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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AL DI MEOLA Flesh on Flesh Album Cover Flesh on Flesh
AL DI MEOLA
4.50 | 8 ratings
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ANOUAR BRAHEM Astrakan Café Album Cover Astrakan Café
ANOUAR BRAHEM
4.50 | 8 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 | 9 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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JAN GARBAREK Rites Album Cover Rites
JAN GARBAREK
4.39 | 10 ratings
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ANOUAR BRAHEM Le pas du chat noir Album Cover Le pas du chat noir
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4.42 | 6 ratings
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AVISHAI COHEN (BASS) Continuo Album Cover Continuo
AVISHAI COHEN (BASS)
4.50 | 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

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.

MASADA New Masada Quartet

Album · 2021 · World Fusion
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snobb
The original acoustic Masada, presented at the end of the last century was an innovative and partially genre-defining John Zorn project with Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, and Joey Baron combining Klezmer and free jazz. Electric Masada modifications in the beginning of the new Millennium was a true bomb, an explosive mix of heavy metal and free jazz scented with Near East knotty tunes.

Twenty years later, this new incarnation includes the guitarist Julian Lage, the bassist Jorge Roeder, and the drummer Kenny Wollesen. If electric Masada was an Yiddish free jazz metal on steroids, New Masada Quartet sounds more like four seasoned veterans' unhurried conversation about the time they were young sitting under still-warm autumn sun. There is still a lot of Klezmer in the new album's music, a spark or a few of guitar/sax free soloing and a lot of mid tempo melancholy. Nothing revolutionary can be found here, not even high-energy ecstatic danceable, as on many recordings from the last century, and unfortunately - not even catchy melodies are presented. True, for the old band's fans this release is a reminder of sort how great the original Masada was at their time. Better choose one of the two-decades old releases, as a rule they are better for sure.

DEWA BUDJANA Naurora

Album · 2021 · World Fusion
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js
After excursions into hard rock and classical music, “Naurora” finds Dewa Budjana returning to what he does best, performing jazz fusion flavored with the sounds of southern and eastern Asia, progressive rock and big cinematic arrangements. Many well known guests join Dewa on this one, including Joey Alexander, Gary Husband, Dave Weckl, Paul McCandless and many more. “Naurora” continues a trend we have been seeing more of lately, and that is a CD whose length is equal to the length of a vinyl LP. Eighty minutes of music can be fatiguing, whereas about forty minutes seems to be just about right.

The best tracks on “Naurora” come early on with the first three leading the way. Album opener, and title track, “Naurora”, displays what Budjana is best at. Here we have that big soundtrack style production within a multi-sectional arrangement that often uses Indonesian gamelon type figures. Within this arrangement we are given lengthy solos from Dewa, as well as Joey Alexander on piano. The following song, “Swarna Jingga”, continues with the lavish arrangements and introduces Mateus Asato on guitar. As good as Budjana is, he is almost out shone by Mateus, who performs an excellent exchange with Dewa. Possibly the best number on the album is the ballad, Kmalasana”. This is a beautiful melody played on a guitar that is capable of South Asian style note bends. As the song builds, repeating guitar lines sound like a grand mid-70s Genesis opus, I was almost expecting Phil Collins’ vocals to come soaring in for the last refrain.

The rest of the album is good, but its those first three that really shine. Dewa really deserves to be better known amongst those that appreciate supreme fusion guitar flights. If you like performers like John McLaughlin and Alan Holdsworth, then there is a good chance this album, as well as many of his other albums, will be what you are looking for.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain : Is That So?

Album · 2020 · World Fusion
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snobb
Living legend English guitarist John McLaughlin is a man responsible for probably best ever recorded guitar fusion album. His early interest to Indian music (and culture in general)is well documented on "My Goal's Beyond"(1971) and more significantly on early Shakti albums which were again excellent examples of Indo-fusion.

Don't be fooled by the name though - the newest work, credited to McLaughlin as leader, "Is That So?", is not in the league of both above mentioned masterpieces.To be honest, "Is That So?" in reality is first of all vocal album of prolific Indian singer and films soundtrack composer Shankar Mahadevan. Being a cult figure in India, he's almost unknown in Western world, so crediting his album to McLaughlin as leader is understandable marketing trick for American label AbstractLogix,who released the album just a week ago.

Then,under the cover we have what we have. Shankar Mahadevan sings six lyrical songs,ballads of sort, under minimalist accompaniment of McLaughlin processed guitars and even more minimalist licks of another Indian,former Shakti tabla player Zakir Hussain.

Fortunately, all music doesn't sound as Bollywood soundtrack. It is more rooted to Indian traditional sound, but it is still first of all singer's album. McLaughlin guitars sound processed using computer,is liquid,rhythm-less and hardly differs from what could be produced using inexpensive synths. Tabla's soloing is most livable and most attractive element of all music, but we don't get a lot of it. Harmony-less Indian music without rhythmic component after some time sounds same again and again, at least for Westerner's ear.

Quite a weird release,it will hardly attract McLaughlin guitar work's fans or even Shakti early albums lovers. Maybe Shankar Mahadevan singing followers will find it interesting though.

NICOLAS MEIER Nicolas Meier World Group : Peaceful

Album · 2019 · World Fusion
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js
Nicolas Meier’s new album may be titled “Peaceful”, but don’t expect music that is timid or dull, instead, the music on here is exciting, energetic and very rhythmic. More than likely the term peaceful alludes to the positive vibes and peace encouraging all inclusive international flavor of Meier’s latest opus. For this one Nicolas has assembled his all acoustic World Group Quartet, consisting of himself on fretted and fretless guitars, Kevin Glasgow on bass, Richard Jones on violin and Demi Garcia on percussion. Together they take on musical styles from all over the globe including Gypsy, Samba, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Turkish and more. Meier takes most of the solos, and much like fellow guitarist George Benson, Nicolas makes his fleet scale runs sound easy, as if he is never breaking a sweat as he pulls of runs that would fatigue most. Jones takes a few solos too, but often backs up Nicolas with harmonies and background pedal points.

“Peaceful” opens with, “Besiktas”, a very continental flavored waltz with a bit of gypsy to it before they head into the high energy “Manzanita Samba”. The CD title track is a floating middle-eastern flavored ambient track that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Bill Laswell album. Many of the following tracks continue the middle eastern theme, often with very pronounced percussion driven grooves. “Water Lillies” takes us to Spain complete with the requisite hand clapping rhythmic backing. The album closes with “Soho Square’, a bluesy number with a loping rhythm somewhere in between gospel and western swing. Quite simply, “Peaceful” is as pleasant as the title implies, but never placid.

world fusion movie reviews

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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