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As we have talked about before, jazz tends to follow some semi-predictable patte

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As we have talked about before, jazz tends to follow some semi-predictable patte

As we have talked about before, jazz tends to follow some semi-predictable patterns. Things often revolve around four-bar phrases, we tend to hear the melody up front followed by a series of improvisations based upon its form (with each band member taking turns). Then, at the end, we usually hear the original melody again, almost exactly like we did at the beginning. These patterns are pretty deep in the DNA of a typical jazz performance.
However, we have now arrived at a point in history where a lot of these conventions are being thrown aside, or at least stretched in significant ways. Free Jazz threw almost all of this out in exchange for a semi-free-for-all approach. Some of jazz’s later developments, like its various “fusions” with rock and funk, reined in some of Free Jazz’s excesses in this regard, but some of that style’s “looseness” and unpredictability became a central feature of Fusion.
Take a look at this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h56USliw3eoLinks to an external site.
This is the Fusion band Weather Report playing the song “Barbary Coast.” Weather Report was one of Fusion’s most prominent bands. (Not coincidentally, it contains a few high-profile alumni from Miles Davis’s fusion bands.) Notice how the roles between soloist and accompanist are blurred. Notice how the usual “roles” are a little trickier to pin down. Also, the presence of some new instruments and sounds.
Now, have a look at this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgntkGc5iBoLinks to an external site.
This is the Jaco Pastorius band playing “The Chicken.” (You might recognize the bass player in this one as the same guy from Weather Report. This is Jaco Pastorius, one of the people who played bass in Weather Report and a very innovative bassist (and musician in general).) The lines around each “section” are not quite as blurry, here. But, there are still some new instruments/sounds.
After watching these two performances, please leave a comment on which one you found more engaging or interesting. Why? What about this performance was interesting/engaging?
Then, please find a video of your own, one that incorporates some of these ideas. (If you don’t know where to start, try searching for “Jazz Fusion” or “Electric Jazz” or something similar.) Please share this video as part of your discussion entry with some comments on why you chose this video.

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