Jazz fusion as a genre came into its own in the late 60s. Since then the genre has gone onto become a complex creative amalgamation of various musical styles rooted to jazz and funk realms. This article brings to light the best jazz fusion bands.
Through the 70s many bands started experimenting with song structure. The improvisational skills of musicians in the jazz-funk genre led to a movement in complex instrumental passages Experimentation in various forms paved the way for a new wave of jazz fusion bands that amalgamated funk and rhythm and blues in experimental odd-time signatures. Complex time signatures are an integral part of jazz fusion. Lengthy instrumental compositions in the jazz context became hugely popular in the late 60s and 70s. Instrumental passages showcasing highly refined instrumental techniques started emerging in the 70s. Since the 70s, complex structure, high caliber instrumental technique and lengthy instrumental passages have been the main ingredients that have evolved and shaped the jazz fusion genre in varied ways.
The Canterbury scene in the 60s and 70s had many bands experimenting with progressive elements in a jazz context giving birth to the prog-jazz-fusion sound.
Extended improvisation became a manic rage with audiences at live performances of jazz fusion bands. Through the 80s and 90s many bands released instrumental jazz fusion albums with a sophisticated polished sound. The experimental approach in the jazz fusion genre evolved dynamically through the 80s and 90s. Musicians from different jazz rock bands formed experimental side projects and supergroups taking their brand of experimental jazz, progressive rock, and funk to the next level.
Jazz-rock genre has been associated closely in the realms of jazz-fusion because of its free form improvisation elements. Bands with a horn section churning out instrumental passages became excessively popular in jazz fusion bands in the 70s and 80s. The 90s made way for a new movement of instrumental guitar players in the jazz fusion genre that became a rage with music aficionados. Many guitar players worked on solo albums and released their albums independently or with small record labels. The accuracy, creativity, and improvisational skills of jazz fusion musicians have made them the first choice as session’s musicians with major recording artists from various genres.
Musicians in the jazz fusion genre are known for their technical knowledge in the studio. When you listen to a jazz fusion album the first thing that strikes you as a listener is the tonal quality on albums. The fluidity and flow in jazz fusion albums is testimony to the fact that jazz fusion musicians are at another level. Post 2000, jazz fusion bands are bringing in a diverse influence from classical, jazz rock, experimental, prog metal, funk, and progressive rock. In the years to come jazz fusion might just take a new path while still being rooted with all elements that ooze jazz and funk.
The list below showcases the best bands in the Jazz fusion genre. In no way does the list try or attempt to rank bands, it’s a mere celebration of the best from the jazz fusion genre.
100 Greatest Jazz Fusion Bands
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