Page 1 of 2
#1
Hi everyone, ok, I know this might piss at least one person off, but that is not the intent of my post. So, the title of this thread is, "I'm done with jazz fusion", but I'm actually not per se. I used to love Holdsworth, Frank Gambale, Metheny etc. - if you're reading this: you know the group - but now that stuff just leaves me cold...as ice.

I learned how to play guitar by playing along with Clapton, SRV, Van Halen etc. So I know that's always going to be my biggest influence. But I truly loved jazz fusion for the longest time. Well 20 years have passed and things have changed. Just for fun I youtubed Frank Gambale and listened to some of his stuff, and all I could think of was: "Where is the soul? Where's the heart and vibe in this music?" It's like masturbating on the fretboard with all the mega shredding.

Don't get me wrong, all the fusion guitarists I mentioned are insanely talented. But to me, for them it's more about the difficulty than the soul. I'm just getting old I guess...lol. But give me Clapton or Sonny Landreth or Santana or Jeff Beck or Satriani or Eddie or Duane Allman or any guitarists than can play 1 note and melt me, or make me feel that warm soul.

Yep that's what I dig now....end of rant.

StratMan23
#3
Check out Robben Ford, John Scofield, Oz Noy
Dissonance is Bliss


Signal Chain:
Carvin CT-4
Ibanez TS-9
Carvin Quad-X
TC Electronics G-Major
Mesa/Boogie 2:90
Ear Candy BuzzBomb



Member #4 of the Carvin Club
#4
Man there's nothing wrong with that, just remember that speed and technique expand your range so they're still important but playing what you think sounds cool is more important
#6
Well first, I'll say that all the above pieces are gorgeous, and all of the players are fantastic guitarists: no doubt. I did notice that these pieces all stayed closer to a melodic center than the kind of fusion I'm referring to - the kind that becomes irritating very quickly because of it's shreddy dissonance. The kind that pushes the envelope.

I liked all the vids that were posted here, but these are the softer more melody pieces, even for these guys.

My two cents, Strat
Holding a Strat is like holding a woman.....
#7
How do you start playing that stuff? I dont mind if it sounds like shit in the beginning, I just want to start playing it!!!
Quote by jpnyc
You are what they call a “rhythm guitarist”. While it's not as glamorous as playing lead you can still get laid. Especially if you can sing and play.




Beer is the solutions to the world's problems.

#10
I'll try and look up some Scott Henderson...is that who does Bitches Brew. If I'm not mistaken, Miles Davis had an album named Bitches Brew.

I'll give Scott a fair shake. If I'm moved, I'll get some of his stuff.

Thanks for all of your input!
Holding a Strat is like holding a woman.....
#11
Scott's work has always been top notch fusion. He doesnt play with bags of technique, just great phrasing.

If you're going for a Tribal Tech record, then my advice would be Face First, or maybe Rocket Science

His three solo albums are all blues, but all have slightly different feels to them
Dog Party - very much an SRV blues album
Tore Down House - Includes a little more of his jazz side CHECK OUT DOLEMITE!!! BEST SOLO!!!!
Well To The Bone - here he really embraces what he knows about Jazz and gets pretty out!

ALSO

The chick corea live in milan show (Elektric City) shows the original Elektric Band lineup with Scott, his playing is hot there. This hasnt been released on VHS or DVD, just laserdisc, but you can find uploads of it wherever you type it

Outside of the Henderson world

I really recommend Brett Garsed's solo album "Big Sky" again, all about the melody with very little "shred", often overlooked for this reason.
#13
You should try getting into actual jazz, not rock fusion which has little to do with jazz in my honest opinion.
#14
Quote by marc137
You should try getting into actual jazz, not rock fusion which has little to do with jazz in my honest opinion.



Well technically there would be no fusion if jazz had never been discovered. I've been into plenty of actual jazz, as a matter of fact I probably like pure jazz better than I do fusion.

