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Jazz Styles
Smooth Jazz


Smooth jazz is a genre of music that grew out of jazz fusion and is influenced by R&B, funk, rock, and pop music styles (separately, or, in any combination).  In general, a smooth jazz track is downtempo (the most widely played tracks are in the 90–105 BPM range), layering a lead, melody-playing instrument (saxophones – especially soprano and tenor – are the most popular, with guitars a close second) over a backdrop that typically consists of programmed rhythms and various pads and/or samples. Although many listeners and record companies group smooth and contemporary jazz together, the genres are different. Smooth jazz is generally considered background music, whereas "straight-ahead" contemporary jazz is seen as demanding the listener's undivided attention. - Text from: Wikipedia-Smooth Jazz

Smooth jazz groups or recording artists tend to play their instruments in a melodic fashion such that they are recognizable within just a few measures; this category includes names such as saxophonists Kenny G, David Sanborn, the late George Howard, Najee and Art Porter, Jr.; guitarists George Benson, Marc Antoine, Peter White, Johnathan Butler, Ray Parker, Jr, Norman Brown, Ronny Jordan, and Yves Vincent; pianists Joe Sample, David Benoit, and Bradley Joseph. Some performers, such as Dave Koz, Bob James, and Nathan East are notable for their numerous collaborations with many of the genre's big names. Groups include Fourplay, Pieces of a Dream, Acoustic Alchemy, Airborne and The Rippingtons. Female performers include Keiko Matsui, Joyce Cooling, Mindi Abair, Candy Dulfer, Sade, Brenda Russell, Pamela Williams, Regina Belle, and Anita Baker. - Text from: Wikipedia-Smooth Jazz

A recent development is urban contemporary, which incorporates aspects of hip-hop. This style is aimed at audiences who would normally listen to 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., Nick Colionne, Bobby Perry, Urban Jazz Coalition, Streetwize, and Tha' Hot Club.  Urban jazz includes artists such as Bob Baldwin, Michael Lington, Brian Bromberg, David Lanz, Bobby Ricketts, Kim Waters, Daniele Caprelli, Ken Navarro, Walter Beasley, Peter White. - Text from: Wikipedia-Smooth Jazz

Evolving from Fusion, but leaving behind the energetic solos and dynamic crescendos, Smooth Jazz emphasizes its polished side. Improvisation is also largely ignored giving argument whether the term "Jazz" can truly apply.  High tech layering of synthesizers and rhythm tracks give it unobtrusive and slick packaging, where the ensemble sound matters more than individual expression. This also separates this style from other more "live" performances. Instruments include electric keyboards, alto or soprano sax, guitar, bass guitar and percussion. Smooth Jazz has perhaps become the most commercially viable form of all Jazz styles since Swing.opportunity for listeners to hear the accent of speech and the speech patterns of deaf women and men. - Text from: A Passion For Jazz

Note:  Descriptions and definitions provided on this page are taken from various sources as noted that can be found on the Internet.  Jazz 98.5 does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of any information provided.