Oh Oh Oh.. Congratulations Ethel!!! You're the first to submit a question to our blog. Thank you!!
A very good question. In my own opinion, there are no right or wrong answers. I feel the true answer resides in the audiences taste in music. For instance, an individual that enjoys the sounds of a saxophone in "Classic jazz" (e.g. Charlie Parker's "Confirmation") may think that a sax solo played in "Classic rock" (e.g. Floyd's song "Money") would be considered noise. Being a sax player myself...They both jam!!!
Another example, more comedic to nature, would the triangle played by Martin Short's character Ed Grimly in the older Saturday Night Live series. The triangle could be characterized as a jamming instrument. You can combine all types of instruments or even play an instrument solo - from voice, to a woodwind, to a rhythm instrument... and the ONLY one to determine if it qualifies as a jam session would be an audiences "Positive Response".