Help me Get into Jazz/Fusion etc...

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by page, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. Lately ive been getting into alot of jazz and fusion and that sorta stuff. Ive been digging Miles Davis, Mahuvishnu Orchestra, Chick Corea, Joe Pass , and Django Rheinhardt. Unfortunately the only one of those artists I own an album by is Mahuvishnu(birds of fire) . Any suggestions on what to get by those guys????

    Also, ive heard good things and I want to get into :
    Jonas Hellborg
    Bela Fleck
    Medeski Martin Wood
    and any other jazz or fusion artists yall can suggest.

    Im wondering, is there any avant-garde jazz ??? Like, just totally weird or spacey jazz or something? Any suggestions?

    Please give me some ideas on what to get, any artists you wanna thrown in would be cool . Thanks alot guys.
  2. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Read up on Free Jazz ( I wouldn't recommend it if you're just getting into jazz - most free jazz is very hard to listen to at first. However, look for some Ornette Coleman (whose "Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation" coined the name of the genre), Sun Ra, Eric Dolphy, and some later John Coltrane stuff (Ascensions, Meditation, etc)
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Well since you like Miles, "Bitches Brew" is like Jazz Psycedellic Rock.
  4. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    If you want avante-garde, look no further than the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (they sometimes cover O. Coleman and Coltrane, etc.). Check out Garaj Mahal for some jazzy fusion funk.
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Im wondering, is there any avant-garde jazz ??? Like, just totally weird or spacey jazz or something? Any suggestions?

    Besides the other excellent suggestions Nadav already listed:

    Cecil Taylor (extra scary!)
    Anthony Braxton
    Art Ensemble Of Chicago
    Steve Coleman (funky, generally not as weird as the others)
    Sam Rivers (the sax player)
    Naked City
    Pharoah Sanders
    Dave Holland
    James Blood Ulmer
    Jack DeJohnette

    Check out the ECM label in general, there's a lot of space music to be found there.
  6. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Check out a Miles title, 'A Tribute to Jack Johnson'. It was part of a soundtrack of a movie of the same name, I believe. Trippy but addicting.
  7. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    That's funny that you mention Cecil Taylor - JFJO covers a few of his tunes as well and check out this awesome quote.

    "You are pushing jazz forward in a brand new direction. Thanks!"
    - Cecil Taylor (the Jazz legend told Brian after witnessing 3 hours of Jacob Fred love.)

    that's powerful stuff...
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Good list!
    BTW, you can get Braxton-Holland-Sam Rivers (w/ Barry Altschul on cans) all at once-
    Holland's Conference Of The Birds!
    Or Braxton-Holland-Altschul-Corea = Circle
    Or Holland-Altschul-Corea = ARC

    Be aware, though, that "Avant Garde" Jazz can be almost anything. In his day, Louis Armstrong was "Avant Garde"...nowadaze, he would be considered quite mainstream.
    Anothere example: Alan Shorter's Orgasm was once considered 'noizy' & 'free'; I finally copped a copy off E-Bay about 3 years ago; pretty 'calm' when compared to some of the crazier stuff recorded after the fact. Some of Sam Rivers' '60s recordings also fall into the same category...

    Coltrane's Ascension is a must!
    Naked City's Radio is a more recent noiz-fest.
    More Zorn? Electric Masada.

    John Surman is an excellent ECM Free Jazzer.
  9. I just got back from Borders, while there I purchased my first Miles Davis album , Kind of Blue. Wow , ive played it three times through so far, I love it. I definitely need some more Miles! I woulda gotten Bitches Brew, but it was like 25$!
  10. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    It's worth it. Probably my favorite Miles album I own (out of 10ish)

    For Miles get: A Silent Way, Nefertiti, and Sketches of Spain. All are very different and great in their own ways.

    Other people to check out:
    Buddy Rich - anything with the West Side Story suite on it
    Dave Brubeck - Timeout
    Medeski, Martin, Wood - Friday Afternoon in the Universe
    John Coltrane - Blue Trane
    Hiromi - Brain
    Headhunters - eponymous

    Definitely check out Jacob Fred Jazz Oddessey. Here is a link to some live shows available for legal downloading. Jacob Fred
  11. I am a bit of a retro 70's fusion sort of guy so I recommend the Bruford albums with Jeff Berlin and Holdsworth.
    Tony Williams- Believe It with Holdsworth
    Jean Luc Ponty- Enigmatic Ocean with the amazing Ralph Armstrong and Holdsworth. (Is their a pattern happening here).

    Look many others- Al Di Meola- electric rendevous is an essential.
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    All great stuff, and I'm lucky enough to have seen all those guys live at one time or another. The Holland sides with Steve Coleman are golden too.

