Fusion

Jazz music community with review and forums

Rock and RnB came from jazz in the 1940s via the jump blues genre. Needless to say, over the years jazz, rock and RnB have enjoyed a close relationship and have cross-influenced each other from the beginning. In the mid to late 60s, rock and RnB under went major changes with rock becoming much louder and more experimental under the influence of artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Cream, while RnB became more syncopated and abstract with the new funk sound created by James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Sly Stone and Larry Graham. Meanwhile, Latin jazz was undergoing similar experimental changes under the guidance of artists such as Hermato Pascoal and Flora Purim.

At this point in the mid to late 60s, any intersection between jazz, rock, funk and Latin became a radically different form of music that eventually came to be called fusion. Pioneers in the world of fusion include Larry Coryell, Jermy Steig, Charles Lloyd, Jack DeJohnette, John McLaughlin, Tony Williams, Soft Machine, Brian Auger, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea and Dreams (Billy Cobham and the Brecker Brothers)

fusion top albums

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

MILES DAVIS In a Silent Way Album Cover In a Silent Way
MILES DAVIS
4.58 | 100 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MILES DAVIS Bitches Brew Album Cover Bitches Brew
MILES DAVIS
4.55 | 89 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
HERBIE HANCOCK Crossings Album Cover Crossings
HERBIE HANCOCK
4.57 | 53 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA The Inner Mounting Flame Album Cover The Inner Mounting Flame
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA
4.55 | 69 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
BILLY COBHAM Shabazz Album Cover Shabazz
BILLY COBHAM
4.63 | 16 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
EDDIE HENDERSON Realization Album Cover Realization
EDDIE HENDERSON
4.60 | 14 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Birds of Fire Album Cover Birds of Fire
MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA
4.46 | 70 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MILES DAVIS Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall Album Cover Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall
MILES DAVIS
4.50 | 25 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MILES DAVIS Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time Album Cover Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time
MILES DAVIS
4.67 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MILES DAVIS Pangaea Album Cover Pangaea
MILES DAVIS
4.45 | 22 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MILES DAVIS Big Fun Album Cover Big Fun
MILES DAVIS
4.42 | 27 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
LES MCCANN Invitation to Openness Album Cover Invitation to Openness
LES MCCANN
4.58 | 8 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!

fusion online videos

fusion New Releases

.. Album Cover
Fillmore West, San Francisco, 1970
Live album
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Django-Shift
Album
REZ ABBASI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Tales From Amazonia
Album
LORD SHAMBLETON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live in Tokyo 1980 Part 2
Live album
RYO KAWASAKI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Lockdown Sessions
EP
MARK WIBBERLEY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Norse Link + B Sides
EP
MARK WIBBERLEY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Ritual Begins At Sundown
Album
ROBBY KRIEGER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Shadows and The Light
Album
QUIN KIRCHNER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live At New Morning, Paris
Live album
RYAN PORTER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Lost Septet
Live album
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
II
Album
NIR FELDER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Blue Has A Range
Album
STEVE CARDENAS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
There´s Always Madness
Album
MOISÉS P. SÁNCHEZ
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live 1985
Live album
JACO PASTORIUS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live Tokyo '85
Boxset / Compilation
PAT METHENY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live In Saratoga
Live album
PAT METHENY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live Paris In 1991
Live album
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
A Day In The Life
Album
QUENTIN COLLINS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Pianoholic Takes
Album
HIROSHI MINAMI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Space Sailors
Album
RYMDEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Legacy Holder
Album
JONATHAN BARBER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Le Jeune Homme au Violon
Live album
DIDIER LOCKWOOD
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Dreamscape Room
Album
XAVI REIJA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
AuB
Album
ALEX HITCHCOCK
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Best Foot Forward
Album
MARTIN CHUNG
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live In London
Live album
WEATHER REPORT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Paul Williamson Quartet ‎: Dark Energy
Album
PAUL WILLIAMSON (TRUMPET)
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
From Here To Here
Album
DAVID GILMORE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Solo un Minuto
Album
ARMANDO ALONSO
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Escape from Urumchi
Album
BOSQUE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Achim Kirchmair Trio : Sunkeeper
Album
ACHIM KIRCHMAIR
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Stuff I Heard
Album
TROY ROBERTS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Eclipse
Album
ATLAS 4TET
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Ray Suhy & Lewis Porter Quartet : Transcendent
Album
RAY SUHY & LEWIS PORTER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Runway
Album
BOB REYNOLDS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Against Empire
Album
BILL LASWELL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Life Is The Dancer
Album
ROB LUFT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Kosmonauts
Album
WAKKI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Millstream
Album
SHAWN MAXWELL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live in Edmonton
Live album
DJABE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Happy Hours
Album
CHRISTOPHE MARGUET
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Moments and Fragments
Album
BLOOMERANGS (#BLOOMERANGS)
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Absentia
Album
FOREFRONT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Stories
Album
TOM KENNEDY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Gilles Peterson Presents : MV4
Live album
10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Art In April
Album
ART JOHNSON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
2 of Hearts
Album
ROB MULLINS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Frames
Album
JOHN KRASULA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Parks & Wreck
Album
AARON PARKS (DRUMS)
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Kind of New : Black Magic
Live album
JASON MILES
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Dead Don't Dream
Album
VERNERI POHJOLA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Rhapsodize
Album
ELDAR DJANGIROV
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
With A Little Help From My Friends / Singing/Playing
Boxset / Compilation
LARRY CARLTON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Clark Sommers' Ba(SH) : Peninsula
Album
CLARK SOMMERS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Primary Colors
Album
JOHN VANORE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Cygnus
EP
GRAHAM COSTELLO'S STRATA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Chicoronho
Album
NENÉ PELEIRA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Freedom
Album
FERENC NEMETH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Ángel Ontalva & Vespero : Sada
Album
ÁNGEL ONTALVA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Persistence
Album
AMINA FIGAROVA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Write Out Your Head
Album
WAYNE KRANTZ
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Reality Check
Album
THEO HILL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Nimaime
EP
KARI BAND
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Tokyo 1978
Live album
WEATHER REPORT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Jaco Pastorius Band : Tokyo 83
Live album
JACO PASTORIUS
Buy this album from MMA partners

