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  #1  
Old 08-01-2014, 04:03 PM
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Default Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

What would you consider the standard Fusion classics? I am working on a project. Artists I am thinking of would be:

Billy Cobham
Chick Corea
Miles Davis
Bill Connors
Bill Bruford
Mike Stern
Weather Report
Mahavishnu
Pat Metheny
Jeff Beck
Vital Information


But what songs are their classics?
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Last edited by Zero Mercury Drummer; 08-01-2014 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

I would think Weckl needs to be in that list.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

I loved the fusion movement and your list of key figures is great. I'm not sure that the fusion movement has "standards" in the same way other musical movements do. There are ground breaking albums from that period of course but due perhaps to the short flowering life of fusion and limited market appeal I not sure a consensus on the standards was ever reached. It seemed to be about technical virtuousity and trying to creat a musical vocabulary that was unique to the performers - but if I had to pick one it would be the album - the inner mounting flame. When I first heard it I thought music had changed forever, at least it did for me. I also think retun to forevers romantic warrior really captured some of the essenes of that wonderful time.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

If you're talking Billy Cobham, arguably most of his debut album Spectrum makes the list. Quadrant 4, Stratus, and Red Baron are all pretty iconic fusion pieces. By extension, his stuff with early Mahavishnu stands out too (Inner Mounting Flame has classics like Meeting of the Spirits and Bird of Fire's title cut is notable as well).

Last edited by Hewitt2; 08-01-2014 at 04:30 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

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Originally Posted by Griffman View Post
I loved the fusion movement and your list of key figures is great. I'm not sure that the fusion movement has "standards" in the same way other musical movements do. There are ground breaking albums from that period of course but due perhaps to the short flowering life of fusion and limited market appeal I not sure a consensus on the standards was ever reached. It seemed to be about technical virtuousity and trying to creat a musical vocabulary that was unique to the performers - but if I had to pick one it would be the album - the inner mounting flame. When I first heard it I thought music had changed forever, at least it did for me. I also think retun to forevers romantic warrior really captured some of the essenes of that wonderful time.
Good point, although I assume Jazz standards didn't start out that way. There seem to be certain Fusion classics.
Romantic Warrior is a good one.

Hewitt: Stratus and Red Baron are on my list.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

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Originally Posted by Dignan View Post
I would think Weckl needs to be in that list.
I don't know much Dave Weckl band stuff, but I guess he has played with several of the guys I mentioned. Does Dave have a personal classic song?
I could never get into his solo records that much (what I've heard). They sound generic to me.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

You have to include Jean-Luc Ponty. "Enigmatic Ocean" is my favorite album.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

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Originally Posted by Griffman View Post
I loved the fusion movement and your list of key figures is great. I'm not sure that the fusion movement has "standards" in the same way other musical movements do. There are ground breaking albums from that period of course but due perhaps to the short flowering life of fusion and limited market appeal I not sure a consensus on the standards was ever reached. ....
I agree with you on this.

So many artists began to fuse jazz / rock and some other stuff together back in the 70's and 80's.

Some other artists who were involved and produced stuff that could be labeled "Fusion": Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin, Al Dimeola, Lee Ritenour, Sanborn, Grusin, Grover Washington, Steps Ahead, Bob James, Steve Khan, Larry Coryell , Alan Holdsworth, Brecker Brothers, etc...

Some of this was enjoyable to listen to when it came out but no longer has any appeal to me personally to listen to at this point.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Great list.. Some of my favs:

- Return to Forever, Vulcan Worlds (Listen to the studio version)
- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cosmic Strut
- Jeff Beck, Blow by Blow Freeway Jam
- Jeff Beck, Wired, Come Dancing
- Tom Scott & the LA Express, Tom Cat, Rock Island Rocket
- Herbie Hancock, Headhunters, Chameleon
- Weather Report, Heavy Weather, Birdland

Last edited by moxman; 08-03-2014 at 03:56 AM.
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2014, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

It's funny, when I do a search on bandmix.com for "fusion"-- it returns a bunch of drummer, but far fewer of other instruments.
Maybe drummers like fusion more than other instrumentalists, because it allows you to stretch out so much. And in rock we are often told to "keep it simple, play for the vocalist etc."
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

I just looked being curious and Chick Corea has 86 albums. It may be hard to find a classic from those.
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post
What would you consider the standard Fusion classics? I am working on a project. Artists I am thinking of would be:

Billy Cobham
Chick Corea
Miles Davis
Bill Connors
Bill Bruford
Mike Stern
Weather Report
Mahavishnu
Pat Metheny
Jeff Beck
Vital Information


But what songs are their classics?
Don't forget Jean-Luc Ponty- Anything from Enigmatic Ocean is tops!
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2014, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I just looked being curious and Chick Corea has 86 albums. It may be hard to find a classic from those.
Try Spain, or for the truly gifted, Got A Match.

Stratus and Red Baron are a couple more standards most fusion oriented players know. Maybe you can call Jaco's "The Chicken" fusion.

