Thursday, January 29, 2009

POLL: the 5 best Jazz/Rock Fusion recordings of all time

I have been researching the history of what is called Jazz/Rock Fusion for many years. I believe the legacy of this music needs to be preserved, documented and forwarded. Toward that end I am researching and writing a book in conjunction with a documentary film that is being done on the subject. You can help with this effort by answering the following poll.

[Note: Sorry about the confusing earlier edition of the poll, done with software - it didn't have the capability for others to nominate and add new items to the list, which is the basis of how this poll is being conducted.]

POLL: On the following list please select what you consider the 5 best Jazz/Rock Fusion albums of all time. If there is a recording(s) that you believe should be included, you can nominate it and I will add it to the list. In-print or out-of-print, old or new, email me at (if you don't want further emails from me, just say so) or post a comment on this blog entry. Simply go to the bottom of the article and click on the link that says "3 comments"... once you leave a comment, it will say "4 comments" or "5 comments" or whatever the count is. If you do, I can add the album(s) you suggest, count your vote(s) and add them to the list.

Here are some albums to start off the discussion:

6 - Supersilent (1)
8:30 - Weather Report (1)
Adventures of Astral Pirates - Lenny White (1)
Agharta/Pangaea – Miles Davis (1)
A Go Go - John Scofield (1)
Alivemutherforya - Billy Cobham (1)
All Kooked Out - Stanton Moore, Charlie Hunter (1)
American Garage - Pat Metheny (1)
An Evening of Magic, Live at the Hollywood Bowl – Chuck Mangione (1)
Anti-Social Club, The - Alan Pasqua (1)
Arbeit Macht Frei - Area (1)
As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls - Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays (1)
Assembler - Bill Connors (1)
Atavachron - Allan Holdsworth (1)
At Fillmore - Miles Davis (1)
At Fillmore East - Allman Brothers Band (1)
At the Mountains of Madness - John Zorn & Electric Masada (1)
Awakening - Pharaohs (1)
Badfoot Brown and the Bunions Bradford Funeral & Marching Band - Bill Cosby (1)
Believe It - Tony Williams Lifetime (9)
Beneath the Mask - Chick Corea Elektric Band (1)
Best Laid Plans - David Torn (1)
Belladonna - Ian Carr & Nucleus (1)
Big City – Lenny White (1)
Big Picture, The - Adam Holzman and Brave New World (1)
Birds of Fire – Mahavishnu Orchestra (5)
Bitches Brew – Miles Davis (16)
Black Sheep - Jan Hammer (1)
Black Market - Weather Report (3)
Black Rock - James Blood Ulmer (1)
Blow by Blow – Jeff Beck (4)
Blue Nights - Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, David Torn (1)
Blue Train - John Coltrane (1)
Breezin' - George Benson (1)
Bright Size Life - Pat Metheny (1)
Buena - Morphine (1)
Burnt Weeny Sandwich - Frank Zappa (1)
CAB - CAB (1)
CAB 4 - CAB (1)
Captain Marvel - Stan Getz (1)
Caravanserei - Carlos Santana (1)
Casino - Al Di Meola (1)
Cellar Door Sessions, The - Miles Davis (1)
Chasing Shadows - Tony Grey (1)
