Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Gioia, Ted. “Freedom and Fusion.” In The History of Jazz, 2nd ed., 309-343. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Jazz has always been a music of mixture that borrows from other traditions, encompassing both free and fusion styles. Examples of musical borrowing and reworking are more overt in jazz fusion which draws on references from rock, popular, ethnic, and classical traditions, creating hybrid jazz styles that appealed to wider audiences. Miles Davis played an important role in propagating jazz fusion with his commercially successful album Bitches Brew (1970), which combined rock and jazz idioms. Davis continued the fusion aesthetic in his work for the film Jack Johnson, in which his producer producer Teo Macero spliced bits from Davis’s performance of Shh/Peaceful and inserted them into Davis’s Yesternow for the score to achieve a new and disjunct sound. Sampling proved a commercially viable technique for other groups as well, including A Tribe Called Quest and Us3. However, these bands were more parasitical than fusion (unlike Miles Davis) because they stole catchy licks and grooves from older jazz styles to use as raw material, rather than sources of style or new ideas.

Works: Miles Davis: Yesternow (327); Jaco Pastorius (performer): Donna Lee (330), God Bless the Child (332); A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory (334); Bill Laswell: Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 (335).

Sources: Miles Davis: Shh/Peaceful (327); Charlie Parker: Donna Lee (330); Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr.: God Bless the Child (332).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz

Contributed by: Sarah Kirkman

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