Who's the Greatest Fusion Guitarist of All Time?

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 17, 2011 at 1:42 PM

With news of the Return to Forever 4 tour happening this summer, and having recently caught John McLaughlin live in New York, and with Allan Holdsworth's Blues For Tony playing on my iTunes at the moment, I began to think about who my favorite fusion guitarist would be. Trouble is, I can't seem to pick out just one. Who would you choose? Vote now!

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basslinger on March 4, 2011 at 9:33 PM

j mclaughlin. the most inovative, progressive, dominating technique, and harmonically and METRICALLY astral fusion pioneer of all time...bar none!. sorry fellow sixslingers face it. and he can still kick all world ass!

JD on February 25, 2011 at 7:28 AM

Hi. Nice poll!...but i just realized that you can vote multiple times...so it would be better if you could start it again with one vote per IP address...just my 2c Thanks!

JD on February 25, 2011 at 7:27 AM

Hi. Nice poll!...but i just realized that you can vote multiple times...so it would be better if you could start it again with one vote per IP address...just my 2c Thanks!

JD on February 25, 2011 at 7:27 AM

Hi. Nice poll!...but i just realized that you can vote multiple times...so it would be better if you could start it again with one vote per IP address...just my 2c Thanks!

thirdstone on February 17, 2011 at 11:43 PM

these guys are all terrific. But for me, Bill Connors has to be the clear cut master. One reason he may not get top honours here is that most readers probably didn't have the chance to see him with the pre diMeola Return to Forever...just before the well-known version of this group broke. He was stunningly brilliant and soulful to the extreme. Another reason is that the absolutely astounding 3 solo discs he made for small label Pathfinder records (Step It-1984, Double Up-1986,& Assembler-1987) accompanied only by killer drums and robust bass support, were never very widely available but are well worth seeking out. All three are full of luscious tone and inventive grooves combined with unbelievable phrasing and explosively intricate lines, all with some sexysensuous string-bending thrown in for good measure. He may not end up the pollwiner here but if you can find those discs, please give 'em a listen -you're in for a treat!

pman57 on February 17, 2011 at 10:39 PM

These are brilliant choices, indeed the Best of the Best! DiMeola's Return to Forever work is incredible, and Holdsworth's stint with Tony Williams' Lifetime is a knockout, but my pick would have to be Mr. McLaughlin. His early efforts with The Mahavishnu Orchestra are what got me into jazz-fusion back in the '70s, and those mind-blowing records still send chills up my spine! Bless you and thanks, John!!

Rayo on February 17, 2011 at 9:24 PM

All those guys are worthy, but I gotta go with my original hero -John Mc. I've seen most of these guys more than once, and it's a tought choice. Good topic.

GuitarInstructor on February 17, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Rich - Thanks for catching Holdsworth missing in action. He's there now!

Rich on February 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Why is Holdsworth mentioned in the intro, but he's not in the list to choose from? My vote would be for Holdsworth.