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JAZZ FUSION FANS? What are your favoriteTracks/LPs?

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 I got into Jazz Fusion back in the late 1970's. Would tape record the good stuff & make mix tapes. I was watching a YouTube video the other day of Return To Forever live doing a track called .. Jester King. Was there ever a better group of creative, impressive musicians than Return To Forever? Chick Corea still performs I hear. It would be a dream for someone to uncover some lost tapes or if they would put out some new music. They're old though. Chick Corea along with Joe Zawinul of Weather Report were among the most gifted creative  melody creators of our time. Time has no way of making music like this sound dated. Besides the obvious best known fusion artists of the 1970's & 80's like Benson, Mclaughlin, Bob James, Pat Metheny, Earl Klugh etc., what were some of your favorite jazz fusion tracks and albums?  

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2 hours ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

 I got into Jazz Fusion back in the late 1970's. Would tape record the good stuff & make mix tapes. I was watching a YouTube video the other day of Return To Forever live doing a track called .. Jester King. Was there ever a better group of creative, impressive musicians than Return To Forever? Chick Corea still performs I hear. It would be a dream for someone to uncover some lost tapes or if they would put out some new music. They're old though. Chick Corea along with Joe Zawinul of Weather Report were among the most gifted creative  melody creators of our time. Time has no way of making music like this sound dated. Besides the obvious best known fusion artists of the 1970's & 80's like Benson, Mclaughlin, Bob James, Pat Metheny, Earl Klugh etc., what were some of your favorite jazz fusion tracks and albums?  

 

There are comparatively new recordings from Corea and group. Check "The Mothership Returns" live album from 2012. Back in 70s I was listening a lot of Hancock, Duke, Ponty besides those you've mentioned. Also, some good recordings from ECM, such as Terje Rypdal's Odyssey. Also, Soft Machine, Klaus Doldinger's Passport.

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Thanks for the info on the 2012 live album. I remember buying a thick gray covered book titled something like Best Jazz Albums Ever or something like that. I grew to thinking the LP My Spanish HHeartmust be his real classic, since that was the opinion of the writer in the book.Since RTF made music that was so progressive, it took me a while to "get it" sometime. I remember not quite "getting" the album Where Have I Known You Before after a few listens within a few weeks. Then one Saturday evening around 1981, it might have been the first accumulating snow of the year in the afternoon and I could see it out the window in the dark and it gave the room a special moonlit glow in the dark, well I thought I would give it a third listen within a few weeks in the semi darkness, and right from the first track it just "hit me" and I got it. I realized  it was a true classic. I couldn't wait to hear My Spanish Heart which I bought probably the following week. My Spanish Fantasy, especially Pt.2 has to be one of the real highlights of his career. The track Virtually Parts 1 thru 4 by Soft Machine could be the most excellent unique different piece of Jazz Fusion music I have ever heard.

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Chick Corea's albums were my very first acquaintance with jazz rock, back in adolescence years. And My Spanish Heart was early favorite among the rest of them. The one I would listen again now. 

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I still enjoy the albums that George Duke recorded for the MPS label in the 1970s. My most played jazz fusion albums are probably 'Jungle Fever' by Neil Larsen and 'Enigmatic Ocean' by Jean-Luc Ponty

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David Sancious made several really good ones in the70's. I especially like "Transformation".


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Neil Larsen and David Sancious being mentioned is quite a surprise. Both not that well known outside of Fusion circles despite Sancious being the opening act for Bruce Springsteen a multitude of time back then and Neil's guitarist Buzz Feiten doing stints sitting in with the Paul Schaefer band on the old David Letterman Show, back when it was on. Both of those artists are great. The jamming interplay between Larsen's keyboards and Feitens guitar work could be right up there with guitarists  Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, of the southern rock group The Allman Brothers. All of Neil Larsen's albums are consistently good, although some are a little more favorite than others. Probably his albums with his group Full Moon get the most play personally after Jungle Fever, which I was turned onto by the old High Fidelity Magazine Music Reviews, rightly calling it an underground Fusion classic. The playlist of the Jazz Fusion radio show that came on once weekly always included among others; Al Jarrau, Spyro Gyra, Cedar Walton, Ronnie Laws, Matrix, Mark Almond, Chuck Mangione, The Dregs, The Crusaders (formerly The Jazz Crusaders), Bill Burford, Stanley Clarke, Mike Manieri, and Tom Scott, who also did occasional stints with the house band on the old Letterman Show. At least two of his albums with his group the L.A. Express are classics: Tom Cat and the one with the close up album cover of a woman's mid section wearing a belt buckle. His riffs with electric guitarist Robben Ford are wonderful. An artist whose long discography I have a feeling I should investigate even further. 