Chicago Transit Authority - Chicago (1)
Chicago (AKA Chicago II) - Chicago (1)
Chicago III - Chicago (1)
Chicago VII - Chicago (1)
Chick Corea Electric Band - Chick Corea Electric Band (1)
Children of Forever - Stanley Clarke (1)
Chinese, The - Janne Shaffer (1)
Close to the Edge - Yes (1)
Consequence of Chaos - Al Di Meola (1)
Cosmic Messenger - Jean-Luc Ponty (2)
Coup de Tete - Kip Hanrahan (1)
Court & Spark - Joni Mitchell (1)
Crossings - Herbie Hancock (1)
Crossings - Steve Khan (1)
Crosswinds - Billy Cobham (1)
Dancing In Your Head - Ornettte Coleman (1)
Devotion - John McLaughlin (2)
Dinosaur Swamps - Flock (1)
Double Nickels on the Dime - Minutemen (1)
Double Up - Bill Connors (1)
Dr. Hee - Scott Henderson and Tribal Tech (1)
Dragon's Head - Mary Halvorson (1)
Dropper, The - Medeski, Martin and Wood (1)
Dry Humping the American Dream - Gutbucket (1)
Eat A Peach - Allman Brothers (1)
Elastic Rock - Nucleus (1)
Electric Rendezvous - Al Di Meola (1)
Electric Bath - Don Ellis (1)
Electric Byrd - Donald Byrd (1)
Electric Guitarist - John McLaughlin (1)
Elegant Gypsy - Al Di Meola (4)
Emergency! - Tony Williams Lifetime (1)
Enigmatic Ocean – Jean Luc Ponty (3)
Escalator Over the Hill - Carla Bley (1)
Evolution - Tony MacAlpine (1)
Expresso - Gong (1)
Extrapolation – John McLaughlin (1)
Farewell Shows - Seattle, WA - Zony Mash (1)
Feels Good to Me - Bill Bruford (1)
Filles de Kilimanjaro - Miles Davis (1)
First Album, The - Ella Guru (1)
First Light – Freddie Hubbard (1)
First Seven Days, The - Jan Hammer (1)
Five Hundred Miles High/Live at Montreux – Flora Purim (1)
Flesh on Flesh - Al Di Meola (1)
Floating Point - John McLaughlin (1)
Flock, The - Flock (1)
Focus - Jan Ǻkerman (1)
Fourth - Soft Machine (1)
Free – Airto Moreira (1)
Freefall - Dixie Dregs (1)
Full Circle (Coming Home) - Bon (1)
Funky Serenity - Ramsey Lewis (1)
Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett - Gary Burton, Keith Jarrett (1)
Gazeuse! - Gong (1)
Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix, The - Gil Evans Orchestra (1)
Good - Morphine (1)
Grand Wazoo, The - Frank Zappa (1)
GSM3 - Frank Gambale, Steve Smith, Stuart Hamm (1)
Hatfield and North - Hatfield and North (1)
Hapless Child, The - Michael Mantler (1)
Hard Normal Daddy - Squarepusher (1)
Head Hunters – Herbie Hancock (5)
Heaven and Hell - Shin e (1)
Heavy Metal Be-Bop - Brecker Brothers (1)
Heavy Weather – Weather Report (11)
Hejira - Joni Mitchell (1)
Hot Rats – Frank Zappa (3)
Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy – Return To Forever (3)
Imaginary Day - Pat Metheny (1)
Improvision - Alex Machacek, Jeff Sipe, Matthew Garrison (1)
In A Silent Way – Miles Davis (5)
Industrial Zen - John McLaughlin (1)
Infinite Desire - Al Di Meola (1)
Inner Mounting Flame, The – Mahavishnu Orchestra (17)
Innervisions - Stevie Wonder (1)
Introducing the Eleventh House – Larry Coryell (1)
Inside Out - Chick Corea Elektric Band (2)
I Sing the Body Electric - Weather Report (1)
It's A Beautiful Day - It's A Beautiful Day (1)
Jaco Pastorius - Jaco Pastorius (2)
