I love the genre bending hybrids of Jazz, Funk, Latin Rhythms…and a little special sauce.
You’ll hear in these 2 Spotify playlists how loads of marvelous musicians began the process, and inspired today’s groups that keep this sense of musical adventurousness & world wide exploration going strong & reaching new heights.
Well, it all started in the 70s with its crest of creativity across genres, countries, and musical styles.
Read this article to learn about these seminal musicians, listen to the 2 Spotify playlists here, and watch 3 high-quality videos that demonstrate the astounding quality & creativity of this provocative period in music history…
Watch this surprisingly high-quality video of The Headhunters
live in 1975 at Winterland in San Francisco.
Take a musical adventure back in time with these 70s Genre Benders…
Funky Jazz Fusion — 1970s Genre-Benders
Let’s go through this first Spotify playlist and see how the genre-defying, jazzy, funky bands of the 1970s combined musical styles & cultures to create mind-blowing, unique music…
Cymande, a group of West Indian natives in London, made some rhythmic, distinctive, jazzy, Irie sounds (and then became a favorite of hip-hop samplers).
Miles Davis turned a funky corner, mixing his Jazz with Funk and experimental street sounds.
Wayne Shorter & his fusion companions broke new ground in Jazz, as they pushed the envelope in Weather Report. “Black Market” is my personal favorite from them, and you’ll hear it in this Spotify playlist.
The Headhunters most certainly got it! Their epic, genre-bending Jazz-Funk-Fusion masterpiece, Survival Of The Fittest from 1975 gives us “If You’ve Got It, You’ll Get It,” with a badass berimbau intro.
The genre bending, risk taking vibe even spread to Cuba. Irakere funkifies traditional Cuban music with “Bacalao Con Pan.”
Brooklyn’s multi-cultural, Latin infused Funk band, Mandrill gets down on “Coffee Jam.”
The Incredible Bongo Band made an iconic, one-off masterpiece that’s still hard to pin down.
Even Jeff Beck got experimental, and more rhythmic with his 70s band.
Listen to 1971’s “South Side Strut” — Jerry Garcia’s funky alter-ego. It’s a super funky number Jerry did with keyboard player Howard Wales, showing a funkier direction the Grateful Dead could have gone in.
Roy Ayers, of course, was a great updater of Jazz in the 70s, making it funky & vibey.
Deodato does a funky “Super Strut.”
The experimentalism & hybridization of styles around the world, certainly reached Brazil. Tim Maia brings Brazilian Soul into the Disco era, while keeping it cool, funky, and distinctly Brazilian.
And so does War. “Galaxy,” made in 1977 peak Disco days, is their danciest tune, yet stays true to their beloved Latin Funk flavor — updating it with sci-fi sounds & story.
Can you dig it?
Watch Mandrill gettin’ it all in 1973…
Listen to & follow this Long Jams 6 Pack from the Far Out 70s…
Similar in theme to our previous playlist, this one explores the experimental, hard to categorize delights of the 1970s. Although, this one isn’t so focused on the genre-bending element — just awesome long jams.
Frank Zappa gets uncharacteristically mellow, lovely & jazzy on “Waka/Jawaka,” and still manages to be his gloriously unusual self.
War gives us a laid-back, gorgeous 14+ minute tune, “The Seven Tin Soldiers.”
Earth, Wind & Fire made some really far out jams in the early 70s, truly funky far out genre-benders like “Zanzibar.”
And, finally, Herbie Mann gives us “Spirit In The Dark.” A bluesy, jazzy, soulful tune with Duane Allman on guitar that could only have come out of the 70s, and from such an unlikely, perfect pairing.
Watch this incredible video of Miles Davis Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 doing an extended jam with an impressive band…