Jazz Rock - This concept can be attributed to the most high-profile, frantic and electrified fusion ensembles from the jazz camp, but more often it describes those performers who are on the fateful side of the equation.
Jazz rock first appeared in the late 60s as an attempt to combine the unbridled power of rock with musical complexity and fiery jazz improvisations. Since rock is more straightforward and simple than virtuosity, jazz rock has evolved from the most artistically ambitious subgenres of rock music of the late 60s – early 70s: psychedelia, progressive rock and the work of performers. The last of the influences goes back to the soft, “soulful” side of jazz, in which vocals play the same important place as instrumental improvisation. The main figures of this trend are Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Tim Buckley. However, most often jazz rock was performed by powerful rock ensembles. Some of them focused on jam improvisation, resorting to jazz harmonies and instruments to perform lengthy rock improvisations (Traffic, Santana). Others recorded rhythm and blues mixed with jazz or pop songs that used melodic, harmonic and rhythmic features of jazz, without paying much attention to improvisation or virtuoso performance (Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Steely Dan). There were those musicians who used the complexity of jazz to expand the musical horizons of rock, while creating strange, inventive and unpredictable pieces (Frank Zappa, The Soft Machine).
Miles Davis, the first jazz musician from the time of the early rhythm and blues who wanted to use the primitive energy of rock and roll and the impact that he has on a young audience, stands apart. Davis's fusion recordings of the early 70s (starting with the Bitches Brew album), heavily inspired by the music of Jimi Hendrix and Sly & The Family Stone, quickly gained the status of the most funky, sharp and aggressive jazz rock record ever recorded.
Throughout the 70s, artists such as Zappa and Steely Dan continued to release jazz rock albums; in the 80s, the movement broke up, as its listeners preferred a softer, commercialized variety of fusion.