Monday, September 3, 2012

POLL (RESULTS) AND A NEW POLL: the 5 Best Jazz/Rock Fusion Recordings of All Time






On January 29, 2009, I posted a poll here with links to it on various online music discussion groups, asking people to nominate what they felt were the 5 best jazz/rock fusion albums of all time.  A good number of responses came in by email, while quite a few were posted on the online forums and here on my blog.  As the months went on I would occasionally think the survey had run its course, but then a few more responses would show up--so I just let the polling continue, and it went on.  It wasn't until September 6, 2010 that the last comment/vote was posted here on Jazz (Jazzers Jazzing).  I don't recall when the last vote was emailed in--it was months later.

Not all the responses to the poll were cheerful or constructive.  Some jazz/rock aficionados objected to the idea of such a list, saying that narrowing the field and using competitive words like "best" and "all time" was bad somehow, maybe even a way of bullying less appreciated works.  Ha!


At the other end of the spectrum, moldy-fig "purists" who still have not forgiven Miles Davis for plugging instruments into amplifiers, continue to be upset with all of this music and the people who listen to it.  What has it been now...?  Forty-five years?

At any rate, the purpose is to do two things here. One, I want you to see the results so far.  Some of these choices are fairly surprising.  The album Weather Report in the top 5?  Headhunters not?


Two, I want to re-open the voting.  A lot has happened in the last three and a half years.  Several of the musicians listed in the results below--Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Josef Zawinul, Lenny White, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin and Chick Corea--have won Grammys (Joe Z.'s posthumously).  Others have made interesting new music, or gone into retirement to live on record royalties, or come out of retirement to play live music because they can't live on their royalties, or...  A newcomer not even on the list back then, Esperanza Spalding became the first-ever jazz artist to win a Grammy for Best New Artist, certainly a sign of something good.

After reviewing the list, or before, I want you to go to the bottom of this page to where it says "post a comment," log in and VOTE!  List the albums you consider to be the 5 best jazz/rock albums of all time; if you want to nominate fewer than 5, that's okay, too.  You can also vote by email at hager.carl@gmail.com and put "5 Best" in the subject line.  If you voted in the original poll, feel free to vote for another 5--but please don't vote for any album for a second time--this isn't a contest, it's a way of assessing the popularity of this great musical legacy.

Feel free as well to vent, rant, rave, critique, analyze, cogitate, glorify or otherwise opinionate.  This is a moderated blog, though, so don't get carried away with the expletives.  

Here are the results so far.  The first 43 of them are listed according to the number of votes received, most to least.  Any albums receiving the same number of votes are listed alphabetically:
 


22 Romantic Warrior – Return To Forever (22)
21 Inner Mounting Flame, The – Mahavishnu Orchestra (20)
18 Bitches Brew – Miles Davis (17)
12 Heavy Weather – Weather Report (12)
9 Believe It - Tony Williams Lifetime (9)
7 Head Hunters – Herbie Hancock (7)
7 No Mystery – Return To Forever (7)
6 Wired – Jeff Beck (6)
6 Birds of Fire – Mahavishnu Orchestra (6)
6 In A Silent Way – Miles Davis (5)
5 Blow by Blow – Jeff Beck (5)
4 Elegant Gypsy - Al Di Meola (4)
4 Black Market - Weather Report (4)
4 Trout Mask Replica - Captain Beefheart (4)
4 Where Have I Known You Before – Return To Forever (4)
3 Enigmatic Ocean – Jean Luc Ponty (3)
3 Hot Rats – Frank Zappa (3)
3 Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy – Return To Forever (3)
3 Light As A Feather – Return To Forever (3)
3 Metal Fatigue - Allan Holdsworth (3)
3 On the Corner - Miles Davis (3)
3 One of a Kind - Bill Bruford (3)
3 School Days - Stanley Clarke (3)
3 Spectrum – Billy Cobham (3)
3 Thrust - Herbie Hancock (3)
3 Tribute to Jack Johnson, A - Miles Davis (3)
3 Unorthodox Behaviour - Brand X (3) 
3 What If – Dixie Dregs (3)
2 8:30 - Weather Report (2)
2 Cosmic Messenger - Jean-Luc Ponty (2)
2 Devotion - John McLaughlin (2)
2Emergency! - Tony Williams Lifetime (1)
2 Inside Out - Chick Corea Elektric Band (2)
2 Jaco Pastorius - Jaco Pastorius (2)
2 Journey to Love – Stanley Clarke (2)
2 Live In Tokyo - Weather Report (2)
2 Mysterious Traveller – Weather Report (2)
2 Night Passage - Weather Report (2)
2 Pat Metheny Group, The - Pat Metheny (2)
2 Return to Forever ­– Return To Forever (2)
2 Smokin' in the Pit - Mike Mainieri and Steps Ahead (2)
2 Sweetnighter – Weather Report (2)
2 Temporal Analogues of Paradise - Shawn Lane, Jonas Hellborg and Jeff Sipe (2)
2 Time Control – Hiromi (2)
2 Turn It Over – Tony Williams Lifetime (2)
2 Visions of the Emerald Beyond - Mahavishnu Orchestra (2)

