Eclectic Fusion

Jazz music community with review and forums

Fusion was a term coined in the early 70s to designate a style of music that involved a combination of jazz, rock, funk and Latin styles. In the 80s a new style of fusion emerged that sometimes utilized those elements, but also turned to current musical developments such as punk, thrash metal, rap/hip-hop, neo-surf and diverse ethnic music such as klezmer, polka, Bulgarian wedding music and more. At JMA we call this 80s based fusion music, Eclectic Fusion. The Eclectic Fusion artist tends to be a bit more urban and hard edged than the 70s fusion artist, and is liable to call on a much more diverse array of influences. These artists can also be more prone towards an avant-garde and/or deconstructionist approach to their creations.

Some precedents to the Eclectic Fusion genre can be found in Miles Davis' "Black Magus" and Ornette Coleman's "Dancing in Your Head". Possibly the first full realization of Eclectic Fusion can be found in John Zorn's Naked City band. Other popular practitioners of Eclectic Fusion include Sax Ruins, Electric Masada, Panzerballet, Raoul Bjorkenheim's Krakatau, Led Bib, The Thing and Kazutoki Umezu.

eclectic fusion top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

DONNY MCCASLIN Beyond Now Album Cover Beyond Now
DONNY MCCASLIN
4.91 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
PAUL MOTIAN Monk in Motian Album Cover Monk in Motian
PAUL MOTIAN
4.83 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MASADA At The Mountains Of Madness (Electric Masada) Album Cover At The Mountains Of Madness (Electric Masada)
MASADA
4.83 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SONNY SHARROCK Ask the Ages Album Cover Ask the Ages
SONNY SHARROCK
4.61 | 12 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
OMAR RODRÍGUEZ-LÓPEZ Omar Rodriguez Lopez Quintet ‎: The Apocalypse Inside Of An Orange Album Cover Omar Rodriguez Lopez Quintet ‎: The Apocalypse Inside Of An Orange
OMAR RODRÍGUEZ-LÓPEZ
4.91 | 2 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CURLEW Live In Berlin Album Cover Live In Berlin
CURLEW
4.62 | 4 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CURLEW Bee Album Cover Bee
CURLEW
4.62 | 4 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
AKA MOON In Real Time Album Cover In Real Time
AKA MOON
4.67 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
BILL FRISELL Bill Frisell / Kermit Driscoll / Joey Baron ‎: Live Album Cover Bill Frisell / Kermit Driscoll / Joey Baron ‎: Live
BILL FRISELL
4.75 | 2 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
PAUL MOTIAN The Paul Motian Trio at the Village Vanguard Album Cover The Paul Motian Trio at the Village Vanguard
PAUL MOTIAN
4.75 | 2 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
PAUL MOTIAN Paul Motian Trio: Sound of Love Album Cover Paul Motian Trio: Sound of Love
PAUL MOTIAN
4.75 | 2 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
BILL FRISELL Have a Little Faith Album Cover Have a Little Faith
BILL FRISELL
4.43 | 13 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

eclectic fusion online videos

eclectic fusion New Releases

.. Album Cover
Under the Porch
Album
BRIGHT DOG RED
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
A Muted Reality
Album
ANGLES
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Lost In Tokyo
Album
SOIL AND "PIMP" SESSIONS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Pindio II
Album
JUAN SAIZ
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Eric Dubois Quartet
Album
ÉRIC DUBOIS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Spinoza
Album
JOHN ZORN'S SIMULACRUM
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
McPhee Marker
EP
JOE MCPHEE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Black Lives - from Generation to Generation
Album
10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Again Alors?
Album
ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Truce 2
Album
MARKUS REUTER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
PAKT Live In Buffalo
Live album
PAKT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Jacob's Ladder
Album
BRAD MEHLDAU
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Ritual Dances
Album
STEFAN PASBORG
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
What Will We Leave Behind
Album
IRO HAARLA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Thisness
Album
MILES OKAZAKI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Dreamers
Album
MARK LOCKHEART
Buy this album from MMA partners

