R&B and funk influenced jazz that is usually considered a very "poppy" and commercial form of the genre. Usually very downtempo and mellow, and features prominent bass. Almost always instrumental. Melodies are usually made with saxophones, but may also include trumpets, guitars, clarinets or oboes. Synthesizers and electronic drums are very common. Improvisation, one of the defining elements of jazz, has little or no place in this style.
The style appeared in the mid 70s to the early 80s. According to jazz historian Ted Gioia "the term smooth jazz did not arrive on the scene until the 1980s". Not to be confused with easy listening.