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3 hours ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

Neil Larsen and David Sancious being mentioned is quite a surprise. Both not that well known outside of Fusion circles despite Sancious being the opening act for Bruce Springsteen a multitude of time back then and Neil's guitarist Buzz Feiten doing stints sitting in with the Paul Schaefer band on the old David Letterman Show, back when it was on. Both of those artists are great. The jamming interplay between Larsen's keyboards and Feitens guitar work could be right up there with guitarists  Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, of the southern rock group The Allman Brothers. All of Neil Larsen's albums are consistently good, although some are a little more favorite than others. Probably his albums with his group Full Moon get the most play personally after Jungle Fever, which I was turned onto by the old High Fidelity Magazine Music Reviews, rightly calling it an underground Fusion classic. The playlist of the Jazz Fusion radio show that came on once weekly always included among others; Al Jarrau, Spyro Gyra, Cedar Walton, Ronnie Laws, Matrix, Mark Almond, Chuck Mangione, The Dregs, The Crusaders (formerly The Jazz Crusaders), Bill Burford, Stanley Clarke, Mike Manieri, and Tom Scott, who also did occasional stints with the house band on the old Letterman Show. At least two of his albums with his group the L.A. Express are classics: Tom Cat and the one with the close up album cover of a woman's mid section wearing a belt buckle. His riffs with electric guitarist Robben Ford are wonderful. An artist whose long discography I have a feeling I should investigate even further. 

Sancious was actually in the E-Street Band. "The Wild, the Innocent..." would not have been the same without him. He left the band during the recording of "Born to Run". Has had a big career as a session musician for lots of big name artists. 

Thought of another: British band "Colosseum" was an early blues/rock/jazz fusion band. 


Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>RPi4 9(dietpi)>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: (1) CAPS Pipeline>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Schiit Freya>Kii Three .(2) CAPS>ifi iDAC SPDIF>Kii Control.

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup. Living Room/Kitchen: RB Pi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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 Colloseum II was great band. A few weeks ago I got one of their records on ebay. The Jazz Fusion scene was very big in England and just as with rock, a disproortinate amount of the greatest music came from their relatively small country. Even a young Phil Collins had his own fusion band called Brand X. A lot of bands used Alan Holdsworth on guitar. Some other U.K. Fusion bands were Tribal Tech, National Health, Soft Machine, Hadfield & The North, and across the U.K. border, great music from Cox Orange and Iceberg (try their Sentiments LP).

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4 hours ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

 Colloseum II was great band. A few weeks ago I got one of their records on ebay. The Jazz Fusion scene was very big in England and just as with rock, a disproortinate amount of the greatest music came from their relatively small country. Even a young Phil Collins had his own fusion band called Brand X. A lot of bands used Alan Holdsworth on guitar. Some other U.K. Fusion bands were Tribal Tech, National Health, Soft Machine, Hadfield & The North, and across the U.K. border, great music from Cox Orange and Iceberg (try their Sentiments LP).

 

Also in UK - Nucleus, Isotope

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Nucleus Isotope. Thanks for reminding me. I bought a copy of that about 6 months ago on ebay. Its probably still in the mailer. There was a still sealed LP and a rated excellent used one. I don't even remember which one I bought. Tony Williams Lifeline is a Fusion group that some would put in the uppermost category of excellence. Don't know if they were British or not.

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Isotope and Nucleus are two different groups from UK. Tony Williams Lifetime (originally with John McLaughlin and Larry Young) is a wonderful band which employed many well-known musicians from both US and UK in different times. While Tony Williams himself was American, he invited some musicians from UK to play with him, such as John McLaughlin, Jack Brice, Alan Holdsworth. Great drummer, member of miraculous Miles Davis Quintet in 60s.

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Thanks for clearing that up. As I said I bought an LP on ebay quite a while ago and I might have gotten the album title and the bands name mixed up. I'll have to find the record. I know the word Isotope is on the cover. Tony Williams; I bought a CD of his greatest hits and liked it on first listen. Have not gotten back to it yet, but will. You can tell I am not too familiar with him yet. I also bought an LP of his with a women's legs pictured on the cover. I better get my turntable hooked up before long.

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1 hour ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

Thanks for clearing that up. As I said I bought an LP on ebay quite a while ago and I might have gotten the album title and the bands name mixed up. I'll have to find the record. I know the word Isotope is on the cover. Tony Williams; I bought a CD of his greatest hits and liked it on first listen. Have not gotten back to it yet, but will. You can tell I am not too familiar with him yet. I also bought an LP of his with a women's legs pictured on the cover. I better get my turntable hooked up before long.

 

The one you mentioned is the "Million Dollar Legs" from the so-called New Lifetime iteration of Tony Williams band. I listened this LP back in 70s and have not much memories about. What I really like is early Williams albums, like the "Life Time", his debut  on Blue Note, some time before he started fusion experiments. And, besides Miles Davis Quintet recordings mentioned above, V.S.O.P Quintet albums from 70s.

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Thanks for the info. I have decided to really get back to listening to Jazz Fusion again. I occasionally put on some Ritenour or Weather Report or something, but I mean really get into it again. I have bought a lot of discs and records, both familiar and unfamiliar and am going to make it a Jazz Fusion summer. Because my system now has really impressive openness and air volume I have been buying a lot of great Jazz organist titles from artists like Larry Young, Lonnie Liston Smith, Brian Auger etc. I'd like to get back into Larry Corryell & The Eleventh House, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Arthur Blithe, Hank Mobley and Freddie Hubbard also. It will involve hooking my turntable back up.

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