Thursday, September 20, 2012

My "late-blossoming" appreciation for jazz fusion

I can say that my love of jazz fusion came later than my love of progressive rock, simply because I was introduced to the "more extreme" fusion later.

Oh, I'd thought I knew what fusion was about in my high school days when I started going ga-ga over girls, and I found myself going for the more romantic, smooth jazz sounds of musicians like Chuck Mangione and George Benson.  I thought that kind of music would help me to get and hold on to a girl.

Then came my early college days, and I got a whole different kind of introduction to how intense jazz fusion can really be -- with its screaming rock-style guitar, rhythms more often associated with Latin sounds, keyboards riffing like crazy, and drummers pounding the snot out of those heads.

It meant discovering the guitar mastery of players like John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, Steve Morse, and Allan Holdsworth; bass giants along the lines of Percy Jones, Stanley Clarke, and Jaco Pastorius; violin players as gifted as Jerry Goodman and Jean-Luc Ponty; keyboard wizards like Jan Hammer, Chick Corea, and T Lavitz; drummers like Phil Collins in his Brand X days and Billy Cobham with his powerful shoulders; and groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Dixie Dregs, Weather Report, Return To Forever, and Brand X.

This was the "bad (as in very good) stuff."

No comments:

Post a Comment