James White and the Blacks - James White and the Blacks (1)
Jazz from Hell - Frank Zappa (1)
Jewel in the Lotus - Bennie Maupin (1)
Jing Chi - Robben Ford, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy Haslip (1)
Journey to Love – Stanley Clarke (2)
Juju Street Songs - Gary Bartz (1)
Kamakiriad - Donald Fagen (1)
Kinesthetics - Scott Kinsey (1)
King Kong- Jean Luc Ponty (1)
Kiss My Axe - Al Di Meola (1)
Land of the Midnight Sun - Al Di Meola (1)
Last Train to Hicksville - Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks (1)
Larry Carlton - Larry Carlton (1)
Lawrence of Newark - Larry Young (1)
Light As A Feather – Return To Forever (2)
Light Years - Shin e (1)
Like Children - Jan Hammer/Jerry Goodman (1)
Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time – Miles Davis (1)
Live at the Greek - Stanley Clarke (1)
Live at the Baked Potato - Greg Mathieson, Abe Laboriel, Michael Landau and Vinnie Colaiuta (1)
Live at the Rainbow - Focus (1)
Live from Elario's (the First Gig) - Chick Corea Electric Band (1)
Live In Tokyo - Weather Report (2)
Live On Tour In Europe - Billy Cobham - George Duke Band (1)
Love Devotion Surrender - Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin (1)
Mad Hatter - Chick Corea (1)
Man-Child - Herbie Hancock (1)
Masques - Brand X (1)
Merry-Go-Round - Elvin Jones (1)
Metal Fatigue - Allan Holdsworth (3)
Michael Brecker - Michael Brecker (1)
Miles in the Sky - Miles Davis (1)
Milestones - Miles Davis (1)
Mind Transplant - Alphonse Mouzon (1)
Mint Jam - Yellowjackets (1)
Modern Man - Stanley Clarke (1)
Moon Germs - Joe Farrell (1)
Moonshadows - Alphonse Mouzon (1)
Moonshine - Dave Douglas and Keystone (1)
Moroccan Roll - Brand X (1)
Morph the Cat - Donald Fagen (1)
Mountain in the Clouds – Miroslav Vitous (1)
My Spanish Heart - Chick Corea (1)
Mysterious Traveller – Weather Report (2)
Mystical Adventures - JeanLuc Ponty (1)
Napoli Centrale - Napoli Centrale (1)
Native Dancer - Wayne Shorter (1)
New Grass - Albert Ayler (1)
Nightfly - Donald Fagen (1)
Night Passage - Weather Report (2)
No Mystery – Return To Forever (4)
Elastic Rock - Nucleus (1)
Octave of the Holy Innocents - Jonas Hellborg, Buckethead and Michael Shrieve (1)
Of Human Feelings - Ornette Coleman (1)
Oh Yeah? - Jan Hammer (1)
One of a Kind - Bill Bruford (3)
One Size Fits All - Frank Zappa (1)
On the Corner - Miles Davis (3)
Out of the Woods - Oregon (1)
Overtime - Lee Ritenour (1)
Pachuco Cadaver - Captain Beefheart (1)
Panthalassa - Bill Laswell (1)
Passion and Warfare - Steve Vai (1)
Pat Metheny Group, The - Pat Metheny (1)
Personae - Jonas Hellborg, Shawn Lane, Jeff Sipe (1)
Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo (1)
Pieces - Matthew Larkin Cassell (1)
Planet End - Larry Coryell (1)
Polytown - David Torn, Mick Karn, Terry Bozzio (1)
Powers of Ten - Shawn Lane (1)
Preludes and Rhapsodies - Deodato (1)
Present Tense - Lenny White (1)
Primal Scream - Maynard Ferguson (1)
Progressivity - Tunnels (1)
Pyramid - Eef Albers (1)
Red Clay – Freddie Hubbard
Return to Forever ­– Return To Forever (2) 
