World Fusion

Jazz music community with review and forums

Some music resources use the word 'World' to basically mean the non-Western world. At JMA we reject such antiquated colonial attitudes. When we use the term 'World', we are referring to the entire world; east, west, north and south. Since we already have two genres for African and Caribbean music, and three for Latin Jazz, our World Fusion genre covers everyone else and is made up of music that comes from the intermingling of jazz with traditional music from Asia, Europe, The Middle East, North America and Australia. Our World Fusion genre also includes music that combines many different cultures from any part of the globe.

world fusion top albums

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

HERMETO PASCOAL Só não toca quem não quer Album Cover Só não toca quem não quer
HERMETO PASCOAL
4.82 | 5 ratings
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PAT METHENY Pat Metheny Group ‎: Offramp Album Cover Pat Metheny Group ‎: Offramp
PAT METHENY
4.55 | 26 ratings
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GUNESH Вижу Землю (I See The Earth) Album Cover Вижу Землю (I See The Earth)
GUNESH
4.85 | 4 ratings
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LUIZ BONFÁ Jacarandá (aka Todo o Nada) Album Cover Jacarandá (aka Todo o Nada)
LUIZ BONFÁ
4.60 | 6 ratings
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ANOUAR BRAHEM Astrakan Café Album Cover Astrakan Café
ANOUAR BRAHEM
4.50 | 9 ratings
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ANOUAR BRAHEM Thimar (with John Surman / Dave Holland) Album Cover Thimar (with John Surman / Dave Holland)
ANOUAR BRAHEM
4.47 | 10 ratings
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AL DI MEOLA Flesh on Flesh Album Cover Flesh on Flesh
AL DI MEOLA
4.50 | 8 ratings
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TRILOK GURTU The Glimpse Album Cover The Glimpse
TRILOK GURTU
4.62 | 4 ratings
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RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Rudresh Mahanthappa Featuring Kadri Gopalnath & The Dakshina Ensemble ‎: Kinsmen Album Cover Rudresh Mahanthappa Featuring Kadri Gopalnath & The Dakshina Ensemble ‎: Kinsmen
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA
4.67 | 3 ratings
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RALPH TOWNER Batik Album Cover Batik
RALPH TOWNER
4.43 | 7 ratings
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ANOUAR BRAHEM Le Voyage De Sahar Album Cover Le Voyage De Sahar
ANOUAR BRAHEM
4.54 | 4 ratings
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ANOUAR BRAHEM Le pas du chat noir Album Cover Le pas du chat noir
ANOUAR BRAHEM
4.38 | 8 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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IBELISSE XIMENA GUARDIA FERRAGUTTI
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Ghost Rhythms Live at L'Ermitage
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Stephane Galland & the Rhythm Hunters
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3
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Yolo
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KEVIN REVEYRAND
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world fusion Music Reviews

JENNY SCHEINMAN Shalagaster

Album · 2004 · World Fusion
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snobb
Two years after her debut, violinist Jenny Scheinman releases her second album for John Zorn's Tzadik - "Shalagaster". Her quintet is almost the same here, with bassist Trevor Dunn, drummer Kenny Wollesen and trumpeter Russ Johnson. The only difference comparing with her debut is the addition of renown pianist Myra Melford instead of guitarist Adam Levy. The album's music is the same klezmer-influenced, and there are some differences too.

Scheinman's debut, "The Rabbi's Lover", contained a quite eclectic and complex mix of Jewish klezmer, Middle East, Latin and Irish influences, all-mixed with chamber and free jazz arrangements, accessible but far not so straightforward by nature. "Shalagaster" is stylistically still mixed, but technically simpler and more accessible by nature. Klezmer motifs are dominating, with more fire and emotions, the other musical components are pop, classical and even country here. A big part of the more interesting and subtle improvs have gone too, Jenny's violin even sounds as fiddle in moments.

As a result, the listener gets well-done chamber pop/ art pop/ world music album with a lite jazzy touch. I believe many fans will like it, I still prefer her debut for her unpredictable take on the tradition, more adventurous and creative spirit and more sophisticated music in general.

JENNY SCHEINMAN The Rabbi's Lover

Album · 2002 · World Fusion
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snobb
"The Rabbi's Lover" is violinist Jenny Scheinman's debut as a leader. It contains seven Jenny originals and two Jewish traditional songs. Just like many other John Zorn Tzadik label's releases from the "Radical Jewish Culture" series, this album contains music deeply rooted in Jewish traditional music, but it lays miles away from "fiddle klezmer" some could expect.

