Urban jazz is a musical genre that combines elements of jazz, funk, hip hop, and R&B. It originated in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a response to the growing popularity of smooth jazz and the desire to create a more contemporary sound. Urban jazz is often characterized by its use of electronic instruments, such as synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers, as well as its incorporation of rap and spoken word vocals.
One of the defining features of urban jazz is its fusion of various musical styles. This is particularly evident in the use of funk and R&B grooves, which provide a strong rhythmic foundation for the music. Urban jazz also draws heavily from the improvisational nature of jazz, with musicians often taking extended solos and engaging in call-and-response patterns with other players.
Another important aspect of urban jazz is its emphasis on technology. Many urban jazz artists use electronic instruments and recording techniques to create a polished, modern sound. This can include the use of drum machines and samplers to create complex rhythms and textures, as well as the use of synthesizers to create atmospheric sounds and effects.
Urban jazz has been influenced by a number of different musical genres, including hip hop and R&B. These influences can be heard in the use of rap vocals and spoken word poetry, as well as in the incorporation of samples from popular songs and movies.
Some notable urban jazz artists include George Benson, Grover Washington Jr., and David Sanborn. These musicians helped to define the genre in its early days and continue to be important influences on contemporary urban jazz performers.
In conclusion, urban jazz is a musical genre that combines elements of jazz, funk, hip hop, and R&B. It is characterized by its fusion of different musical styles, its emphasis on technology, and its use of rap and spoken word vocals. Urban jazz has been influenced by a number of different genres and has produced some notable artists over the years.