(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion

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Part One

As the original fusion movement that was started in the late 60s began to fade in the late 70s, a new generation of musicians led by Blood Ulmer, Bill Frisell, John Zorn, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Bill Laswell, Steve Coleman and Vernon Reid introduced a new style of jazz and rock fusion that arose from the initial efforts of Ornette Coleman's Prime Time band, Miles Davis' "Get Up With It" and "Dark Magus" albums and the jazzy, funky post-punk 'no wave' scene in New York City. This new fusion was both more aggressive and eclectic than the typical output of the 70's fusion artist. The Post-70s Eclectic Fusion artist not only uses elements of jazz, funk, and rock; but he is also likely to pull from a diverse set of influences including, but not limited to; New Orleans drum lines, klezmer, jump blues, hip-hop, hardcore punk, exotic lounge, drumnbass, and Bulgarian wedding music. The (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion genre at JMA is rooted in the aforementioned artists, but continues to grow and gain popularity worldwide, particularly in Japan and Northern Europe.

Not all of the artists listed in this genre are necessarily harsh and aggressive, but Post 70s Eclectic Fusion tends to have a modern urban sound, often influenced by the cultures of punk and hip-hop, whereas Classic Fusion tends to be rooted in the bohemian atmosphere of hippie, Afrocentric and beatnik culture. In Classic Fusion there tends to be a much stronger Latin and post bop influence in the rhythms, also Classic Fusion artists tend to blend their influences into one style, while Post 70s Eclectic artists may play in distinctly different styles from one song to the next, or even within one song. Its not unusual in this genre for artists to play in a humorously de-constructive style, or in a way that exaggerates the nuances of older styles.

Some of the jazz styles that can be found in this genre include; the M Base movement, free funk, the so-called 'knitting factory scene' and the harsher side of the modern Japanese jazz scene.

Part Two - The 21st Century

As we move further into the new century, modern eclectic fusion has become more eclectic than ever. The styles of music that a jazz musician may fuse have become virtually limitless. Today's jazz musician can utilize almost every genre of music known to man, as well as music from any era or place on the globe. Meanwhile, the early hip-hop and punk influences in modern fusion have become less of a defining feature, as both hip-hop and punk became a part of mainstream culture, in other styles of music, long ago.

(post-70s) eclectic fusion top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

BOBBY PREVITE The Coalition of the Willing Album Cover The Coalition of the Willing
BOBBY PREVITE
4.98 | 4 ratings
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AKA MOON In Real Time Album Cover In Real Time
AKA MOON
5.00 | 2 ratings
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MASADA At The Mountains Of Madness (Electric Masada) Album Cover At The Mountains Of Madness (Electric Masada)
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5.00 | 2 ratings
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LIBERATION PROPHECY Last Exit Angel Album Cover Last Exit Angel
LIBERATION PROPHECY
5.00 | 2 ratings
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CURLEW Bee Album Cover Bee
CURLEW
4.83 | 3 ratings
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CURLEW Live In Berlin Album Cover Live In Berlin
CURLEW
4.83 | 3 ratings
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MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD Radiolarians I Album Cover Radiolarians I
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4.69 | 5 ratings
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BILL FRISELL Have a Little Faith Album Cover Have a Little Faith
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4.64 | 7 ratings
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PAUL MOTIAN The Paul Motian Trio at the Village Vanguard Album Cover The Paul Motian Trio at the Village Vanguard
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4.75 | 2 ratings
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PAUL MOTIAN Paul Motian Trio: Sound of Love Album Cover Paul Motian Trio: Sound of Love
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4.75 | 2 ratings
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KAZUTOKI UMEZU Eclecticism Album Cover Eclecticism
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4.52 | 4 ratings
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PAUL MOTIAN Paul Motian Trio: It Should Have Happened a Long Time Ago Album Cover Paul Motian Trio: It Should Have Happened a Long Time Ago
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4.49 | 4 ratings
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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!

