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Fusion/Acid Jazz/Funk/Etc.

Published May 7, 2007 at 6:31 p.m.


I feel that I must reply to the reader's comment concerning fusion (Jill's posting).  I've been involved with college radio for nearly twenty years, so I think that I can speak with some knowledge on the subject of fusion, acid jazz,  funk and smooth jazz. I have none of those genres in my music collection, but I consider those forms as a starting point for developing a love for jazz.

When I started listening to music,  there were no recordings of this kind. I grew up listening to pre-rock & roll R&B on Afro-American radio stations. When I heard my first jazz recordings, I had to start rethinking my whole musical philosophy which was somewhat difficult. Have I listened to those genres? Yes, in the 1960s, it was impossible not to. You could throw in African-American gospel (soul) music in the mix also (Bobby Timmons & Les McCann & others). I think the attraction for young people and adults who enjoy these forms is because it has a danceable beat and it's easy for their ears to get accustomed to. I personally stopped listening to these genres after a few years, because the musicians were not playing any new licks.

Do I look down my nose at people who like fusion and such? No, because I feel that they will eventually  come to the dark side with the rest of us and I tell college students that as they get older their "ears" will get bigger.