World Fusion

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The world fusion genre at JMA is not just a collection of world beat artists, but is instead a collection of artists who bring world beat influences to the ever expanding world of jazz fusion. Since fusion artists from the US, Western Europe and Latin America are usually covered in our other fusion genres, the world fusion genre typically carries fusion artists with African, Middle Eastern and East European influences.

Once again though, the world fusion artists at JMA also display the improvisational aspects and virtuoso soloing associated with jazz and fusion.

world fusion top albums

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

PAT METHENY Offramp (PMG) Album Cover Offramp (PMG)
PAT METHENY
4.71 | 14 ratings
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PAT METHENY The Road To You (Recorded Live In Europe) (PMG) Album Cover The Road To You (Recorded Live In Europe) (PMG)
PAT METHENY
4.87 | 4 ratings
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HERMETO PASCOAL Slaves Mass Album Cover Slaves Mass
HERMETO PASCOAL
4.76 | 6 ratings
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ANOUAR BRAHEM Astrakan Café Album Cover Astrakan Café
ANOUAR BRAHEM
4.75 | 5 ratings
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VLATKO STEFANOVSKI Krushevo (with Miroslav Tadić) Album Cover Krushevo (with Miroslav Tadić)
VLATKO STEFANOVSKI
5.00 | 2 ratings
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ANOUAR BRAHEM Le pas du chat noir Album Cover Le pas du chat noir
ANOUAR BRAHEM
5.00 | 2 ratings
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STANLEY CLARKE The Rite of Strings (feat. Al Di Meola & Jean-Luc Ponty) Album Cover The Rite of Strings (feat. Al Di Meola & Jean-Luc Ponty)
STANLEY CLARKE
4.77 | 4 ratings
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HERMETO PASCOAL Só não toca quem não quer Album Cover Só não toca quem não quer
HERMETO PASCOAL
4.83 | 3 ratings
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LUIZ BONFÁ Jacarandá Album Cover Jacarandá
LUIZ BONFÁ
4.95 | 2 ratings
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GUNESH Вижу Землю (I See The Earth) Album Cover Вижу Землю (I See The Earth)
GUNESH
4.91 | 2 ratings
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OREGON Winter Light Album Cover Winter Light
OREGON
4.58 | 6 ratings
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TRILOK GURTU The Glimpse Album Cover The Glimpse
TRILOK GURTU
4.62 | 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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world fusion Music Reviews

SAMUEL YIRGA Guzo

Album · 2012 · World Fusion
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dreadpirateroberts
Samuel Yirga is a young Ethiopian pianist (perhaps known to fans of ‘Dub Colossus’), whose playing seems most influenced by Jarrett, but whose compositions very much reflect a ‘world’ feel. There’s a mix of Latin, Jazz, Classical and traditional Ethiopian pieces here, but with a fairly slick production, which seems a feature of label Real World.

‘Guzo’ sometimes bring Mulatu Astatke to mind (‘Tiwista’) and can be a very rhythmic album, with tracks like ‘My Head’, ‘Abet Abet’ or the fantastic cover of ‘I Am the Black Gold of the Sun’ bringing a lot of percussion into play. Samuel also has three beautiful solo pieces on the album – my favourite being the haunting ‘Ye Bati Koyita.’

His debut also features some great guest vocal performances, the ‘Blues of Wollo’ featuring the moody wails of Genet Masresha being a real standout. The album has been pretty rewarding over repeated listens and I’m looking forward to hearing whatever’s next for Samuel Yirga.

SHAKTI / REMEMBER SHAKTI A Handful of Beauty

Album · 1977 · World Fusion
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siLLy puPPy
This is really the first album I ever heard of any type of jazz fusion and I loved this music from the very first listen. After the dissolution of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin became obsessed with playing Indian classical music after already having studied and learning how to play the classical Indian stringed instrument called the veena. This ultimately led him to the project SHAKTI where he found three extremely talented Indian musicians to accompany him. Zakir Hussain handled percussion and tabla duties. Lakshminarayana Shankar totally abused the violin and on this release Vikku Vinayakram handled additional percussion duties as well. John had a custom-made steel-string acoustic guitar made especially for the sounds he wished to achieve in this type of fusion band. The guitar featured two tiers of strings over the sound hole like those of a sitar or a veena which created a sound that corresponded better to the Indian instruments.

