most eclectic musicians

for the past two years, i have been on a quest to find the most diverse musicians. these are people who have worked within several different genres of music, and i was looking for the most diverse musician, and could never find one that worked in all areas of music. my list of the most diverse that i have found are:

      ennio morricone
      kronos quartet
      beastie boys
      john zorn
      sarah brightman
      miles davis
      vladimir cosma
      terry riley
      raymond scott
      smashing pumpkins

does anyone have any additions? subtractions? comments? on my list? i would like to find the ultimate most diverse musician, and i hope there is someone out there i haven’t found yet.

by the way, if anyone has heard and enjoyed music by all each of these artists, you are my new best friend.

Elvis Costello has certainly dabbled in a few different styles.

what about Paul Simon?

Frank Zappa?

The first modern example that came to mind when reading the thread title was Beck. And come to think of it, Jamiroquai is up there too.

Yeah, I’m hip alright. It’s not All Rush, All the Time, ya know :wink:

The Kronos Quartet is a good choice. They’re one of the few groups that seems to specialize in avant garde classical, but I read a review of a recent show where they did “Miserlou” (done in the 60s by Dick Dale, king of the surf guitar) as an encore and I think they’ve done “Purple Haze” as well.

There are a few surprising people who sang backup on Laurie Anderson’s “Strange Angels”. I remember The Roches (folk trio) and Bobby McFerrin.

I think this topic is better suited to our “IMHO” forum.

Steve Gadd

David Bowie

You might wanna add Einsturzende Neubauten to the list…along with psychic TV…and Coil.

Duke Ellington.

I think Phish gets my top vote. I think they, at one point or another, have played most every genre.

My nomination (and there’s been lots of other good ones, so I don’t know where he’d rate) is John Cale. He’s done everything from proto-minimalist avant-garde music (Theatre of Eternal Music); proto-punk/metal (The Velvet Underground); progressive Rock (Church of Anthrax); folk (Paris 1919) and at least one record that is completely unique among rock records (Music for a New Society).

He’s also produced a huge range of bands - everyone from the Stooges and Modern Lovers, to … well, hundreds of bands. His records tend to be internally consistent in style, but not many of them sound like the previous record.


The late great Frank Zappa, definitely.

In spring of this year, I flipped the channel to Houston Public Access TV, and I saw this weird old guy, sitting in front of the camera, with 6 or 7 guitars and basses. He would pick one up, jam with it for awhile, and while doing so rant about crime, gangs, the poor decisions made by today’s youth, and his cancer (which apparently had driven him into this state of delerium.)

Does that count as diverse?

Well, you start with the Beatles, of course.

Then there’s Robert Fripp, who has has done everything from Beatlesque whimsy to Moody Blues-style art rock to jazz to heavy metal to African polyrhythms to disco. He’d have to be high on the list.

As soon as I saw the title I thought:
Frank Zappa
John Zorn
Miles Davis

Moments later I thought:
Pat Metheny because he Played the guitar for Reich’s electric counterpoint (an avant garde jazz guitarist playing minimalist classical music? c’mon) which was released on the same recording as Reich’s “Different Trains” performed by the next artist I thought of for this thread Kronos Quartet.

Finally, just as the thread was loading onto my screen at the lightening speed of the fastest tortoise this side of Manhattan, and any of the other 4 borroughs, Robert Fripp’s name popped into my head.

So, who can I come up with that would be original? Hmmm… let’s see:
Trilok Gurtu plays Indian classical music as well as jazz/fusion.
Edgar Meyer Classically trained, yet plays bluegrass and jazz as well as other wierd fusions.
Herbie Hancock jazz, funk, rock, R&B, etc.
Peter Garbriel

I’d like to second Peter Gabriel…and also add Boyd Ryce, aka NON to the list.

Most eclectic has to be Beck. He is a bluesgrass singer who raps, sings soulful ballads and blues, does some electronica and hard rock, all on one album alone. He also won Grammys for rock and alternative. If that’s not eclectic, then I don’t know who is.

Well I’d have to go with Gary Moore. He’s done everything from Blues to Rock to Metal to Jazz Fusion to a semi-alterative feel. He’s been around since 68 or so, been in Thin Lizzy, and a number of Solo stuff. Every album is totally different from anything he’s done before.

Then I’ll have to say Golden Earring. they’ve done everything from Beatles type sounds, ugh, pop, progressive, and some heavy stuff too.

Rick Rubin is not a musician but he has PRODUCED Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys, and Slayer. Thats a pretty odd assortment.