Return of the Brecker Brothers - Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker (1)
Return to the Emerald Beyond - The Mahavishnu Project (1)
Rip, Rig & Panic - Rashaan Roland Kirk (1)
Road Games - Alan Holdsworth (1)
Rocks, Pebbles and Sand - Stanley Clarke (1)
Romantic Warrior – Return To Forever (20)
Rotters' Club, The - Hatfield and North (1)
Sad and Tragic Demise of Big Fine Hot Salty Black Wind, The - Universal Congress Of (1)
Safe As Milk - Captain Beefheart (1)
Sand - Allan Holdsworth (1)
Save the Robots - Conrad Shrenk and Extravaganza (1)
School Days - Stanley Clarke (3)
Secrets - Allan Holdsworth (1)
Seven Songs - Fredy Studer (1)
Sextant - Herbie Hancock (1)
Shack Man - Medeski, Martin and Wood (1)
Shangrenade - Harvey Mandel (1)
(sic) - Alex Machacek (1)
She's Too Much for My Mirror - Captain Beefheart (1)
Sky Train - Barry Miles (1)
Smokin' in the Pit - Mike Mainieri and Steps Ahead (2)
Soft Machine, The - Soft Machine (1)
Soul Experiment, A - Freddie Hubbard (1)
Song X - Pat Metheny (1)
Soul Vaccination: Live - Tower of Power (1)
Spaces – Larry Coryell (1)
Spectrum – Billy Cobham (3)
Spice of Life - Kazume Watanabe (1)
Splendido Hotel - Al Di Meola (1)
Staircase - Keith Jarrett (1)
Stanley Clarke - Stanley Clarke (1)
Step It - Bill Connors (1)
Still Warm - John Scofield (1)
Super Nova – Wayne Shorter (1)
Sweetnighter – Weather Report (2)
Tales from the Acoustic Planet - Bela Fleck (1)
Tales of the Exonerated Flea - Horacee Arnold (1)
Tauhid - Pharoah Sanders (1)
Temporal Analogues of Paradise - Shawn Lane, Jonas Hellborg and Jeff Sipe (2)
Tennessee 2004 - Praxis (1)
Then! Live - Allan Holdsworth (1)
There and Back - Jeff Beck (1)
Third - Soft Machine (1)
Thrust - Herbie Hancock (2)
Thunder - Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Vic Wooten (1)
Time Control – Hiromi (2)
Timeless - John Abercrombie w/ Jan Hammer, Jack DeJohnette (1)
Tolonen - Jukka Tolonen (1)
Total Eclipse - Billy Cobham (1)
To the Bone - Bon (1)
Touchstone - Chick Corea (1)
Tour de Force Live - Al Di Meola (1)
Toys of Men - Stanley Clarke (1)
Tribute to Jack Johnson, A - Miles Davis (3)
Trio of Doom, The - John McLaughlin, Jaco Pastorius, Tony Williams (1)
Trout Mask Replica - Captain Beefheart (3)
True Stories - David Sancious (1)
Turn It Over – Tony Williams Lifetime (2)
Tutu - Miles Davis (1)
Ultimate Adventure, The - Chick Corea (1)
Uncle Meat - Frank Zappa (1)
Unspeakable - Bill Frisell (1)
Unorthodox Behaviour - Brand X (3)
Venusian Summer - Lenny White (1)
Vertú - Lenny White (1)
Visions of the Emerald Beyond - Mahavishnu Orchestra (2)
Vitalization - Steve Smith (1)
Vital Tech Tones - Scott Henderson (1)
Volume Two - Soft Machine (1)
Waka/Jawaka - Frank Zappa (1)
Wardenclyffe Tower - Allan Holdsworth (1)
Warszawa - Praxis (1)
Way Up, The - Pat Metheny (1)
Weather Report - Weather Report (1)
What If – Dixie Dregs (3)
 Where Have I Known You Before – Return To Forever (4)
Wired – Jeff Beck (6)
Yes - Morphine (1)
Zawinul - Joe Zawinul (1)
Zoot Allures - Frank Zappa (1)
Zurich - Praxis (1)


