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Smooth Jazz

Updated on April 19, 2011

Smooth Jazz


Smooth Jazz Genre is not as complex or intimidating (and I don't mean that in a disrespectful way) as the traditional jazz from such greats as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis or Duke Ellington to name just a few. The many styles of jazz from artists as previously mentioned evolved from the "birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans, where it is still thriving today after a big hiccup following the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.


But let's talk about "Smooth Jazz" and why it is so good. Smooth jazz is considered modern in the sense that it originated in the 1970's. Some of the influences found in the music genre are funk, R & B and pop music. Also in smooth jazz there is a fusion of old and new styles blended wonderfully but in a way where it is not considered "Fusion Jazz" which is very different.


Many of the smooth jazz artists today have many years of experience having played for such entertainers such as Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow ,Alicia Keys, and Elton John, and many more successful entertainers today. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that a large majority of the smooth jazz artists are also part-time or even full-time music professors and many have majored in various fields of music in college.

The sound and why listen

The most popular instruments for a smooth jazz artist are the saxophone and guitar but indeed not limited to those two instruments. In recording and "In Concert",artists have an entourage of top-notch back up musicians,( many whom are music producers with published music ) who perform with them.

The wonderful thing about smooth jazz is that it is not just for certain folks to enjoy. This jazz encompasses many styles which invites all ages and ethnicities because the music blends the body and mind and makes you feel good.

Access and Success

Today Smooth Jazz is the most accessible forms of jazz today because numerous radio stations play this genre only. Also smooth jazz is very popular overseas in Europe and Asia and other countries as well.

The smooth jazz artists, men and woman are a force to be reckoned with and the collaborations between them only emphasizes the strong camaraderie and dedication to the music and the reason it is so successful.

Gerald Albright "Live"


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    • laringo profile image

      laringo 5 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Yes Wayman was all that. I had the chance to see him in concert. He was a true showman.

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 6 years ago from Indiana

      I agree about Tim Bowman -- very refreshing sound on his first 2 projects that i own. Also try the late basketball star/bass guitar player, Wayman Tisdale. Smoooth, sexy and inspirational as well.

    • laringo profile image

      laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Hello...I"m surprised that a large metropolis like Detroit that your jazz station has gone away. The great music and talent of jazz musicians doesn't get the exposure in this country like it should. There's just too much junk and non-talent being promoted on radio. Anyway thanks for the suggestions. I have listened to Tim Bowman previously and he's very good. I will check out Dave McMurray.

    • T_Augustus profile image

      T_Augustus 8 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Very nice hub laringo! I have a few friends who are jazz musicians, I recommend you check them out if you get an opportunity: Tim Bowman and Dave McMurray (that's 2 separate artists, not a collaboration). I think you'd find them both enjoyable. Interestingly enough, Detroit's only smooth jazz radio station changed their format 2 weeks ago to Top 40. So we here in the D can no longer enjoy smooth jazz on air, only via CD. So for us, keep the suggestions of new music coming - because we won't be getting those suggestions from the radio until someone decides to flip formats.