BUT both of the genres have their roots tied to playing pretty far outside the lines. To me jazz and fusion are explorer styles of music. A lot of experimenting and very dissonant melodies and harmonies. I've played it. I know what's going on. But I quit playing it because I felt cold from it and no more passion for it anymore.
Holding a Strat is like holding a woman.....
#16
Quote by StratMan23
Well technically there would be no fusion if jazz had never been discovered. I've been into plenty of actual jazz, as a matter of fact I probably like pure jazz better than I do fusion.

BUT both of the genres have their roots tied to playing pretty far outside the lines. To me jazz and fusion are explorer styles of music. A lot of experimenting and very dissonant melodies and harmonies. I've played it. I know what's going on. But I quit playing it because I felt cold from it and no more passion for it anymore.

you gotta explore more jazz styles. jazz came from blues, the most emotional, soulfoul, moving style of music out there imo. if u know the history of the blues, and u listen to some of that, u can learn more about the history of jazz and why it sounds the way it sounds. there's definitely a lotta soul in jazz, but it all depends on the specific jazz style, hard-bop sounds nothing like smooth jazz for example. try some vocal jazz too, not like silly dudes who sing with big bands while snapping their fingers, i mean soulfoul jazz singers, usually women, who belt their heart out.

but jazz isnt always about emotion. sometimes improvising in a jazz combo can be more like a game, at least that's how i view it when i'm doing that. then there's jazz that seems to only accompany certain scenary, like theme songs in cartoons. there's a group of jazz tunes we often here in the background to car chases in movies and tv shows, i call it "car chase jazz."

miles davis played many different styles of jazz, almost all of them. if you listen to all of his work there has to be something there with the emotion you're looking for. hope this helped. and yes, bitches brew is a miles davis album.
#17
Intervention time. We can't be having someone falling off the Fusion wagon, especially when there's so much good stuff around at the moment. Listen to some of this, and see if it doesn't inspire you to get back into the habit.

Greg Howe- Morning View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3aof2MBpi0&feature=fvwrel

The Bad Plus- Iron Man (cover): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EVBUCHJvVo

Bireli Lagrene- Hips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKJMnv_MVOU

Jazz Fusion isn't all hundred note runs in Phrygian Dominant. It's like any other genre- there's a lot of crap, but there's also a lot of really beautiful stuff if you're ready to put in the effort and find it.

TIME


...I've created my own time signature. Geddit?

Are You a PROG-HEAD? I am.
#18
I think the term "Jazz Fusion" should be outlawed. Anyone who knows anything wouldn't disagree with the statement, that jazz as entrenched in tradition as it is, is constantly evolving - fusing the myriad colors, ideas, sounds, impressions of the NOW global diaspora. In a sense, I think of all contemporary music as "jazz fusion" but I'd never really call it such because of the baggage tied to the label.

As far as the thread starters sentiments go, I've had a similar experience myself with a large catalog of the so-called jazz fusion guitar players. However, with no disrespect to these amazing players, I realized that as my involvement in the core jazz tradition grew, I sort of tuned into the hardcore cats like Wes, Jimmy Raney, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Lenny Breau... 'cos that's the stuff where you'll find everything you need to know about playing over changes, which forms a large part of the bebop/jazz canon.

At the same time, there are some people like John Scofield and John McLaughlin who have clearly transcended the label and are stalwarts in the jazz idiom. Allan Holdsworth's music is never going to be everyone's cup of tea, and is certainly not for all occasions, but he's one guitar player who has sonically come the closest to sounding like Coltrane.

On the other hand, the present generation of "jazz fusion" (I'm playing devil's advocate here) guitar players like Wayne Krantz, Oz Noy, Adam Rogers, Ben Monder, Kurt Rosenwinkel (debatable in this category I know), Nels Cline, etc, sound nothing like say a Frank Gambale or Brett Garsed or Greg Howe or Steve Lukather (all 80/90s era fusionists). A lot of the 80s era jazz fusion records were not unsurprisingly guitar-hero oriented, and therefore the music sometimes took a backseat at the expense of chops.

