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Rabshakeh

1980s fusion that doesn't focus on guitar

26 posts in this topic

The title is self explanatory, I think. 1980s fusion is, to my ears, a hellpit of dry sounding production and excessive guitar widdling. What are some examples of fusion from the 1980s that either doesn't have guitar or doesn't focus on it?

Bill Bruford's Earthworks is one example that jumps to mind. A record that I actually enjoy.

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I think there were six albums by Weather Report in the 1980s, although most seem to prefer their earlier work.

 

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How about Azymuth?  I suppose you could call their music fusion.

No guitars there -- and I think they were at their peak in the 80s.

 

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Michał Urbaniak?

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Thanks. These are all good suggestions. 

I find that as soon as Allan Holdsworth or whoever starts doodling away I just lose interest.

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Brecker Brothers, if you can handle the NYC Glaredom.

All that Herbie Hancock, if you can handle the uninspired records to get to the good ones.

Steps/Steps Ahead, if you like acoustic fusion.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

All that Herbie Hancock, if you can handle the uninspired records to get to the good ones.

What are the Herbie's from the 1980s that you like?

1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Steps/Steps Ahead, if you like acoustic fusion.

I love Steps' first few, but would have never have used the F word for them.

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Mister Hands is very good. And for some reason, I like Magic Windows, although that's a pop record as much as a fusion one.

Steps was actually premised on being "acoustic fusion". To me, if you electric up those songs, you can get fusion out of them, just as you can acoustify a lot of "fusion" and it will still work.

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On yeah. Mr Hands is actually a good record. I forgot that one. Magic Windows I don't know.

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It's not for everybody. Lots of vocals and stuff. But the vocals aren't Herbie's.

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Posted (edited)

Geri Allen’s “Open on all Sides”  and “Twylight,” and  pretty much any MBase/Steve Coleman-related recordings on JMT, etc.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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19 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

Geri Allen’s “Open on all Sides”  and “Twylight,” and  pretty much any MBase/Steve Coleman-related recordings on JMT, etc.

Another set that I'd have just classed as "jazz", even if electric. The dividing line makes little sense sometimes, I guess.

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"fusion" was at first a description, but it soon turned into a marketing term. 

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2 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

Another set that I'd have just classed as "jazz", even if electric. The dividing line makes little sense sometimes, I guess.

I agree, I've never thought of M-base/JMT as fusion. A lot of that was early in my Jazz listening so maybe that's why it's just Jazz to me

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37 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

I agree, I've never thought of M-base/JMT as fusion. A lot of that was early in my Jazz listening so maybe that's why it's just Jazz to me

Yeah, M-BASE isn’t what I think of as being ‘fusion’ — but it isn’t simply jazz either.  Honestly, it’s almost its own thing — like M-BASE is a whole separate sub genre of jazz.

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Posted (edited)

There are guitarists (several) on this record, but their sounds are woven into the overall texture of the music -- along with Kikuchi and his keyboards.

also:

 

Edited by HutchFan

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I don't hear much of a difference between Susto and One Way Traveller, neither quality- nor style-wise... I'd say they're good but not great... If you were always sad that Susto isn't a double LP, you definitely need One Way Traveller... Otherwise I am less sure

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4 hours ago, Niko said:

I don't hear much of a difference between Susto and One Way Traveller, neither quality- nor style-wise... I'd say they're good but not great... If you were always sad that Susto isn't a double LP, you definitely need One Way Traveller... Otherwise I am less sure

I mean, I do like Susto. It's like what I would have imagined 80s Miles would sound like if I had never heard 80s Miles. I'm not sure whether I need another Susto in my life though.

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

I know Susto .  Are the other two good?

I agree with Niko re: One-Way Traveller.  Both LPs were literally recorded at the same sessions, so they could easily be thought of as a double-album.

I haven't listed to Satoh's MSB Two enough to formulate a strong opinion about it.  My initial impressions: It's heavily influenced by Weather Report, much like Kikuchi is by Miles' early-70s bands.  

 

Edited by HutchFan

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Technically Love Cry Want has no guitar. only guitar synthesizer.

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2 minutes ago, randyhersom said:

Technically Love Cry Want has no guitar. only guitar synthesizer.

I was listening to that today!

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Interesting topic. 

I can´t tell much in context with discography because this never was a punct forte for me, but I can understand your question. 

Guitar players, at least a great part of them are not always my favourite instrumentists at jam session, because they take over the whole proceedings as if there was no one else than them. 
 

But there are exceptions:

Let´s say, I played with a so called "fusion group" in the 80´s that had no guitar player. But at some point I got bored by all them long saxophone soloes on two chord vamps and so.... and decided to write a bit more and at my beggings we added a guitar player who was really nice. He didn´t play that run of the mill stuff , he had ears and could also play in a way that you might write down stuff especially for him, for the sound he added to the group, he also had that kind of lyrical side of him, without much influences from other sources.....never saw him again, he was an interesting musician but maybe stopped playin....

But in post 80´s gigs with opening band and after that jam session .....I even witnessed evenings where you hardly could find a horn player and three (!) guitar players shared the stage, what´s left to play there for a piano player ? And let´s say they usually call "Footprints" or "All Blues" and those tunes are meant to be played in a more soft and sparse manner, no half our solos that sound like exercices in playing loud and distorted.......

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