRNA DAMA
Smak
CAMINO DEL CONCIERTO
Guadalquivir
A STORY OF MYSTERIOUS FOREST
Ain Soph

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Latest Jazz Rock/Fusion Music Reviews


 Ben by BEN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.16 | 16 ratings

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Ben
Ben Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars One of the really serious Vertigo rarities, a British Jazz Rock group with a short life but some fine talent.Ben were saxophonist/flutist Peter Davey, keyboardist/pianist Alex Macleery, guitarist Gerry Reid, bassist Len Surtees and drummer David Sheen, the later coming from Graham Bond's band.Their only self-titled album, which contains four long, instrumental tracks, was released in 1971.

This one falls into the same category as NUCLEUS and IF, it's technically competent Jazz Rock with some great solos and rhythms, varied climates, going from furious guitar moves and frequent instrumental interactions to a smoother keyboard/piano-driven music with a bit of a psychedelic enviroment, like RAY MANZAREK playing the piano.Cool sax work and some strong flute lines are always welcome, I fail to detect any impressive differences between the pieces, but if you ask me ''Christmas execution'' stands out from the bunch, because, unlike the other pieces, the atmosphere here is really dark and dramatic, rarely found in a Jazz Rock composition.It's also the most progressive piece in here with soft electric guitars, harsichord and lots of flute and an excellent second part with an incredible jazzy taste on guitars and eerie keyboard work.''Gibbon'' contains also some sporadic choirs, another element you'll hardly find in a Jazz Rock album, while the two longer pieces ''The influence'' and ''Gismo'', are definitely a lot more jazzier with good instrumental work, some parts with the guitars and sax in the forefront recall VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR's jazzy masturbations, but there are very limited progressive values in these with emphasis given to isolated solos.

Len Surtees played with the post-80's edition of The Nashville Teens, while David Sheen was later involved in various Jazz Rock and Fusion groups, including Mirage and the Canterbury-linked Soft Head.

Good Jazz Rock from the fogotten years, containing two very good compositions with a few proggy glimpses and another pair of more standard Jazz workouts.Warmly recommended, original vinyl is incredibly expensive, various reissues exist.

 Testing to Destruction  by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.29 | 16 ratings

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Testing to Destruction
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Calamity, my friend

My first experience with David Cross (outside of King Crimson) was his solo studio album Exiles and the live album Alive In The Underworld (the latter credited to The David Cross Band). The present album came just before Exiles and one of the tracks here, the opening Learning Curve, was also featured on Alive In The Underworld. It is a great track in both the studio and live versions. The highlight of Testing To Destruction is however the second track called Calamity. This is an excellent nine minute, progressive composition which tells the story of a shipwreck in a clever way. David Cross himself on violin and the band backing him up really shine here. Had the rest of the album been as good as the first two tracks we would be looking at a much higher rating from me, but sadly nothing of what comes after matches these first two tracks. The instrumental Welcome To Frisco functions like an extended coda to Calamity and may be seen as following the ship down to the bottom of the sea with its haunting cries and ghostly laments.

The Affable Mister G is an up-tempo track with a raw, almost Punk-ish feel. Not impressive. Next up is another instrumental, this time of an improvisational nature. The Swing Arm Disconnects goes nowhere and is much too long to keep my interest. Not my cup of tea. After this comes a track that on the first listen made me wonder if Spotify had shifted to another album altogether. Trip Wire is a bad Pop song that doesn't fit in here. This is then followed by another couple of aimless instrumentals, with the short title track being close to unlistenable. The final track, Abo, runs for 12 minutes. It is not bad, but it takes much too long to get off the ground and then there is not a lot of interesting things happening.

Testing To Destruction is recommended for Learning Curve and, especially, the excellent Calamity, but sadly the rest of the album is just not up to the same high standard which bring the rating down to two stars. Shame.

 Hasta Karma by BUDJANA, DEWA album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.89 | 9 ratings

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Hasta Karma
Dewa Budjana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is the most recent album from Indonesian guitar icon Dewa Budjana, who has been in this musical scene for long time, creating high quality music with a clear tendency to jazz fusion. Once again under the Moonjune Records label, he released his new child entitled "Hasta Karma" which features six compositions that make a total time of 55 minutes. Here, Budjana chose some top-notch musicians that are featured in the album, so it is a guarantee of bliss to listen to this man with the company of Joe Locke, Ben Williams and the amazing Mexican drummer Antonio Sánchez.

