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Smooth Jazz - the poorly named upbeat instrumental music I love

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

So we have a number of Jazz threads but most vary in their focus and have a lot of old school jazz..............which I just do not like. 


I'm talking the new stuff that is upbeat, has great bass notes and gets you moving. I know from reading the 'what are you listening to thread there's a number of us smooth jazzheads'.  Kenny G started this for all of us with Songbird back in the early '80's and for that I thank him. 


Here's a playlist and artist listing -


Paul Hardcastle - Return of the Rainman

Boney James - Wanna Show you Something

Dave Koz - Whisper in your Ear

Kem - Heaven

Jackiem Joyner - Elevation

Vincent Ingala - Can't Stop Now

Marcus Johnson - Enigma

Melvin Rogers - Luv-U-Now

Udi Levy - Just Say It

Zachary Breaux - Small Town in Texas

Kenny G - Japan


I have literally hundreds of Smooth Jazz songs in my iTunes and spread through over 30 playlists.  The sound and pleasure they bring to me are unmatched by all my other music (and I have over 4000 songs now in iTunes with the full collection of Pink Floyd among them). 


Who else loves this sub-genre? 

post #2 of 32

I don't have much. Here's what I got:


John Klemmer - Touch

Joe Sample - Rainbow Seeker

Michael Paulo - My Heart And Soul

Return To Forever (w/ Chick Corea) - Light As A Feather

Dave Koz - At The Movies

Michael Paulo - Michael Paulo With The Magenta Orchestra

Edited by wuwhere - 10/5/13 at 8:22pm
post #3 of 32

I'm a smooth jazz fan lol, 


Do you group it the same as like neo classical or new age? What about ambient music?


I have a tendency to group smooth jazz with like elevator music (which is the type of guitar style that I like :D )


Paul Jackson Jr. is one of my favs

post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
I like new age as well. My Boney James Pandora station plays a good selection of ambient, new age, smooth jazz and even stuff like Sade. This after a year of customizing if you know what I mean.
post #5 of 32

It was the first jazz I got into.  Actually it was Spyro Gyra and Rippingtons. Loved Rippingtons earlier music but Russ Freeman has definitely gone smooth the past several cd's.


I grew bored with it and transitioned over to contemporary jazz which I enjoy much more.  I love the playing and there is so much more depth to the music and arrangements.  Stuff like....


Pat Metheny


Christian McBride

Antonio Sanchez

Dave Weckl

Jason Moran

Mike Moreno

Jean Luc Ponty

Carribean Jazz Project

Chris Potter

Kurt Rosenwinkle

Scott Coley

Brad Mehldau


Just to name a few.....

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Excellent group. I tended to lump them all in as my version of smooth jazz but guess it really doesn't matter. A few of your listed artists I have integrated in my Boney James Pandora station.

Great input, thanks.
post #7 of 32

Count me in.....elevator music, porn music or whatever people called it, I love smooth jazz.....traditional jazz simply too intense to me


My favorites not in order:

Acoustic Alchemy

Peter White

Kenny G - wonderful wonderful person. Met him personally


Jeff Kashiwa

David Benoit especially his early work

Shakatak mainly their early work

Paul Hardcastle - is he considered smooth jazz??

Ken Navarro

Jim Brickman - adult contempt or smooth jazz?

Depapepe - more like acoustic with smooth jazz influence I guess

Dave Koz

post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Great list there, forbigger........love them all.
post #9 of 32

How about Four Play?

post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Fourplay is another great band, have changed some members over the years and yet have so many good songs. redface.gif
post #11 of 32

Why is smooth jazz a bad name?


Fourplay fan here.



It's so sad that the local smooth jazz radio is gone......I miss it. They used to play that channel at my dentist's place. Now they play crap top 40 songs. :(

post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 
Same here in Portland. Thank god for Pandora and all kinds of internet radio. FM Is dead anyway.
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
I say "bad name" only because some people shy away from it because it's a stigma name. In other words, not a cool name........lol. Like Acid Jazz or Thumping Jazz.......which all the music I love does. Sounds great on a D7000.
post #14 of 32

From this wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz_fusion),


"Artists such as Al Jarreau, Kenny G, Ritenour, James and Sanborn among others were leading purveyors of this pop-oriented mixture (also known as "west coast" or "AOR fusion"). This genre is most frequently called "smooth jazz" and is not considered "True Fusion" among the listeners of both mainstream jazz and jazz fusion, who find it to rarely contain the improvisational qualities that originally surfaced in jazz decades earlier, deferring to a more commercially viable sound more widely enabled for commercial radio airplay in the United States


Music critic Piero Scaruffi has called pop-fusion music "...mellow, bland, romantic music" made by "mediocre musicians" and "derivative bands." Scaruffi criticized some of the albums of Michael and Randy Brecker as "trivial dance music" and stated that alto saxophonist David Sanborn recorded "[t]rivial collections" of "...catchy and danceable pseudo-jazz".[16]Kenny G in particular is often criticized by both fusion and jazz fans, and some musicians, while having become a huge commercial success. Music reviewer George Graham argues that the “so-called ‘smooth jazz’ sound of people like Kenny G has none of the fire and creativity that marked the best of the fusion scene during its heyday in the 1970s”.[17]

post #15 of 32

Huh, I like the name smooth jazz though. It's the kind of music I can just kick-back and relax to while enjoying a smooth cup of joe.

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