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We think of fusion as a music of the seventies, but its traditions live on today as various artists return to the genre to try out new experiments as well as offer their own spins on older approaches. This podcast looks at two somewhat uncharacteristic examples of fusion from the seventiesone a studio-band workout on pop tunes of the day, the other an extension of the Miles Davis / Herbie Hancock schools of fusion, then look at two recent releases in the genre. Pop matters wraps things up with Mike's judgment on two April Fools' Day articles Pat published on this very website: Tragedy Strikes at CES and Columbia Releases Miles Davis: The Rest.
Discussion of Phil Upchurch's album Darkness, Darkness (Blue Thumb) 5:55
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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