fusion Music Reviews

MARC JOHNSON Second Sight

Album · 1987 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Steve Wyzard
ENDLESS SUMMER DAY

If you've never been convinced that a back-cover photograph could epitomize an album of instrumental performances, take a look at Dieter Rehm's placid beach scene on the back of Marc Johnson's Second Sight (1987). While Johnson's first album with the same line-up (1986's Bass Desires) was an off-the-wall avant-garde surprise, Second Sight, while retaining some of the same textures, is otherwise very different. This is a much more cohesive, accessible, thought-provoking, and yes, relatively quieter album that doesn't sacrifice any of Bass Desires's sense of adventure or experimentalism. Second Sight remains the better album for the simple reason of more memorable compositions and atmospheres. Which of course begs the question, "Why is there a lone helicopter over the ocean on the front cover?"

The vigorous drumming of Peter Erskine and the howling guitar trade-offs of Bill Frisell (left-channel) and John Scofield (right-channel) mark "Crossing the Corpus Callosum" as a continuation of the previous album. The beach seems very far away in this musical depiction of a futuristic landscape with Frisell's special effects and Johnson's arco playing. From here on out, the sonic atmosphere changes radically, with Frisell's following "Small Hands" being a gently picked largo. Erskine's "Sweet Soul" is one of those magical moods you wish could last forever: somewhat reminiscent of the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows", Scofield takes the first verse, Frisell the second verse, and both join together on two choruses for this album's most soulful (naturally) track. Before anyone thinks this has become an easy-listening album, Scofield's "Twister" and "Thrill Seekers" restore order with twangy guitars, rock'n'roll clichés, offbeat drumming, bizarre basslines, and much soloing. Johnson, who never dominates the material, takes his first solo on "Thrill Seekers", which fades with more of Frisell's loopy effects. "Prayer Beads" is entirely a solo piece for Johnson, with a performance moving from leisurely to energetic. Listen to the double-bass strings snap against the fretboard in a resonant recording studio (credit: Rainbow/Oslo). "1951" is a quirky, country-ish Frisell composition with stops and starts, bends, slides, a wandering bridge, and subtle percussion from Erskine. The album closes peacefully with Johnson's "Hymn for Her".

