Who was one of the first jazz fusion artists?
- In its earliest stages, artists like Coryell and his group The Free Spirits paired jazz elements with the electric sound of rock ‘n’ roll—hence, a fusion of sounds.
A jazz fusion band is less likely to use piano and double bass, and more likely to use electric guitar, synthesizers, and bass guitar. The term "jazz rock" is sometimes used as a synonym for "jazz fusion" and for music performed by late 1960s and 1970s-era rock bands that added jazz elements to their music.
Mar 23, 2020 · Lists. A History of Jazz Fusion in 30 Essential Albums. by Treble staff. March 23, 2020. The domain of crate diggers, virtuosos and DJs, jazz fusion is burdened by a reputation that contradicts itself. To some, it’s the sound of a supremely cool, effortlessly funky period in the ’70s when you could have a Gold record stuffed with 15-minute ...
- "Jazz as We Know It Is Dead!"
- "If John Coltrane Met George Harrison"
- State of Emergency
- Further First Fusion
In June of 1967, the same month that the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, DownBeat Magazine published "A Message To Our Readers." "Rock and roll has come of age," the flagship journal of the jazz world proclaimed. "Without reducing its coverage of jazz, DownBeat will expand its editorial perspective to include musically valid aspects of the rock scene." Rock was on the rise, and jazz was on the run. That same year two legendary New York City jazz clubs, the Five Spot and Eddie Condon's, both closed, and a DownBeat cover headline stated, "Jazz As We Know It Is Dead!". Long considered to be the hip music of the counterculture, jazz now seemed either bop-stagnant or avant-garde-abrasive to young listeners who flocked to rock instead. In his book Jazz Rock, Stuart Nicholson chronicles the economic migrations and upheavals caused by jazz's declining popularity, and the growing calls of some jazz writers and mainstream media music critics for jazz to somehow find a...
One of the first jazz-rock groups to emerge in the mid-1960s was the Free Spirits, which grew out of a music collective that jammed at a New York City club called L'Intrigue. Young musicians such as guitarist Larry Coryell, saxophonist Jim Pepper, trumpeter Randy Brecker, and drummer Bob Moses all partook of a kinetic and experimental culture that had room for both Wes Montgomery and the Rolling Stones; looking back decades later, Coryell, who had come to New York City from Seattle in 1965 at the age of 22, said the Free Spirits' sound was a result of "trying to imagine what it would be like if John Coltrane met George Harrison." The Free Spirits opened for Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and the Velvet Underground, and recorded their debut album in late 1966 for ABC, with a repertoire written primarily by Coryell and fellow guitarist Chip Baker. Despite laudatory liner notes from jazz critic Nat Hentoff and an ABC ad touting the Free Spirits as "the ‘now' group with the ‘now' sound," Out O...
Another fusioneer, saxophonist Steve Marcus, had a big-band heritage, having played with both Woody Herman and Stan Kenton, and he was also a part of the New York City scene that had spawned the Free Spirits. In the late 1960s he put together an ensemble that in retrospect is a sort of supergroup of early jazz-rock, Count's Rock Band, including former Free Spirits Larry Coryell on guitar, Chris Hills on bass, and Bob Moses on drums, as well as John Handy and Fourth Way pianist Mike Nock on keyboards; Gary Burton even shows up on tambourine as well. The group's sound has been described as the meeting of free jazz and acid rock. Mike Nock said, "Our idea was to play contemporary jazz over rock grooves," and on songs like the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" and the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" the group succeeded in creating a dramatic early form of fusion: There are other musicians from the mid-to-late 1960s who delved into the realm of jazz-rock, such as vibraphonists Dave Pike and Mike...Listen to a previous Night Lights program about the mid-1960s group of Charles LloydRead a Night Lights interview with saxophonist John Handy about the mid-1960s music sceneCheck out the Night Lights show Jazz Cameos, which features jazz musicians sitting in on rock recordsRead Stuart Nicholson's Jazz-Rock: A History
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Jazz, jazz fusion, post bop, Latin jazz, classical music, avant-garde jazz Return to Forever , Five Peace Band , Chaka Khan As leader: Return to Forever (1972), The Leprechaun (1976), My Spanish Heart (1976), with Return to Forever : Light as a Feather (1973), Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973), Where Have I Known You Before (1974), Romantic ...