Carlton said...

Believe It - Tony Williams Lifetime

No Mystery – Return To Forever

Heavy Weather – Weather Report

Where Have I Known You Before – Return To Forever

Spectrum – Billy Cobham

Carlton said...

Carl, Toys of Men is actually good, I mean I think it is worthy, as worthy as any Chicago album. One of my first purchased albums was Chicago CTA. Peace CJ :-)

Carl Hager said...

Thanks for your input, Carlton. I've recorded your votes, and added Stanley Clarke's Toys of Men to the list.

Despite what they eventually turned into, Chicago Transit Authority began as a balls-to-the-wall jazz-rock outfit. What actually determined whether it was called Progressive Rock or Jazz-Rock at the time was the whim of marketing copywriters working for the record label. Whatever you call the music on those first two albums -- Chicago Transit Authority, and Chicago (now inaccurately referred to as Chicago II) -- it smoked. If you haven't heard it, just listen to Terry Kath, one of the great guitarists, on this early (August 17, 1969... 2 days before Miles began the initial Bitches Brew recording sessions) live version of "25 or 6 to 4", recently written and not yet recorded, when the solo was all burning improv:
Jazz? Rock? Blues? Jimi Hendrix, who would soon be discussing a recording project with Miles, was one of Kath's (and the band's) biggest fans.

Carl Hager said...

P.S. My wife just gave me the precise record-label description of what Chicago Transit Authority was doing. Big Band Jazz-Rock.

bo said...

Devotion - John McLaughlin

Believe It - Tony Williams Lifetime

Spice of Life - Kazumi Watanabe

Bill Connors - Step It/Double Up/Assembler

Lane,Hellborg,Sipe - Temporal Analogues of Paradise

Tit said...

Return to Forever - Return to Forever

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

Frank Zappa - Hot Rats

Weather Report - Heavy Weather

Freddie Hubbard - A Soul Experiment

djaitch said...

Based contributions to a poll at Prog Archives late summer 2008, I would like to see the following album added, if not there already:

Tony Williams Lifetime: Turn It Over
New Tony Williams Lifetime: Believe It
Mahavishnu Orchestra: Birds Of Fire
RTF: Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy
Bruford: Feels Good To Me
Soft Machine: Third
Allan Holdsworth: Road Games
JonasHellborg/Buckethead/Mike Shrieve: Octave Of The Holy Innocents (original mix)
Conrad Schrenk & Extravaganza: Save The Robots
Jan Hammer: Oh Yeah!

Billy Cobham: Spectrum
Weather Report: Tales Spinnin'
Jonas Hellborg Group:e
David Torn: Cloud About Mercury
Jean Luc Ponty: Enigmatic Ocean
John Abercrombie: Timeless
Mahavishnu Orchestra: Inner Mounting Flame
McHacek: Featuring Ourselves
Pat Metheny Group: American Garage
Tasavallan Presidentti: Lambertland

and I realise I've left out

Joni Mitchell's Shadows & Light, which features my all time favourite, a version of 'Dry Cleaner from Des Moines', with a startling duo by Mike Brecker and Jaco Pastorius - such a pity the DVD of this show, blocks out the virtusoso display here with footage of 60's Las Vegas.

Carl Hager said...

bo and Tit, thanks for your votes. These are very good choices. Bill Connors is one of the all-time great electric guitarists. I'll enter a vote for Step It and also add Double Up and Assembler to the list. Freddie's A Soul Experiment was one of the first shots fired in the revolution but sometimes gets lost in the jazz/rock discussion, overshadowed by Red Clay and First Light. Excellent.

scottst said...

1. Mahavishnu Orchestra: The Inner Mounting Flame

2. Gong: Gazeuse!

3. Jeff Beck: Blow by Blow

4. Herbie Hancock: Thrust

5. Weather Report: Sweetnighter

Rob said...

Brand X - Unorthodox Behaviour

Hard to beat it

Rob said...

Brand X - Unorthodox Behaviour

Pretty hard to beat

Rob said...

Sorry about the double post. Here's a few more:

Mystical Adventures - Jean Luc Ponty

Dixie Dregs - Freefall

Beneath The Mask - Chick Corea Elektric Band

Al Di Meola - Elegant Gypsy

Carl Hager said...

Scottst and Rob, thank you very much for your input and votes.