Jenny has taken classical training at the prestigious Oberlin College conservatory and she skillfully mixes epochs and genres here. Her violin is very precise and very lyrical. The quintet produces sounds like a bigger combo and it sounds as if playing the overture to Bolero more often than a band playing at Jewish weddings. Two Jewish traditional songs ("Seating Of The Bribe" and "Firn De Mekhutonim Aheym") are the closest to klezmer, the latter is full of the melancholy so specific to the genre.

Scheinman's own compositions are quite a different thing - besides of the Jewish tradition, there are Middle East, Latin, Irish and some other influences that can be heard. The skilled team of Tzadik regulars including bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Kenny Wollesen among others, build a very intimate atmosphere. Trumpeter Russ Johnson's work should be especially mentioned.

While being strongly influenced by Jewish traditional culture, "The Rabbi's Lover" is very much the music of today. Perfectly played and very atmospheric, it is the best bridge between the past and the future one can imagine. Being originally released more than two decades ago and just re-issued by Tzadik in the form of a digital download, "The Rabbi's Lover" is one among the label's better works and an excellent introduction to Zorn's "Radical Jewish Culture" world.

CHICO HAMILTON Chic* Chic Chico

Album · 1965 · World Fusion
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js
Chico Hamilton is one jazz artist who definitely deserves more recognition and credit for being one of the more creative musicians of the 60s and beyond. If you had to pick one artist who kicked off the fusion movement in jazz, Chico would be the one, and second on that list would be guitarist Gabor Szabo, who was a perfect addition to Hamilton’s group as both were very open-minded, adaptable and entirely eclectic. “Chic Chic Chico” is not one of Hamilton’s best albums, even the title sounds rather unimaginative, but it still has plenty of good material. Joining Chico and Gabor on here is a mini-big band featuring Harold Land on tenor sax. This is west coast jazz, big on arrangements, experimentation and international influences, but its not ‘cool’ jazz as a lot of people tend to think all west coast jazz from this time period was ‘cool’ jazz.

The album’s title track is the only number recorded in New York with a different band, and it almost sounds like the famous party song, “Tequila”. Gabor’s syncopated Latin riffs on this one intertwine with the tenor sax melody in polyrhythmic fashion. The rest of the album features the west coast mini-big band. The high point on the rest of side one is “Tarantula”, a free jazz jam that has Gabor battling with Land on top of Chico’s busy drum work. Side two is a little stronger as the band gets into some extended fusion jams that would sound better if Hamilton and bassist Albert Stinson were mixed higher. Gabor’s “Swampy” features Chico doing his best New Orleans second line drumming style. This album has a couple songs that seem like jams or just filler, but top musicianship from Chico, Gabor and the others still make this an interesting listen.

CHARLES LLOYD Geeta

Album · 1973 · World Fusion
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js
Charles Lloyd was one of the original jazz rockers, he was playing the Fillmore before Miles was, and in fact, Miles took half of Charles’ band (DeJohnette and Jarrett) when it came time for Miles to try jamming for the hippies. So its no big surprise that when jazz fusion went through a psychedelic phase, Charles was part of that with his album “Geeta”. Like many psyche jazz albums, there is some good stuff on here, as well as some things that are better left behind in that ’far out’ time period. Musician credits on the album cover are just plain weird and sketchy. Many of the players are given extravagant aliases, and the Indian stringed instruments are not credited at all, even though the dholak (Indian percussion) performers are credited. Some websites provide better info, but still not everything.

Side one opens with the lengthy Indian flavored fusion jam, “Geeta Suite”. Blackbyrd McKnight burns like crazy on the electric guitar, sounding like a cross between John McLaughlin and Pete Cosey. Blackbyrd will also show up on other jazz psyche records of that era. Charles mostly sticks with the alto flute as he avoids shrill annoying high end workouts on the flute. The alto has a beautiful sound for this sort of Indian fusion, and Lloyd works it well. Side one closes out with a more traditional Indian number. Side two opens with a “Stones Medley” that mostly sounds like another spiritual jazz journey until a well known Stones melody appears and kills the mood, sending this promising jam into cheezy cover tune territory.

