Radio: Can't Fake the Fusion
by Seth Colter Walls | April 15, 2015
"Fusion" can be a fraught term, loaded down as it sometimes is with the idea of sellouts playing light-impact riffs fit for a dentist's office. So for this soulful station, we've elected to rely on some heavy hitters: Miles Davis, Branford Marsalis (with his group Buckshot LeFonque) and Questlove (who has remixed fusion pianist Robert Glasper, in addition to playing in his own fusion-jazz trio, The Philadelphia Experiment). We've also included the works of contemporary emcees -- like Kendrick Lamar and Q-Tip -- who have employed noted jazz players in the studio.
If you caught the P-Funk reference in the name of this station, then you know we're not interested in timid grooves. So whether it's a George Duke slow jam, a dancefloor-friendly track by Donald Byrd, Greg Osby's collaboration with Bomb Squad producers, or an uptempo Herbie Hancock excursion with GrandMixer D.ST, you know the low end will be properly represented. From jazz's R&B side, we've got contemporary cuts from vocalists like Jose James and Gregory Porter. (You might even hear Rahsaan Roland Kirk belt out a bit of classic soul music while playing flute, too.) And don't be surprised to hear Guru rapping over the soloing of a swinging guest star from the world of jazz, either. From Roy Ayers' crossover vibe to Ornette Coleman's late-period explorations with electric guitars, we've got the fusion you need.