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May 15, 2007



I'm not planning to be at the Chick Corea/Bela Fleck concert primarily because I live too far from Burlington to take in the full ten days straight.  Now, however, the ongoing discussion here (and probably elsewhere) of Fusion and its discontents seems to be making this the most talked about gig of the festival before it even begins.  I'm really curious at this point as to how the event might size up against my barely formulated expectations.

Briefly, the old story:  As the fusion movement became progressively diffuse over the two decades following its start, it gradually became bled of its emotional resonance.  The worst result in time became the mealy schlock/pop market-driven cheese mix already lamented in these postings.  Less offensive but even more ubiquitous was all the "nice" music aiming to please and not offend.  A bottomless appetite for both continues and grows stronger.

From these guys I'd expect more, though both have played to please the masses and no doubt will on June 6.  What performing artist, after all, would want to pack a church basement when he can fill a stadium?  But Corea and Fleck have have the chops--still--to deliver virtuoso stuff.  If the music lacks heart and spontaneity, and it might or might not, it should still project the energy that defined the movement way back in the '70s.  I'd expect each to work the other mighty hard and to get the obligatory standing ovations.

(Hey, let's ask Bob Blumenthal what he thinks if we get a chance.  His knowledge and erudition are as solid as his judgment, and his contributions to previous festivals are considerable.)

May 15, 2007 at 04:36 PM in Lou Kannenstine | Permalink


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IT AINT NO THING IF IT AINT GOT DAT SWING. Why no New Orleans jazz at the Burlignton Discover Jazz Festival? After all thats where it all began...Seems like a gaping black hole in the festival line up. Huh no creole arrangements?

Posted by: | May 17, 2007 2:03:03 PM

Lou, that's very well said, and accurately sums up what went wrong with "fusion," and what may indeed go "right" with the Fleck/Corea performance.

Posted by: casey | May 18, 2007 12:45:00 PM

Re: Fusion

I just received and listened to the new Bela Fleck and Chick Corea CD
and it's all acoustic with stunning sound but the fusion is one of almost
classical & jazz, rather than electric rock & jazz.
I'm guessing they'll sound like this in concert too.

As my friend Bill Morrison puts it about fusion:

Like a lot of movements in jazz, it may have been more
interesting before they came up with a handy name for it.

Posted by: George Thomas | May 18, 2007 3:04:42 PM

In response to the post about the purported lack of New Orleans Jazz at Burlington Discover Jazz Festival: In addition to the other performers who have brought sounds directly from The Crescent City at BDJF over the years, The Onion River Jazz Band has appeared at The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival for roughly 20 of it's 24 editions. This year they appear featured on the Dixieland Cruise on a ferry boat on Friday June 8 from 6-8 PM. The cruise gets under way at 6:00 PM sharp from the King Street Ferry Dock. Details can be found on page 47 of the Program Guide which will be distributed in Seven Days.
This event is very popular and often sells out. Don't miss the boat!

Posted by: David Beckett | May 18, 2007 3:54:56 PM

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