The Birth of Jazz Fusion

By Camille Adams-Lonzer

Fusion Jazz or Jazz Fusion is something that old school jazz aficionados might not care for. Known for it’s electric beats and funky undertones, this sub genre opened jazz up to those who may have never given it a try.

Back in the late 60’s in the times of the hippies, the civil rights movement and the Black Panther Party a new type of jazz was being created. It was in the 70’s when Miles Davis released his controversial album called “Bitches Brew” that Jazz fusion was put on the front stage of music. Davis was usually known for his sensual cool jazz, but when he released this album his style was evolving. The album consisted of him experimenting with electric instruments which were far different from his acoustic style. Thanks to him the seed of jazz fusion was planted and was given a chance to grow.   

The Evolution of Jazz Fusion

The world of jazz fusion being pioneered by Miles Davis was beginning to further evolve. The sub genre was something very different from mainstream jazz. It included many complex improvisations, interesting harmonies and interplay between musicians. Another big aspect of the jazz fusion sound was the use of electric instruments which was gave the music it’s funky elements. Two of the best artist known for their work within jazz fusion were Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. Both artist play the electric keyboard and funnily enough both artist worked alongside Miles Davis at different points in his career. As the sub genre continued to grow it’s audience grew as well and as more artist began to discover the genre more sub genres began to break off from jazz fusion. Artist such as Joe Zawinul who had also worked with Miles Davis focused on modern creative jazz. On the other hand Larry Young expanded his version of soul jazz into a jazzy psychedelically funk. Jazz fusion had so many different sounds and because of that it took the world by storm leaving a long lasting impact on so many different genres. 

In Conclusion...

In conclusion Jazz Fusion was more than just jazz with a splash of funk for an upbeat sound. It was an art form with that gave it’s artist an outlet to express themselves freely. Fusion Jazz had evolved from something mainstream jazz listeners couldn’t stand to something that inspired and became a staple of it’s own. So, if your looking for some jazz that will get you up out your seat and have some fun you’ve found it.    

Let's Jam Out to Some Fusion Jazz

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