Therefore in comparison to the traditional straight-ahead idiom, or the modern contemporary jazz, your Frank Gambale album (not to pick on Frank, but I just don't dig him at all anymore) is not going to sound super hip or intellectual.

However it's best not to generalize, but keep one's ears open as always. Every so often I manage to acquire some seriously cool Jazz Fusion records from the 80s/90s which totally blow me away. And finally, I can appreciate the occasional Allman Brothers tune, or an acoustic Jerry Garcia number, but if someone played Eric Clapton on the sly, I'd probably throw up over his stereo.
#19
The problem with jazz fusion, and the word "jazz" in general, is that it has been hijacked by overly-stuffy psuedo "intellectuals" who look down on anything that could even possibly hold anything close to a mainstream audience and is immediately labeled as sellout and intellectually inferior. If you don't like jazz fusion, fine. Quite frankly, most fusion guitarists do nothing for me, either. You're not a bad person or stupid for not liking it.

Matter of fact, I think a lot of people on this site would do a lot better to be more honest about their tastes. Despite the fact that the Blues and Jazz forum is one of the least active on the site, it seems that everyone lists jazz under their likes and influences because they think that listening to prog-rock makes them musicologists and makes them qualified to talk about any genre they damn well please.

But that's another issue. Basically, if you don't like it, you don't like it, period. There really is no need to make an announcement about it. End of thread.
Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything.

—Chick Corea
Last edited by Guppy_Odyssey at May 1, 2011,
#21
but if someone played Eric Clapton on the sly, I'd probably throw up over his stereo.


No need to make an announcement about Clapton either. Half the known guitar playing world has been influenced by him, you might want to show a little respect.


it's a forum sugar, people are entitled to do whatever pleases them

And also this!
Holding a Strat is like holding a woman.....
#22
I listened to Pat Metheny(which is mentioned)'s Speaking Of Now album and found them quite touching..
#23
Quote by marc137
You should try getting into actual jazz, not rock fusion which has little to do with jazz in my honest opinion.


not an opinion. it's a fact. the only thing it has to with jazz is that it was listed as its cause of death.

fusion is horrible. Sha Na Na is to the stooges as fusion is to jazz. poison is to testament as fusion is to jazz. it blows. the bad plus is the weird al of jazz.

you're entitled to like fusion if you like it. more power to you. but I was just scanning reddit and some guy was asking what bands he should listen to to get into jazz. responses ensued like: mahavishnu orchestra, the bad plus, John scofield, pat metheny, etc.

no! listen to duke and Basie and cab and lester young and Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins and Johnny hodges. then listen to bird, dizzy, miles, jj Johnson, art Blakey, cannonball.

THEN bill evans, Mingus, ornette, Coltrane.

THEN fusion. except by that time you'll realize how crap fusion is and not want to listen to it.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at May 2, 2011,
#24
no! listen to duke and Basie and cab and lester young and Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins and Johnny hodges. then listen to bird, dizzy, miles, jj Johnson, art Blakey, cannonball.

THEN bill evans, Mingus, ornette, Coltrane.


Well this is true jazz to be sure. But you will never be able to deny that fusion was derived from these pure forms of jazz. I don't see fusion as crap, I just see it as an extension of jazz...I think any musicologist would easily point that out as well.
Holding a Strat is like holding a woman.....
#25
limp bizkit was an extension of rap. musicology would say that. it's still crap though.
#DTWD
#26
Quote by primusfan
limp bizkit was an extension of rap. musicology would say that. it's still crap though.


Enjoy your narrow mind.
Holding a Strat is like holding a woman.....
#27
Quote by StratMan23
Enjoy your narrow mind.


