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Jazz Fusion

In a Silent Way
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What is Jazz Fusion Music

Jazz Fusion Music developed late on in the 1960’s, as a fusion of elements taken from jazz (the improvisation) as well as the grooves and rhythm of funk, with the beat of R&B and the amplified electronic instruments used in rock.  Jazz fusion music is actually recognized as helping to expand many of the improvisation techniques used throughout the 80’s and 90’s.  There was lots of experimentation going on around that era, well, in every musical era actually.  Jazz fusion music can be used to describe many different musical styles. Bassist/singer Randy Jackson says that Jazz Fusion music is incredibly difficult to get the hang of, and goes on to say  “I picked jazz fusion because I was trying to become the ultimate technical musician-able to play anything. Jazz fusion to me is the hardest music to play. You have to be so proficient on your instrument. Playing five tempos at the same time, for instance. I wanted to try the toughest music because I knew if I could do that, I could do anything”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Representative Jazz Fusion Musicians

Jazz Fusion Music might be difficult to play, but the list of those who have mastered it is pretty endless and a “who’s who” of musicians of the time. It’s not only the musicians which are considered to be influential, but specific albums which were recorded at the time. “In a Silent Way”, recorded in 1969 by Miles Davis is considered to be a prominent jazz fusion album,  as well as “Bitches Brew” which he recorded the following year. According to some jazz fusion fans, however, “the purest electric jazz record ever made” was A Tribute to Jack Johnson, which Davis recorded in 1971.  Early in the 1970’s another band which were recording notable jazz fusion albums were Weather Report and Chick Corea.

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