Fusion seems to split off into two camps for me. The open jams of Bitches Brew and the highly arranged RTF kind of thing. Folks tend to go more in one direction than the other.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Lots of valid opinions out there, but I think most people would agree that Birdland and Chameleon are two of the most well known fusion standards.

Another great funk/fusion tune our band covers is The Chicken, from Jaco Pastorius.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:05 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

"Oops" from Steps Ahead's 1984 album "Modern Times". It's been 30 years and I still haven't figured it out... But it's an awesome tune from a classic album.

Dutch
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2014, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post
What would you consider the standard Fusion classics? I am working on a project. Artists I am thinking of would be:

Billy Cobham
Chick Corea
Miles Davis
Bill Connors
Bill Bruford
Mike Stern
Weather Report
Mahavishnu
Pat Metheny
Jeff Beck
Vital Information


But what songs are their classics?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dignan View Post
I would think Weckl needs to be in that list.
He is on the list.

But really, if you're talking classic fusion, Weckl didn't come on to the scene until later.
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2014, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Hells Bells by Bruford
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  #18  
Old 08-02-2014, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post
What would you consider the standard Fusion classics? I am working on a project. Artists I am thinking of would be:

Billy Cobham
Chick Corea
Miles Davis
Bill Connors
Bill Bruford
Mike Stern
Weather Report
Mahavishnu
Pat Metheny
Jeff Beck
Vital Information


But what songs are their classics?
not sure how you could leave out Tony Williams who pretty much helped create what people call "fusion" with Lifetime

1969 Emergency!

and if you listen to the Miles records Filles De Kilimanjaro and Miles in the Sky you will hear Tony playing a complete "fusion" style on what are pretty much straight jazz records from 1968
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

"Fred" from Tony Williams Lifetime really stood out for me, also "Vital Transformation" from Mahavisnhu Orchestra. But I'm not sure how they rate as "standards" among fusion gurus.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post
It's funny, when I do a search on bandmix.com for "fusion"-- it returns a bunch of drummer, but far fewer of other instruments.
Maybe drummers like fusion more than other instrumentalists, because it allows you to stretch out so much. And in rock we are often told to "keep it simple, play for the vocalist etc."
I think you nailed it! Fusion consistently demands so much of drummers from technique to multiple grooves in a single song, creativity, and athleticly demanding as well. No wonder I was the only one of my teenage musical pals who loved or even liked it. It made everything else seem boring for me at the time to me, Bohnam and Blakey seemed just like boring timekeepers to my underdeveloped teenage brain after hearing Cobhan and later Weckl.
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  #21  
Old 08-03-2014, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

BTW - After all these years, I still haven't a clue what this odd meter is.. Can anyone figure it out?

- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cosmic Strut

---------------
Great list.. Some of my favs:

- Return to Forever, Vulcan Worlds (Listen to the studio version)
- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cosmic Strut
- Jeff Beck, Blow by Blow Freeway Jam
- Jeff Beck, Wired, Come Dancing
- Tom Scott & the LA Express, Tom Cat, Rock Island Rocket
- Herbie Hancock, Headhunters, Chameleon
- Weather Report, Heavy Weather, Birdland
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Quote:
Originally Posted by moxman View Post
BTW - After all these years, I still haven't a clue what this odd meter is.. Can anyone figure it out?

- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cosmic Strut

---------------
Great list.. Some of my favs:

- Return to Forever, Vulcan Worlds (Listen to the studio version)
- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cosmic Strut
- Jeff Beck, Blow by Blow Freeway Jam
- Jeff Beck, Wired, Come Dancing
- Tom Scott & the LA Express, Tom Cat, Rock Island Rocket
- Herbie Hancock, Headhunters, Chameleon
- Weather Report, Heavy Weather, Birdland
It's in 9/8.

From 0:46 (guitar solo) it's alternating bars of 4/4+6/8 and 4/4+5/8.
From the violin solo it's back to 9/8.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

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Originally Posted by Canyonero View Post

It's in 9/8.

From 0:46 (guitar solo) it's alternating bars of 4/4+6/8 and 4/4+5/8.
From the violin solo it's back to 9/8.
Yes.. The 9/8 part for sure; I could never figure out what the meter was in the guitar solo.. that was 40 years ago!. I think you are close but not quite there.. but the alternating meters gave me an idea. I listened again and now I'm pretty sure it's:

(Typo / Edit)
3 bars of 7/8+ 1 bar of 6/8

- seems to work for the whole section and lines up with the keyboard progression.
I googled it and MO has all been transcribed except for that one piece! Probably because it was written by Narada Michael Walden.. Who is a killer drummer ( let alone mega producer).