eclectic fusion Music Reviews

BRAD MEHLDAU Jacob's Ladder

Album · 2022 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Well here it is, Brad Mehldau’s somewhat ballyhooed alleged return to his youthful progressive rock roots. Truth be told, “Jacob‘s Ladder“ is not exactly a prog rock album, which may be a good thing for some, but prog does play a big part on this rather eclectic album. Along with covers of some classic songs like “Tom Sawyer“, “Cogs in Cogs“ and “Starship Trooper”, you also get a fair share of ‘trappy’ electronica nu jazz, a synthesizer fugue, some readings from the Bible, semi-classical instrumental ballads, some art pop and more. In the prog tradition, this is a very ambitious album, but how does it all add up to the listener. To paraphrase from David Byrne, “some good points, and some not as good points”. Ambitious musically, but also literally as Brad muses on man’s relationship with God in his very thoughtful opening liner notes. Second track, “Herr und Knecht”, presents intense music as Tobias Bader screams out an internal debate from Hegel’s “Phenomenology”. Yes, some of this album is far from easy listening.

“Cogs in Cogs” gets three different treatments, first a nu jazz dubish instrumental, then a cover with vocals, and then finally a synthesizer fugue that sounds like a tribute to Wendy Carlos. “Tom Sawyer” gets a jazzy treatment and overall sounds a lot better without Geddy Lee’s vocals. On “Jacob’s Ladder II”, we get an excellent Mehldau piano solo over an electronic trap groove. “Jacob’s Ladder III” has Bible verses over sampled choirs and then ends with some very intense anguished screaming and yelling, you have been warned. Closing track “Heaven …” is an album highlight as the assembled all-star band does an excellent cover of “Starship Trooper”. Cecile McLorin Salvant’s beautiful wordless vocals open the track before Safia McKinney-Askeur comes into handle the lyrics. It closes out with Brad’s relaxed and lyrical piano solo over Yes’ famous closing three chord vamp.

I didn’t come close to covering all the material on here, there is just too much to cover. Brad seems to be wrestling with the big issues here, both spiritual and philosophical. It takes a certain amount of guts and integrity to release an album that aspires to be all that Mehldau presents here.

MARKUS REUTER Truce 2

Album · 2022 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
“Truce 2” is the second installment for the Markus Reuter led trio known as Truce. The making of this album was supposed to take place almost two years ago, but with the pandemic and its fallout going down, things got postponed for quite a while. “Truce 1” was mostly free form jazz rock jams in a style somewhat similar to Robert Fripp’s King Crimson circa mid-70s. When Reuter and his crew, Fabio Trentini on bass and Asaf Sirkis on drums, got back together after the long break, they tried to pick up where they left off in a similar fashion, but soon found that they had all changed considerably and this Truce 2 was going to be an entirely different beast. This time around, rather than just playing unedited free jams, the band decided to organize things a bit, and they also indulged in some editing and overdubs as well. The end result is a more powerful and direct musical statement, and the music itself also changed. Although there is still some of the funk-rock jams of the first album present, this second album is much more metalish, industrial, noisy, abrasive and intense. “Truce 2” may have less jazz fusion, but in many ways it’s the better of the two albums. The power and intensity of this music will slam you upside the head for real. Even in this album’s quieter ambient moments, there is a feeling that the damn may break and unleash a torrent at any moment.

Its hard to come up with artists with a similar sound, but maybe some of the more metal oriented John Zorn projects might come to mind, as well as guitar heavy avant-garde fusion groups like Last Exit and Power Tools, as well as Miles’ “Dark Magus” and the 90s version of King Crimson. Although they do hit a groove now and again, much of this album has a constantly shifting focus in which musical ideas are presented for a while and then hastily cast aside for something else. You can listen to Truce 2 many times and still hear things you missed before. Markus is still one of today’s top soloists, and he often reels off Pete Cosey style sheets of rapid fire stinging guitar shrapnel. Band mates Fabio and Asaf have also grown in confidence and offer musical ideas far beyond what happened on their first outing. Sure, some fans are going to miss the more familiar sound of their first album, but give “Truce 2” a chance, it is one helluva a ride, totally devoid of clichés and expectations.

