Every so often in these dark and long music histories, distant genres collide with and collapse upon each other in breathless fits and they leave behind new and alien caverns that we graft names to. Jazz came screaming from blues and European classical traditions, one subverting the other until their melded skins made attendant eardrums glow like embryos. This is the genuine hope, this is the hope that is not always delivered—that we may find the unknown when we let our separate maps arbitrarily meet and relinquish their lines.
In the late '60s, some evil bastard, who will not be forgiven when called from the book of names, designated this process as "fusion," as though it were cold, sterile chemistry (which, don't get me wrong, in some cases it totally is, but it can also be incidental heat and smoke), and then applied this to the new music of all eddies and no land in sight previously known as "jazz-rock," which was just as bad for invoking the genres as binaries when the actual music was neither and both simultaneously. These exchanges between jazz and rock were illicit, their handshakes uncertain, their voices wet with wah-wah.
Regardless, these interactions now file under "fusion" and punch their cards sneering beside Chick Corea's defanged keys and the devils of smooth jazz who all work beneath terrible smiles; all cheapened by their new designator despite relative quality, as each was pushing something new through the exhausted canal. These new somethings no longer require names, just class designations so they may be collectively set aside if we are left unmoved by their meekest representative. The effects suffocate: it is impossible to inhabit these middle spaces without sharing room with and enduring the long glances of the sterile, there by the grace and virtue by which they gummed their way into the public consciousness. It is impossible to make new music—the gates are guarded by flaming swords and long, endless mouths that constantly invoke "originality" as though it it could ignite the air without requisite particles.READ MORE AT DESPERATIONANDNOISE.COM