Admit it and be cleansed!

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
As a sort of extension of the thread where we were stating what songs we loved and now hate, I'd like to add another step to the program and have everyone list their overblowing muck-jazz albums they've actually bought. You will feel better as the weight is lifted from your shoulders. I know I feel better.

I think this all started with Dave Sanborn and other GRP recording artists when they were cranking out the elevator jazz which featured alot of overplaying. But never fear, it still happens to this day. One that comes to mind is that Oz Noy guy with Keith Carlock on the drums. Due to the nature of what they're doing, I'm not sure about including Jojo Mayer's Nerve on the list. Omar Hakim also put out a solo album, but he was singing songs, so I'm not sure that counts either - as soon as you start singing, your drums start playing for the song.

So, I'll admit this one. Niacin, which was a quartet featuring Dennis Chambers in the 90s. I couldn't hum any of those tunes for you.

I know, some of you will be offended because we are taught to revere the musical mastery of the players involved, and because, of course, we can't do it. It just blows my mind that after listening to several of these types of groups, I often wonder how did they ever fill an entire club with people to listen? The tours must've been very short because I can't see anyone wanting to fund this stuff for a full-blown tour. You never hear this music on the radio, or see any videos on cable television, so musos are the ones seeking this stuff out and paying for it - and musos still aren't a big enough crowd to fund anyone for an entire tour. Sad.

Pat Metheny? Ronnie Lawson? The Crusaders in the 70s? Let it all out. The sooner you admit, the better you'll feel ;)


Platinum Member
Was it Harvey Mason that did "Fourplay" back in the early 90s? Approximately 67 minutes I wish I had back.


Platinum Member
This is the very reason that I laugh whenever somebody says they listen to Dave Weckl. I'm reasonably open-minded and open to most music but the minute I hear 'those' saxophone tones, I'm out of there like proverbial from a goose. It just does absolutely nothing for me. It's as much the production as anything else - sucking the life out of what is being laid down.

I'm sorry guys. I like virtuoso players as much as the next person but musical masturbation is just not my thing.

This makes me feel like jumping off a bridge:


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I actually have the Crusaders on my Pandora list and was listening to them today doing my end of day paperwork. I have a few sax players in the smooth jazz genre but have tired of them. Mindi Abair was my favorite and paid to see her twice, but she got a little old, the music, and I left her by the roadside.

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I admit I like Oz Noy, but I wouldn't class his music as elevator music like those albums made under the GRP records, yes the musicianship is on the forefront, but not in the same way, it's more organic with a touch of rawness, a rock fusion type of music, Weckl also played with Oz Noy.

I also admit I like Rudder, Keith Carlock's Rocky/Jazzy/Fusion type of band, there's some killer grooves in their music.

I also have a soft spot for the Hiromi Trio, with Simon Phillips, kinda over the top excellence playing from all involved, but it's no elevator's music, it's not soapy, just modern jazz stuff.

Off course I cannot touch the playing of these guys, it's purely for pleasure (and inspirations)

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I also have a soft spot for the Hiromi Trio, with Simon Phillips, kinda over the top excellence playing from all involved, but it's no elevator's music, it's not soapy, just modern jazz stuff.
Yes it is. Just like MIchel Camilo ;)

And yeah, I must admit I liked the Elektrik Band when it debuted, but after about six months I felt silly.

Anon La Ply

Thanks Bo, I have a lot to get off my chest here - so much so that though no matter how hard I scrub I will never be cleansed!

I've owned more festering fusion, egregious elevator music and pus-filled prog than you can poke a stick at. Tons of albums bought because Steve Gadd, Billy Cobham etc play on at least one track - often solo albums by players who excel as sidemen for artists who can actually write decent songs.

You'll find some relevant lists here on the Best/worst Fusion Albums thread -


Platinum Member
If you're going to build off that topic, you have to include my quote on it: LOL

. Years of mis-spent youth spending money buying fusion albums just because they had name players on them, just to realize after a while the music was just that: Elevator music.

Kids today with their fancy internet don't ever have to know the horror of wasting $12.99 on an album of mindless chop blowing just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Assorted Dave Weckl albums (at least I didn't pay for some of them, but some I did).
Planet X (Virgil Donanti)
Black Light Syndrome (Terry Bozzio)
Polytown (Bozzio)

And before that, I had a stack of vinyl fusion albums, and I don't even recall what was in the stack.

And then I had a ton of 80's shred metal/fusion tapes from Shrapnel records. The drumming in awesome, but musically most of it was forgettable. Marty Friedman, Cacophony, and bunch of other Shrapnel titles.

Out of everything, the only ones I still really enjoy are:
Tony MacAlpine's Edge of Insanity
Jeff Beck's Guitar shop
Jean Luc Ponty's Mystical Adventures (with Rayford Griffin on drums).

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I love planet X but I appreciate that alot of people can't get into it.

I didn't think anything of Greg Howe's Extraction. Hyperacuity although a little half baked was awesome but Extraction was just kind of cheesy and annoying.


Platinum Member
I really love Weckl's stuff right now. Don't know if I'll ever not, but his composing is so playful it makes me happy.

I used to listen to Dragonforce but at least I got over that.


Senior Member
Yes- the pleasure of admission. I have a couple of Spiro Gyro records. I have Danny Gotlieb, Pat Metheny, Yellowjackets, Alan White and some other fusion stuff that really got me interested back when. Now it tends to sound like elevator music or guys showing off (even some of the Alan Holdsworth and Jeff Beck stuff). I certainly appreciate the expertise of the musicians, but it does nothing emotionally for me any more. Don't know what happened. Still like some Headhunters, Weather Report, Brand X, Mahavishnu and some others though.