It starts with "Saniscara", and I have to admit, the first thing that caught my attention was the drumming, I am fan of Sanchez, and am happy to see him collaborating with amazing musicians such as Budjana. The music is clearly in the progressive-jazz-fusion vein, guitars are soft and friendly, the bass is delicious, and the addition of vibraphone simply outstanding. The composition is pretty clean, it perfectly flows so one have only to enjoy what is listening to. Another point I love, is that each musician has its moment, so all are equally important.

"Desember" brings a slower track. The first couple of minutes are full of peace, but then they make a pretty interesting change, the mood becomes darker and a bit heavier, and then, Budjana gives an excellent guitar solo while the other guys produce a very cool variety of sounds as background. To be honest, there are moments where the name of Pat Metheny's bands comes to my mind, however, Budjana here adds more power to his solo, which is great. Then, it slows down again, vibes take leadership for a while, and the song flows once again.

"Jayaprana" has that inherent fusion tune and mood, so since the very first seconds it is normal to move the head, enjoy the rhythm while listening to this juicy track. Though this song passes the 8-minute mark, it is so great and friendly that all of a sudden, without noticing, it has already finished. The next one might be the magnum opus of this album. "Ruang Dialisis", a 12-minute epic that as I've read, was dedicated to Budjana's father. This track has a melancholic sound, a slow tempo mood that brings a kind of sad but hopeful atmosphere, it is like remembering good old times, like being in introspection. After four minutes, the music makes a change, and a traditional Indonesian chant appears, it was pre-recorded by his grandma, so this song has a truly personal flavor, that I assume means a lot to the guitar master. The vibes as usual are great, adding that Asian spices. Another change comes after minute 7, a chaotic passage where all seem to become a bit crazy, to lose control, so the atmosphere is a bit tense. Once again I would like to mention the musicians, each and every one of them, make a wonderful job.

The next song is "Just Kidung", and here the first thing I perceived was the piano, which is a new feature in the album, played by Indra Lesmana. The rhythm is just more into jazz fusion ala Metheny, some moments could be linked with the first couple of tracks. I enjoy it, it is sweet. After three minutes the music slows down, they are preparing something new. And it is Ben Williams who delight us with a bass solo for over a minute, and then, we have the luck of listening to a piano solo, so this combo gives nothing but smiles and satisfaction. In this moment, the name of Hiromi came to my mind.

Last but not least is "Payogan Rain", which is a relaxing, chill out track that can be enjoyed for anyone who looks for a peaceful moment. Here the new element is a melodica, played again by Lesmana. The bass sound is sensual, and the soft drums create a pretty sweet sound. Though this is a good track, I must say that to my ears, it is the weakest track of the album, and not my favorite one to finish what would have been a perfect fusion offering.

Dewa Budjana strikes again, he is a majestic composer and player, so a new album from him has to be received with arms and ears wide open. Please give it a listen, buy it and of course, enjoy it!

 Visitation  by POHJOLA, PEKKA album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.20 | 130 ratings

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Visitation
Pekka Pohjola Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars By the time ''Keesojen lehto'' was released Pohjola became involved in yet another Finnish Jazz Fusion supergroup, simply called The Group.He would team up again with Olli Ahvenlahti for this project, so what more reasonable than to invite him to participate in his next solo album.As The Group released the only album on the Dig It label, Pohjola would follow the same line with ''Visitation''.Fellow The Group guitarist Seppo Tyni would also play on this one, which sees Pohjola reinviting a huge wind and horn section of guest musicians and collaborating with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in two cuts.The album was recorded early in 1979 and was launched later in the year.

Stylistically there were less than expected changes compared to the previous album, but the sound was somewhat redefined, because the electric piano now played a major role instead of other keyboards and the album contains powerful sax, trumpet and trombone parts within the orchestral arrangements.So, the name of the game here is another Symphonic/Fusion/Jazz Rock affair with some great guitar parts -maybe the jazzier element of the whole album- beautiful electric piano and a fantastic, solid and dynamic rhythm section, led by Pohjola and Vesa Aaltonen.There are still some lovely FOCUS underlines, especially when Classical and jazzy flavors are combined, the orchestrations are well-crafted and the atmosphere is reminiscent of the front cover: a sci-fi/fantasy one, reflecting fairly on the imaginative music here, propelled by tons of melodies, quirky cinematic edges and big orchestral movements.Speaking of the album's symphonic tunes, these are reminiscent of British solo artists like GORDON GILTRAP or even STEVE HACKETT, but the music here is more playful and virtuosic due to Pohjola's constant love for jazzy colors.''Vapour trails'' and ''Dancing in the dark'' shine through for being excellent examples of energetic, intense and rich Fusion with some pounding bass lines and impressive guitar work.

