Recently, one of my friends asked me for some decent fusion jazz songs to sample and understand what fusion jazz is all about. Here is my selection of the best fusion jazz tracks over the past few decades.
Note that there is a peak in fusion jazz in the 70’s which is interesting because it’s shortly after the discovery of fusion jazz in the late 60’s but by the time you get to the 80’s, most of the heavy fusion jazz artists are starting to explore other music genres and styles.
Another observation is the quality of the recordings - we often play a “Guess the Year” game on the Fusion Delusion and listening to the recording quality, particularly the muddiness of the drums in the 70’s, is often a tell-tale sign.
Miles Davis - John McLaughlin
Herbie Hancock - Actual Proof
Chick Corea - Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy
Billy Cobham - Red Baron
Jean-Luc Ponty - Enigmatic Ocean
Mike Stern - Chromazone
T-Square - Truth
UZEB - New Funk
Chick Corea Elektric Band - Charged Particles
Tribal Tech - Face First
00’s and beyond
CAB (CAB 4) - Hold On
Brad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana - Hungry Ghost
So that’s it. Hope you enjoyed the selection above of “fusion jazz classics”. Of course, there is a ton more music and many more artists that float in and out of the genre, which is what the Fusion Delusion show is all about. This wikipedia list is quite comprehensive:
Oh and it really is quite an international ‘thing’, with heaps of bands from the US but also the likes of T-Square and Casiopea from Japan, Azymuth from Brazil, Jeff Beck and Bill Bruford from the UK and our faviourites from here in Australia, Ayers Rock.