Last edited by moxman; 08-05-2014 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Quote:
Originally Posted by moxman View Post
Yes.. The 9/8 part for sure; I could never figure out what the meter was in the guitar solo.. that was 40 years ago!. I think you are close but not quite there.. but the alternating meters gave me an idea. I listened again and now I'm pretty sure it's:

3 bars of 7/4 + 1 bar of 6/4
..and if you break down the bars of 7, it looks like;
4/4 3/4, 5/4 2/4, 4/4 3/4, then 6/4

- seems to work for the whole section and lines up with the keyboard progression.
I googled it and MO has all been transcribed except for that one piece! Probably because it was written by Narada Michael Walden.. Who is a killer drummer ( let alone mega producer).
Don't know how you can hear 3 bars of 7/4 from 0:46.

Maybe someone else would care to chime in on this one?
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Man, could the drums on Hancock's "Chameleon" be any more 70s sounding? Dig it.

What's a good representative fusion song from Miles?
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Also Herbie's Watermelon Man. Jeff Beck's Blue Wind.

Frank Zappa played a great deal of top drawer fusion and his son Dweezl's band, Zappa Plays Zappa, is still playing dropping fusion amongst the many styles they cover.

There's also the European scene, especially the Canterbury Scene. These artists and their music are usually considered "classic" in the US (or even considered at all) but they are much more highly rated in other parts of the world.

Soft Machine were playing fusion as early as any groundbreaking jazz fusion act, as were Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity. Gong have some outstanding fusion tracks in their catalogue, eg. Expresso, Chandra, Cat in Clark's Shoes.

Quote:
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What's a good representative fusion song from Miles?
Maybe Spanish Key?
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Off topic question: when does the fusion movement stop? Did it ever stop? I would assume after a certain point, the mix of jazz and rock became pretty standard and thus, no longer the novelty it was that it actually has standards, right?

But then other fusions became popular. The fusion of heavy metal songs with mariachi instrumentation and voicings seems pretty popular these days.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

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The fusion of heavy metal songs with mariachi instrumentation and voicings seems pretty popular these days.
Whut? Is that really a thing? I feel like either your definition of heavy metal is a bit off or I need to start listening to some of that hip LA Mariachi-Metal.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

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Whut? Is that really a thing? I feel like either your definition of heavy metal is a bit off or I need to start listening to some of that hip LA Mariachi-Metal.
The only "Mariachi Metal" I can think of is Malaguena Salerosa by Chingon. I dont consider it metal, but its the only thing I can think of thags anywhere close to what Bo is talking about.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

There's a group out here making the County Fair circuit called "Metalachi". Look them up on YouTube - it's not pure metal as they're playing the rock 'n' roll hits with a mariachi band, but it's pretty dang entertaining for about 15 minutes ;)
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Off topic question: when does the fusion movement stop? Did it ever stop? I would assume after a certain point, the mix of jazz and rock became pretty standard and thus, no longer the novelty it was that it actually has standards, right?

But then other fusions became popular. The fusion of heavy metal songs with mariachi instrumentation and voicings seems pretty popular these days.
Seems to be overlap between gospel and fusion - Ron Bruner and Aaron Spears have both been involved in fusion projects. Also hip hop, artists like Jose James updating Stevie Wonder's soul/jazz.

Also there's nu jazz fusion like Bonobo.

For metal fusion, Liquid Tension Experiment, though it's not my cuppa.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyonero View Post
Don't know how you can hear 3 bars of 7/4 from 0:46.

Maybe someone else would care to chime in on this one?
- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cosmic Strut

Yes.. Sorry I wrote 7/4 originally instead of 7/8. I was puzzled by Cosmic Strut a 40 years ago. Now listening to it with fresh ears.. I'm sure the guitar solo is:

3 bars of 7/8+ 1 bar of 6/8

I can count it all the way thru and it lines up with the progression and down.beat. The first guitar riff gives a clue to the 'seven' phrase.. But it's weird as they play a bit over the bar here and there.. Essentially playing with the time.. But it always comes back to the one.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

How about cumbia/hip-hop/jam band? http://youtu.be/jmWnvHo2Mgw I guess you can fuse anything together if you want. The drummer in here has a timbale instead of a shell tom. Like a lot of jam band stuff it tends to go on a bit on one thing for me. But I guess it's more about locking into something for these folks.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

Lenny White, Airto, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Gadd
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Need forum wisdom (fusion "standards")

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Originally Posted by moxman View Post
- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cosmic Strut

Yes.. Sorry I wrote 7/4 originally instead of 7/8. I was puzzled by Cosmic Strut a 40 years ago. Now listening to it with fresh ears.. I'm sure the guitar solo is:

3 bars of 7/8+ 1 bar of 6/8

I can count it all the way thru and it lines up with the progression and down.beat. The first guitar riff gives a clue to the 'seven' phrase.. But it's weird as they play a bit over the bar here and there.. Essentially playing with the time.. But it always comes back to the one.
Yes, that's what I've said all along:

From 0:46 (guitar solo) it's alternating bars of 4/4+6/8 and 4/4+5/8.

This is equal to alternating bars of 14/8 and 13/8. That's 27/8...

Same as your "3 bars of 7/8 plus one 6/8".
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