Active Member with Corp. Privileges
While I'm more often drawn to the softer side of jazz, I've found so much among the classic work that comports with my preferences, including the musicians mentioned. Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman's work together, organist Jimmy Smith, and it just keeps going. Jazz is such a broad and malleable form IMHO that its influences, and what it takes from other forms, is virtually endless.
While I usually most enjoy the softer side of jazz, I must confess that I find much of what has been packaged under the term Smooth Jazz to most often be lacking in content. I.e., having something to say. Similarly, the attempt to more broadly commercialize jazz in the '70's via fusion, a mixture of jazz and rock, an effort even Miles Davis was in the vanguard of, was largely not music I could enjoy.
But some rock blended seamlessly with jazz, groups like Steely Dan and Chicago come to mind. From the Delta Blues, the cauldron that brewed jazz and musicians like Armstrong, we have wildly improvisational rock performers like singer/musician Professor Longhair, whose influence permeated a variety of milieus.
You’re inclusion of Chicago is great. Chicago Transit Authority is is one of the widest ranging, talent filled albums I have heard, jazz to blues/rock to acid rock, with horns. Unfortunately most will remember them for the 1980 sappy ballads.
It so happens I am headed to a two day blues jazz festival this weekend, on the NC coast. Simultaneous stages, a wide open hidden secret. I became a Samantha Fish fan as a result of my last time there.
And on a final note, I caught myself tapping my foot to Chuck Mangione in a Home Depot the other day. Small pleasures.