I'll enjoy what I enjoy. fusion leaves a horrible taste in mouth. I also hate peanut butter. if other people like it, I don't care. but when it comes up in conversation I'll voice my opinion that it is the most vile food substance known to man.

I can't get past the horrible timbre. weather report's birdland for example. the synth sound makes me nauseated.
#DTWD
#29
Quote by marc137
That's still a million times better than this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq5oqY3-vhg&feature=related

i love pats stuff but everytime i watch this video, i want to kill myself

Quote by primusfan


you're entitled to like fusion if you like it. more power to you. but I was just scanning reddit and some guy was asking what bands he should listen to to get into jazz. responses ensued like: mahavishnu orchestra, the bad plus, John scofield, pat metheny, etc.

no! listen to duke and Basie and cab and lester young and Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins and Johnny hodges. then listen to bird, dizzy, miles, jj Johnson, art Blakey, cannonball.

THEN bill evans, Mingus, ornette, Coltrane.

THEN fusion. except by that time you'll realize how crap fusion is and not want to listen to it.

well dont you think that would be a good transition into the true jazz?
and metheny is good jazz, you just have to watch which of his albums you grab
Last edited by Unourrit01 at May 2, 2011,
#30
^ not really. I mean I can see that side of the argument. I got into jazz after being into 50s/60s soul an r&b. but instead of getting into soul jazz like cannonball or bobbu Timmons right away I started from the beginning and worked up there (and past there).

to me jazz can only be understood in chronological fashion. starting at fusion is like starting hamlet in act IV.

history gives context. I just got a book of transcriptions with a foreword about how young players get so hip to the modern stuff that they never explore and work laboriously through the idioms of yesteryear. which is why a lot of new guys suck basically. you can't branch out of something you're not rooted in.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at May 3, 2011,
#32
Quote by primusfan
not an opinion. it's a fact. the only thing it has to with jazz is that it was listed as its cause of death.

I disagree with this; I think trying to keep a genre as "pure" as possible is the cause of it's death. The experimenters are what keeps the genre alive, these are the guys trying to attract the next generation of jazz fans. I don't know anybody who equates jazz to that horrible "'80s fusion" that everybody hates.


Quote by primusfan

fusion is horrible. Sha Na Na is to the stooges as fusion is to jazz. poison is to testament as fusion is to jazz. it blows. the bad plus is the weird al of jazz.

you're entitled to like fusion if you like it. more power to you. but I was just scanning reddit and some guy was asking what bands he should listen to to get into jazz. responses ensued like: mahavishnu orchestra, the bad plus, John scofield, pat metheny, etc.

The Bad Plus have their purpose, they're good at attracting people who have never listened to jazz to look into it a bit more... But they are pretty boring to anybody who has listened to "more refined" jazz sounds.

The question you quote says "to get into jazz"; if said person is from a rock background I can see why that sort of artist would be the best advice to get into jazz. These artists provide a good segue into the more classic artists.


Quote by primusfan

no! listen to duke and Basie and cab and lester young and Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins and Johnny hodges. then listen to bird, dizzy, miles, jj Johnson, art Blakey, cannonball.

THEN bill evans, Mingus, ornette, Coltrane.

THEN fusion. except by that time you'll realize how crap fusion is and not want to listen to it.

If that worked for you; good. You need to remember that this doesn't work for everybody, or in fact most people in my experience. From what I've seen if you whack on a Basie album the majority just say: "this is my grandparents music" and will be turned away from jazz for ever. If instead you pick an artist closer to their current music likes you get responses such as: "I didn't realise jazz can sound like this" and then they're more open to the concept of listening to jazz. After a period of this sort of listening you can show them the inspiration behind the jazz artists they're now listening to, then the inspiration for those etc. After a few generations you'll get to the guys you mentioned..


Out of interest: how do you feel about the current state of jazz (minus "fusion")? What are some (relatively) new artists that you like? So far you've only been mentioning "old" artists..