Before recording this album, both Johnson and Erskine had guested on John Abercrombie's masterful Current Events, and many of the same ethereal atmospheres on that album appear on this one. In spite of the wild contrasts, Second Sight is a lot more beautiful and a lot more "just plain fun" than Bass Desires, and is highly recommended to fans of all the players involved. In 1998, Johnson and Frisell would record an album called The Sound of Summer Running that attempts to be an aural sequel to this album, but falls just short. It's on the Verve label, and has Pat Metheny replacing John Scofield, and Joey Baron instead of Peter Erskine.

BOSQUE Escape from Urumchi

Album · 2020 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
It took five years and some significant line up changes for Serbian fusion band Bosque to release their second album,"Escape from Urumchi". Initially a sextet, here they come as guitar-less quartet with only two original members, bassist Miloš Bosnić (band's leader), and sax player Dušan Petrović. Two newcomers are keyboardist Stevan Milijanović and drummer Aleksa Milijanović.

The new album's opener is actually a short operatic intro of excellent soprano Jovana Čurović with minimalist accompaniment of flutist Jelena Vujnović. But right from the second song, "Welcome to Urumchi", the listener is involved in absolutely unique parallel world - well played and perfectly recorded electro-acoustic song recalling best early fusion examples coming from 70s. Bassist Miloš Bosnić sounds very much as NHØ Pedersen on archival recordings from that time playing with Archie Shepp - anchoring the sound with strong bopish groove.

Other album's songs are more muscular, less jazzy, but the combination of analog keyboards and groovy bass with very well executed songs build a very authentic atmosphere of creative spirit which gave us the best fusion masterpieces almost a half-a-century ago.

Influences varies from Corea's RTF excellent debut to the band's more rock-oriented recordings with Clarke on bass, but most important that Bosque here sounds very honest. During all these decades we evidenced myriads of RTF clones of different quality, Bosque fortunately doesn't sound as one of them. Much more, they sound as rare golden grail from vaults, recorded in 1972 and by chance found right now, or the band from parallel reality, where the year of 1972 isn't over yet.

Anyway, for fans of early 70s quality fusion this album is a real discovery. Surprisingly enough, it is not an example of nostalgia, but a piece of good music, maybe just got lost in time.

DAVE ASKREN Dave Askren & Jeff Benedict Paraphernalia - Music Of Wayne Shorter

Album · 2020 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Dave Askren and Jeff Benedict are a guitar and sax duo who record together occasionally when they are not performing with other high profile artists. For their third album together, “Paraphernalia”, they enlisted Jonathan Pintoff on bass and Chris Garcia on percussion as they pay tribute to Wayne Shorter by recording ten of his compositions. They go for a nice variety of Wayne’s work by including tracks from his solo albums, plus his work with Miles, and one from Weather Report. Thankfully there is no attempt to emulate Shorter, the feel and rhythm for each song has been altered considerably, and Benedict’s sound and phrasing do not carry much similarity to Shorter either. Having a percussionist instead of a full trap set gives the music a light buoyant quality, this is west coast music, somewhat cerebral and laid back, but still very rhythmic and funky.

As mentioned earlier, the basic rhythms of these classic songs have been changed. “E.S.P.” has a relaxed hip-hop shuffle, “Yes and/or No” becomes a mambo and “Fall” is a 6/8 Afro-Cuban groove. Its interesting to notice that due to the abstract nature of Shorter’s melodies, some of his songs are not instantly familiar when the background has been altered. Considering how many times I heard “Heavy Weather” back in the day, “Harlequin” from that album almost slipped by me, barely recognizable without its original big electronic sound. Top track on here may be “Mahjong” with its propulsive drive and John Schofield flavored guitar scratching.

CHRIS POTTER Circuits

Album · 2019 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Steve Wyzard
AWESTRUCK - SO MUCH MUSIC!

Don't let the word "much" throw you. This is not a long, meandering album. Rather it's an unparalleled exercise in how much music four gifted musicians can pack into a visceral 61:35. A huge departure from his relatively restrained work on ECM, not only is Circuits Chris Potter's best album yet, but it's also a strong contender for one of the best of the last decade.

