Prefer your jazz with electricity, thick grooves, and heavy beats? Or do you like your rock to take you to far off places with virtuosic performances, improvised jams, and complex compositions? This playlist offers the best of both worlds with impressive jazz-rock fusion performances heard in their purest form: live.
Many credit Gary Burton with starting the fusion genre with his 1967 album "Duster," which featured Larry Coryell on guitar. But it was Miles Davis' string of albums between 1968 and 1970 that really got things rolling. Experimenting with electric instruments and rock-heavy beats, Davis not only helped define the sound but also mentored musicians who would go forth and repopulate the world of fusion. Chick Corea and Lenny White (Return to Forever), John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham (the Mahavishnu Orchestra), Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter (Weather Report), Tony Williams, Dave Holland, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, Airto Moreira, and Dave Holland all played with Miles during those years.
At the same time, jazz crept into the rock side of things, heard in the sounds of artists like Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Frank Zappa, and Jeff Beck. Though perhaps not generally as adventurous as those from the Miles Davis family tree, these jazz-rockers could certainly keep an audience on their toes with their compositional and improvisational explorations.