We've reached the 80's here and Pohjola kept producing qualitive works with progressive extensions.The most consistent musician of the whole Finnish Prog/Jazz Rock scene, returning with another beautiful work of orchestral Symphonic/Jazz Rock.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Electric Glide by BOYLE, GARY album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.11 | 9 ratings

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Electric Glide
Gary Boyle Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by hieronymous

3 stars I was excited to find this - I knew of Gary Boyle through his appearance with the Soft Machine at the NDR Jazz Workshop show in 1973, as well as his work with Isotope. Isotope held so much promise - the compositions are interesting, the performances and solos enthralling (at least on "Illusion"). I had no idea that there were Gary Boyle solo albums - I had to check it out!

But I was expecting too much. The credits were under the obi (found a used Japanese import of this CD, released by Gull Records), so I didn't realize that it has Gary Moore, Simon Phillips, and bassists Phil Chen & John Giblin. Chen is Chinese-Jamaican and played with Rod Stewart for forever. John Giblin has played with Brand X among many others. Simon Phillips needs no introduction. So it's a supergroup kind of album, which I suppose might have given me pause.

The tracks with Phil Chen on bass ("Snap Crackle" and "Electric Glide" ) are straight-ahead jazz/rock fusion, bordering on easy listening - not bad, laid-back grooves, nice solos. They remind me of Japanese fusion bands like Prism and some of Kazumi Watanabe's work (especially To Chi Ka). Two more tracks ("Morning Father Joys" and "Brat No. 2") are exclusively acoustic guitar, calling to mind perhaps the acoustic sections found in Isotope. The rest of the album features Simon Phillips on drums and John Giblin on bass. These are the most prog-like on the album, as well as the most interesting. Gary Moore is on two of the Phillips/Giblin tracks - some of the playing is pretty over the top, in a good way. The ones without Moore are a bit more cerebral but still enjoyable.

Overall, a decent album, though the three different sessions being mixed up mess with the cohesion. On the jacket they are actually listed in a different order, with the Phil Chen tracks first, the Gary Moore tracks and one without next, the two purely acoustic tracks, and then one of the Phillips/Giblin tracks with acoustic guitar last - I suspect that might be the "proper" running order. If you like instrumental guitar-based prog and especially fusion, then this album may do it for you - although I can't give it 4 or 5 stars, I still think it is a worthwhile album in my collection - but then again, I like both prog and fusion!

 Keystone by BERTONI, ALESSANDRO album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 22 ratings

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Keystone
Alessandro Bertoni Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars MAMMA MIA!What album we have here from a very impressive and spectacular keyboard player called ALESSANDRO BERTONI!Definitelly,a major musical surprise,something that blew me away!It's great prog jazz rock fusion instrumental album made by high caliber musicians,sort of all star line up,that proves-once again,if necessary-thet fusion music still has many beautiful years ahead!In fact,this is an album of such high quality that it's almost impossible to pretend much!.My only minor complaint is about the timing of the album-36 minutes-so not even 40 minutes playing time for a long play album!That's quite few...but,regarding the huge quality of the music on this album,we have the feling it's a longer album loaded with magical moments of pure wizardry!The production is phenomenal too,absolutelly stunning and each instrument sound colossal!A mention ,a positive mention for the outrageous bass sound of Ric Fierabracci-absolutelly fabulous!This album is in fact an Aussie combination with an Italian boss,which managed to produce a fantastic album of the highest quality possible!Donati on drums is unbelieveble-as usual-his drumming work is out of this planet and with the great maestro on guitar-Mr Brett Garsed himself-we are spoiled with a fantastic line up of tremendeous musicians,which is impossible to go wrong!!!! !The keyboard sound is sensational-sometimes,the whole musical ensemble sounds like PLANET X-that's undoubtedly a compliment in my humble opinion!!!So,an ear candy even for the most pretentious prog fusion fan,one of the best instrumental albums I've heared in years!By the way,the art cover is superbe too,wonderful!4.5 stars for a marvelous album indeed!
 Alive In The Underworld by CROSS, DAVID album cover Live, 2008
3.92 | 5 ratings