EDIT: I also forgot to mention, before anybody writes off fusion: listen to Keith Jarrett's Expectations. It's far removed from what most people consider "fusion" and doesn't focus on the rock element very much, more the world music influences. There also isn't a synth in site and only a few tracks featuring guitars (not that should make a blind bit of difference IMO)
For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
Last edited by power freak at May 21, 2011,
#33
Quote by power freak
If that worked for you; good. You need to remember that this doesn't work for everybody, or in fact most people in my experience. From what I've seen if you whack on a Basie album the majority just say: "this is my grandparents music" and will be turned away from jazz for ever. If instead you pick an artist closer to their current music likes you get responses such as: "I didn't realise jazz can sound like this" and then they're more open to the concept of listening to jazz. After a period of this sort of listening you can show them the inspiration behind the jazz artists they're now listening to, then the inspiration for those etc. After a few generations you'll get to the guys you mentioned..


I agree with this.

I took a leap of faith and grabbed some Miles & Coltrane after reading a quote from Duane Allman where he said that the lengthy improvisational stuff that the Allman Brothers were doing was rooted in the jazz of Miles & Coltrane. My first impression was that it was interesting, yet boring. At the time my roommate's girlfriend groaned about me listening to "elevator music". I thought she was stupid, so this didn't really dissuade me.

I continued to poke around from time to time, and through sonic segues and the whole "degrees of separation" thing amongst musicians that I had gotten into, I find myself listening to more and more of the "pure" jazz that primusfan touts.

A big one for me was getting into The Derek Trucks Band's first album where he covers both "Naima" and "Mr. PC". I picked up a copy of Giant Steps shortly thereafter and was pretty satisfied with that. Another time was when I grabbed Bitches' Brew, and soon after, Mahavishnu Orchestra's The Inner Mounting Flame.

I like all of this stuff. But, I wouldn't have been able to get into it any other way. If I had just grabbed some Duke Ellington or Count Basie, I would likely have categorized it as more of a novelty than a viable option when I'm looking for something to listen to. Chasing influences, and the sources of covered songs, is exactly why I'm listening to Coltrane play Gershwin's "But Not For Me" right now.


Also, I too hate the sound of synthesizers, and it does keep me from listening to some of the Fusion out there...
XBOX LIVE Gamertag: Jazz Funeral
Currently killing with The Nunts crew in Max Payne 3

Quote by Weaponized
ON LIGHTNING.
#34
i feel ya dawg. i like a combination of speed and soul. its fun to play fast licks and long phrases but the soul and pitch bends are amazing as well. it all comes from the heart if you truly are feeling the music. it doesnt matter if you play a hundred notes in a solo or just 3
'Music is the best"
Zappa
#35
if you don't like Basie, miles, bird, trane, duke, bill evans, Louis Armstrong or cannonball you probably just dont like jazz or weren't ready for it. I don't think we should bastardized what jazz means just so more people can say they like it. I tried to get into miles and couldn't do it. it just didn't take for me. but that's fine. when I was 15 I just wasn't ready for it. it doesn't make sense to me to try to like a genre of music in spite of it boring me.

if y'all like fusion, more power to you. I just think to give someone scofield or weather report as their first jazz album gives the listener the wrong impression. fusion should exist. jazz is something that should be both preserved and advanced. theres room for everyone at this party. I just think it's tantamount to someone asking for baroque music and someone recommending Beethoven.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Jun 11, 2011,
#36
^ So long as the introductee is informed that what he is receiving is a hybrid, and not truly Jazz or Rock, I don't see any harm. The situation you describe is one that I've seen on this site a few times, and I've seen your posts there, damming a flood of misinformation. I commend you for that. I also like to make sure that myself and others know what things are and where they come from, so i like (and have learned from) a lot of things that you've posted here.

