What is Jazz Rock?
With the slow development of a novel identity in rock ‘n’ roll, occasional jazz tunes also began including rock rhythms within the 1960s. Beginning in 1969, trumpeter Davis and associates like drummer Tony Williams, guitarist John McLaughlin, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and electric keyboardists Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Larry Young, and Chick Corea broke through to distinctive fusion music. Jazz and rock elements contrasted and even competed with or enhanced one another, in bands of the first 1970s like Davis’s increasingly African-music-oriented groups, Williams’s Lifetime quartet, McLaughlin’s fiercely loud and energetic Mahavishnu Orchestra, the light, danceable music of Hancock’s Headhunters and Corea’s Return to Forever, and also the mobile sound and rhythmic colors of Zawinul’s and Shorter’s Weather Report.
The most important work by these musicians dates from the first 1970s; since then, most have alternated between periods of playing fusion music and playing mainstream jazz. The jazz-rock idiom gained one among the biggest jazz audiences since the swing era led to the mid-1940s. The design was also referred to as a crossover because sales of the music crossed over from the jazz market to the favored music market. Guitarist Larry Coryell was popular within the early years of jazz-rock fusion; guitarist Pat Metheny, together with his pastoral harmonies, has been a star since the late 1970s.
Meanwhile, two different kinds of fusion music were also current. the foremost popular jazz-rock strain grew out of hard bop: the funky 1960s jazz of musicians like flutist Herbie Mann, altoist Hank Crawford, and therefore the Crusaders. Within the 1970s the CTI record label, particularly, offered this type of fusion music on albums by Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, and others. Less commercially successful was the free jazz fusion of Ornette Coleman’s clock time group (beginning in 1973) and his associates, guitarist James Blood Ulmer, bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, though all led valuable bands within the 1980s. One problem was that the recurring rhythmic-harmonic patterns of rock attended dominated, reducing jazz improvisation to mere decoration.
The foremost popular reasonably fusion music abandoned jazz elements almost completely and often used a minimum of improvisation. Stars of up-to-date jazz included saxophonist Kenny G and therefore the group Spyro Gyra.