6 - Supersilent (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
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)
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)
Black Sheep - Jan Hammer (1)
Black Rock - James Blood Ulmer (1)
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)
Coup de Tete - Kip Hanrahan (1)
Court & Spark - Joni Mitchell (1)
Crossings - Herbie Hancock (1)
Crossings - Steve Khan (1)
Crosswinds - Billy Cobham (1)
Crystal Silence - Gary Burton / Chick Corea (1)
Dancing In Your Head - Ornettte Coleman (1)
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)
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)
Heaven and Hell - Shine (Bill Laswell, Buckethead, Shin Terai) (1)
Heavy Metal Be-Bop - Brecker Brothers (1)
Hejira - Joni Mitchell (1)
Imaginary Day - Pat Metheny (1)
Improvision - Alex Machacek, Jeff Sipe, Matthew Garrison (1)
Industrial Zen - John McLaughlin (1)
Infinite Desire - Al Di Meola (1)
Innervisions - Stevie Wonder (1)
Introducing the Eleventh House – Larry Coryell (1)
I Sing the Body Electric - Weather Report (1)
It's A Beautiful Day - It's A Beautiful Day (1)
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)
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 Years - Shin e (1)
Like Children - Jann 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, Abraham 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 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)
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)
Mystical Adventures - JeanLuc Ponty (1)
Napoli Centrale - Napoli Centrale (1)
Native Dancer - Wayne Shorter (1)
New Grass - Albert Ayler (1)
Nightfly - Donald Fagen (1)
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 Size Fits All - Frank Zappa (1)
Out of the Woods - Oregon (1)
Overnight Sensation - Frank Zappa (1)
Overtime - Lee Ritenour (1)
Pachuco Cadaver - Captain Beefheart (1)
Panthalassa - Bill Laswell (1)
Passion and Warfare - Steve Vai (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 (1)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Tales from the Acoustic Planet - Bela Fleck (1)
Tales of the Exonerated Flea - Horacee Arnold (1)
Tauhid - Pharoah Sanders (1)
Tennessee 2004 - Praxis (1)
Then! Live - Allan Holdsworth (1)
There and Back - Jeff Beck (1)
Third - Soft Machine (1)
Thunder - Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Vic Wooten (1)
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)
Trio of Doom, The - John McLaughlin, Jaco Pastorius, Tony Williams (1)
True Stories - David Sancious (1)
Tutu - Miles Davis (1)
Ultimate Adventure, The - Chick Corea (1)
Uncle Meat - Frank Zappa (1)
Unspeakable - Bill Frisell (1)
Velvet Darkness - Allan Holdsworth (1) 
Venusian Summer - Lenny White (1)
Vertú - Lenny White (1)
Vitalization - Steve Smith and Vital Information (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)
Yes - Morphine (1)
Zawinul - Joe Zawinul (1)
Zoot Allures - Frank Zappa (1)
Zurich - Praxis (1)

5 comments:

robert bush said...

weather report: heavy weather
mahavisnu orch.: inner mounting fla
jeff beck:blow by blow
pat metheny group
weather report: black market

Dr. Robert Burgin said...

Bitches Brew – Miles Davis
8:30 - Weather Report
Head Hunters – Herbie Hancock
Inner Mounting Flame, The – Mahavishnu Orchestra
Light As A Feather – Return To Forever

Carl L. Hager said...

Thank you for your album votes, Mr. Bush. All good choices, as I would expect from a man of your discerning tastes.

Thank you also, Dr. Burgin, for your excellent choices. I spent a couple minutes looking at your blog, and will return soon. I see you are an admirer of Len Lyons as well. I know he would appreciate this discussion of jazz/rock. His books were very useful in my jazz education early on -- still are, actually.

I'll add both your sets of votes on the next update.

Anonymous said...

In A Silent Way - Miles Davis
Bitches Brew - Miles Davis
Emergency! - Tony Williams Lifetime
Inner Mounting Flame - John McLaughlin
Crystal Silence - Gary Burton

Carl L. Hager said...

Thanks for the album titles, Anonymous, those are all good choices. I especially appreciate seeing an entry for Crystal Silence, one of the all-time greats that doesn't receive enough attention.