Senior Member
Good thread Bo, but you can definitely expect some blowback on this one...

My 30 year old son has a degree in music, and is a player and guitar instructor in Seattle. He heard my 70's fusion influences repeatedly in his youth, but tired with all of the cd's which featured no real song structure. He complained the "songs" were simply a vamp to allow everyone to solo endlessly.

At the time, it offended me slightly, although we have always been very close, but I had to reluctantly agree. A bunch of that music didn't age very graciously. That said, great players can be entertaining to watch, especially if you can appreciate the hours spent on technique. It all serves as a reminder a tune with no drums still can be one of my favorites.


Platinum Member
On the other hand, I'm starting to look at Bruford's early fusion work in a more favourable light. I have one of the live albums on vinyl and it kicks hard.

The dungarees must die but I would rather watch this a thousand times than any Weckl. At least it has balls. Berlin has a very odd bass tone - which I like.


Senior Member
I'll admit I bought the Niacin album b/c Chambers was on it and for the life of me I never felt anything but overstimulated listening to it. I didn't like it - ah, that feels better. On the other hand Stanton Moore's Emphasis (on Parenthesis) is an album that I can both listen to for genuine enjoyment and be inspired by.


Platinum Member
This is one of the few sins I don't need to confess to. :) I never even heard of most of the stuff you folks are talking about.


Platinum Member
I love fusion and ain't about to give it up anytime soon. Niacin is a trio, and their new CD is on the way to my mailbox as I type this. I also like prog rock. Since when did being likely to hum a tune become the measure of musical quality? Most people are lemmings when it comes to music, so I could not care less about what anyone else likes. Peace and goodwill.


Platinum Member
I know, some of you will be offended because we are taught to revere the musical mastery of the players involved, and because, of course, we can't do it. It just blows my mind that after listening to several of these types of groups, I often wonder how did they ever fill an entire club with people to listen?
Assuming you're talking about fusion in general, here-- but they did; they worked in clubs all the time, and filled them; and I know guys who bought pretty nice houses off of touring with those groups. It was a fairly popular form of live music.

I have a lot of history with fusion, but don't really have any dirty little secrets. Most of what I was around, and listened to-- like a whole lot of Weather Report and Billy Cobham-- was actually good, as it turns out. The few bad things I accidentally bought, I dumped, or never listened to-- like a Special EFX record, and some GRP all-stars live thing. I had some Tom Scott and David Sanborn, which I was never wild about, but listened to because they had great drummers with them-- I wanted to be a pro, so I tried to learn from them and withheld judgment.

I do still listen to a lot of stuff that most people would not be able to distinguish from total cheese-- like George Duke's Brazilian Love Affair. It's like a test-- when I mention that record to somebody, and they start raving about it, I know they know their s__.


Senior Member
Ok, Bo I confess ... I was captured by Weckl, the small drums, and "that sound". I bought all I could after the first Elektrik Band. I argued to all who would listen that it was the best music ever recorded ... then never listened to it again. Except for "Got a Match" - I can still listen to that.

To my credit, I always thought his mullet was brutal. (I'm Canadian, mullets only ever looked good under a helmet.) ;-)

It's an odd thing though how some stuff stands up. "Kind of Blue" still gets a regular listen, even after all these years.

Also, if I start getting all fancy listening to Camilo or something, I'll hear "Not for you" on the radio and veer off in that direction for a while. I'm sure it isn't just me.... right ...?


Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I thought I was being obvious about the tongue-in-cheek-ness of the thread. No one need get offended. Like Polly, I look back at my record/CD collection and realize like her, I bought alot of albums because so-and-so played a track on it, and rarely has the music actually been memorable. It's like looking at past snapshots of your life that you're ashamed to see.

And I truly respect all these people all players and musicians. But it's funny because Stewart Copeland totally admitted to his Klark Kent stuff as being completely self-indulgent teen-age stuff, yet it doesn't come across that way and I can still stomach it after 30 years. It's totally fun stuff to play and to listen to. But the Elektrik Band stuff, the endless Maynard Ferguson albums, and other nameless 70s-80s music fluff did not age well.

And I remember when Prince's Purple Rain came out and I hated it because it was all over the place then. In the last ten years or so it's become a classic to me - the man definitely does not sound like anybody else.

Regardless of how great the current crop of solo instrumental artists are these days, it really is elevator music. In fact, a friend of mine who does packaging for the x-rated industry, thought he heard one of these solo artists' instrumental tracks as background music in a recently released film (no, I don't know which one it is, but you know what I mean).

I'm sure, as a player, and encourager of others who should get out and play, I'll play for whoever and whatever needs me. I'm not above doing anything I can do if I get to play. And I suppose having spent all this time listening to great players play anything was an education of sorts. But like I said in another thread, I'm sorry I didn't just latch on to people like Clyde and Jabo, Zigaboo, Ringo, and Charlie earlier. I've probably heard more Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer, and Gary Chester without knowing it than anybody. I admit like every other young person, I was attracted to alot of flash, and none of those guys I mentioned were flashy. Like Gadd said: technique ain't $^#@ if you can't lay it down.

I often wonder if my career would've been much different if I really just listened to my mentors and got my time together first? I'm even teaching privately this way now - I get them into grooving and time, then we'll get their hands together. I'll probably not get alot of students by doing that, eh?