Rhino's Jazz Compilation Week: JAZZ FUSION [1997]

For me, 1987 was a landmark year by all accounts: I married the kindest, smartest, sexiest woman I've ever met in March, turned twenty-one in April, our first child was born in September and that December my wife and I appeared in the U2 concert documentary Rattle and Hum. My first brief exploration of jazz music came after reading the then current issue of Rolling Stone (pictured) about a month before our first child was born.
The magazine was then celebrating it's 20th Anniversary so it published a list of The 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years and coming in at number 81, right after The Byrds at 82 and before the Talking Heads at 80, was Miles Davis with Bitches Brew. The write-up said "jazz and rock would never be the same" and I was sold. I bought a used copy in great shape, put it on my shelf, never listened to it once and then sold it as part of the great sell-off to pay medical bills. By October 1992, we had a two-year-old baby boy to go with our five-year-old little girl and another child on the way. Our little family was enjoying prosperity like never before and I was buying CDs like a man possessed. That was when I bought the double CD of Bitches Brew brand new for $22. That's my fusion story.
Rhino issued two Jazz Fusion compilations in June 1997 each with unique cover art made up of circuit boards and other electronic parts my Dad had on the bench in his workshop. I'm no expert - far from it - but it seems like the team behind these two discs could have easily cobbled together two, three or five more volumes of this stuff.
Miles Davis appears on Volume 2 with a tribute to the late bassist Jaco Pastorius titled "Mr. Pastorius" from his 1989 album Amandla. The track is the newest track on either volume of Jazz Fusion. While I've yet to find a favorite track on Volume 1, my favorite track on Volume 2 is Brand X's "Nuclear Burn" featuring some guy named Phil Collins working the drum kit like a madman. The guitar and keyboard noodling sealed the deal for me.

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