Jazz Fusion

Jazz Fusion originated in the 1970s from the release of Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” in 1969 which used eighth note time feels and production of techniques used in popular music such as, overdubbing and looping. This paved the way for jazz to go in a new direction, Jazz Rock. Instruments used in Jazz Fusion include electric guitar, amplifiers and keyboards.  This music type is the fusion of traditional jazz with  the combination of the brass and woodwind instruments that incorporates rhythms, harmonies and melodic motives from popular forms of music. Jazz Fusion is mostly known for its creativity of jazz improvisation, rock and roll, electric instruments and textural experimentation. Overdubbing is a record with additional sounds on an existing recording. Looping  is a short section of a track repeated. The most successful album  in fusion jazz was Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters in 1973. It featured funk bass lines, rhythm guitar parts and horn riffs over instrumental solos. Jazz Fusion often noted their dissatisfaction with society. Musicians wanted to capitalize on the appeal of rock music with a direct impact specifically in “progressive metal” in the 1990’s. Bands like Gong, and Meshuggah include elements of fusion jazz such as  “long solos, non standard time signatures, and complex music”Jazz Fusion music generally got little  radio time in the United States due to the lack of vocals and the long length in the songs.  Fusion was more significant in the European, Japan and south American radio. Jazz Fusion artists include Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke, Grover Washington, Dinah Washington and Billy Cobham. 


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