Here’s some band/album recommendations:
Niacin, Time Crunch
These guys have just become one of my favorite bands. Jazz/rock (not really fusion) featuring Billy Sheehan on bass, John Novello on keyboards, and Dennis Chambers on drums. I remember seeing Billy play with Talas quite a few times when I was a teenager in Buffalo, NY. He really is the world’s best rock bass player, and the Guitar Player magazine reader’s poll has agreed with that statement no less that 5 times (tying him with Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee and Eddie Van Halen). Novello is a session player that co-owns LunaTek studios with Alan Howarth (the great movie soundtrack composer of “Escapefrom New York” fame). Chambers is ex-Parliament, which leads us to…
Parliament, The Best of Parliament
Excellent compilation of Parliament’s music. Truly the funkiest band ever (this coming from the whitest man alive. 😉
Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Broadcasting from Home
Very eclectic Celtic/folk/New Age/whatever music. I find it very hard to categorize their music. Check out their web site for samples.
Tony Levin, Pieces of the Sun
King Crimson and Peter Gabriel’s bass/Chapman Stick player reunites with Larry “Synergy” Fast and Jerry Marotta of Gabriel’s orginal band. Excellent prog and jazzy rock. Features an unreleased Gabriel song, “Dog One” and a remake of the Synergy song “Phobos” (and I’m still not sure how they pulled that one off so well).