This 21st century fusion masterpiece open with a brief "Invocation", a multi-tracked chorale with layers of saxes and clarinets. The temperature rises with the massive thrust of "Hold it", where James Francies's keyboards remind one of the mid-1970s performances of Hancock/Zawinul/Duke. "The Nerve" is this album's "Eastern"-flavored number, beginning with a loop-pedal of multi-tracked flutes before settling into a groove. "Koutome" features a bass clarinet intro and the bubbling/bustling drums and percussion of Eric Harland before a segue into the chaotic "Circuits". More tape-loops, a mind-bending synth solo, and sax lines of Monkian-complexity almost beg for transcription: I dare you!

The non-pastoral "Green Pastures" is probably this album's most accessible composition. After a synth bass/bass clarinet opening, the Michael Brecker comparison Potter is often saddled with applies here. "Queens of Brooklyn" provides a brief respite from the intensity, with mellow soprano sax over piano chords, before dissolving into a brooding sax/clarinet chorus backed by guitar (played by Potter). Then strap yourself in for the ridiculously speedy tempi of "Exclamation" and the rhythmic, keyboard-heavy "Pressed for Time". Potter and Harland seemingly never stop soloing, while Francies contributes a Fender Rhodes showpiece. Then sit back and wipe your brow when it's all over. Let it also be said that Linley Marthe contributes phenomenal electric bass to "The Nerve", "Koutome", "Circuits", and "Exclamation".

I'm not sure if Potter painstakingly writes out all his lines/arrangements beforehand, but whether or not he does, it's obvious a lot of time, work and thought went into this recording. Circuits (appearing on the Edition label) is one of those albums you can listen to for the rest of your life and still not hear everything. Some will say, "there's too much going on" or "this is just showing off", as this is a far more extroverted album than much of Potter's previous work. Yet Potter and Harland remain leaders in the jazz field on their respective instruments, while both Francies and Marthe are names to be reckoned with based on this album. Until hearing Circuits, I might have proclaimed Dave Holland's Prism album (2013, also featuring Eric Harland) to be the clearest candidate for Jazz Album of the 2010's Decade. Now, I'm not so sure.

HOZAN YAMAMOTO Beautiful Bamboo-Flute

Album · 1971 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
dreadpirateroberts
This 1971 album from one of Japan’s most famous flautists is at once ‘cool’ and almost ‘spacey’ while also coming across as ‘warm’. Production-wise, there’s a lot of reverb in the mix but it’s not drowning out the instruments either.

The pieces often sit neatly in a light fusion/funk place that’s mostly driven by the rhythm section of Nobuo Hara’s Sharps & Flats, but there’s probably also enough blues and jazz to hopefully satisfy a range of listeners – especially of progressive big band, I reckon.

In some ways, “Beautiful Bamboo-Flute” puts me in the mind of a more laid-back Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band, with maybe more focus on Latin sub-genres where you’ll get more hints of say, Bossa Nova than Hard Bop.

There are also plenty of traditional, folk elements to the album too, not just via Yamamoto’s playing but in the source material. ‘Nanbu Ushioi-Uta’ for instance, is not wholly haunting in its updated arrangement, at least not compared to ‘Itsuki no Komori-Uta’, which verges on menacing. These tracks especially will probably bring to mind what a lot of people might imagine when Japanese flute is mentioned.

The latter half of the album is where the arrangements open up to a little more soloing but again, this isn’t a bop album – which I’m not saying is a bad thing at all.

I think if you’re a fan of any of the folks I’ve mentioned above, or perhaps even Osamu Kitajima, then you’ll definitely like this release, even though it has a little less guitar overall than Kitajima albums.

fusion movie reviews

WEATHER REPORT Live in Germany 1971

Movie · 2010 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
Well if the world still has to find some live recording from the very first studio all-star line-up (not likely, though), at least we've got now something very close to and we can even see the quintet at work with this just-as-famous version in the form of a German TV show called the Beat Club. With only Airto Moreira gone, replaced by Brazilian countryman Um Romao, the other four being Vitous, Shorter, Mouzon and Zawinul, Weather Report embarked on this TV show adventure not knowing that Alphonse Mouzon would leave the band in a while.

As you'd expect this broadcast consisted mainly of tracks from the debut album, but some are fairly different as WR always made improvisation their force. So you'll recognize 'Umbrellas generic structure, but drafted fairly differently, not just because of Romao's constant change of percussions instruments - he's one of the visual focus of the group, who otherwise remains fairly static and even blows a flute (and later some whistles) for a short while. One of the big difference between the studio album and this broadcast is that Miroslav has taken up the electric bass (his contrabass is still very present but mainly played with a bow), thus allowing even more energy to invade the quintet's shared space. The group's steaming-hot improvised fusion is simply awesome and flows naturally from your speakers like a river of fresh lave spewing out from your volcanic woofers.