Djaitch, thank you for all the suggested titles - they will be added. I'm interested to see what you have to say when you cast your vote for the 5 best...

djaitch said...

Lots of thought 5 that have had a persistence for several years, but inevitably susceptible to minor change:

1. Feels Good To Me: Bruford
2. Birds Of Fire: Mahavishnu orchtra
3. Hymn Of The 7th Galaxy: RTF
4. Save The Robots: Conrad Schrenk & Extravaganza
5. Octave Of The Holy innocents (original release): Hellborg/Buckethead/Shrieve

Do Isee an error

Is there such album as
Chicago: "Chicago" - surely this has to be either Chicago: "Chicago Transit Authority" (the first studio album) or Chicago: "Chicago 2" (their 2nd studio album, as in BTW strongly recommend the legitimised boot, Chicago "1968" (Newsound 2000Records)to remind what they sounded like when lean and hunger, rather than the over-polished , somewhat lifeless, showbiz combo of the 21st century.

Carl Hager said...

djaitch -

Thank you for your votes, and your earlier recommendations.

As far as the title of Chicago's albums, I think the first two were eponymously titled with just the band's name. On the first recording they were calling themselves Chicago Transit Authority, but by the time they recorded their second they were calling themselves just Chicago. When it occurred to them on the third album to continue the use of the eponym, they began tacking on a numeral. People started referring to it in print as Chicago II (although strictly speaking, it was Chicago I...) in the same way the similarly entitled 1968 Beatles recording had begun to be referred to as The White Album. Remember Peter Gabriel's nameless first three solo albums that just displayed his name on their covers? Nowadays many discographers refer to them as Peter Gabriel 1, Peter Gabriel 2, and Peter Gabriel 3. lists them as Peter Gabriel 1: Car, Peter Gabriel 2: Scratch, and Peter Gabriel 3: Melt. I don't have any idea what Peter Gabriel himself has to say about all this linguistic revisionism, although I would guess it would be along the lines of quoting Shakespeare's line about what's in a name. Music by any other name is still music.

djaitch said...

No argument and I now you write so, I know so - I hope everybody is as clear if these albums gain more votes. Oh dear RM got all those votes.....

Tony said...

Weather Report and RTF are on the roght track, but for me:
Jean Luc-Ponty's "Cosmic Messenger"
I could not believe it was not on the list!!!

Carl Hager said...

Sorry, Tony. It's the limitations of democracy... "Cosmic Messenger" will go onto the list at your request. Any more that you would like to add to the list?

bogard said...

My top five are:

8:30 - Weather Report
The Cellar Door Sessions - Miles Davis
Light as a Feather - Return to Forever
Michael Brecker - Michael Brecker
Pat Metheny Group - Pat Metheny Group

with kind regards & keep on groovin

Carl Hager said...

So recorded, bogard. Thank you.

Roy said...

I would like to add: "Like Children" by Jan Hammer/Jerry Goodman.

Roy said...

My List:
1."Bitches Brew"
Miles Davis
2."The Inner Mounting Flame"
Mahavishnu Orchestra
3."Where Have I Known You Before"
Return To Forever
4."Head Hunters"
Herbie Hancock
5."Like Children"
Jann Hammer/Jerry Goodman

jordan0814 said...

The Top Five list needs to be expanded to the Top Ten list in order to really include all of the equally relative fusion bands from that era. I had a challenging time selecting only five choices when there are at least twice as many that deserve to be listed.

Carl Hager said...

Roy: thank your for your votes.

jordan0814: I understand the difficulty of paring down the list to 5. Do what many others have done - vote for 5, and then name 5 more recordings as honorable mentions. I will include your 5 additional recordings to the list as suggestions for other voters.

Anonymous said...

Many good titles, I suggest one which is missing: Alphonse Mouzon "Mind Transplant".

Carl Hager said...

Alphonse Mouzon's Mind Transplant, great choice. I'll add it!