The artists you note belong to the recent breed of fusion artists, but if you'd like to dig into the vintage years of jazz fusion I could offer a few suggestions. Keep in mind that the prime years of the original fusion artists spanned 1969-72, possibly stretching that to '74. Anything post-'74 should be approached with caution as much of the music became rather wispy and often overproduced with more focus on the playing finesse rather than musical body & soul. If you haven't checked out electric-era Miles Davis, that's a good and fairly obvious starting point. Personal favs of his from that era are Dark Magus, Agharta, Get up with it, Black Beauty...many others. Herbie Hancock's work from that time is great too; Mwandishi, Crossings, Sextant...excellent stuff. Eddie Henderson and Bennie Maupin from the Hancock band put out some interesting fusion as well. If you can find copies of Eddie Henderson's 'Realization' and 'Inside Out' recordings (vinyl only at this point I believe), those are great discs. Whatever you may think of John McLaughlin, his 'Devotion' recording is pretty shredding. Quite a few jazz musicians switched directions in that era in an attempt to stretch into the fusion arena. Donald Byrd did 'Electric Bird' (real nice one), Tony Williams had his Lifetime ensemble (not as familiar with those guys, but probably worth checking out), and Sun Ra even did a pretty choice out-reaching fusion disc, 'Lanquidity', that was most righteous. The one last band I might note is 'Soft Machine', a British group who recorded some great stuff in the late '60's-early '70's. Their first three or four discs are great examples of a genuine fusion of jazz and rock, from a distinctly English perspective. Robert Wyatt (former drummer of the band) is to this day making very relevant and forward thinking music. OK...enough rambling. Hope that gives you a few ideas.
A good summary by Centurymantra. Most of the so-called jazz fusion groups today have only limited elements of real jazz in their playing, and a look back to the fusion groups of the late '60's and early 70's would be a great beginning for you. I don't have much to add to the previous post, except to mention Miles Davis's "Bitches Brew" which essentially launched "fusion jazz", and the work by Weather Report, in my opinion to best of the fusion groups. Two of their recordings, "Weather Report" and "Heavy Weather", still find their way to my turntable. Finally, John McLaughlin's recordings with the Mahavishnu Orchestra should not be overlooked.
My .02: Miles Davis "A Tribute to Jack Johnson", John McLaughlin "Inner Mounting Flame" and more recent: Charlie Hunter/Leon Parker "Duo". Should also mention: John Scofield, Pat Martino and Al Dimeola--all electric guitarist with differing approaches to fusion. Jean-Luc Ponty--violinist was quite popular as well.
My suggestions follow suite with the above recommendations;
Mahavishnu Orchestra "Inner Mounting Flame", "Birds of Fire", and "Love Devotion Surrender" (Santana and McLaughlin).
Miles Davis "Bitches Brew".
Weather Report "Heavy Weather".
Herbie Hancock "HeadHunters".
Any of the first three Jean-Luc Ponty solo releases are also worth a listen.
When available, the twenty-bit remasters on CD actually do any (or all) of these recordings some justice in case you don't have a table.
Although I agree with the comment about "post-'74", you might like some Bill Bruford, Billy Cobham, and Jeff Lorber Fusion as well.
Excellent suggestions. I would add that Chick Corea has some worthwhile stuff, especially the late and somewhat cheesy album "Romantic Warrior" by Return to Forever (Corea, Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola, and Lenny White, I think).
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I have several of the titles that have been mentioned, Weather Report, Billy Cobham, Jean Luc Ponty, Herbie, Mahavishnu, Chick Corea, etc. While I really like that stuff I would like to find some newer music. I guess that some people would call what I'm looking for progressive rock. I also have Liquid Tension Experiment, Bozzio- Levin- and Stevens, etc, that I also like, but I was looking for something that would be a middle ground or 80's and early 90's version of fusion. Keep the suggestions coming.
I ditto all those mentioned. Add to the oldies list:
Spectrum (Billy Cobham)
Return to Forever (Corea & friends)
Here's a good link to others fusion info: http://allmusicguide.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=C299
As for modern day fusion or"acid jazz" as it's called these days, check out Ronny Jordan, Incognito and others at: http://allmusicguide.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=C513
Oops, forgot! Also, add Brand X to the oldies.
Check out ECM label. Hundreds of the best fusion. I like years 75-80. Second on the Brand X. All the Return to Forever stuff and evrything that branched off from each musician
Some good choices for this area listed above.
My personal favorites were
1)Johnny McLaughlin>>>"ELECTRIC GUITARIST"
2)Mahavishnu Orch>>>"Inner Mounting Flame" (for the incredible cut "You Know You Know")
3)Return to Forever "Return To Forever" (Crystal Silence)
4)Miles, "Tribute to Jack Johnson"
5)Weather Report "Heavy Weather", "Mysterious Traveller","Mr. Gone"
6)Donald Byrd>> "Electric Byrd"
7)Herbie Hancock>> "Headhunters"
Thats all I can remember, but there's more for sure. This category is not my preferred one, but there are noteworthy issues. AS SD correctly states, they have "limited elements" today..........Frank
try captain beefheart---lick my decals off baby & trout mask replica for fusion w/ all players in different oddball time signitures and different keysm, if you like sun ra.
My fusion favorites will serve to amplify some of the previous suggestions:
Miles- Big Fun, In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew, On The Corner, Miles In the Sky <-some of it is fusionish
Mahavishnu Orchestra- Inner Mounting Flame
Herbie Hancock- Mwandishi, Crossings
most of Tony Williams Lifetime (with John McLaughlin and Larry Young)
Lee Morgan- Last Session (marginally fusionish)
John Abercrombie- Timeless, Gateway (first one)
Weather Report- I Sing the Body Electric
I am deep into fusion. I would recommend(if you will be able to find it) NYJG or just solo albums of Torsten De Winkel. to order visit www.nyjg.de;
The other band is Brand X which is jazz-rock with fusion the musicians are quite famous Phil Collins, Percy Jones...
Try Charlie Hunter and Pound for Pound(Can't remember title but disk was released about 3 years ago. Charlie plays an 8 string guitar/bass and is quite amazing. I might be cheating here as some might consider this "just" jazz, though it's a tough call. Nicely recorded.
used to play with Chick Corea... killer guitar.... Kiss My Axe.... If you buy it and don't like it, I'll buy it from you and pay the shipping! trust me.....
go listen to some samples on Amazon....