The Jazz/Rock Fusion Page  

The Jazz/Rock Fusion Page

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Bill Bruford: Feels Good to Me


Al Dimeola: Elegant Gypsy


What is Jazz/Rock Fusion?


As the title implies, Jazz/rock fusion is a type of jazz in which musicians attempt to expand the boundaries of jazz by incorporating elements from rock and other musical styles. Jazz/rock fusion combines the attitude and energy of rock with the harmonic sophistication and improvisational freedom of jazz.

Jazz/rock fusion differs from conventional Jazz in several ways. The use of Rhythm tends to be "straighter" and less disposed to a swing feel. In addition, artists may make use of odd meters, superimposed rhythmic feels and other unorthodox rhythmic constructions in their search for new modes of expression. Electric/electronic instruments such as the electric guitar, electric bass and synthesizer often replace traditional jazz instruments such as the saxophone, trumpet and upright bass. Electronic signal processing gear may be used to modify the sound of both electric and traditional instruments.

There is also a difference in the choice, use and organization of musical material.The musical content and organization of traditional jazz is to a large degree based on the popular tunes of the 1940's and 1950's, the so called "standards", and on the chord sequence most common to them : the II-V7-I progression. Jazz/rock fusion compositions, on the other hand, are often not based on standard tunes or progressions and are often organized in ways different from the common "head, solo, head" format so often encountered in jazz prior to 1960.




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