The band released a live debut album and then released two studio albums in 1977 with A HANDFUL OF BEAUTY being the very first. This album begins with the a firestorm konnakol (the art of performing percussion syllables vocally in South India) that begins “La Danse Du Bonheur" which immediately reminds of the energetic ferocity of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the perfect opener for a band whose name is Sanskrit for “energy.” The intensity that the musicians of the band deliver is absolutely incredible to say the least. The beauty of this band is that not only is this an East meets West affair but it is also a Northern India meets Southern India one as well. These musicians seamlessly marry Western jazz with the Hindustani classical styles of Northern India and the Carnatic classical styles of Southern India.

The album drifts from energetic passages beginning with the opening track to more mellow and pastoral moments as heard on “Lady K” and “Isis.” The interplay between instruments is always perfect and the harmonies, melodies and rhythms take you on a wild ride through various time signatures and more haunting drawn out percussionless sections. At times some of the passages do outstay their welcome but overall the tracks are well paced.

At the time this was widely acclaimed for exposing western jazz lovers to the ragas and musical textures that traditional Indian music had to offer and guarantees energetic and well-played performances. If you have never been exposed to much Indian music before this then you may be put off for this can be intense but also sensually beautiful at the same time. If you have had the chance to fall in love with classical Indian artists such as Ravi Shankar and love the idea of a world fusion sound with incredibly fast and virtuosic performances than this will truly satisfy all those itches. I for one am still lovin' this one after many years of listening to it and am still completely awed by both the beauty of the emotional depth and the technical prowess of each talented individual involved.

AIRTO MOREIRA Seeds on the Ground

Album · 1971 · World Fusion
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snobb
Quite rare percussionist Airto Moreira's second album is a real heaven for every fan of early fusion/Latin jazz. Airto is in transition from his work in Weather Report towards Chick Corea's RTF and it's extremely interesting to hear how both his former and future bands's influences are presented here on his solo album.

Music of "Seeds..." contains three main elements (almost in equal proportions): psychedelic fusion of Weather Report, strong Latin folk and jazz influence and Latin jazz-based fusion of early Return To Forever.Future RTF vocalist Flora Purim sings on this album with her easily recognizable voice(it sounds more raw and even screaming here)and in seconds listener can be mistaken like he listen to unknown early RTF composition. But just a moment after the difference becomes obvious - instead of Chick Corea's keyboards you can hear Brazilian star Hermeto Pascoal and their playing manner is quite different.All but one collaborated musicians are Brazilians (the only American is bassist Ron Carter)and all music has strong Latin taste. In fact, this album represents quite rare collaborative work of Brazilian jazz dream team (add percussionist Dom Um Romao,accordionist Sivuca and organist/violinist Severino de Oliveira to already mentioned Airto,Flora and Hermeto)plus bassist Ron Carter, and as it would be not enough all material is recorded in very early 70s, most adventurous time for fusion.

Songs could be divided in three categories according to dominating influence - psychedelic fusion, Latin jazz/fusion and world fusion, without strict borders though.Psychedelic songs are probably most interesting since they sound as hardly imaginable mix between Weather Report debut's music and Brazil jazz. Latin jazz/fusion compositions, mostly with Purim vocals are great and easily recall her vocals on RFT debut just one year later. On world fusion compositions dominates Hermeto and Sivuca (Airto sings on one song)and this music sounds closer to them both solo works.

In all,unique release presenting brief transitional period in Airto career,soon he (together with Flora) will become Corea's RTF founding line-up members and then will continue solo careers as well. For Airto solo works,this Buddah release is way different from his later more polished albums on CTI.

GUNESH Вижу Землю (I See The Earth)

Album · 1984 · World Fusion
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siLLy puPPy
Going through the tons of albums I have from Turkmenistan (ha!), I think i've found a favorite! The GUNESH ENSEMBLE (sometimes found only as Гунеш (GUNESH) was a highly eclectic and energetic group led by drummer Rishard Shafi. They were masters of jazz-fusion mixed with all things Central Asian folk including haunting chants and exotic instruments. Of course they even had a Vietnamese singer! After their first album of mostly folk material they really stepped it up and created something truly unique and unbelievable.

