It sometimes feels like popular music comes in waves. Just like a tide, a genre will crest and then fall back in on itself becoming nothing more than another fish in the sea. Somewhere in that mixed metaphor is the fact people's tastes can change on a whim and trends in music are such a song can go from being a new release in the morning, a hit at noon, and history by the drive home from work.
While there have always been novelty songs that momentarily capture the public's attention, there have also been styles of music capturing the public's imagination for a short breadth of time, before falling back into the niche where it came from. The fact it no longer gets media attention does not mean a genre has ceased to exist; music has far too much resilience to just disappear. It just means it was superseded by the next "big thing."
In the late sixties, and then throughout the seventies and into the eighties there was one form that showed a remarkable ability to resist being discarded. The Fusion of Jazz and some of the popular music of the time seemed like a natural progression from the work that was being done by people like Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly and others. While they weren't prepared to make that final step across the line people who worked for them were ready, willing and able to make it happen.
Now-a-days we very rarely hear the term Fusion applied to popular music, mainly because radio formatting has changed so much there are very few stations left that would even consider playing it. F.M. Radio, which had been the preserve of album rock, was the ideal format for presenting this new breed of music. But when album rock gave way to adult easy listening it marked the end of easy public access for Fusion groups and their popularity suffered.
That's not to say Jazz Fusion has ceased to exist, it's just it's listening audience has diminished and is no longer the hot seller it was up to the early eighties. For the majority of the public something may be out of sight out of mind, but for those who care they can still find the music when they want. But who they won't be finding anymore is probably the first of the Jazz Fusion groups: Weather Report.