This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Jazz-funk" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: copyediting. Please help improve this article if you can. (November 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Jazz-funk is a style that grew out of jazz[1] and the music fused jazz and funk music. The integration of funk, soul, and R&B music and styles into jazz resulted in the creation of a genre whose spectrum is quite wide and ranges from strong jazz improvisation to soul, funk or disco with jazz arrangements, jazz riffs, jazz solos, and sometimes soul vocals.[2]


Jazz-funk has basic harmonic structure and jazz men can performance improvisation.[3] Characteristic is the emphasis of danceable funky grooves.[4] Arrangements, melody, and overall writing were heavily emphasized. In a nutshell this is a departure from funky jazz and free jazz back to the street funk movement of the era.


The latter period of trumpeter Miles Davis's career was controversial for its incorporation of non-jazz idioms

Early 1960s James Brown created "pure funk", a genre that created this groovy rhythm,[5] which was played by James Brown's funky drummers Clyde Stubblefield and John "Jabo" Starks.[6]


Examples of early jazz funk albums were Miles Davis' On the Corner (1972)[7] and Jimmy Smith's Root Down (1972). The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, Lightnin' Rod, T.S. Monk, Pleasure, Boogaloo Joe Jones, Lenny White,[8] Don Blackman, Ramon Morris, Monk Higgins, Wilbur Bascomb,[9] and Les DeMerle[10] and Michael Henderson[11] also released jazz funk albums. Miles Davis, Donald Byrd[12] and Herbie Hancock influenced on jazz funk. The Mizell Brothers are being listened to jazz funk fans. Their work has also been sampled in modern music.

Jazz-funk dance is directly related to the genre, with Jennifer Lopez popularizing it in the sketch comedy television series In Living Color.[13]

At its conception, the jazz-funk genre was occasionally looked down upon by jazz hard-liners as a sell-out, or jazz for the dance halls. It was insubstantially presumed by these to be not intellectual or elite enough, which led to controversy about the music crossing over, but it was making jazz much more popular and mainstream.[14]

From a pop audience perspective, the ambivalence towards the jazz-funk genre arose – despite commercial success – because it was "too jazzy" and therefore too complex.[15]

Many mainstream artists in jazz used the talents of a few producers who were specialists in the genre and generated great commercial success. The Mizell Brothers, Larry and Fonce, produced many jazz-funk artists such as the Blackbyrds, Donald Byrd, Johnny "Hammond" Smith, Gary Bartz, and more.[16] Philly soul musician Dexter Wansel released jazz funk album "Life on Mars" in 1976.

Nu jazz blends jazz-funk with other music such as EDM, techno, and house. German group Jazzanova is an example of nu jazz.[17]

UK jazz funk

See also: Brit funk

In the UK's nightclubs of the mid to late 1970s, DJs like Colin Curtis in Manchester, Birmingham's Graham Warr and Shaun Williams, and Leeds-based Ian Dewhirst and Paul Schofield championed the genre, along with Chris Hill and Bob Jones in the South.[18] In the late 1980s, the work of rare groove club DJs in England who were interested in looking back into the past and re-discovering old tunes, such as Norman Jay, Chriss Hill, Bob Jones, Colin Curtis and Gilles Peterson. Gilles Peterson formed new record label BGP Records[19].

They were encouraged by club DJs like Chris Hill and Robbie Vincent, who was then on BBC Radio London, and Greg Edwards, who had a Saturday evening show on London's first-ever commercial radio station, Capital Radio. They had a big jazz festival in 1980, and the jazz-funk band Light of the World performed in the Festival.[20] The first of these self-contained bands to establish a real UK identity was Light of the World, formed by Kenny Wellington,[21] Incognito, The Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, and the James Taylor Quartet helped the acid jazz movement surge in popularity. UK group US3 signed to Acid Jazz Records, which itself was founded by Peterson and Eddie Piller. US3 covered "Cantaloupe Island", originally recorded by Herbie Hancock.

See also


  1. ^ [1] BBC. Retrieved 5 March 2024
  2. ^ "Jazz | Significant Albums, Artists and Songs". AllMusic. 2013-11-24. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  3. ^ Jazz funk BBC Retirved 26 February 2024
  4. ^ Jazz Funk Retirved 26 February 2024
  5. ^ History of Funk Retrieved 21 June 2023
  6. ^ "John Jabo Starks - DRUMMERWORLD".
  7. ^ Freeman, Philip (2005). Running the Voodoo Down: The Electric Music of Miles Davis. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 10, 178. ISBN 1-61774-521-9.
  8. ^ White Yanow, Scott Allmusic Retrieved 2024-2-24
  9. ^ Wilbur Bascomb Retrieved 20 June 2023
  10. ^ Les DeMerle at Allmusic. Retrieved 20 June 2023
  11. ^ Erlewine, Michael, ed. (1997). All Music Guide to Country: The Experts' Guide to the Best Recordings in Country Music. AMG All Music Guides. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 88, 208. ISBN 978-0-87930-475-1.
  12. ^ Donald Byrd allmusic Retrieved 24 February 2024
  13. ^ "Remember when J.Lo was a 'Fly Girl'?". New York Post. 2018-08-20. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  14. ^ Article referring to Donald Byrd the Mizell Brothers from John Murph in JazzTimes magazine dated April 04
  15. ^ Journal of American Culture, Art vs. the Audience: The Paradox of Modern Jazz, by R Francesconi, winter 1981, also see article "Films from the Young-Man-with-a-Horn Genre" form the journal of macro marketing by Coulumbia uni' MN Holbrook
  16. ^ Mizell Brothers allmusic Retrieved 26 February 2024
  17. ^ "Music – Review of Jazzanova – Mixing". BBC. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  18. ^ Cotgrove, Mark (2009). Mark Cotgrove, "From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: The History of the UK Jazz Dance Scene". Chaser Publications. ISBN 978-1-4389-7360-9.
  19. ^ BGP Records History Retrieved 14 May 2024))
  20. ^ A secret history of UK dance Retrieved 26 June 2023
  21. ^ "Featured Content on Myspace". Retrieved 2015-06-03.