Вижу Землю (Looking At Earth) in an unearthly amalgation of musical majesticness. The album begins with a whispering wind and some temple bells before Russian dialogue ushers in some seriously deranged funkiness and energetic percussion and horns with some strange electronic “talking.” The jazz-fusion doesn't waste any time getting warmed up. You know you're in for a very wild ride with this one. The album continues to surprise with abrupt changes but quite capable of sustaining a beautiful melody in the form of song or chant. The interplay of 10 plus instruments may be going on at any given moment. Absent are any influences from Western bands. All sounds original and isolated like it was all created in a remote area that still hasn't made contact with the Western world. However parts do remind me of Italian avant-proggers Area and the last cut sounds like a traditional Vietnamese song meets the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

If you like eclectic world fusion then you will love this. Must hear to believe.

SIMAK DIALOG The 6th Story

Album · 2013 · World Fusion
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kev rowland
SimakDialog, have been displaying their wares for twenty years, having been formed in Jakarta in 1993 by keyboard player and composer Riza Arshad. Since then the band have been bringing together many musical influences in a style that can truly be described as fusion, with classic jazz, psychedelia, world music and Indonesian influences all coming together in a musical form that is uniquely their own. At Riza’s right hand is guitarist Tohpati, a band leader in his own right, and the two of them take the main melodic leads, sometimes sharing and at others just happily giving way to the others. But, while they are at the forefront of the sound, there is a great deal happening underneath the lead melody that makes the band what they are. Huge kudos must be given to bassist Adhithya Pratama as he provides warm support to what is happening, either by playing just the odd single not or complementing the melody with some complex runs of his own. But his main role is that of the bridge between the melody and the percussion, which gives simakDialog such a unique sound.

The band has not one or two percusionnist, but three, Endang Ramdan, Erlan Suwardana, and newest member, Cucu Kurnia, who combine together to provide complex rhythms and sounds that lift the melodies and structures of Riza and Tohpati to new heights. The more one plays this album, the more one realises just how important they are to the overall structure and arrangement, and while Riza’s Fender Rhodes electric piano does sound strangely dated, it also fits in perfectly with what these guys are creating. This is music that somehow is incredibly immediate and welcoming, while at the same time being complex and heavily layered. I would love to see these guys play live as there is a real feeling of togetherness and ideas being bounced from each other, while at the same time there is a rigidity as they move along the piece, freedom within framework.

There are some great bands coming out of Indonesia, and simakDialog are one of the best of these. Yet again this is a wonderfully solid and enjoyable album, and one that can be recommended wholeheartedly. www.moonjune.com

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MANDRILL Mandrill Live at Montreux 2002

Movie · 2006 · World Fusion
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js
As much as I enjoy the CD of this high energy concert, Mandrill is an act that has to be seen to be fully appreciated. They don't put on a phony 'show', display rehearsed steps or use props or costume changes. Instead they stand and deliver an ultra tight mix of African fusion, Latin jazz, psychedelic rock and American funk tied together with 70s styled progressive arrangements. It's fascinating to watch the many multi-instrumentalists in this group switch the make-up of their band from a big rock horn section to a massive percussion ensemble to five part vocal harmonies and whatever else a song may call for. Although the rhythm section stays put throughout, the other members of Mandrill play a dizzying variety of horns, percussion and strings, and they can all sing with the best harmonizing bands in the business. Not only do you get the 2002 concert in Montreux on this DVD, but you also get interviews, some behind the scenes action and a bonus concert shot in Philadelphia. It's the concert in Philly that I found to be the most interesting bonus feature. Mandrill has played a wide variety of music in their lengthy career, although their albums often feature lengthy fusion 'suites', they have also been known to score the occasional 'hit' on the RnB and funk charts too. Judging from the two concerts presented on this DVD, Mandrill definitely adjusts their show for their audience. While playing for the older international jazz crowd in Montreux, Mandrill is on their best most progressive world jazz behavior. Once back in the states though, in front of a younger club crowd in Philly, you get a version of Mandrill that not only funks much harder , but also rocks much harder as well. This is the P-funk version of Mandrill, and it is fun seeing these older musical veterans get the crowd on their feet with crazy syncopated horn lines and screaming guitar solos.

I don't normally watch concerts on TV, but because of Mandrill's never boring arrangements, virtuoso musicality and constantly shifting instrumental make-up , I found this DVD to be muchos fun from start to finish.

Artists with World Fusion release(s)

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