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(post-70s) eclectic fusion Music Reviews

SONS OF KEMET Burn

Album · 2013 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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snobb
During sixties and than seventies England spent wearing a crown of one of world's leading nation representing to the whole world rock culture, all that music,worship,life style and hysteria. The Beatles,Rolling Stones,Cream,Led Zeppelin,Deep Purple,Black Sabbath and even Sex Pistols - British acts ruled the world. Speaking about more artsy/quirky than mainstream rock side-stream of so-called "progressive rock", England was and still is absolutely dominating origin. The story of jazz in Britain are far not so glorious.

True, this country gave to the world some greatest musicians as guitarists Derek Bailey and John McLaughlin, bassist Dave Holland and reedist Evans Parker, but it's hard to speak about influential or at least easy recognizable British jazz scene doesn't matter if we mean 50s,60s or 70s. Eighties were the only exclusively glorious period with birth and short but impressive invasion to the all world's scenes of acid jazz (who doesn't know Jamiroquay,renown hats and cars collector?). Still, acid jazz (even if demonstrating some true jazz attributes) was more part of modern clubbing culture and influenced much more later non-jazzy DJs/electronics trends than "classic" jazz.

New Millennium bring some changes in that historically sad situation and (mostly with nu jazz invasion) English new jazz scene became not only much more alive, hip and creative, but now, after a decade of renaissance, to think about London as about European jazz capital doesn't sound as a joke.

From Portico, mixing unusual sound of hang with electronics,to almost cult chamber piano trio of Phronesis to younger and less serious GoGo Penguin,British nu/contemporary jazz artists won strong following in Europe. Beside of them and similar, there are different stream of modern jazz in UK, and Sons Of Kemet are among its brightest representatives.

Grew up in same post-progressive rock/acid jazz/techno-clubbing sound environment, the quartet of two drummers and tuba player led by reedist Shabaka Hutchings on their debut album go their own way. "Sons.." combine African rhythms (not Afrojazz,but more street-wise folklore rooted raw ones) with Caribbean calypso and reggae adding British rock-scene so characteristic melodic tunes. All that are presented in quite hip form of today's clubbing culture, without losing its rawness.

As a result, "Sons Of Kemet" sounds as modern incarnation of South African jazz artists,who seriously influenced British jazz (and rock) in late 60s-early 70s, or ska revolution of late 70s-early 80s. Band doesn't care much about virtuosity, their arms are raw rhythms, New Orleans' marching bands shamanism and in whole very modern urban sound (one of two band's drummers is Seb Rochford, founder and leader of another hip British band,Polar Bear). Big part of album's songs are catchy and can easily attract much wider listener than regular jazz fan (closer "Rivers Of Babylon" is freaky cover of Boney M.'s disco hit from 80s), but at the same time serious listener can find lot of free jazz elements almost everywhere.

With their debut, "Sons Of Kemet" jumped on the forefront of British creative jazz scene in a very few month, but later released just one more album. It's difficult to say what are their future plans if any since band's leader Shabaka Hutchins in 2016 released his strongly African music and spiritual jazz influenced debut as leader "Wisdom Of Elders" (on Gilles Peterson Brownswood Recordings). In all cases, Sons Of Kemet debut is significant evidence of most current original British jazz and it sounds pretty fresh and modern today as it did four years ago.

ORNETTE COLEMAN Body Meta

Album · 1978 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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snobb
Ornette Coleman was the one among a few jazzmen who started playing what later has been titled "a new thing" still in late 50s. His album "Free Jazz" gave the tag for all new jazz direction which dramatically changed genre's scene for decades to come. Still at the late 60s-early 70s it looked Ornette got stuck in his music(his excellent "Science Fiction" from 1972 is an exception only confirming the sentence).

Fortunately for us jazz lovers he did it again - in late 70s Ornette returned back with new jazz revolution again. His new quintet came all-electric this time - two(!) guitarists, bassist and unorthodox drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson beside of Coleman himself. The music,if still rooted in early free jazz, was seriously different and at the moment sounded extremely modern and non-conventional at the same time. Influenced by some time's dominated trends, Ornette's new music was closer to jazz fusion, or better to say - free funk still staying within jazz idiom.