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Alive In The Underworld
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Out of exile and into the 21st century

David Cross is best known for being a member of King Crimson between 1972 and 1974. Here he is with his own band performing a mixture of tracks from his solo albums and some King Crimson classics. His most recent studio album at the time of this live recording was Closer Than Skin. That 2005 album is represented by two tracks in the set list: Are We One? and I Buy Silence. Cross' 1998 solo album Exiles was named after the King Crimson song originally appearing on 1973's Larks' Tongues In Aspic to which Cross contributed. Exiles featured a new studio recording of the song with original vocalist John Wetton guesting. The live version of the song featured here is well sung by Arch Stanton. The rest of the band consists of Paul Clark on guitar, Mick Paul on bass, Alex Hall on keyboards, Joe Crabtree on drums, and David Cross himself on electric violin.

Tonk was also taken from the Exiles album. The earlier David Cross solo albums Testing To Destruction and The Big Picture from 1994 and 1992 respectively are represented by one song each in Learning Curve and Nurse Insane. All of the songs are good and often the sound reminds me a bit of the progressive Metal band Fates Warning! Two further King Crimson classics are included, actually my two personal favourite King Crimson songs Starless - originally from 1974's Red - and 21st Century Schizoid Man, originally from the band's 1969 debut In The Court Of The Crimson King. The latter is perhaps an odd choice given that David Cross didn't join the band until several years later, but I assume that he did perform this song live with the band back in the 70's. Cross does his own thing with these classics and gives them his own touch. Often a harder edge and heavier sound is noticeable.

The final track called Floodlights is a new studio bonus track.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable live album that sits well beside other ex-King Crimson members live efforts including those by the 21st Century Schizoid Band, John Wetton, and Greg Lake - all of which in my opinion are better custodians of the band's legacy than the band that carries the name "King Crimson".

 Agorà 2 by AGORA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.91 | 45 ratings

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Agorà 2
Agora Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Upon returning from the performance in Montreux back to Italy, Agora would have a first line-up change with bassist Paolo Colafrancesco replaced by Lucio Cesari (who would also play some percussion), while Nino Russo was added as a second saxophonist.It was time for the band's studio debut, simply titled ''2'', captured at the CAP Studios in Milan during a two-week session in September 76' and released later in the year on Atlantic.

Agora always played on the more free side of Jazz Rock and electric Fusion and ''2'' marks another confident set of performances by the Italian group, including hot keyboard solos, reckless guitar moves and endless sax passages, some lovely and melodic solos to go along with more improvised parts can be found in the album, which contained only brand new compositions.Agora's music was based on soft rhythmic patterns surrounded by occasional solos by the instrumentalists, never escaping from the principles of RETURN TO FOREVER and the likes, so originality is not a matter of discussion here, even the acoustic moments are close to the sound of Chick Corea and his company.But the music is fairly interesting with great bass and drum work, naughty electric piano and full-blown saxes, as the guitars play a secondary role, too pitty, because Gasparini's are pretty excellent but very limited.They even execute some acquainted methods on tropical and sunny Fusion, filled with ethereal sax blows and dreamy piano, often complemented by dramatic breaks and more powerful executions.Music, that displays same rare dynamics in its own path through mellow and balanced Jazz Rock.

Another cool attempt by Agora on the Return to Forever stylings.Solid Jazz Fusion with a free spirit but also a certain sense of melodic sensibilty.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Maad by MAAD album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.02 | 8 ratings

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Maad
Maad Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars A short-lived, Jazz-oriented combo from Milan, which comprised of Italian and Italo-American musicians, namely Pino Devita, who played electric and acoustic piano plus trombone, Attilio Zanchi on bass, guitars and bouzouki, percussionist Jonathan Scully and drummer Joe Castanuela.Despite being linked to the activities of the L'Orchestra label, their only album ''Maad'' was released in 1976 on Divergo, their style was propably too jazzy for the much more Avant/Folk-related sounds of L'Orchestra.Stormy Six'es Renato Rivolta appears on flute and saxes along with percussionist David Searcy and singer Lucinda Mirk.

