Jazz rock  

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"The early promise of jazz rock -- that electronics, ethnic influences and rock rhythms could expand the sonic and textural matrix of jazz-- degenerated into the vapidity of fusion." Joel Lewis, The Wire #130


"Although some jazz purists protested against the blend of jazz and rock, many jazz innovators crossed over from the contemporary hard bop scene into fusion. As well as the electric instruments of rock (such as electric guitar, electric bass, electric piano and synthesizer keyboards), fusion also used the powerful amplification, "fuzz" pedals, wah-wah pedals and other effects that were used by 1970s-era rock bands. Notable performers of jazz fusion included Miles Davis, Eddie Harris, keyboardists Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock, vibraphonist Gary Burton, drummer Tony Williams (drummer), violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, guitarists Larry Coryell, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Ryo Kawasaki, and Frank Zappa, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and bassists Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke. Jazz fusion was also popular in Japan, where the band Casiopea released over thirty fusion albums."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The term "jazz rock" is sometimes used as a synonym for the term "jazz fusion". The Free Spirits have sometimes been cited as the earliest jazz rock band.

Rock bands such as Colosseum, Chicago, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Soft Machine, Nucleus, Brand X, and the Mothers of Invention blended jazz and rock with electric instruments. Davis' fusion jazz was "pure melody and tonal color", while Frank Zappa's music was more "complex" and "unpredictable". Zappa released the solo album Hot Rats in 1969. The album contained long instrumental pieces with a jazz influence. Zappa released two albums (The Grand Wazoo and Waka/Jawaka) in 1972 which were influenced by jazz. George Duke and Aynsley Dunbar played on both.

AllMusic says the term jazz rock "may refer to the loudest, wildest, most electrified fusion bands from the jazz camp, but most often it describes performers coming from the rock side of the equation...jazz rock first emerged during the late '60s as an attempt to fuse the visceral power of rock with the musical complexity and improvisational fireworks of jazz. Since rock often emphasized directness and simplicity over virtuosity, jazz rock generally grew out of the most artistically ambitious rock subgenres of the late '60s and early '70s: psychedelia, progressive rock, and the singer-songwriter movement."

According to jazz writer Stuart Nicholson, jazz rock paralleled free jazz by being "on the verge of creating a whole new musical language in the 1960s". He said the albums Emergency! (1969) by the Tony Williams Lifetime and Agharta (1975) by Miles Davis "suggested the potential of evolving into something that might eventually define itself as a wholly independent genre quite apart from the sound and conventions of anything that had gone before." This development was stifled by commercialism, Nicholson said, as the genre "mutated into a peculiar species of jazz-inflected pop music that eventually took up residence on FM radio" at the end of the 1970s.

In the 1970s, American fusion was being combined in the U.K. with progressive rock and psychedelic music. Bands who were part of this movement included Brand X (with Phil Collins of Genesis), Bruford (Bill Bruford of Yes), Nucleus (led by Ian Carr), and Soft Machine. Throughout Europe and the world this movement grew due to bands like Magma in France, Passport in Germany, and guitarists Jan Akkerman (Holland), Volker Kriegel (Germany), Terje Rypdal (Norway), Jukka Tolonen (Finland), Ryo Kawasaki (Japan), and Kazumi Watanabe (Japan).




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jazz rock" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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