Jazz Tube-Fusion

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Top 100 Jazz Artists
By Dream Door Lists

1. Louis Armstrong
2. Duke Ellington
3. Miles Davis
4. Charlie Parker
5. John Coltrane
6. Dizzy Gillespie
7. Billie Holiday
8. Thelonious Monk
9. Charles Mingus
10. Count Basie
11. Lester Young
12. Ella Fitzgerald
13. Coleman Hawkins
14. Sonny Rollins
15. Sidney Bechet
16. Art Blakey
17. Ornette Coleman
18. Bill Evans
19. Art Tatum
20. Benny Goodman
21. Clifford Brown
22. Stan Getz
23. Jelly Roll Morton
24. Sarah Vaughan
25. Herbie Hancock
26. Bud Powell
27. Wayne Shorter
28. Fletcher Henderson
29. Django Reinhardt
30. Horace Silver
31. Dave Brubeck
32. Rahsaan Roland Kirk
33. Cecil Taylor
34. King Oliver
35. Sun Ra
36. Gil Evans
37. Lionel Hampton
38. Art Pepper
39. Eric Dolphy
40. Oscar Peterson
41. Charlie Christian
42. Ben Webster
43. Fats Waller
44. Earl Hines
45. Woody Herman
46. Wes Montgomery
47. J. J. Johnson
48. John McLaughlin
49. Artie Shaw
50. Lee Morgan
51. David Murray
52. Chick Corea
53. Modern Jazz Quartet
54. Max Roach
55. Anthony Braxton
56. Bix Beiderbecke
57. Cannonball Adderley
58. Dexter Gordon
59. Keith Jarrett
60. Lee Konitz
61. Stan Kenton
62. Chet Baker
63. Roy Eldridge
64. Joe Henderson
65. McCoy Tyner
66. Gerry Mulligan
67. Benny Carter
68. Teddy Wilson
69. Lennie Tristano
70. Freddie Hubbard
71. Jimmy Smith
72. Mary Lou Williams
73. George Russell
74. Fats Navarro
75. Albert Ayler
76. Bennie Moten
77. Jimmie Lunceford
78. Wynton Marsalis
79. Charlie Haden
80. Erroll Garner
81. Billy Strayhorn
82. Meade Lux Lewis
83. Pat Metheny
84. Jack Teagarden
85. Johnny Hodges
86. Chick Webb
87. Jimmy Giuffre
88. Jaco Pastorius
89. Hank Mobley
90. Elvin Jones
91. Evan Parker
92. Paul Chambers
93. Ron Carter
94. Philly Joe Jones
95. Carla Bley
96. Bennie Golson
97. James Carter
98. Donald Byrd
99. Johnny Dodds
100. Glenn Miller

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Jazz has been called America's classical music, and for good reason. Along with the blues, its forefather, it is one of the first truly indigenous musics to develop in America, yet its unpredictable, risky ventures into improvisation gave it critical cache with scholars that the blues lacked. At the outset, jazz was dance music, performed by swinging big bands. Soon, the dance elements faded into the background and improvisation became the key element of the music. As the genre evolved, the music split into a number of different styles, from the speedy, hard-hitting rhythms of be-bop and the laid-back, mellow harmonies of cool jazz to the jittery, atonal forays of free jazz and the earthy grooves of soul jazz. What tied it all together was a foundation in the blues, a reliance on group interplay and unpredictable improvisation. Throughout the years, and in all the different styles, those are the qualities that defined jazz.

The word Fusion has been so liberally used since the late '60s that it's become almost meaningless. Fusion's original definition was best: a mixture of jazz improvisation with the power and rhythms of rock. Up until around 1967, the worlds of jazz and rock were nearly completely separate. But as rock became more creative and its musicianship improved, and as some in the jazz world became bored with hard bop and did not want to play strictly avant-garde music, the two different idioms began to trade ideas and occasionally combine forces. By the early '70s, fusion had its own separate identity as a creative jazz style (although snubbed by many purists) and such major groups as Return to Forever, Weather Report, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Miles Davis' various bands were playing high-quality fusion that mixed some of the best qualities of jazz and rock. Unfortunately, as it became a money-maker and as rock declined artistically from the mid-'70s on, much of what was labeled fusion was actually a combination of jazz with easy-listening pop music and lightweight R&B. The promise of fusion went unfulfilled to an extent, although it continued to exist in groups such as Tribal Tech and Chick Corea's Elektric Band. ~ Scott Yanow

Contemporary Jazz is essentially a catch-all term for the various permutations of popular, mainstream jazz of the 1980s and '90s. While those years were certainly not devoid of complex, cerebral jazz recordings, music referred to as contemporary jazz does not usually share those sensibilities, nor is the term generally used to describe music centered around hard bop or the avant-garde. Instead, instrumental contemporary jazz is usually informed by some combination of a) fusion -- often slickly produced, with an emphasis on rock and funk rhythms; b) pop-jazz, with its almost exclusive concentration on memorable melodies; c) smooth jazz, with its primary goal of creating pleasant, mellow textures; and d) crossover jazz and contemporary funk, with their blend of polished production and R&B influences. Not all contemporary jazz artists completely discard improvisation and challenging experimentation, but by and large, most instrumentalists emphasize shiny production, melody, and accessibility. In the realm of vocal jazz, artists may or may not possess an improvisational flair, but in most cases, their recordings attempt to evoke an aura of stylish sophistication, sometimes drawing upon pop and R&B in addition to jazz