In this “week of giants” in the playlist, it’s hard to get around Miles Davis as perhaps the biggest of them all when it came to giving a face and a name to that fusion of jazz and rock that would enable “fusion” to get a foothold with the listening public.

Even then, in the late 1960s starting with his album “Miles in the Sky,” it was almost like poking at a newly discovered living creature by carefully bringing in electric instruments with great caution, by a well-known explorer like Davis who had — by then — already become a legend in an acoustic jazz world long before.

But this blending of jazz and rock … well, that was something else.  From “Miles in the Sky,” it led to continuing to chart a course with the likes of “In a Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew” with the sounds of electric guitars becoming prominent, and taking something that was tried before by others and enabling it to reach the masses.

What it needed was a big name — like Miles Davis — to try it himself and say, “It is good.”  It’s worked to this day.


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