''Maad'' consists of four almost all instrumental tracks of Ethnic-flavored Jazz Rock with experimental twists, which easily swirl around abstract and loose plays and fast, groovy themes with folky orientations.The album is filled with African tastes and also some essence from the Mediterrenean and Latin lands, adapted with intelligence into an amalgam of Jazz and jazzy-spiced Rock textures, each single minute features a different protagonist in here, it's either Devita and his both ethereal and fiery piano lines, Zanchi and his impressive bass work to go along with some excellent guitar moves and solos, Scully and his endless taste for ethnic sounds via the use of marimba, vibraphone, congas and percussion or Castanuela with his flawless drumming.Close to 10 or 10+ min. jazzy orgasms with some nice interplays, laid-back echoes, virtuosic isolated masturbations and even some tremendous Fusion experiments with the band in full display.While most of it passes through tropical and folky moods, there are even moments closer to Avant-Garde with a bit darker sounds on piano and some nice choirs, just to remind the great talent of this band.Really tasteful palette of sounds with a jazzy background and a certain taste for World Music.

After a 1978 single, again released on Divergo, Maad disbanded, but Devita, Scully and Zanchi remained all connected to the music industry, the latter played around the same time with the more Folk-oriented band Yu Kung.

Equal doses of Jazz and Ethnic Music in a trully interesting mixture, despite some experimental hints.You love Jazz, you'll certainly admire this underrated group from mid-70's.Mellow Records' CD resissue comes with an extra track.Recommended.

 Tietoisuuden Maailma by SALAIVA album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Tietoisuuden Maailma
Salaiva Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars Tietoisuuden maailma ("The World of Consciousness") is the debut album of SALAIVA, a young quintet from Jyväskylä, Finland. All music is written by Miikka Huisko who sings and plays the other guitar. Keyboards are missing, instead there's a saxophone, but the sound is rich and organic - and very retro: one could easily think this music came from the early 70's. This comment must be taken positively. Recording, mixing and mastering were done by the band themselves, and I believe they have reached exactly what they wanted. The sound lacks some sharpness and polish, but this slightly psychedelic jazz-rock makes you feel good and very much at home if you've grown with vintage prog.

Salaiva doesn't however sound like any particular 70's band. Associations - that come in turns, not simultaneously - may include e.g. WIGWAM, TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI, HAIKARA, even APOLLO and some other short-lived Finnish groups of the original prog era, and to some degree the jazz-rock of FRANK ZAPPA (less here than on their next album, though). Compared to that follower Hänk (2014), this album contains more vocals, but actually they add another level to the music's progressive nature instead of ever becoming the backbone of the compositions. The voice is distantly reminiscent of Jim Pembroke in the early Wigwam, or Y.U.P's Jarkko Martikainen. On tracks 1 and 2 the vocal parts are mostly calmer moments amidst edgier jazz-rock full of gritty saxophone.

'Tietoisuus' is rather experimental instrumental, hazy and psychedelic. 'Herra olkoon teidän skanssinne' (a Canterbury-like wordplay which I'm not trying to explain to you) is a bit slower track but equally loaded with witty charm. There's a blues flavour in the strangely titled 'Blur (Ei saa)'. Its nihilistic - but luckily very sparse - lyrics would better fit into angry punk rock. "Ei saa" means "not allowed".

'Divaani' (10:42) starts as a slow, atmospheric instrumental with a focus on the seductive sax. The vocals are spoken mumble, and it's a bit hard to hear the words properly. In fact the music would perhaps work even better completely without vocals. The solo for electric guitar is long and delicious. The soloing guitar is central also in 'Riding Camels'. Again, the brief vocal parts are quite unnecessary, but the fiery guitar solo is superb, bringing CAMEL's breakthrough album Mirage into my mind - naturally the title helps.

'Otis', the only track with english lyrics, sounds like a great collaboration between Jim Pembroke, Eero Koivistoinen and Frank Zappa. 'Lauluni' is a soft and hazy little song, a very nice ending to this personal and charming debut. Also Riikka-Maria Partanen's cover art is great!

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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
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
APOSTOLIS ANTHIMOS Poland
ANTIHÉROE Argentina
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
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