fusion Archive

Album Review: Barrett Martin Group — Scattered Diamonds

In spring of last year, I reviewed Songs of the Firebird, a resonant and deeply intriguing album that could be described in part as a jazz album made with non-jazz musicians helping out. That record leaned in a bit of an avant-big-band direction. This newest release from the group is even more accessible. Scattered Diamonds

Album Review: Allan Holdsworth – Frankfurt ‘86

Being an early adopter is a risky pursuit. Godley and Creme built an entire album (the triple-LP Consequences) around their Gizmo, and disaster ensued. Some of the earliest releases with the Synclavier were stiff and mannered. But fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth was having none of that restraint when he dove headlong into the world of

Album Review: Miles Davis – Music From and Inspired by ‘Birth of the Cool’

There’s a trend in recent years: when releasing a film’s companion audio, the CD is sometimes branded as “Music From and Inspired By…” That gives to compiler of the audio document a freer hand to include material that is conceptually relevant even if it didn’t feature in the film itself. Such releases can’t strictly be

30 Days Out, June 2020 #1: TAUK, Ben Folds, Vancouver Electronic Ensemble, John Prine Tribute

In recent weeks I’ve conducted interviews with a number of professions whose businesses involve servicing the music community in various ways. A consensus seems to be forming – and this isn’t likely to come as any surprise to you, I suspect – that widespread live concerts aren’t likely to return until 2021. Festivals and small

Free Planet Radio: In Pursuit of Modern Jazz

When Free Planet Radio debuted in 2001, the Asheville-based trio was often described as a world music group. And while by definition that label casts a wide net, it was never quite expansive enough to get to the heart of what Free Planet Radio does. The three creatively adventurous musicians have always explored many styles,

Righteous Jazz: A Conversation with Jeff Lorber and Mike Stern (Part 2 of 2)

Continued from Part One … [To Jeff Lorber] What is the most significant difference between your approach to your instrument today as compared to the way you played at or near the beginning of your career? Jeff: It’s funny you should mention that because I’ve just been listening a bunch lately to this recording I

Righteous Jazz: A Conversation with Jeff Lorber and Mike Stern (Part 1 of 2)

Nominally a jazz fusion keyboardist and composer, Jeff Lorber is known for a particular kind of highly melodic and accessible jazz. Detractors might cal lit “smooth jazz,” a term that – unsurprisingly – Lorber dislikes. But there’s no denying the wide appeal of Lober’s music; his debut, 1977’s The Jeff Lorber Fusion, reached #30 on

Album Review: Moraz & Friends – Random Kingdom

In 1976, Swiss keyboard virtuoso Patrick Moraz released his debut solo album, The Story of I. In the midst of a successful run as keyboardist for Yes – he’s all over Relayer – and a few years after leading Refugee with former members of the Nice, Moraz crafted an album that combined what we might

Hundred-word Reviews for August 2019, Part Three (Archival)

Time for a look at ten new albums featuring reissued, compilation and/or archival material. Rock, jazz and beyond. Collect ’em all, kids! Soul Asylum – While You Were Out / Clam Dip & Other Delights Minneapolis’ Soul Asylum labored in relative obscurity for quite awhile before their national breakout. They became a household name with

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