Jazz fusion

Jazz mixed with elements of other styles of music.
Added on 06/07/2008
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4 Reviews


Jazz fusion 5

A "5"...as in 'Can Be Very Great"

In 1973, Claude Bolling, at the age of 43 wrote "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano", still one of the world's best selling albums. This is fusion of the highest order...a fusion of the Jazz and Classical schools. Bolling, from the school of Jazz, has a nearly incomparable resumé which includes composing, his prowess at the piano, movie soundtracks and collaborations with just about anyone you can name, including Yo-Yo Ma, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt and Oscar Peterson . He's now pushing 90, still composing and the Claude Bolling Big Band is still traveling the globe.

Then there is Jean Pierre Rampal (7 January 1922 – 20 May 2000)...The Man with the Golden Flute. He was and still is very matter-of-factly considered to be the greatest flutist in Galactic History. He was raised (by his Father, who was a flutist) in the Classical school with a penchant for the Baroque Period. His life was an adventure to behold...from escaping the Nazis in WWII and broadcasting verboten music during the war through a series of underground studios...to the discovery of the existence of a golden flute...finding it...restoring it and doing things with that flute that no other person is physically capable of doing.

When first confronted by Bolling about collaborating with him on "The Suite", Rampal was not open to the idea. He wasn't sure about the fusion aspect of "The Suite". A Jazz piano talking to a Classical flute? But, Bolling wrote the flute for Rampal, knowing he would be the only person who could not only perform it, but, perhaps, improve on it. Eventually, two years later, Rampal agreed to meet with Bolling at the CBS Studios in New York, where "The Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano" was recorded. That was 1975, the year I was handed my first copy on vinyl. $300 for the sheet music was a little too steep for me way back when, but my instructor did own a copy and gave me the gift of a copy of hers. There were passages where I tried to follow along with my eyes and ended up feeling like I was being run over by a stampede. Between his unfathomable speed and his circular breathing, Rampal was a force to behold. Nobody has ever successfully covered Rampal's part in "The Suite". Basically, it can't be done. There have been quite a few covers of "The Suite" and I imagine that every time someone is invited to do Rampal's flute, they insist on some redaction, or letting some of the air out of the tires. I know this music intimately and can spot ANY variation...purposeful, or otherwise. This music has dominated my interest for the last 45 years.

Up Date: An over-whelming fan response to post Rampal and Bolling has been granted. This was filmed at Versailles and is the last piece from The Suite..."Véloce", where Rampal was just having some fun...


No competition...

Until recently.

Then along comes "The Goat Rodeo Sessions". It's a collaboration between Yo-Yo Ma, perhaps the greatest musical ambassador since Louis Armstrong, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile. This work is a fusion of Classical and Bluegrass. Who'd uh thunk?

When asked to explain what a Goat Rodeo is, Yo-Yo Ma answered,

"If there were forks in the road and each time there was a fork, the right decision was made, then you get to a goat rodeo."

If that doesn't help, then allow me to provide a link to one of the tunes, "Atta Boy". I won't suggest how this might make you feel. You're on your own. But, for me, this is masterful sublimity and one of the two finest products of fusion I've ever had the pleasure of listening to...

Got 6 minutes?


(Sorry...can't embed)

Additionally: Not sold on Rampal? Okay, this aughta do the trick. This is "Mozart Flute Concerto No 1 in G, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. This piece is over 26 minutes long, with Rampal as featured soloist, as the title implies. He not only displays his range of dominant skills, here, but plays his entire part WITHOUT SHEET MUSIC. Feel free to gawk...


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Jazz fusion 1

Pussy s@#$

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Jazz fusion 5

I hate older jazz fans that knock jazz fusion. Hell I like Louis Armstrong ( aka shatchmo), however I also like the next step in the evolution of jazz. Listen to spyro gyra. How can't you love it.

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Jazz fusion 5

Most well known is probably Miles Davis but I have always liked John McLaughlin.

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