SONS OF KEMET Black To The Future

Album · 2021 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Being a scene leader has its pros and cons. From the positive side, you are known, you have your followers and each of your new works is awaited. From the other side, there are expectations, a lot of them. And it's not an easy job to fulfill all of them. Some fans are waiting for another album of the music they know and like and any change in direction can disappoint them. Others are happy with what you already did but are not much interested in another "same" recording, so they are expecting from you something new. Doesn't matter what you do, some of your fans will be disappointed.

Shabaka Hutchings, who with no doubt is one of the leaders of the burgeoning London jazz scene, runs three different projects trying to solve above mentioned problems in a best possible way, and quite often he succeeds in it.

On "Back To Future" - the newest album from his most eclectic project Sons Of Kemet - is obvious continuation of quartet's previous work, extremely successful "Your Queen Is A Reptile", with some insignificant modifications.

On "Your Queen Is A Reptile", the band's debut on Impulse!, the quartet of sax player, tubist and two drummers went back to African roots, adding more percussive vibes with a big list of guesting additional drummers. Rapper/vocalist Joshua Idehen has been presented on the opener and closer, for the first time (both two early quartet albums were fully instrumental). On "Back To Future", Shabaka uses same formula, when Joshua Idehen opens and closes the show, but there are more guest vocalists on the album (incl. Angel Bat Dawid), as a result, whole recording sounds more as "singing music", rather than just instrumental. And Shabaka adds more brass instead of percussion too. From the musical side we have same Caribbean flavored marching semi melancholic tunes, just less percussive and slightly polished with electronics.

Shabaka obviously trying not to lose a successful formula of the previous album, only slightly modifying and refreshing the sound. As a result, we got an evolutional, not revolutionary work, still with easy recognizable Shabaka's sound.

HASHIMA Starry Night

Album · 2021 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
"Starry Night" is Serbian quartet Hashima's third album, and their second release for American label Odradek Records (who previously re-released Hashima's second, originally Serbia-released album "The Haywain", in 2019). It contains more eclectic material than their previous one, and muically it moves noticeably towards prog/post rock.

Above mentioned eclecticism is not strange at all, knowing that the compositions presented come from some very different sources. "Glaciers", "Eclipse" and "Muriel" are all recorded in the renown La Buissonne Studios in France and are rooted in the band leader Igor Mišković's childhood memories about some nights in 1999 when NATO planes bombed his hometown of Belgrade. These contain short lyrics and Igor's vocals.

NATO bombings of Serbia in 1999 is one of the most dramatic events in the country's last decade, and the memories about it are very fresh and emotive there till now. I haven't been there during the bombings, but my wife, who is native Serbian, was there and these nights in her hometown of Loznica where some military objects were bombed as well, are very fresh in her memory. I spent some years in early 00' living around Western Balkans, and I heard from many different people their memories about these days. One can see the building in a centre of Belgrade, half-destroyed by the bombings, still today, and it is obviously left unrepaired as a monument for the drama. As a result, in today's Serbia we have radically separated population by their opinion about the future - some see their future in modern Western world, as part of European civilization, and others - believing in some mystical "special way" (far not for the first time in the country's history), furiously proposed by Eurasian-Orthodox Russia.

Mišković himself, who is of a younger generation and saw these events more with child eyes, says in liner notes: "It had been a very odd and difficult situation and emotional experience to spend strangely beautiful childhood days during a period of bombing in Belgrade, Serbia in 1999". What I really like in these three songs there is some sadness, and some darkness, and a bit of melancholy, but there is no hate or hysteria, or pain. The world is more difficult than we would like it being, and sometimes things go not the way we would like them going, but we must to find the way to live in this real world.