First ever recorded example of Ornette's new music has been released on their "Dancing in Your Head"(1977) - 31 minute-short LP which contained only one true new band's composition "Theme From A Symphony" (which initially has been planned as EP release) and completed with four-and-half minute "Midnight Sunrise" world fusion piece,recorded with Master Musicians of Jajouka. Then in 1978 same band releases "Body Meta" - true first full album of "harmolodic" jazz. Five compositions, almost forty minutes of excellent energetic and free mix of groovy pulsation, drummers acrobatics and extremely inspired and focused Coleman sax soloing, one among best in his career.

Comparing with many recordings,released by Coleman and his followers later, "Body Meta" has one big advantage - because of permanent changes of tunes and rhythmical structures whole album doesn't sound all that much repetitive and initial fresh and positive impression doesn't change to boredom after first fifteen-twenty minutes of listening.

Coltrane (and his collaborators/followers) will develop and explore this new for the time sound for decades to come but "Body Meta" still will stay one of style cornerstone album in jazz history.

PAINKILLER Guts of a Virgin / Buried Secrets

Boxset / Compilation · 1998 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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siLLy puPPy
This compilation contains the first two EP releases of PAINKILLLER on one CD. It has both “Guts Of A Virgin” and “Buried Secrets” in their entirety. Yes! No tracks have been left out. I hate it when they do that nonsense.

Since both EPs were short little creations both clocking in under 30 minutes, it was very practical to release a combo-CD that had both of them and so it was.

There are no bonus tracks so this is simply EP 1 “Guts Of A Virgin” plus EP 2 “Buried Secrets.”

Sometimes this is listed as “Buried Secrets / Guts Of A Virgin.” Like what? Homie be trippin’. List the first album first for bleep’s sake! Lame, lame, LAME!

Me likey both albums enuff 2 giv 4 starz…..

PAINKILLER Buried Secrets

Album · 1992 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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siLLy puPPy
John Zorn continued his PAINKILLER band which was one of the earliest examples of mixing avant-garde jazz with grindcore metal and one of the first hardcore bands of the era to delivery all the intense and sinister feel of what extreme metal bands of the same time were conjuring up only mostly without guitar. The second EP release BURIED SECRETS not only continues what was unleashed on “Guts Of A Virgin” but adds on new layers of intensity. Once again John Zorn makes his alto sax sound like a tortured pig being sacrificed to Satan with Bill Laswell pounding out heavily distorted bass lines accompanied by Mitch Harris pounding out intense drumming sessions. There were also a couple of helpers on this one with Justin Broadick adding some guitar, drum machine and vocals on the title track and on “The Toll.” G.C. Green also contributes on bass on the same two tracks.

While BURIED SECRETS carries on most of what the debut dished out, it expands upon its overall sounds. The first moment of true departure from the previous offering’s limitations comes with “Blackhole Dub” which contains just as the title suggests with a dub beat on bass and a simple drum backing while Zorn wails on the alto sax in a very strange way. It no longer sounds like a tortured pig but more like a tortured canary! There is also some dark ambient effects that make it seem very eerie. The production in general seems more polished on this one. The title track is totally different than many other tracks. The addition of the guitar really puts this one in left field but don’t expect any grungy metal power chords or anything. This one is chock full of strange echoey freaky riffs and note bends that reverberate into infinity. There is so much feedback and ambient embellishment that i’m not even sure which instrument is playing what. Zorn and company abuse their instruments so harshly that they simply emit otherworldly sounds and render it impossible for the listener to discern the differences of the sax and guitar. Then the bass and drums finally come in to add some sanity to a serious freak out session.