The last three tracks are some of the best this album has to offer, with “Maxfield Blue” bringing more sonic attacks from Blackbyrd, while the last two numbers head into a sort of Austin Powers psyche rock exotica. These last two would be great for an aspiring rare groove DJ, if such a thing still exists. The drummer on here, Sonship Theus, is incredibly intense but mixed somewhat low. Apparently he had a playing philosophy that demanded he go all out for the Lord at all times, he pretty much was incapable of anything but all out attack. A lot of jazz fans find these sort of psyche albums to be no more than period kitsch, but this style and era of jazz has actually picked up more cult like followers in the new century than existed in the 70s.

NICOLAS MEIER Nicolas Meier World Group : Magnificent - Live - Stories

Album · 2021 · World Fusion
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js
On Nicolas Meier’s latest album he decided to give his fans an extra treat, in that what we have here is not one, or two, but three CDs of excellent music. First there is “Magnificent”, a studio album featuring his ‘World Group’ ensemble, then there is, “Live”, which is the same group recorded in concert, and finally, “Stories”, which is Nicolas performing solo. The group is the same one that recorded the previous “Peaceful”, Kevin Glasgow on bass, Richard Jones on violin, Demi Garcia-Sabat on percussion and Nicolas on a variety of guitars. In fact, “Live” is made up of the same tracks that were featured on “Peaceful”, only performed in front of an audience this time around.

Nicolas’ compositions draw from a mix of Spanish, Turkish, Balkan, Middle-Eastern and North African influences. His ensemble, with its mix of violin, unfretted guitar, high end fretless bass and hand percussion is perfect for this style of music. Much of the music from the aforementioned cultures leans heavily on unfretted string instruments that allow for the colorful ornaments that are added to the melodies. We are all familiar with western artists such as Paul Simon or David Byrne who plunder other cultures and then cast them aside. Such is not the case with Meier who displays a deep understanding and commitment to the cultures he is interested in. His original compositions breathe these various musical styles in a very natural way. Nicolas is an excellent composer with a gift for remarkable melodies that capture the sounds of the different regions that inspire him, which he then presents with art pop gem like structures reminiscent of artists like Brian Wilson or Brian Eno.

The band has very balanced interactions in which soloists and accompanists blend to make an ensemble sound of intertwining voices. Particularly noteworthy is how Jones will add counter melodies on the violin behind Meier’s guitar solos. On the live CD, Jones occasionally uses an echo device which gives the band an expansive psychedelic sound. On the solo CD, Nicolas covers several jazz standards and shows he is no slouch on the jazz tip with his broad open sound similar to Pat Metheny or Bill Frisell. One surprise is a reading of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” which becomes a jazz standard with a few chord extensions here and there.

world fusion movie reviews

PAT METHENY Imaginary Day Live

Movie · 2001 · World Fusion
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Matti P
The gig date is July 1998 and the venue is not-so-ordinary stage at the Mountain Winery, Saratoga, California. The film is beautifully directed and edited by Steve Rodby, the bassist of the seven-piece group. The composition credits are shared by Metheny and keyboardist Lyle Mays. The main body of the set is from the then-latest album Imaginary Day (1997), which is one of the finest and most eclectic Pat Metheny Group albums.

On the opening solo number 'Into the Dream' Metheny plays peculiar 42-string "Pikasso" guitar that produces sounds reminiscent to kantele or zither. The group joins him on the groovy, bright & happy 'Follow Me' that features also some wordless singing from multi-instrumentalists Mark Ledford (trumpet, guitar, percussion) and Philip Hamilton (percussion, guitar). The frontman himself throws in his trade mark high-pitched guitar sound.

The 10-minute title track is an impressive example of the way this wonderful group builds exciting sonic textures and eclectic musical vocabulary without ever losing a certain positively charged accessibility and emotion. 'Heat of the Day' is a hectic piece full of percussive vitality but also a more serene pianism of Mays. Mellow 'Across the Sky' approaches a song structure in a nice way. The warm-spirited gig ends with three pieces outside of Imaginary Day. 'Message to a Friend' is a moody acoustic guitar solo.

Extra features on the 93-min. DVD include a Metheny interview, discography (featuring album covers and track lists), band member biographies, and Notes About the Album / Instrumentation / Tracks / Writing Process. Reading it all can be a bit exhausting, but in the end these extras help this DVD deserve a sincere recommendation for all fans of Pat Metheny. Musically speaking, this is one of the most enjoyable jazz/fusion live DVD's I have ever viewed.

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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