LOL. I think it’s interesting and funny that Jeff Beck (and Zappa) get kudos for fusion. Especially, when Lucas pans Return to Forever.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree that “Wired” isn’t amazing. It’s been a while since I listened to it well, but one of the best things about this album is what Jan Hammer brings to it. Rocked-up jazz, Hammer knows how. I’m not taking *anything* away from Beck on this either. The two of them really make that album something special. The “jazz” part of the fusion is about the interaction. The “fusion” part, if anyone has that figured out, I’d like to hear it. I also really love Becks playing on “Blow by Blow” as well, but I see that album as a bit more experimental. Experimental in the way that Hendrix was inventing jazzier funk, wanting pop and soul to go new places… It’s the entry ramp toward a full-on embrace of electric jazz on “Wired”.
Jan Hammer is also very much key to the albums mentioned for the Mahavishnu Orchestra (MO). I like their “Inner Mounting Flame” album a lot. Mock away if you must, They’ve learned a lot about recording jazz violin since then ;) So now that you’ve guys have got me thinking about it, I need to rediscover Jan Hammer and those he has worked with… Thanks for that!
Since we’re on MO, don’t forget Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum”, Tommy Bolin brings it.
I don’t dislike Return to Forever, “Romantic Warrior” sticks for me, but I wanted to like it. The appeal of “chops porn” is specialized (and it says something about those of us that like aspects of it). I also have a soft spot for Clarke’s “School Days”. Color these guilty pleasures, but isn’t all jazz fusion a bit like that? Then there’s prog-rock, now there’s another post ripe for eye-rolling and “yeah, but”-ing.
OK, if you’re going to mock, you better back it up, be specific now, if it’s emotional, use good metaphors, etc…
I love early Pat Methany, but I have a hard time thinking of this as jazz fusion.
The Flecktones are amazing and possibly the only living jazz fusion group that has embraced “chops porn” and not let it devour them whole.
We have to mention Joni Mitchell’s embracing of fusion… And there’s that Jaco again contributing to her seduction. I love Jaco’s technique and approach. But “Hissing of Summer Lawns” is what started her down the jazzy path and is still my favorite since she branched out. Her “Miles of Asiles” live album is also great with Tom Scott’s LA Express (Robin Ford!) painting sound moods. So if we need a collective reason for dissin’ fusion, we can point to the seduction of Joni… Peace Joni!
Of course I don’t know anything anyway. So what’s your issue with fusion? I love that pop musicians embraced more jazz, and a few actually won. I love that jazz musicians embraced more pop and when they used restraint, we all won.