This album is much more playful as evidenced by the followup to the title track. The 21 second frenetic sax assault “The Ladder” shows the true spirit of punk via jazz and metal and then ushers in more violent and turbulent jazz-metalcore. Zorn astonishes as he makes his alto sax do things unthinkable and creates streams of consciousness that could lead to utter insanity. And add the bombastic drum and bass assaults, it’s utterly maddening. “The Black Chamber” is probably the only snippet of “normal” sax playing as it starts like a recognizable jazz sax type of sound that one would expect in a NYC club of the 60s but of course, nothing stays that “normal” for long in the Zorn world. It becomes another avant-dub type of track with more tortured pig sax squeals that follow. Even the ambient vocal effects sound like possessed pigs seeking revenge as they embrace the powers of the dark side to do so. “The Toll” is another stand out as it begins as an ambient track with a slowly building drum and bass. It is the other track that has guitar and it is used in a conservative way to create an amplified atmospheric presence rather than playing a dominant part. It continues like an avant-doom / sludge metal track with stange guitar and sax craziness. This one actually has vocals.

BURIED SECRETS is a great improvement over the previous “Guts Of Virigns.” There is so much more going on here. While everything from EP one is still in ample supply here, all the tracks don’t sound like they hatched from the same mold. The variations that occur sporadically are a welcome contrast to the more usual suspects. If you’re a fan of the first EP, fear not because all of those slaps in the face are still present and more but on this one, Zorn and company learned the art of ambient enhancement therapy and found new ways to strike terror into the inner ear canals of their fellow homo sapiens. I personally like this second release much better because it contains all of what came before and adds lots of new twists and turns and takes Zorn’s sax torture and incorporates it into a more meaningful way of menacing humanity. This is a dark and tumultuous sonic experience. Once again probably too jazzy for extreme metal heads and too metal for jazz purists but for those who simply want a true tortuous experience that supplicates impeding doom, this is for you.

PAINKILLER Guts of a Virgin

Album · 1991 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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siLLy puPPy
PAINKILLER was one of the many projects of the prolific avant-garde jazz performer John Zorn and perhaps one of his most metal adventures. This band was quite unique at the time and took the listener where no one wanted to go which would be by mixing the unlikely disparate musical forces of avant-garde jazz with grindcore metal. GUTS OF A VIRGIN was the first of three studio albums but four live albums would also be released. The band consisted of John Zorn on sax, Bill Laswell (countless acts including Praxis, The Golden Palominos, Massacre, Buckethead, Iggy Pop, Herbie Hancock, Public Image Ltd etc) on bass and Mick Harris on drums who was most notably in Napalm Death. Although this is considered just as metal as jazz, there is no guitar to be heard.

GUTS OF A VIRGIN is extreme music to the max. This is guaranteed to alienate most jazz lovers for being too extreme metal and vice versa too jazzy for most metalheads. What we basically get on this cacophonous raucous is a highly distorted bass and drum attack accompanied by Zorn’s alto sax assault that really, i swear sounds like a tortured pig most of the time! It squeals like it’s being slaughtered live and the driving high pitched notes sound like a knife is being driven deep into its heart and twisted while pliers are ripping its snout from the skull. It’s truly tortuous stuff with dark resonating bass lines, pummeling drum abuse and saxophone nightmares. A soundtrack for horror films to be assured.

This is the same type of sax sound that appears on the first Mr Bungle album that was released the same year. It’s no wonder Mike Patton was so enthralled with his playing because Zorn delivers the most metal sound of any sax player i’ve ever heard. GUTS OF A VIRGIN is as filthy and dirty as the title implies. The muddy bass mixed with pig squeal sax create a free jazz / metal cacophony that also shows a bit of humor with song titles such as “Purgatory Of Fiery Vulvas.” The tracks are generally mid-tempo with some flair ups that add some intensity for contrast’s sake. While most tracks are instrumental, a few have some grindcore type of vocals screamed by Mick Harris. While the music is described as free jazz, it generally is so in the frenetic saxophone solos while the bass and drums have a recognizable groove firmly planted in the metal universe. This is a true assault to the senses! The compositions aren’t brilliant but it’s not bad for such an experimental album. Obviously only one for the hardcores!

(post-70s) eclectic fusion movie reviews

MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD Fly In A Bottle

Movie · 2011 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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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 (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion release(s)

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