Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Various Artists - 1986 "Atlantic Jazz Fusion"

Various Artists - 1986 Atlantic Jazz Fusion

This compilation starts off with "Freedom Jazz Dance" from Miroslav Vitous. This song was recorded before Bitches Brew from Miles Davis but it bears the mark of Davis' early electric jazz works. There is a total free-wheeling rhythm and playing from all instruments (piano, guitar, drums, bass and sax). It has a very improvised feel complete with a bass solo!
"Beaux J. Pooboo" from Les McCann follows. It's a moody and fairly relaxed piece of jazz fusion. Les is very good at creating a warm atmosphere with his electric piano and this song is no exception. It's a long song clocking in well over ten minutes and the mellowest on the album. Next is the most frenetic and rocking song. "Quadrant 4" from Billy Cobham off his awesome solo debut LP Spectrum blows you away with it's explosion of sound. Guitar, drums, electric piano and synthesizers assail you with their fury. Very energetic song. The shortest and arguably least remarkable cut on the album is next. "Beneath the Earth" is a fairly straight forward guitar fusion song from Larry Coryell and Alphonse Mouzon. Good drumming from Mouzon keeps the song from being just average. The next song is my personal favorite. After I heard this song, I ran out to the store to buy any Passport I could find. Unfortunately at the time (around 1990), I could not find any new stuff so I had to buy a used LP. "Homunculus" is a fantastic jazz/fusion song by Passport. For me it incorporates just about all that I love about the genre: Complex drumming (with an intricate 6/8 time rhythm), tasty (but not overly prevailing or obtrusive) horns, elegant electric piano flourishes and a melody that permeates the whole song even during the soloing or experimentation. If you love progressive rock or jazz fusion and have not sampled any Passport, I absolutely recommend you do so. The last song is another fantastic example of rock/fusion jazz. "Egocentric Molecules" by Jean-Luc Ponty is a funky slice of space fusion that pleases the ears.

Overall this is a great compilation. Hard to find now but a great starter for anyone new to or interested in fusion.

Tracklist / Artist:
A2     –Les McCann     Beaux J. Pooboo     13:05
B1     –Billy Cobham     Quadrant 4     4:18
B2     –Larry Coryell, Alphonse Mouzon     Beneath The Earth     3:00
B3     –Passport (2)     Homunculus     6:09
B4     –Jean-Luc Ponty     Egocentric Molecules     5:44

1 comment:

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