Jazz

Jazz Fusion

Since I have been young I have been a chaotic youth.

I was diagnosed with ADHD and there was a lot of times that I just needed a lot of stimulus.

If you met me now, you might have never thought that, most people assume I am just a very chill guy and always have been. I am chill now in spite of my youth, not because of my youth.

That said, plenty of things carry over mentally, and one of those things is that I like really bizarre rhythms and sounds. I didn’t realize that as a child, but it is clear to me nowadays. Anytime I hear an interesting new sound or composition I really enjoy it.

When I was young I liked the Beatles. This isn’t weird or individualistic of me. I am not the only one who really liked the Beatles, there are so so so many young people who do.

Rant Begin.

There are so many young people who believe they are enlightened for listening to older music and not this stupid (c)rap stuff. These are probably the only people who actually make me cringe. Sidenote: If you say you like everything but country and rap, you are also probably wrong.

Rant End.

But this isn’t about people who think they are born in the wrong generation. This is about young Maxwell who listened to Magical Mystery Tour more than any other Beatles album that he had.

I didn’t understand it at the time. I had listened to Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, Let it be, Revolver, Sergeant Pepper, and while all of these are great albums, they did not stand up against Magical Mystery Tour. I loved Magical Mystery Tour, with its extensive use of synthesizer and sound effects.

And then I listened to a lot of indie rock. This was alright. I did that for a couple of years, the years between Intermediate School and High School.

And then in Middle School something cool happened, Pandora came out, and my musical diversity skyrocketed.

From one band that I knew called Surrogate I somehow found another staple of my musical appetite, The Sea and Cake. I also found StarFlyer 59 which I would go on to actually appreciate in college. But Sea and Cake really got things clicking in my brain.

They aren’t a weird band by any means, they are (according to wikipedia) an indie rock band with jazz influence. They just kind of jam and it was the first music that I really couldn’t understand the lyrics to, and really just enjoyed the sound of the band itself.

From there I somehow found my way to math rock, whose only goal is to shove as many beats into a bar as possible and break as many musical conventions as possible.

Oops, now I’m listening to New Wave, and wait, that isn’t a bad thing. New Wave is great because it is full of synthesizer and weird sound effects and usually a lot is going on.

And then I found what would become my bread and butter.

Art of Noise.

I talked about this band at (some) length in one of my first blog posts. They were an 80’s electronic band that would just sample things. They sampled a lot of things and every song had something interesting and new going on in it.

At this point I almost couldn’t hear new music because it wasn’t gimmicky enough.

Then I got to college and it is much of the same. Until recently.

Recently I found Jazz Fusion and it is everything that I could want.

It has funky light rock melodies, and weird, weird synthesizer, and everyone is just jamming and going at it.

And that is only if you do Classic Jazz Fusion where they fuse the funkiness of jazz with the classic style of rock. This can go way beyond.

Of my favorite fusion artists:

Herbie Hancock – Literally a classic, a description won’t do him any justice. Headhunters is one of the most amazing albums, I used to climb a stairmaster and listen to it on repeat. Only good memories.

Return to Forever (featuring Chick Corea) – I assume these guys are also a classic, but I have listened to them a whole lot recently. They have an album called The Romantic Warrior, and they are able to get jazz, rock, and medieval melodies all to match up. It’s a masterpiece.

Jan Hammer – Oh Yeah! That’s all I got to say…. No seriously, ‘Oh Yeah!’ is the title of one of his albums and it is definitely high in the most hectic of fusions. It’s wonderful.

Guru – Alright, you caught me, this isn’t funky funky jazz rock. This is Jazz Hip Hop. If you ever listened to hip hop and thought, “Know what would be good? If there was professional jazz musicians backing up this rapper.” Then this is the guy for you. He released 2 volumes of what he called Jazzmatazz and I highly suggest you look them up.

That’s all I got to say, I’m on a jazz fusion kick, and it is one of the best musical phases I have experienced. When I saw La-La Land and part of the premise was that some people don’t like jazz I almost vomited.

And with that disgusting hyperbole, I’m signing off. Take it easy.