Rest of the songs are all different but generally fit together with the first trilogy (which is obviously responsible for the album's title) quite well. "Dance No.1" is possibly the jazziest piece on the album with trombone soloing from guest star Italian Gianluca Petrella, still with very recognizable Hashima's mid-tempo slightly melancholic sound. "Release" is a live version of their debut album's song, presented here in collaboration with choir which builds a very church-like pastoral atmosphere.

The closer, "Junkopedia", is a soundtrack to a short movie about Serbian painter Leonid Šeika, an almost eight-minute long freer jazz piece.

In all, it's great to evidence that Hashima found their own recognizable sound, and continues releasing strong music and doesn't avoid some new searches.

TOMAS FUJIWARA Triple Double

Album · 2017 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Boston-born Brooklyn-based drummer Tomas Fujiwara is quite well known by his participation in projects playing with Matana Roberts and Michael Formanek among many others. On "Triple Double", his own album as a leader, he combines two unorthodox horns-guitar-drums trios in one band (including 2/3 of the Thumbscrew trio, Halvorson and Fujiwara, but not Formanek).

All-star band of two drummers (Tomas Fujiwara & Gerald Cleaver), two guitarists (Mary Halvorson & Brandon Seabrook) and two horns (Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet & Ralph Alessi on trumpet) plays modern high energy fusion with lot of free jazz elements.

From the very first opening sounds with great old-fashioned separated by channels guitar's sound (with recognizable Halvorson's guitar on the left side and Seabrook on the right) it became obvious that "Triple Double" is not another explosive attack on listener's ears. With heavy anchoring drummers, often playing in unison and framing the music (with longish just-drummers solo piece), melodic and emotionally rich compositions sometimes sound as if they are complex rock pieces, but with all-the-time changing rhythms, plenty of guitar and horn free solos and in all very complex, almost big-bandish, multilayered sound remind listener that we're listening to a real jazz band.

Catchy tunes, excellent techniques and perfect interplay makes this album one great example of modern creative jazz, difficult to classify, and often because of that appealing to very different listeners. It would be extremely interesting to see such a band playing live, it looks like their announced 2020 European tour (with second trumpeter Adam O’Farrill instead of cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum) has been postponed due to COVID19 pandemic, with some concerts moved on-line.

eclectic fusion movie reviews

MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD Fly In A Bottle

Movie · 2011 · Eclectic Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
“Fly in a Bottle” is a documentary that follows Medeski, Martin and Wood while they are on tour developing the music that will become “Radiolarians”, as well as some of the recording sessions for that same album. The music on here is excellent, MM&W have a come a long way over the years. They were always a talented band from the start, but their confidence has grown. The funky tunes are funkier than ever, and the psychedelic jazz-rock tunes are more powerful, imaginative and original. Almost any music fan might enjoy watching their concerts and even some of their recording sessions, but a lot of the rest of this DVD is for hardcore fans only.

Along with the footage of MM&W playing music, you also get a lot of footage of them on tour visiting ecological tourist spots and talking, hanging out etc, which is where I think a lot of non-fans will probably start losing interest. They seem like nice sincere guys, but they aren’t particularly entertaining or charismatic, which is often the case with nice sincere guys. There are also some artsy short videos that follow the main feature, some more entertaining than others. Fans of MM&W may want to pick this up, it’s a well-made video and the music is excellent, but non-fans may find this lacking in substance in places.

Artists with Eclectic Fusion release(s)

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

A Month of Sundays Fusion
TEEN TOWN
Buy this album from MMA partners
Lotus Blossom Days Vocal Jazz
VICKI BURNS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Under the Porch Eclectic Fusion
BRIGHT DOG RED
Buy this album from MMA partners
Mark Feldman / Katinka Kleijn : Sine Nomine Avant-Garde Jazz
MARK FELDMAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

A Month of Sundays (feat. Joseph Yun)
TEEN TOWN
js· 11 hours ago
Under the Porch
BRIGHT DOG RED
js· 1 day ago
John McLaughlin - The Montreux Years
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
js· 2 days ago
The Other Armstrong
THE NEXT GENERATION OF SOUND
js· 3 days ago
Eleftheria
AARON PARKS
js· 7 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us