Miles' "going electric" was a fairly mundane affair, if you call selling a half-million copies in the first year mundane. The 1970 album "Bitch's Brew" was considered an instant classic in the history of jazz because its melding of rock and... [more]
Miles' "going electric" was a fairly mundane affair, if you call selling a half-million copies in the first year mundane. The 1970 album "Bitch's Brew" was considered an instant classic in the history of jazz because its melding of rock and jazz immediately announced a new direction in music. It created combinations that have been passed down through the music of hip-hop, acid rock, techno.
To refer to a type of jazz as fusion is somewhat of an oxymoron, for jazz itself is one huge cauldron of mingled elements taken from various sources. Ragtime and blues, spirituals and work songs, African tribal music and
European classical music, Creole and swing -- all of these are crucial ingredients to the recipe of jazz. However, jazz had never really incorporated elements of rock 'n' roll. From their originary source at the blues, jazz and rock had developed in two very disparate directions. It
wasn't until the late '60s and the rock explosion that jazz started to look to rock -- and rock like jazz.
There were quite a few events that led to the birth of fusion -- though as with most fresh turns in art, there is simply something in the air. The death of Coltrane in 1967 created a vacuum, for the greatest and most respected proponent of free jazz was gone. Moreover, many jazz musicians had already begun incorporating elements of soul into their own jazz. An excellent example of this is Donald Byrd's 1964 album "UP," with a young Herbie Hancock on piano and Kenny Burrell on guitar. The rise of rockers like Elvis and the British invasion got rock far more attention than jazz. Many jazz labels, such as Columbia, encouraged their musicians to explore the more popular art form.
Miles himself put out a kind of prelude to "Brew" called "In a Silent Way" six months before. Bands such as Weather Report (with Wayne Shorter), Soft Machine, and Dream were all experimenting with the jazz-rock form as early as 1967. But it was Miles who popularized it, and by the mid-1970s fusion was drawing large audiences, as musicians like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea struck out on their own and continued mingling elements of jazz and rock.
The 2008 Generative Performing Awards Fellows were awarded $5000 unrestricted grants by the Charlotte Street Foundation (CSF) of Kansas City. For over 10 years, CSF has awarded over 70 awards to visual artists and generative performing artists residing in the Kansas City area ...