Fusion Jazz

Various Artists – Sky Music, A Tribute To Terje Rypdal (2017)

Various Artists – Sky Music, A Tribute To Terje Rypdal (2017)

feature photo: Roberto Masotti/ECM Records No, Terje Rypdal is still thankfully among us, but with a rich discography stretching back more than fifty years, the Norwegian guitar legend’s 70th birthday is as good occasion as any to

Vector Families – For Those About to Jazz/Rock, We Salute You (2017)

Vector Families – For Those About to Jazz/Rock, We Salute You (2017)

While ‘For Those About to Jazz/Rock, We Salute You’ really has nothing to do with AC/DC, Vector Families has that kind of intensity level and spunk. Only with way more improvised gumption.

Mike Stern – Trip (2017)

Mike Stern – Trip (2017)

‘Trip’ is not Mike Stern’s ‘return to form’ but rather, a reaffirmation of form. And for that, we can be grateful.

Dead Neanderthals – The Depths (2017)

Dead Neanderthals – The Depths (2017)

Dead Neanderthals often play with collaborators, but ‘The Depths’ features just two musicians – and it is lovely.

Brad Cheeseman – The Tide Turns (2017)

Brad Cheeseman – The Tide Turns (2017)

Proving again that contemporary jazz doesn’t necessarily equate to smooth jazz, Brad Cheeseman Group’s ‘The Tide Turns’ is another solid set of tracks from Cheeseman where real work is put in from conception to execution.

Gary Bartz’s NTU Troop – Harlem Bush Music – Uhuru (1971)/Joe Henderson – The Elements (1973) (2017 reissues)

Gary Bartz’s NTU Troop – Harlem Bush Music – Uhuru (1971)/Joe Henderson – The Elements (1973) (2017 reissues)

Jazz Dispensary reissues two early 70s documents of explorative jazz: Gary Bartz NTU Troop – ‘Harlem Bush Music – Uhuru’ (1971) and Joe Henderson feat Alice Coltrane – ‘The Elements’ (1973)

Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh – Expedition (2017)

Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh – Expedition (2017)

‘Expedition’ continues a long, provocative journey taken by Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh along the innovative frontier of jazz.

Chicago, “Devil’s Sweet” from Chicago VII (1974): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Devil’s Sweet” from Chicago VII (1974): Saturdays in the Park

Let’s start by saying jazz-fusion normally isn’t my cup of tea, so Chicago’s lengthy instrumental “Devil’s Sweet” came as a surprise.

Chicago, “Prelude to Aire / Aire” from Chicago VII (1974): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Prelude to Aire / Aire” from Chicago VII (1974): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago always denied being a jazz-fusion band. The opening songs on 1974’s underrated ‘Chicago VII’ say something different.

Burning Ghosts – Reclamation (2017)

Burning Ghosts – Reclamation (2017)

True to the stated purpose of Burning Ghosts, ‘Reclamation’ is another piercing protest document without words. But regardless of what your politics might be, there’s much to relish here as long as you appreciate raw passion delivered through accomplished musicianship and a fearless attitude.

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