fusion Archive

EP Review: Tub — UNCA Session

For some listeners, the very thought of improvisational music is an unappetizing prospect. The idea that a musician – or worse yet, the thinking goes, a group of musicians – might begin playing without a specific direction in mind conjures mental images of train wrecks. Not without reason, those sorts of listeners prefer instead music

Album Review: Dennis Coffey — Live at Baker’s

In the course of his career, Dennis Coffey has made a name for himself several times over. The Detroit guitarist was a key session player in that city’s music scene; as one of the famed Funk Brothers studio aggregation, he lent his skills to numerous funk and soul side of the 1960s and beyond. His

Album Review: The J.&F. Band – From the Roots to the Sky

Though some fans focused on the good-timing jam-band characteristics of the Allman Brothers Band, the long-running celebrated group from the American South had its roots in jazz. Though fully embraced by rock audiences as a more melodic exponent of the musical aesthetic of the Grateful Dead, from the very beginning the Allmans were influenced as

Hundred-word Reviews, December 2018

This will almost certainly be my last roundup of new releases – capsule review style – for 2018. Lots of great music came out this year; don’t let anyone tell you differently. As always, each of these albums deserves more coverage than I’m able to give here, and each warrants a spin (at least) by

Jonathan Scales’ Structural Integrity

Composer, band leader and steel drum player Jonathan Scales maintains a busy and challenging schedule. In just the last two years or so, he’s toured internationally as part of the U.S. State Department’s cultural ambassador program, given a TEDx Talk, played at Victor Wooten’s music camp, and produced an album by his friend, musical associate

Hundred-word Reviews for May 2018

There’s so much great new music that it’s difficult to keep up with it all. I’m here to help, but it’s tough for me to keep pace as well. To streamline things a bit, I do these occasional blocks of brief reviews, limiting myself to 100 words for each. Think of it as the music

Album Review: Joan Torres’ All is Fused — Of the Musical

The golden age of jazz-rock fusion was a relatively brief period; arguably it began with Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way, released in 1969. The new form enjoyed a number of highlights: Davis’ Bitches Brew and Jack Johnson, Larry Coryell’s albums with Eleventh House, as well several albums from Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, Weather

Dixie Dregs Answer the Question, “What If?” (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… In the early ’80s, the band made the decision to add vocals. With the benefit of hindsight, was that a mistake? I don’t know that any of us gave it a whole lot of thought. In retrospect, the Dixie Dregs were an immensely successful band as far as being a group

Dixie Dregs Answer the Question, “What If?” (Part One)

Atlanta (by way of Augusta and Miami) band the Dixie Dregs were among the most boundary-pushing acts of the 1970s. Deftly blending styles from hard rock to jazz fusion to country, the instrumental quintet released an impressive string of albums on Macon-based Capricorn Records. In later years, the band would flirt with different directions –

2017’s Top Ten You Might Not Have Heard/Heard Of

My brow furrows a bit when I read “Best of” lists published in November or early December; are December releases set aside for consideration in the following year? Or are they ignored? A look at albums released in the last month of 1967, for example, includes Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love, Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy,