CHAPTER1, VERSES 1-35.
1.MILES DAVIS...Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson and On the Corner.
During the Guitar Explosion of the 60's Jazz musicians became aware of the possibilities of electronic music and starting experimenting. The main breeding ground for these experiments was done with Miles Davis. At these sessions the founding fathers of fusion learned their craft musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Tony Williams, John McLaughlin, Michael Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Dave Holland, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette etc.These are essential albums. If you are interested in "Electric Jazz," "Jazz Rock" or "Fusion" (different terms, same thing). Revolutionary Guitar, Bass, Keyboard, Horns and Drums then let these albums be your reference point.
2.Ever present at the Miles Davis sessions was the Great Guitarist John McLaughlin who subsequently went on to front the Mahavishnu Orchestra, setting New standards of guitar excellence and recording 3 brilliant albums in the process. Inner Mountain Flame, Birds of Fire and Between Nothingness and Eternity. Breathtaking Guitar music.
3.Another important musician present at those ground breaking sessions with Miles Davis and the Mahavishnu Orchestra was master drummer Billy Cobham who went on to lead several brilliant fusion bands featuring such great musicians as Tommy Bolin, John Abercrombie, Jan Hammer, The Brecker Brothers, Alex Blake etc. Listen to the following albums Spectrum, Crosswinds and Total Eclipse.
4. Yet another Great Guitarist who made a major contribution to Guitar excellence was virtuoso Larry Coryell. With his band The Eleventh House featuring such greats as Alphonse Mouzon and Randy Brecker he recorded some Great Guitar albums. Listen to Introducing the Eleventh House and Level One.
5. Great keyboard player Chick Corea with his band Return to Forever, featuring such Great musicians as Stanley Clarke(One of the Greatest of all Bass Players)and Lenny White recruited a then young unknown guitarist to their band as replacement for the Great Guitarist Bill Connors.He played on the album No Mystery. Good guitar but no big deal, but within about 9 months or so Al Di Meola with Return to Forever had the music world shaking with their sheer power and musical virtuosity. Listen to the Romantic Warrior for the Best Guitar,Best Keyboard,Best Bass and Best Drums you will experience on an album, without doubt FUSION FINEST HOUR.
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6. After the Phenomenal album the Romantic Warrior there was nothing left for these Great musicians but to go solo. Al Di Meola produced a series of Great Guitar albums such as Land of the Midnight Sun, Elegant Gypsy and Splendido Hotel. He also contributed a Great Guitar performance as a guest artist on Stomu Yamashta 'Go' Album. Stanley Clarke produced Stanley Clarke, Journey to Love , School Days and I Wanna Play for you. Chick Corea went Acoustic and also formed several updated version of RTF and Lenny White form his own band Twennynine.
7. After shaking up the world with such revolutionary albums as Are you Experience, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland. Legendary Master Guitarist and Visionary Jimi Hendrix foresaw the changes that FUNK and JAZZ was to have on Improvised Electric Music. Listen to his experimental Fusion track Pali Gap on the Rainbow Bridge Album and the BAND OF GYPSYS Album for some of his Greatest Work.The importance of Jimi Hendrix can never be overemphazied. He showed the world what the Electric Guitar was capable of and created a catalogue of Great and Memorable music that will stand the test of time.A True Legend.
8. Another Great Guitarist who made a major impact at that time was Tommy Bolin, mentioned earlier for his Great Guitar work on Billy Cobham's Spectrum album he also went on to star on Alphonse Mouzon Great album Mind Transplant. Also present at this session was Great Guitarist Lee Ritenour who played a brilliant solo on Happiness is loving you.He was responsible for supplying the guitar parts on an amazing amount of Albums through his session work. This guy is one of the most recorded Guitar Players.Many people have heard his playing without knowing who the guitar player is.He later went on the produced some great live concerts as seen on the Performance Cable Channel.
9. After years of inactivity the Isley Brothers burst back on to the music scene with a bang with the Album 3+3 exposing Great Guitarist Ernie Isley to a mass audience with such Great Guitar solos as That Lady and Summer Breeze guitarist everywhere were asking the question: Who is this guy Ernie Isley? They went on to produce a series of Great albums. Listen to 3+3, Go for your Guns and The Heat is on (Hope you feel better love - his greatest work).
10. Although a Great Rock Guitarist in his own right. Great Guitarist Jeff Beck came under the influence of fusion (as this was the hippest form of musical expression for the soloist at the time). He went on to record the Great Guitar Album Blow by Blow.
11. Another Great Guitarist heavily influenced by Fusion at the time was Carlos Santana. He teamed up with John McLaughlin to record the album Love, Devotion and Surrender. Also listen to his albums Abraxas and Borboletta.
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12. Although not a fan of the heavily distorted guitar, Great Guitarist Larry Carlton joined the Crusaders and played some amazing guitar on the album Those Southern Knights. A session guitarist of note his playing has graced many albums but some of his most brilliant guitar work can be heard on the Steely Dan Classic Album The Royal Scam listen to Kid Charlemagne and Haitian Divorce.
13.Great Guitarist John Abercrombie played Great Guitar on the Billy Cobham albums Crosswinds and Total Eclipse and went on to play with several great musicians like the drummer Jack De Johnette on the ECM Label. Listen to his album Timeless for his greatest work.
14. Osibisa recorded some Great music in the early 70's with the most memorable album covers (Roger Dean) and with the Great record producer Tony Visconti. At the time this music was called Afro Rock but contained Elements of several types of music. On their albums you will hear Great Drums, Bass, Horns and Keyboard with the Great Guitar playing of Wendell Richardson taking Center Stage. Listen to their first 2 albums Osibisa and Woyaya for some truly amazing music.
15. Great Bassist Jaco Pastorius was another musician who made a great impact at the time. Played on several great albums he was also a member of the fusion band Weather Report, great band but no guitar. Listen to his debut album Jaco Pastorius. He also made guest appearances on several Jazz & Fusion albums. Listen to his playing on Al Di Meola debut solo album Land of the Midnight Sun.
16. Another Great Guitarist of the Fusion scene was Gary Boyle. With his band Isotope this Legendary Underground Guitarist was a mainstay of the London Fusion Scene. Listen to his band debut album Isotope also his solo album Electric Glide for Fast, Fluent and Innovative Fusion Guitar Playing.
17. Also there at the time was Great Guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Having played with such bands as Soft Machine, Gong and UK he went to America and blew the minds of the current crop of Great Guitarist Eddie Van Halen and Neal Schon to mention a few. Listen to Metal Fatigue.
Breathing New Life into the Guitar!
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