Clearly the gravitational centre of the band is Zawinul's Rhodes, but it is clear that it is the group's tightness its main force. Morning Lake is much needed breathing space, starting out slowly with Shorter's sax signalling the dawn for Romao's birdsongs. Just past that Dom pulls an Brazilian berimbau . Drummer Alphonse sings funkilly (rather well, too) a rare sung track in the closing medley, but it's will veer into the Dr Honoris Causa - later on the Body Electric album.

A while later, Mouzon would leave the band and be replaced by drummer Erik Gravatt and this line-up would go on to record Body Electric and the Tokyo concert (released in 77, but part of it in the ISTBE album) and in the process become the definitive line-up of the Vitous- era Weather Report But for now, this German TV broadcast is an inestimable witness of the group's almost original line-up, and is just as essential as their debut album, the Tokyo concert or Body Electric.Too bad it's relatively short, though. Run for this baby...

DIXIE DREGS Live At The Montreaux Jazz Festival

Movie · 2005 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Slartibartfast
This was the Dixie Dregs lineup that I first come to know live and otherwise. The Montreaux Jazz Festival performance was used for side two of the LP Night of the Living Dregs. I had no idea the concert was filmed. This represents the band at their prime. Keyboardist Mark Parrish, would soon be replaced by T Lavitz, who is a better keyboard player, but this as this performance testifies, he was no slouch either. Oddly enough, the back cover of this DVD shows a band picture with the original keyboardist from Freefall, Steve Davidowski (guess there was only room for one Steve in this band). Steve Morse was at his most inspired around this time, even though he has certainly grown in skill over the years.

The set list is a little disappointing as it lacks some of the prime cuts from What If (Night Meets Light, Odyssey, Travel Tunes, What If), but I'm not complaining. Now I have something more than just memories of the many Dregs shows I saw back then. It is more of a forward looking set which includes Attila The Hun, that didn't show up on an album until three years later. Also of note, but of less interest to progressive rock fans, is the bluegrass style ditty, Kathreen, never released on a regular album, but only showed up on their demo album, The Great Spectacular, from 1975. If you have a copy of that album, you have something rare, indeed.

Thrown in for bonus are two live TV appearances, one on American Can'tstand (Bandstand) and one on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert. On the former, you get to see them both try out a vocalist, in an attempt to appeal to a more mainstream audience, and with Mark O'Connor, who only played with them for one album, but a few great live shows before the band disbanded for a few years.

As great as the band studio albums were, the live shows took things to an even higher level. Now you can see what you missed, unless you didn't.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Abstract Logix Live! / The New Universe Music Festival 2010

Movie · 2011 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Abstract Logix’s New Universe Festival of 2010 was probably one of the more significant fusion concerts in recent history, and it is all captured in excellent form on this concert video. Many of the top names in current fusion are here and what a great varied and colorful approach they all bring to this music that will always be associated with its 70s roots. Ranjit Barot fuses fusion with Indian flavors and orchestral music, Human Element bring back the beautiful noise and chaos that has been absent since the early days of jazz-rock, Wayne Krantz takes on the modern NYC flavor with his harsh jarring free funk, Jimmy Herring plays sentimental, sometimes delicate, progressive rock flavored fusion, and of course the great John McLaughlin rounds it all up with high speed post bop mixed with funk and contemporary fusion. Every single performance is top notch and very convincing in letting us know that there is still plenty of life left in this sometimes maligned genre.

The music on here is great, but the video itself is even better. Its amazing how far concert videos have come over the years. This one is clear as a bell and features lots of accurate close-ups of the musicians as they display their virtuoso skills. They say that fusion is a musician’s music, if that is the case, then this video is a great learning tool for the aspiring player. Much of the footage on here goes right to the source and features the musician’s hands as they work their scales and fret boards. Any aspiring fusionist can pick up a lifetime of high speed licks and extended technique by studying this video and even stop-starting it it frame by frame. Long gone are the days of vague camera angles from way far away and pointless shots of musicians grimacing while they play, this video is all about accuracy and showing you exactly how this music goes down. This is a spirited and enthusiastic concert and highly recommended for fans of modern fusion.