- Early career
- Early history
Dancing had long been a mainstay of New Orleans nightlife, and Boldens popularity was based on his ability to give dancers what they wanted. During the nineteenth century, string bands, led by violinists, had dominated dance work, offering waltzes, quadrilles, polkas, and schottisches to a polite dancing public. By the turn of the century, an instrumentation borrowing from both brass marching bands and string bands was predominant: usually a front line of cornet, clarinet, and trombone with a rhythm section of guitar, bass, and drums. Dance audiences, especially the younger ones, wanted more excitement. The emergence of ragtime, blues and later, jazz satisfied this demand. Increasingly, musicians began to redefine roles, moving away from sight-reading toward playing by ear. In contrast to society bands such as John Robichauxs (representing the highly-skilled \\"Frenchmen\\" or Creoles of color), bands such as Boldens, Jack Laines Reliance, or the Golden Rule worked out their numbers by practicing until parts were memorized. Each member could offer suggestions for enhancing a piece of music, subject to the approval of the leader. Gradually, New Orleans jazzmen became known for a style of blending improvised partssometimes referred to as \\"collective improvisation\\". It appealed to younger players and dancers alike because it permitted greater freedom of expression, spontaneity, and fun.
Bill Johnson landed in Chicago, where a growing economy attending American entry into the Great War created a boom, which meant jobs for ambitious musicians. Johnson sent for Joe Oliver who, at age 33, had earned a reputation as one of the Crescent Citys top cornetist. His early work with the Onward Brass Band, the Olympia, the Superior and the Eagle bands led to his association with Kid Ory in 1917. Then a series of problems resulting from police raids on the saloon where he was performing convinced him that he should pursue greener pastures elsewhere. Observers of the early New Orleans jazz scene, particularly Johnny Wiggs and Edmond Souchon, have credited Oliver as the first to depart from the Bolden/Keppard approach to leading a front line, which they described as more ragtime than jazz. Souchon and Wiggs heard Oliver many times at subscription dances at the Tulane University Gymnasium. His use of mutes to achieve vocal effects, his fluid and adventurous sense of rhythm, and his blues phrasing, made Oliver a major influence on all who followed, including Louis Armstrong, his most famous protégé. Olivers presence in Chicago served as both an anchor and a magnet for other New Orleans musicians, and during the 1920's he led some of the most celebrated bands in jazz history.
The Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB) was more successful. They arrived in Chicago in 1916 and then went to New York at the beginning of 1917. Crucial to the bands popularity was a booking at Reisenwebers, a cabaret in mid-Manhattan, where dancers were soon lining up (after some initial hesitation) to experience a night of \\"jazz\\". The band became an instant hit, which led directly to interest for the nations top record manufacturers, Victor and Columbia, who were eager to exploit the new \\"jazz craze.\\" After a failed audition for Columbia, the ODJB had greater success with a recording of \\"Livery Stable Blues\\" for Victor in February 1917. Within six months of its release, over one million copies had been sold, thus fusing the New Orleans sound with the term \\"jazz\\" in a commercial product which could be widely distributed. While sheet music continued to be an important medium for the spread of new music, phonograph records were far superior, capturing almost every nuance of a performance and conveying aspects of playing style that were essential to jazz but difficult to write down.
The records made by ODJB were extremely influential in spreading jazz throughout the nation and the world, but they also had an important impact on musicians back home in New Orleans. An advertisement by Maison Blanche (a local department store) affirmed that these records promoted all New Orleans music and were a model for further development: \\"Here is positively the greatest dance record ever issued. Made by New Orleans musicians for New Orleans people, it has all the swing and pep and spirit that is so characteristic of the bands whose names are a by-word at New Orleans dances.\\" Furthermore, despite the impact of segregation, the records appeal transcended the color lines. Louis Armstrong was known to have collected the ODJBs records. Violinist Manuel Manetta recalled being let go by one of the Citys most successful bands because \\"Joe Oliver and Kid Ory wanted to follow the format of the Dixieland Jazz Band and use only five pieces.\\" The success of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band through the medium of phonograph recording completed a revolution in dance and instrumentation begun in the 1890's by Buddy Bolden and fathered some two decades earlier. This standardized the jazz band lineup and demonstrated dramatically how recordings could be used to promote the music.
Other bands which worked on the riverboats out of New Orleans were the Sam Morgan Jazz Band, Oscar Celestins Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra, and Ed Allens Gold Whispering Band. The excursion trade became important for many of the citys black jazz bands. These bands had to file their contracts with the Mobile, Alabama chapter (the closest black local), which was well over a hundred miles away. Having been denied membership into the Musicians Protected Union No. 174, New Orleans white music union, Celestin and others petitioned to establish a local chapter (496) of the American Federation of Musicians in 1926, which ultimately was chartered in Gulfport, Mississippi, because you couldn't have two unions in the same state.
Another of the top performance sites for local jazz bands was the Pythian Temple Roof Garden, part of the multi-story complex run by the Knights of Pythia. Whereas the Streckfus officials usually hired black bands to play on the boat for white audiences, the clients of the Pythian Temple was black affluent, representing a cross-section of New Orleans black middle and upper classes. By the mid-1920s, jazz bands were in demand at the Pythian Temple and debutante balls in the mansions of the Garden District. Jazz musicians who had been earning $1.50 a night working in dance halls and saloons in the District ten years earlier were now making $25 for a nights work at these upscale locations. Growing social acceptance allowed jazz musicians to transcend associations with crime and poverty, which had sometimes haunted music in its earliest days. Even so, for those who wanted to make it to the top of the entertainment industry, all roads led out of town.
