Smooth jazz

Smooth jazz is a style of jazz that is generally downtempo or "chilled". It is a sometimes controversial term. Some jazz lovers do not consider "Smooth Jazz" a form of jazz at all, regarding it as a misleading marketing term that represents an attempt to hijack the prestige of the term "jazz" in order to sell what is really a form of muzak. Another criticism is that "Smooth Jazz" offers a watered-down, 'safe' Jazz-lite sound whose aim is to appeal to larger, more mainstream, mostly white, middle-class audiences.

Others contend that "Smooth Jazz" can indeed be a viable subgenre, arguing that it is narrowminded to try to turn jazz into a kind of museum exhibit, and point out the continuing cross-pollination that has occurred between jazz and R&B over the course of a century. Furthermore, they point out that the music of such widely respected musicians as Pat Metheny, David Sanborn, Marcus Miller and others are often classified as "smooth jazz," and that many musicians are capable of perfoming well in multiple styles.

Smooth jazz developed in part from jazz fusion, and tends to deemphasize improvisation. Creed Taylor's CTI Records was especially important in the form's development in the mid-1970s. Earlier, Wes Montgomery made a number of instrumental recordings of familiar pop songs which were aimed as much at pop audiences as at jazz fans; these records are often cited as important early smooth jazz.

A popular recent development is urban jazz, which incorporates the aspects of hip-hop. This style is aimed at audiences who would normally listen to urban contemporary radio stations that play a mix of hip-hop and R&B. Among the musicians who frequently perform urban jazz are Dave Koz, Boney James, Paul Jackson Jr., and former NBA player-turned-bassist Wayman Tisdale.

The construction of Smooth jazz as a radio format has its roots in the Beautiful music format, generally played in 15-minute sets (instrumentals bookending one or two vocal songs per set). In essence, today's Smooth jazz stations are no different than the Beautiful music stations of the 1960s through the 1980s. A contemporary example can be found here (


List of smooth jazz performers





Trumpeters / Flugelhornists




Other Instruments


Jazz | Jazz genres
Avant-jazz - Bebop - Dixieland - Calypso jazz - Cool jazz - Free jazz - Hard bop - Modal jazz - Jazz blues - Gypsy jazz - Chamber jazz
Soul jazz - Swing - Acid jazz - Jazz fusion - Jazz rap - Nu jazz - Latin jazz - Smooth jazz - Trad jazz - Mini-jazz - Creative jazz
Other topics
Musicians - Jazz standard - Jazz royalty
de:Smooth Jazz

fr:smooth jazz ja:スムーズジャズ


  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools