Jazz fusion

Called fusion, jazz rock or jazz rock, is a style of music that developed itself since the mid- 1960s and which blends the sophistication of jazz with the rhythmic intensity of the radio and the power of rock music. Fusion was very popular in the 1970s and is still successfully in modified form.


Fusion of rock and jazz

The history of the fusion jazz began in 1962 in New York City with the group Jeremy and the Satyrs, which was formed by the jazz flutist Jeremy Steig. The value of this band is, however, difficult to assess in retrospect, as the music of the band to perform regularly at the Café A Go Go was not until 1968 that documented on disk. Began in 1965 Blues Project, elements of folk rock, the blues-rock and jazz together. The group has played with organ, electric guitar and bass guitar and worked to Rock style with vocalists. Also founded in 1965 Larry Coryell and Jim Pepper, the quintet Free Spirits. This group was psychedelic oriented, but also open to Old- Time Music music. On the west coast musicians experimented in the context of John Handy 1965-1967 with rock accents, the electrically amplified instruments (guitar, violin) were used. In the successor groups emerged on the one hand by guitarist Jerry Hahn, on the other hand to the violinist Michael White and keyboardist Mike Nock the New Zealand ( The Fourth Way ).

In Europe, there were early and partly independent of the development in the U.S. jazz-rock movement, which initially remained relatively unnoticed and not a great commercial success had granted. First, there is the Graham Bond Organization to call, in the introduced the Mellotron, the Hammond organ reinforced and the bass guitar melodic functions have been assigned. From this group came with John McLaughlin and Jack Bruce two musicians who later contributed as well as her compatriot Dave Holland and in the U.S. for the development of rock jazz. The Dave Pike Set transported in Central Europe since 1968, the fusion of rock and jazz music.

However, the trigger for the recognition of this musical flow through the music industry were the Miles Davis - panels In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, above all, where did Joe Zawinul significant share. Had the Jazz operated until then almost exclusively acoustic instruments, including many electric instruments such as electric guitar, electric piano, the electric violin and synthesizer were now being used. The jazz trumpeter Miles Davis alienated example, his trumpet playing in Dark Magus (1974 ) with effect pedals for electric guitars. The percussion is not limited to his usual role of having to beat the clock, but becomes a full-fledged solo instrument.

When Rock Jazz are all musicians have equal access ( polyphony ). Although even here the soloist ( guitar, keyboards, horns ) an important role is conceded, are nevertheless substantially bassist and drummer - similar to this since Bill Evans jazz increasingly prevailed - no longer a sideman, but get enough space for themselves and their instrument. In the 1970s was distinguished from the jazz -based rock jazz of the time attributed to the Rock Jazz Rock, in which bassist and drummer mostly had accompaniment function and become more oriented in their play on the idiom of rock. Since 1968 created - partly initiated by Al Kooper and other musicians of the Blues Project - Brass rock bands that added wind to a conventional rock lineup. The best known were the group Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago, The Flock, Dreams and ( somewhat later ) Chase. From Europe to call with a slightly different concept Colosseum. Using the example of Soft Machine is clear that there were other fusion groups, which can be clearly attributed neither to the Rock Jazz or jazz rock.

The first phase of the creative musical fusion lies in the first half of the 1970s. The albums by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin and the group Weather Report, Chick Corea's Return to Forever and the British band Ian Carr Nucleus to are considered classics this time. Some fusion jazz musicians had for the exceptionally large commercial successes. The album Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock sold millions of copies, and John McLaughlin, and above all Weather Report reached a large audience.

Further development

Around 1975 the jazz radio was as a - more recognized subspecies of the fusion style - besides rock jazz and jazz-rock. Was Here - driven by drummer Jack DeJohnette as, Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, and a little later Ronald Shannon Jackson - an almost naive sounding music emerged that was danceable despite complicated time signatures and time changes and at the same time required instrumental improvisation.

During the late 1970s, the level of fusion flattened but partially. Some musicians drifted in commercial and pleasing pop and disco jazz, others replaced lack of inspiration by virtuoso instrumental acrobatics. Next was the technical skills of the musicians a means to achieve a great musical intensity, the virtuosity of the musicians seemed to be probably also end in itself later. This is therefore not the radio-friendly catchiness of the melodies in the foreground, but the high enthusiasm of the artists and the representation of what is possible with a well- played instrument. Nevertheless, there is also always musicians such as the M-Base Collective, who reflect on the intrinsic qualities of the merger, so the pairing of jazzy sophistication with the power of funk and rock music. Towards the end of the 1990s, musicians such as Dave Douglas and Medeski, Martin & Wood reoccupied significantly to the roots of the merger.


The fusion of jazz, rock and funk is in retrospect a historical style that greatly influenced the development of jazz. She wowed in the 1970s, a large audience for this music and jazz musicians in addition opened new venues. The merger formed the style of an entire generation of musicians also, even if this part were no longer active later in her. Many musicians who later zuwendeten acoustically played music, held firmly to the fusion concept, and make ( such as Roberto di Gioia or Eddie Gomez) arranged skillfully until today, entertaining music of very high complexity.

