the best jazz-rock fusion music i've ever heard to this day (the most creative, explosive, fresh) was released in the year 1973.
here's what happened: electric virtuoso john mclaughlin's mahavishnu orchestra (featuring brilliant violinist, jerry goodman, amazing drummer, billy cobham, and creative keyboardist jan hammer) released 3 albums, including their best: "birds of fire." a stunning, spiritual electric masterpiece.
then herbie hancock [pictured] fused funk into the mix with his revolutionary album "headhunters," and joe zawinul, wayne shorter, mirislav vitous, and a mix of brilliant jazz-rock players helped weather report release its best album, "sweetnighter."
and, in my humble yet obviously correct opinion, the best jazz-rock fusion album of all time was released by chick corea: return to forever's "hymn of the 7th galaxy," a deep cosmic masterpiece, featuring the guy who made me quit playing bass, stanley clarke, slick sick drummer lenny white, and rock-jazz guitarist, bill connors.
all in all, an amazing fusion year.
i've been reviewing the best musical years of all time, and the votes are in and tabulated.
so far, we've heard from 1968, 2010, and 1983...those were all great years, but they barely make the top 10. this week i countdown to the best year ever, by reviewing the 6th best musical year of all time: 1972. listen and you'll know why. or, listen and argue about it.
some of what you'll hear: 2 great jazz-rock fusion albums by chick corea's newly formed band, return to forever; todd rundgren's [pictured] double album "something/anything," considered his best; the explosion of reggae, featuring jimmy cliff's "the harder the come" (the movie, the album, and the song); the brilliant progressive rock album: yes's "fragile"; and great r & b songs by the o'jays, curtis mayfield, and the temptations. also paul simon, and joni mitchell, both at their prime.
your votes have been counted. now it's time to argue. was this the 5th best year of music ever?
when uncategorizable keyboard player marco benevento [left] played in fairfield this past year (twice), i was hard-pressed to put his music into a category. i'm sure he would say that he doesn't want it to be categorized, but it's a useful thing to do nonethless, especially considering my show is all about organizing the music of the last 50 years. the best i can do is, "jazz-rock fusion," but i'm not sure that does any of the artists i play this week justice.
pianists like herbie hancock, chick corea, jan hammer, keith emerson, joe zawinul [right], and yann thiersen express a range of influences and styles that can't be easily categorized, and it's not at all certain that they belong in the same show with royksopp, squarepusher, saint germain, and peace orchestra...until you hear this week's show of keyboard based...acid-jazz...jazz-funk fusion...jazz-rock...you name it...and these are the tracks.
It's that time again. That time when you're driven out of your mind by mindless Christmas music. But this week I play music that will help keep your sanity--and keep you in the spirit of the season.
Aimee Mann (left) and Michael Penn (her husband and brother of Sean) start the show off with a dreary reminder that "Christmas time" returns again. But the tone quickly shifts with the humor and good spirits of Brave Combo, Mel Blanc, and Danny Elfman. Read More....
In celebration of Chick Corea's 70th birthday last Sunday, June 12, Mike Ragogna's 2.0 will start off this week of "Must-Listen Radio" with an interview with one of jazz's most masterful musicians. On Wedenesday, June 15, Mike will speak with Corea about his music, career and his most recent project, a two-disc cd reuniting Corea with former bandmates Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, entitled "Forever". The album was just released last week.
Also on Wednesday, Corea's musical partner and influential bass player, Stanley Clarke will be speaking with Mike about his music and career.
Thursday, June 16, brings Jeff Hannah of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to solar-powered KRUU-FM. Jeff talks about the history of the band, their current status, and about their song "Fishin' In The Dark" recently becoming a Gold digital single.