My only problem, if you can even call it that, is that you lash out at Fusion every time it's mentioned. We know that you have no love for Jazz's little bastard child. Cool. I was over it before I even knew about it. That being said, my last post wasn't any kind of an attack. On this site, where shredders like Vai and Satriani are so often revered, Fusion recommendations are an inevitability. So long as (as we've both mentioned now) they are brought up in their proper place, and not foolishly thrown into a "Recommend me some Jazz" thread.

I don't have a big torch burning for Fusion or anything, I just like Jimmy Herring, Jason Crosby, the Burbridges (Kofi and Oteil), Derek Trucks, ARU, and The Mahavishnu Orchestra. I think Jan Hammer is nothing but a synth wanker, I have albums by the Dixie Dregs that I don't listen to much at all because I only like a song or two, I think that there is an ethereal fluff permeating and polluting a lot of what might otherwise be good stuff in the realm of Fusion. So, that being said, I'm not a big proponent for it at all.

And, as for "boring". I have a very large collection of music. I take gambles when buying albums. I have always done this, it's something that I picked up from my Dad, whose music collection would be more accurately described as huge or even massive. That being the case, the first couple of Jazz albums I bought were for the purpose of checking things out. I liked the sound, but was admittedly bored by the end of any given album. I didn't ever cram it down my own throat to somehow force myself to like it. With large collections of music, there are always albums and even styles that fall to the wayside, only to be picked up and checked out at a later time. When I picked up Coltrane's Giant Steps, something clicked, I "got it". I later picked up Blue Train, and Miles' Kind Of Blue, which I thought were hip. That's what worked for me, and it totally eschews your stiff chronological approach to the matter...

XBOX LIVE Gamertag: Jazz Funeral
Currently killing with The Nunts crew in Max Payne 3

Quote by Weaponized
ON LIGHTNING.
Last edited by Jazz Funeral at Jun 11, 2011,
#37
my last post wasn't an attack at you, it was just kind of a general thing based on what you posted.

I come across a little strong but mainly because fusion seems to be all anyone listens to on this board (along with kind of blue, a few Coltrane albums and some mingus). and that's fine, but fusion is kind of the black sheep of jazz. and people have every right to enjoy it. I guess I can enjoy even some of it.

but I just fear a generation of jazz players (ours) who aren't rooted in actual jazz. which leads to "jazzcore" bands like Zu who are offshoots of fusion with no basis in real jazz. and their music reflects it because it sounds nothing like jazz. I just don't want jazz to develop in such a way that we forget what it actually sounds like.
#DTWD
#39
I last listened extensively to fusion perhaps 20-25 years ago. One of the local public radio stations had a two-hour fusion show every Sunday night and they played some really good stuff.
Then, one night, they announced that the show was done and was being replaced with a "space music" show. (Hearts Of Space...Still on the air) I had no idea what "space" music was so I listened to the first show.
God-awful drekk.... Night-night music.

Anyway, I assumed that fusion was essentially dead.... You certainly didn't hear anything on the radio.
Till now. Fast forward to the present and I'm exploring the "Live 365" internet radio with hundreds (maybe thousands) of different self-programmed stations. "Wonder if there's any fusion stations...."
Sure enough. I found a couple right away, and have them on my preset list.
Was just listening to one that featured a lot of Al DiMeola, Kazuo Watanabe... folks like that as well as a bunch of artists I wasn't familiar with.
I kind of like the form. I even liked some of the jazz/classical fusion stuff like "Sky" used to do.
I'm certainly not a purist... I have very catholic tastes. In bluegrass I tend to like "newgrass". In blues I love the old Delta artists but I dig new guys like Keb Mo just as much.
#40
Quote by primusfan
I'll enjoy what I enjoy. fusion leaves a horrible taste in mouth. I also hate peanut butter. if other people like it, I don't care. but when it comes up in conversation I'll voice my opinion that it is the most vile food substance known to man.

I can't get past the horrible timbre. weather report's birdland for example. the synth sound makes me nauseated.



Your views on the topic are nothing short of nonsensical.
Page 1 of 2