Smooth jazz is a sub-genre of jazz which is influenced stylistically by R&B, funk and pop.
Beginning in the early 1970s, it was an evolution into jazz with a modern, electronic sensibility. The instruments most widely associated with the style are the soprano saxophone, inspired by players like Grover Washington, Jr., Ronnie Laws, Wayne Shorter and Nathan Davis, and a certain flavor of electric guitar, influenced by players like Wes Montgomery and Grant Green. Jazz fusion ensembles such as Spyro Gyra and Bob James' Fourplay were important in the development of the genre.
Modern derivatives of the genre include the more recent Adult contemporary. Smooth jazz has been successful as a radio format; however, in 2007, the popularity of the format began to show signs of waning as it was abandoned by several high-profile radio stations across the United States, perhaps most notable its New York station. Many industry insiders indicate that the smooth jazz format may die out, particularly with many Clear Channel Communications smooth jazz stations pulling out of the genre. However, smooth jazz concerts and record sales continue to show strong fan support for the genre.