And now for the final installment of my first-ever, mid-year assessment of what are the best records we’ve covered here on SER. This time, we survey that murky hybrid world called “fusion jazz.”
If you happened to peruse the Half-Year List of Top Albums for 2012 for Modern and Mainstream Jazz before this list and you’ve been keeping up with the latest jazz releases, you might have wondered, “Where’s that new Matthew Shipp?”
Nearly every fusion jazz artist has a straight jazz side inside of them, and although not as often, the reverse is often true, too.
Already, we’ve seen the blues and jazz genres enlivened by a series of out-of-nowhere surprises that included Little Feat, Wes Montgomery (yes, Wes Montgomery!) and Bonnie Raitt
I’ve always been amazed that Bright Size Life was Metheny’s debut recording.
Ben Tyree describes himself not as a guitarist but rather a “sonic architect,” which sends the message that he sees his station in life at a higher plane; the guitar is simply a means to a grander end.
The most obvious branding of the acoustic trio Surface To Air’s music is “world fusion” but it’s not really a “-jazz” kind of fusion, but rather a mélange of the East Indian/new age/folk variety.
Johnny DeBlase plays bass for a couple of thrash-jazz bands, including one of my personal favorites, Many Arms.
Return to Forever, as Lenny White proudly told me, was a “jazz quartet on steroids” — with all of the muscular virtuosity and boisterous flourishes implied. Enter violinist Jean-Luc Ponty
There might not be a more accurate title for a Mike Stern album than the one coming out next week.