Smooth jazz music has been a beloved genre since its emergence in the 1970s. Known for its soothing melodies and intricate harmonies, it’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day. Whether you’re looking for some background music while you work or want to sit back and relax, smooth jazz is the answer.
In this article, we’ll explore the history of smooth jazz, its defining characteristics, and some of the best smooth jazz artists of all time. We’ll also provide some tips on how to incorporate smooth jazz into your daily routine.
History of Smooth Jazz Smooth jazz emerged in the late 1970s as a fusion of jazz, R&B, and pop music. It was originally known as “pop-jazz” and was considered a more commercial version of traditional jazz. The genre gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s with the rise of radio stations dedicated to smooth jazz music.
Defining Characteristics of Smooth Jazz Smooth jazz is known for its mellow sound and easy-listening style. It often features saxophones, keyboards, and electric guitars. The genre also incorporates elements of funk, soul, and Latin music. Smooth jazz songs typically have a slower tempo and a relaxed feel.
Best Smooth Jazz Artists There have been many talented smooth jazz artists over the years. Here are some of the best, including both well-known and independent artists, along with a brief description of their style:
- George Benson – https://www.georgebenson.com/ A Grammy-winning guitarist and singer, Benson is known for his smooth vocals and soulful guitar playing.
- Kenny G – https://www.kennyg.com/ One of the best-selling instrumental musicians of all time, Kenny G is a master of the soprano saxophone.
- Dave Koz – https://davekoz.com/ A saxophonist and radio host, Koz is a versatile artist who blends smooth jazz with elements of pop and R&B.
- Boney James – https://boneyjames.com/ A saxophonist and producer, James creates a mix of smooth jazz and soulful R&B.
- Najee – https://najeeofficial.com/ Another accomplished saxophonist, Najee incorporates elements of funk and hip hop into his smooth jazz sound.
- Gerald Albright – https://www.geraldalbright.com/ A saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Albright blends jazz, R&B, and funk into his smooth jazz sound.
- Grover Washington Jr. – https://www.groverwashingtonjrfan.com/ A pioneer of the smooth jazz genre, Washington was known for his soulful saxophone playing.
- Bob James – https://www.bobjames.com/ A pianist and composer, James is known for his innovative blending of jazz and classical music.
- David Sanborn – https://www.davidsanborn.com/ A Grammy-winning saxophonist, Sanborn has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, from Stevie Wonder to David Bowie.
- Earl Klugh – https://www.earlklugh.com/ A guitarist and composer, Klugh’s style is characterized by his intricate fingerpicking and melodic phrasing.
In addition to the well-known smooth jazz artists, there are many independent smooth jazz artists who are also making great music. Here are a few more worth checking out:
- Aneessa – https://linktr.ee/aneessamusic A talented singer and songwriter, Aneessa infuses her smooth jazz sound with elements of pop, R&B, and soul.
- Marcus Johnson – https://www.flobrands.com/marcus-johnson A pianist and composer, Johnson blends smooth jazz with elements of hip hop and go-go music.
- Cindy Bradley – https://www.cindybradley.com/ A trumpet player and composer, Bradley creates upbeat and energetic smooth jazz tracks that are both fun and catchy.
- Vincent Ingala – https://www.vincentingala.com/ A saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Ingala’s style is characterized by his infectious grooves and catchy melodies.
- Jazmin Ghent – https://www.jazminghentmusic.com/ A saxophonist and composer, Ghent creates smooth jazz tracks that are both sultry and soulful.
- Adam Hawley – https://www.adamhawley.com/ A guitarist and composer, Hawley’s style is characterized by his intricate guitar work and funky grooves.
- Lindsey Webster – https://lindseywebstermusic.com/ A vocalist and songwriter, Webster’s smooth jazz tracks are characterized by her silky-smooth vocals and catchy melodies.
- Heidi Tann – https://www.heiditannmusic.com/ Heidi Tann creates beautiful, melodic smooth jazz tracks that are both soothing and uplifting.
- Greg Manning – https://www.greg-manning.com/ A pianist and composer, Manning’s smooth jazz tracks are characterized by his lush arrangements and melodic piano playing.
- Kim Waters – https://www.kimwaters.net/ A saxophonist and composer, Waters’ style is characterized by his smooth, mellow sound and soulful phrasing.
- Lin Rountree – https://linrountreemusic.com/ A trumpet player and composer, Rountree’s smooth jazz tracks are characterized by his soulful playing and catchy melodies.
- Oli Silk – https://www.olisilk.com/ A keyboardist and composer, Silk’s smooth jazz tracks are characterized by his funky grooves and melodic keyboard playing.
Incorporating Smooth Jazz into Your Daily Routine If you’re looking to incorporate smooth jazz into your daily routine, there are many ways to do so. You can listen to smooth jazz radio stations or create your own playlist on a streaming service. You can also attend live smooth jazz concerts or purchase smooth jazz albums to listen to at home.
In conclusion, smooth jazz is a timeless genre that provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation and unwinding. With its mellow sound and easy-listening style, it’s no wonder that smooth jazz has remained popular for decades. So why not give it a try and see how it can enhance your daily routine?Tune in to KPIU Radio – Pump it up Magazine Official Radio Station – hosted by the amazing Bernie C. for our Top 20 Jazz/Smooth Jazz countdown. You won’t want to miss a beat of the amazing music we have in store for you!Our latest show, #58 on March 4th, 2023, was a hit and we know you’ll love what’s in store for the next one. Don’t forget to follow us on @Kpiuradio to stay up-to-date on all our latest news and shows.So what are you waiting for? Tune in to KPIU Radio and let’s groove together!KPIU RADIO THE WEST COAST WAVE!