    "Avant-garde" tends to obsolete itself at the same rate as computers, more or less, no? :cool: Mingus for example used to be considered way outside, but it's pretty melodic stuff by today's standards, IMHO.

    For Miles get: A Silent Way, Nefertiti, and Sketches of Spain. All are very different and great in their own ways.

    Two more classics are Milestones and Jazz At The Plaza. We want Miles!
  13. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    In response to the original post:
    Miles Davis: 'Sketches of Spain', 'Miles Smiles', 'Nefertiti', 'In a Silent Way', 'Agharta'.
    Mahuvishnu Orchestra: 'The Inner Mounting Flame'
    Chick Corea: 'Now He Sings, Now He Sobs', 'Light as a Feather'
    Django Reinhardt: Any compilation of The Hot Club of France (w/Stephane Grapelli) – lots out there.

    Other artists and albums in the fusion vein:
    Jonas Hellborg – 'Good People in Times of Evil', 'Time is the Enemy'
    Front Page – 'Front Page'
    Return to Forever – 'Romantic Warrior'
    Herbie Hancock – 'Headhunters' and 'Thrust'.

    Two classic albums with an avant-garde flavour (but nothing too difficult to listen to):
    Andrew Hill – 'Point of Departure'
    Eric Dolphy – 'Out to Lunch'

    Artists associated with the ECM label who are definitely worth investigating:
    Kenny Wheeler
    John Taylor
    John Surman
    Dave Holland
    John Abercrombie

    Some up-and-coming Brits who are doing interesting things (all coming out of London's f-ire collective –
    Acoustic Ladyland
    Polar Bear
    Justin Quinn's Bakehouse
    Jade Fox
    Robert Mitchell

    Some other jazz artists to investigate (all produced many classic albums on the Blue Note label in the '50s and '60s that can be picked up cheap):
    Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, Art Blakey, Grant Green, Jimmy Smith, Larry Young, Dexter Gordon, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Jackie Mclean, Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson.
  14. Mahavishnu Orchestra
    It's all about McLaughlin man:)

    And Weather Report:-D
  15. While Ken Burns leans a little too heavily on the (often misguided) opinions of Wynton Marsalis, his 8-part documentary on Jazz is a good place to start formulating one's own opinons on the music and a fairly good place to get a handle on its rich history.

    As for fusion, you do want to case more Weather Report (just about anything really) or its legacy as presented in the Zawinul Syndicate.

    Chick's three mid-70s albums with Return To Forever (Where Have I Known You Before, No Mystery, and Romantic Warrior) are high water marks of the genre, and I have heard good things about his 80s work with the Elektrik Band (Dave Weckl on kit and a certain John Pattitucci on bass).

    On the other side of the pond I've always liked Brand X (Percy Jones on idiosyncratic bass), National Health, Bruford (the version with Holdsworth, Berlin, and especially Dave Stewart), and Pierre Moerlen's Gong. In fact most of the so-called Canterbury crowd (Phil Miller, Pip Pyle, John Greaves, Richard Sinclair) are rockers working in a jazz space, or jazzers working in a rock space; your call.
  16. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO


    I just got into Weather Report, and now I know where all the good music went to. In a world with rap and hip hop, and other not so pleasing to the ear music, and having most of it on the radio, at least we have jazz. (and reggae) :D

  17. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    Wow, there are some great suggestions in this thread! :)

    Since you mentioned Bela Fleck: If you can handle DVDs, definitely go for "Live at The Quick" -- astoundingly tight (as are pretty much all their performances) and can hone one's appreciation for what truly talented musicians can do when they get together.

    And really, just how often do you get a chance to see a bassoon player rock out? :p

    If you go for this, you'll benefit from a little research into Tuvan throat singing and the connection to Richard Feynman before watching the DVD. (No, I am not kidding. These guys are seriously eclectic.)

    As a bonus, I'd say this DVD contains the best/cleanest version I've yet seen of Victor performing "Amazing Grace." It's also the only time I've ever seen him grab a tuner and bring the final dissonant notes in line... a very nice touch.

    Enjoy your journey into jazz!


    "I can't think of anything that rhymes with banjo..." -- Bela Fleck
  18. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004

  19. Thanks guys, Ive checked out JFJO, Return to Forever, Zawinul, Kenny Wheeler, Medeski Martin and Wood, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers and Sun Ra so far. Im digging the hell out of this stuff!!!! Geez , when I get some more money, its straight to the jazz section I go!

    Question: Does Paul Chambers (bassist from Kind of Blue) have any solo albums or any other projects other than Miles that are worth checking out? I really like that guy.