We tend to put music in categories, rock, jazz, pop, soul, etc., and all too often the audience for one genre does not cross over to another. It seems to me that this is a change from the ’60s when all kinds of music were melding together and everyone was into everything, or at least willing to listen. Miles Davis played on the same bill as the Grateful Dead. Harry Chapin opened for the Mahavishnu Orchestra. It was all there for the taking.
That’s not to say that once in awhile an artist didn’t manage to cross over in a big way. Lots of soul records were big hits on the pop charts. A harder feat was to put a jazz record on the charts though. There were only a handful of records by jazz artists that managed to appeal to a mass audience. One of the biggest of these records was by the Ramsey Lewis Trio … (more)