Fusion had its day in the limelight in the late 60s and early 70s when we saw rise to popular acts like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Gino Vannelli, Stanley Clarke, Steely Dan, and countless others.
What did all these acts have in common you might ask?
It’s no wonder why Steve Gadd is regarded as one of the greatest recorded drummers of all time. In fact, one of my favorite drum recordings of all time features him: The Leprechaun by Chick Corea.
The track below is “Lenore” off that album featuring some of the coolest linear drumming I have ever heard.
This brings us to today. There aren’t too many drummers or acts playing traditional fusion. From what I’ve seen, the closest styles to fusion these days are either progressive metal or math rock. I tend to be drawn to the latter; heavy music isn’t my thing.
That being said, through the power of social media, we do have ways to connect with new drummers who are actively bringing back jazz and fusion. One of them happens to be someone I discovered on Instagram: Vlade Guigni.
Vlade is an excellent drummer who showcases incredible taste, chops, and grooves, like I hadn’t seen in a long time. The first video I watched made me think I was watching Dave Weckl for the first time again.
His video for Forbidden Twice, made in collaboration with Meinl Cymbals, demonstrates this perfectly as he solos around the vamped rhythmic progressions throughout.
All throughout his different videos, you can hear the influence of different styles ranging from classical, jazz, Cuban, Brazillian, Western, and others.
Vlade’s main social following can be found on Instagram. His page boasts almost 21,000 followers. Be sure to give him a follow! You won’t regret it.
He posts videos from gigs, practice sessions, solos, and much more. I love the intro lick in the clip below.
Quick biography of Vlade
Vlade Guigni is a drummer, producer, and educator from the Dominican Republic currently residing in Boston, MA. He has been studying the art of drumming for the past twenty years.
In 2012, Vlade was awarded the Michel Camilo Scholarship to Berklee College of Music for his audition.
Vlade earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Production and Engineering as well as his Masters of Music in Contemporary Performance (Global Jazz Concentration) from the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute, an organization comprised of the top jazz musicians in the world.
Mentors of his included Terri Lyne Carrington, Ralph Peterson, Neal Smith, Henrique De Almeida, Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, Leo Blanco, and others.
Vlade Guigni’s debut studio album
Currently Vlade plays with many acts in the Boston area, as well as his own band. He is currently promoting his first studio album on IndieGoGo.
You can support the project in various ways that include perks such as signed CDs, additional tracks, play-along charts, and Skype lessons.
If the campaign has ended by the time you’re reading this, you should still be able to support the project by buying the album after its release.
Vlade is a proud endorser or Meinl Cymbals, Canopus Drums, Evans, Ahead Cases, SlapKatz, Big Fat Snare Drum, and KBrakes.
Before you go, I suggest you check out his performance of “El Viaje.” Getting some major Cowboy Bebop vibes right about now.