Jazz Rock

hendrixThese episodes examine the influence of jazz structures on rock music in the 1960s. By the late 1950s, the emergence of free jazz isolated much of the public and began to fall out of favor as rock music began winning the hearts of listeners worldwide. During that time, musicians in England began experimenting not only with the blues, but also with elements of jazz. Musicians like Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, who later went on to form Cream, melded their love of blues, rock and jazz into what is today known as jazz rock fusion.

Jazz Rock - Episode 1

British musicians in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s were among the 1st to fuse jazz with the popular sound of R&B and rock. Although jazz and R&B come from the same “root” system they began to diverge in the mid to late 1940’s with the advent of the “jump” and rhythm and blues bands.
Green OnionsGraham BondSolid Bond1963-1965
Woke Up this MorningAlexis KornerBlues Incorporated1963-1964
The Grass is GreenerGraham BondSolid Bond1963
Have You HeardJohn MayallBluesbreakers with Eric Clapton1966
Sunshine of Your LoveCreamLive Cream, Vol. 2ca. 1968

Jazz Rock - Episode 2

These British bands from the late 1960’s and early 1970s fused rock, jazz, and orchestral elements. These are some of the most interesting groups that fused jazz elements with rock to come from Great Britain during this period.
Serenade to a CuckooJethro TullThis Was1968
GladTrafficJohn Barleycorn Must Die1970
Slightly All the TimeThe Soft MachineThird1970
21st Century Schizoid ManKing CrimsonIn The Court Of The Crimson King1969
DebutColosseumThose Who about to Die1969
Torrid ZoneNucleusElastic Rock1970
Ballad of BoogalooNucleusElastic Rock1970

Jazz Rock - Episode 3

There were many rock musicians in the 1960’s who were influenced by jazz, especially Miles Davis’s album Kind of Blue and John Coltrane’s excursion into modal and Indian influenced music. It is important to remember that the full impact of Davis’s and Coltrane’s work was still being felt throughout the 1960’s. On Paul Butterfield’s album East-West there are two extended jams that feature guitarist Mike Bloomfield. Both reflected his love of jazz, as "Work Song" had become a jazz standard. The title track "East-West" used elements of modal jazz as introduced by Miles Davis on Kind of Blue. The Blues Project was a band from the Greenwich Village in New York City that lasted from 1965-1967. While their songs drew from a wide array of musical styles including jazz and they are most remembered as one of the first “jam” bands along with the Grateful Dead. When keyboardist Al Kooper joined the band he brought with him his love of jazz and improvisation.
Work SongThe Paul Butterfield BandEast-West1966
East-WestThe Paul Butterfield BandEast-West1966
Flute ThingBlues ProjectProjections1967
Third Stone from the SunJimi HendrixAre You Experienced1967
Voodoo ChileJimi HendrixElectric Ladyland1968
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)Jimi HendrixElectric Ladyland1968

Jazz Rock - Episode 4

Super Session was an album envisioned by keyboardist Al Kooper featuring the work of guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills. Kooper and Bloomfield had previously worked together on the sessions for the ground-breaking classic Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan. The Super Session recording also featured jazz session bassist Harvey Brooks who would later perform on Miles Davis’s album Bitches Brew. Bloomfield is the guitarist on “Modal Majesty” and Stills played on “Season of the Witch.”
The Allman Brother were one of the most popular rock bands to be influenced by jazz. Their performances often featured extended guitar solos by both Duane Allman and Dicky Betts and the inclusion of two drummers (one being a jazz drummer) gave them a unique sound and rhythm to burn. The bassist and organist were both excellent soloists. Frank Zappa is one of the most difficult musicians to categorize: his music utilizes such an enormous range of influences including jazz. His album, Hot Rats, focuses on instrumental jazz-like compositions with extensive soloing. The song "Peaches en Regalia" is widely recognized as a modern jazz fusion standard and is one of Zappa's best known tunes.
His Holy Modal MajestyAl Kooper/Mike BloomfieldSuper Session1968
Season of the WitchAl Kooper/Steven StillsSuper Session1968
MoondanceVan MorrisonMoondance1970
In Memory of Elizabeth ReedAllman Brothers BandFillmore East1971
Whipping PostAllman Brothers BandFillmore East1971
Son of Mr. Green GenesFrank ZappaHot Rats1969
The Gumbo VariationsFrank ZappaHot Rats1969

Jazz Rock - Episode 5

Established jazz artists who began utilizing elements of rock music from 1965 to 1970.
Most of these artists were born in the early to mid-1940’s and came of age listening to a
combination of jazz and popular rock music of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Their music
vacillates between Afro-Cuban influenced rock with some straight ahead swing; often a
bit of James Brown rhythm section funk is also added.

The music from this period is combination of a number of different approaches distilled
into a loose, but appealing style that could reach young, record buying audiences. Miles
Davis would soon embrace this approach with his “electric” albums starting in 1968.
Saxophonist/flautist Charles Lloyd had one of the early successful groups in this vein
followed by Larry Coryell and the Free Spirits in New York around the same time. Soon
vibraphonist Gary Burton would become an important figure in this movement leading
several influential groups with pianist Keith Jarrett.
The Raven SpeaksJarrett/BurtonKeith Jarret/Gary Burton1970
Forest FlowerCharles LloydForest Flower: Live at Monterey1966
SorceryCharles LloydForest Flower: Live at Monterey1966
Don’t Look NowThe Free SpiritsOut Of Sight And Sound1966
Sunday TelephoneThe Free SpiritsLive At the Scene1967
LiturgyGary Burton QuartetDuster1967
Doin' the PigGary BurtonThrob1969

Jazz Rock - Episode 6

The late 1960’s into the early 1970’s was a confusing time for
jazz. There were many new jazz styles emerging that had little in common with the
styles of the previous 50 years and listeners were divided on what was jazz and what

This does not detract from the creativity of these young artists. In the 1960’s Ornette
Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and John Coltrane began to disassemble the rules of 1950’s jazz
which created further controversy.

Musicians are often influenced by the types of music they listened to in their formative
years and this manifests itself years later on their records. Rock music was so prevalent
from the mid 1950’s through the present that it would be difficult for young jazz
musicians not to be influenced by these sounds. One of the most interesting of all these
groups was the Paul Winter Consort. Winter had been on the jazz scene since the 1950’s
and was not a newcomer. His music blended so many influences that it is difficult to
AliasJeremy SteigLegwork1967
Mint TeaJeremy SteigWayfaring Stranger1970
SparkyThe Fourth WayThe Fourth Way1969
Sun MoonThe Fourth WayThe Sun and Moon Have Come Together1970
Emergency!Tony WilliamsEmergency!1969
Fantasy, Fugue, GhostPaul Winter ConsortRoad1969
General Pudson’s EntrancePaul Winter ConsortRoad1969