During the better part of the recording boom of the 1920s, Chicago was the place to be. The years 1922-1923 yielded a number of important recordings by two bands of New Orleans musicians who had come together in Chicago: the New Orleans Rhythm Kings (originally the Friars Society Orchestra) and King Olivers Creole Jazz Band. These two groups continued to use many of the elements associated with early jazz recordings, such as stop-time, breaks, and ensemble riffing. However, they did much more with them, thus taking the concept of collective- improvised jazz to a higher artistic level. This included an expanded repertoire of \\"riffs\\" and new compositions, a more consistent and \\"swinging\\" rhythmic pulse, and \\"solo improvisation\\".
The goal of every jazz musician is to find their own \\"voice,\\" a sound that is at once unique and identifiable. One of the best examples is Louis Armstrong whose distinctive tone on cornet and personal singing style changed the course of American music. Armstrongs Hot Five was the vehicle for his growth as a jazz musician. In this group, he raised the New Orleans collective concept to unparalleled heights of creativity and then set a new direction with the sheer brilliance of his solo performances. Although the idea for the Hot Five is often attributed to Lil Hardin Armstrong, it was in fact a New Orleans musician and promoter, (Richard M. Jones), who conceived the notion of showcasing Armstrong in a recording band. Beginning in November 1925, the Hot Five produced almost three dozen records for Okeh (which was acquired by Columbia in 1926) and revolutionized the jazz world in the process.
For many, Jelly Roll Mortons principal contribution to the growth and development of New Orleans jazz lies in his accomplishments as a composer and band leader. Morton has been identified as the first great composer of jazza role that started with the publication of his \\"Jelly Roll Blues\\" in 1915. Especially with his Red Hot Peppers recordings from 1926 to 1930, Jelly combined elements of ragtime, minstrelsy, blues, marches and stomps into a jazz gumbo which anticipated many of the characteristic associated with the larger Swing Bands of the 1930s. He polished the New Orleans style according to his own vision; balancing intricate ensemble parts with improvised solos by carefully chosen side men. Morton was also a brilliant piano soloist, capable of using the full extent of the keyboard to recreate the sound of a band. As a composer, soloist, and ensemble player, Morton moved rhythms beyond the stiffness of ragtime into the looser and more exciting feel of swing. In addition, Jelly Roll Morton was quite likely the first \\"philosopher of jazz\\". He was the first to expound on the principles that governed the music, and his Library of Congress interviews with Alan Lomax in 1938 became for many a last testament for understanding the work of New Orleans jazz pioneers. Yet, by 1938, Morton was already a \\"forgotten man,\\" having been dropped by Victor, his recording company, in 1930. While Armstrong managed to adapt to the changes in the music business during the Depression years Jelly sank into obscurity. He died in 1941, just as his music was being rediscovered with the New Orleans revival. The magnitude of his recorded legacy lives on in compositions such as \\"Black Bottom Stomp,\\" \\"Jungle Blues,\\" \\"The Pearls,\\" \\"Steamboat Stomp,\\" and \\"Georgia Swing\\". His creative imagination was particularly evident in \\"Sidewalk Blues,\\" which combined hilarious \\"hokum,\\" the blues, classical themes, various rhythmic effects and mood changes. \\"Dead Man Blues\\" opens with a quote from \\"Flee As A Bird,\\" a dirge common at New Orleans brass band funerals, providing yet another indication of how Morton took his inspiration from the city of his birth, no matter where his travels led him. While Mortons music reflected elements drawn from the mood and spirit of many places, and musical styles, the influence of the crescent city remained ever present as a source of inspiration.
Furthermore, many gifted players stayed home in the 1920s, giving rise to the remarkable diversity found in local jazz recordings by Celestins Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra, the Halfway House Orchestra, A.J. Pirons New Orleans Orchestra, the New Orleans Owls, Johnny DeDroit, Louis Dumain, the Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight, John Hyman and Bayou Stompers, and the Sam Morgan Jazz Band. None of these recordings became \\"hits\\" in the manner of Armstrong and Morton, but they reveal an essential truththat the New Orleans music scene remained a fertile ground for creative musicians of diverse backgrounds, who were united by a common love of the music and a reverence for the culture that produced it.
Nov 22, 2021 · Perhaps the best known jazz trombonist of all time, J.J. Johnson was the first one of the earliest musicians on the instrument to play in the bebop style. Born in 1924, his career started (as with most jazz artists from that era) in the 40’s swinging big bands and orchestras – most notably Benny Carter and Count Basie.