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Live At Montreux 74/84

Movie · 2007 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Slartibartfast
The 1984 appearance of the MO was a lineup that didn't have any of the previous MO lineup of musicians except for John. Still there was a pretty impressive roster. Jonas Hellborg, on bass, steals the show. I suspect he's been rather influenced by Jaco at this point. Also, we also have Bill Evans, fairly fresh out of his stint saxing with Miles Davis. There's also a fine drummer, Danny Gottlieb, who'd played with Pat Metheny prior. Don't know much about Mitchell Forman. With John experimenting with the Synclavier Guitar so much, the keyboards are almost redundant in this ensemble. I had a hard time sitting through this at first. It definitely has that '80's taint, if you know what I mean. But I've warmed up to it. It's a bit like an attempt to return to the magic of the original lineup that doesn't quite get there. Still, if you judge it in the context of the time, it's not too bad.

I got this for one reason and one reason only, it was the two video bits from the Apocalypse lineup of Mahavishu Orchestra. Actually calling them bits isn't quite accurate. Wings of Karma and Hymn to Him are actually decently long pieces. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had some actual orchestra musicians with them there at Montreaux. The first inkling I got that there was some live footage from this MO lineup was a poor quality video of Smile of the Beyond on a certain video clip web site many of us know of. It's very disappointing that we only get two clips from the show with video and the rest are audio only. I'm guessing the rest of the original footage has been lost. One can only hope that it will resurface. The performance is a bit more structured than the more compact MO's could be live, but that's to be expected due to the larger number of musician's involved. Still the core band does get to work in some improvisation, McLaughlin in particular.

This release is all in all a pleasant surprise for 2007, but there's more video out there from the older Mahavishu Orchestras, and I hope to see that material surface soon. It gets a four on the round up.

JEFF BECK Performing This Week...Live At Ronnie Scott's

Movie · 2008 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Slartibartfast
Holy crap, there's a new Jeff Beck live DVD out there!.

...I thought as I saw this at the record store. This is why it's important to keep those local independent brick and mortar record stores open: you'll never know what you'll find browsing.

As near as I've been able to find out, Jeff Beck (THE Beck, not that other guy) hadn't been touring in a long time, but rather was sticking to special performances. To make up for it, sort of, he did a week's worth of shows at London's Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in late November 2007. I've never been there, but it looks a little large as some jazz clubs go but still reasonably intimate. I'm pretty sure you don't need binoculars to observe any performances there.

Jeff has assembled an interesting set of musicians, the oldest being Jeff himself (b. 1944), Vinnie Colaiuta (1956) on drums, Jason Rebello (1969) on keys, and Tal Wilkenfeld (1986) on bass. Vinnie I know best from association with Zappa, Jason's new to me but I found out has worked with Sting, Tal (new to the music scene) hails from Australia and judging from her performance she is someone to really keep your eye on. Guests appearances by Joss Stone, Imogen Heap, and Eric Clapton, heyyy.

The set list, not really the proper term as it must have been culled from all the shows, is an impressive collection of material spanning Jeff's career so far. Original stuff includes Beck's Bolero {is this not actually a cover?}, Led Boots, Scatterbrain, Angel, Blast From The East, Rollin' And Tumblin'. Also some nice covers thrown in for good measure including Eternity's Breath!, Cause We've Ended As Lovers {never really seemed like a cover to me}, People Get Ready, A Day In The Life, You Need Love). You also get some interviews as bonus material and the DVD booklet is a nice read. 21 tracks altogether, mixed in Dolby 5.1 and DTS surround sounds with a 16:9 video format, I might add.

Wish I was there but this is the next best thing. It's one hell of a way to experience one hell of a guitarist. It's a live assortment, but due the quality and quantity I am rounding this one up.

Artists with 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
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

High Heart 21st Century Modern
BEN WENDEL
Buy this album from MMA partners
Rare Home Recordings Stride Piano
FATS WALLER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Live 1967 University Of California Post Bop
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Alive In Harlem Hard Bop
STEVE SLAGLE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Django's Castle
REZ ABBASI
js· 20 hours ago
Hideto Sasaki, Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet + 1 - Stop Over
SASAKI HIDETO - SEKINE TOSHIYUKI QUARTET
js· 21 hours 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