The merger had a total great musical successes. She was also a prerequisite for further development in the genres rock, funk and jazz. Due to the technical perfection of many participating musicians who came from the field of jazz, held a new professionalism entry into the funk and rock music. It more and more musicians were active in this new music genre that had a basic training in jazz behind and to play such example, as a drummer, both swinging jazz and driving rock rhythms, as saxophonist blowing virtuosity free solos and soul containing riffs, or to set as a guitarist noisy sounds and harmonic jazz chords.


In addition to these musicians were important groups Chick Corea's Return To Forever, John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, Joe Zawinul's Weather Report. The founders of all these style defining groups worked at the triggering album Bitches Brew with. Even European musicians such as Jean -Luc Ponty, Volker Kriegel (Inside: Missing Link with Albert Mangelsdorff ), Wolfgang Dauner ( Etcetera ), Ian Carr ( Nucleus ), Joachim Kühn, Dieter Seelow and Pierre Courbois ( Association PC), Jasper van't Court ( pork pie ), Pekka Pohjola, Zbigniew Namysłowski or Allan Holdsworth laid albums ago by superior power, quality and creativity, as well as the fusion albums by Frank Zappa - Hot Rats (1969 ), Waka / Jawaka (1972 ) and The Grand Wazoo (1972 ) - some are entirely independent of the concept of a fusion Miles Davis.

After the early years groups such as Steps Ahead, the Brecker Brothers, and the bands of Pat Metheny and Dave Sanborn have been added.

Known fusion albums

  • The Free Spirits: Out of Sight and Sound (ABC, 1967)
  • Tony Williams: Emergency! (1969)
  • Frank Zappa: Hot Rats (1969 ), Uncle Meat (1969 ), Waka / Jawaka (1972 ), The Grand Wazoo (1972 ), Make a Jazz Noise Here ( 1991)
  • Miles Davis: In a Silent Way ( 1969) Bitches Brew (1970), Dark Magus (1974 )
  • Nucleus: Elastic Skirt ( Vertigo, 1970)
  • Keith Tippett: Dedicated to You But You Were not Listening (1970 )
  • Soft Machine: Third ( 1970) Bundles (1975 )
  • Colosseum: Colosseum Live (1971 )
  • Weather Report: Weather Report (1971 ), Heavy Weather (1976 )
  • Mahavishnu Orchestra: The Inner Mounting Flame (1971 ), Birds of Fire ( 1973)
  • Chick Corea: Return to Forever (Album ) ( 1972)
  • Embryo: We Keep On ( Brain, 1972)
  • Herbie Hancock: Crossings (1972 ), Head Hunters (1973 )
  • Billy Cobham: Spectrum (1973 )
  • Zbigniew Namysłowski, Winobranje (1973 )
  • Larry Coryell: Introducing Eleventh House (1974 )
  • Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom (1974 )
  • Michał Urbaniak: Fusion (CBS, 1974)
  • The Crusaders: Scratch ( MCA, 1974)
  • Patrice Rushen: Prelusion ( Fantasy, 1974)
  • Jean -Luc Ponty Upon the Wings of Music (Atlantic, 1975)
  • The Brecker Brothers: The Brecker Brothers ( Arista, 1975)
  • Jan Hammer / Jerry Goodman: Like Children (1975 )
  • Alphonse Mouzon: Mind Transplant (1975 )
  • Harvey Mason: Marchin ' in the Street ( Arista 1975)
  • Jeff Beck: Blow by Blow (1975 ), Wired (1976 )
  • Stanley Clarke: School Days (1976 )
  • Jaco Pastorius: Jaco Pastorius (1976 )
  • Urszula Dudziak Urszula ( Arista, 1976)
  • John Handy & Lee Ritenour: Where Go the Boats ( Inak 1976)
  • Ramsey Lewis: Salongo (CBS, 1976)
  • John Lee and Gerry Brown: Still Can not Say Enough ( Blue Note, 1976)
  • The Headhunters: Straight from the Gate ( Arista, 1977)
  • Al Di Meola: Elegant Gypsy ( 1977)
  • Lee Ritenour Captain Fingers ( Epic, 1977)
  • Lonnie Liston Smith: Live (RCA, 1977)
  • George Duke: Reach for It (CBS, 1977)
  • Carlos Santana: The Swing of Delight ( CBS, 1980)
  • Hiram Bullock: From All Sides (1986 )
  • Mike Stern: Jigsaw (1989 )
  • Dave Weckl: Master Plan (1990 )
  • Michael Mainieri: Wanderlust ( NYC, 1992)
  • Wayne Krantz: Long to Be Loose ( 1993)
  • Simon Phillips: Symbiosis (1995 )
  • Screaming Headless Torsos Screaming Headless Torsos (1995 )
  • John Scofield: A Go Go ( Verve, 1998)
  • Tribal Tech: Thick (Zebra, 1999)
  • Dean Brown: Here ( 2000)
  • Allan Holdsworth: All Night Wrong ( Live in Japan 2002)
  • Buckethead: Population Override ( ION, 2004)
  • California Transit Authority ( CTA): Full Circle ( 7us, 2009)
  • Panzerballett Tank Goodness (2012 )