Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Midweek Musical Muse VI - A Fusion of Sound

Fusion, not the nuclear or computer type, but music, is when two or more genres are combined to create a new genre, often in a free-form musical improvisation style.

There are many different fusion genres. Think of the Blues-rock of Stevie Ray Vaughen and Double Trouble, or the Jazz-flavored R&B of Steely Dan, but mostly, one thinks of the many jazz-fusion music projects that was produced during the 70’s. Bands like Weather Report, Chick Corea’s Return to Forever (I was so fortunate to see them in the 80’s in the formerly known Nico Malan theater in Cape Town), John McLaughlin’s The Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Pat Metheny Group, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and the many projects that Billy Cobham was involved with, most notably and the excellent, Alivemutherforya, with Steve Khan and Alphonso Johnson.

The pianist, Eumir Deodato was one of those fusion artists of the 70’s, although I only discovered him in the early 80’s, that had a great impact on me and my love for the fusion genre. Although his first album in 1973, Prelude, was a big success, his 1978 album, Love Island, is my favorite Deodato album. The way he mashes Latin, Caribbean and Jazz sounds always transfer me any island in the sun.

Here is the very well known Super Strut from Deodato’s second album, Deodato 2.

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