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Anyone into Smooth Jazz music?

Old 09-15-17, 10:08 AM
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taz777
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Anyone into Smooth Jazz music?

Is anyone into smooth jazz? If so, it would be interesting to share artists/tracks and media outlets. I started listening to Best Smooth Jazz UK almost two years ago and have been hooked since. It's an online station that also has Podcasts on iTunes. There's a live studio show at the weekends.

Through that station I've built up a list of favourite smooth jazz artists, including:
  • George Duke
  • Acoustic Alchemy
  • Peter White
  • Jeff Lorber
  • Special EFX
  • Light of the World
  • Lee Ritenour
  • Tom Browne
  • The Rippingtons
  • Gregg Karukas
  • Phillip Saisse
  • Gabriela Anders
  • Dave Grusin
  • Jeffery Smith
  • Nathan East
  • Earl Klugh
  • Chieli Minucci
  • Nils
  • Paul Hardcastle
  • Lawson Rollins
  • Kenny G
  • Jonathan Butler
  • Ken Navarro
  • Fourplay

It would be good to hear from fellow smooth jazz fans!
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Old 09-15-17, 10:23 AM
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I'm OK with some of that, working in the Bike Shop, as background..

But for listening and study I like the BeBop & 'Straight Ahead' Jazz; Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk..Sonny Rollins.
Sun Ra .. They were great, Live. Roland Kirk.. Louis (and Howard) Armstrong..






....
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Old 09-15-17, 10:28 AM
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^ Thanks for those new names for me to check out!
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Old 09-15-17, 10:58 AM
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I kinda like swing jazz during the work day. Keeps me tappin' along.

I saw Kenny G perform live a few years back. I wasn't expecting it, but he put on a great performance. Quite the showman!
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Old 09-15-17, 11:00 AM
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Chuck Mangione, Hubert Laws, George Benson
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Old 09-15-17, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I'm OK with some of that, working in the Bike Shop, as background..

But for listening and study I like the BeBop & 'Straight Ahead' Jazz; Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk..Sonny Rollins.
Sun Ra .. They were great, Live. Roland Kirk.. Louis (and Howard) Armstrong..






....
That's about a far away from smooth jazz as you can get and still listen to jazz.
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Old 09-15-17, 11:30 AM
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one of my favourites


keith jarrett and chick corea do some towards smooth
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Old 09-15-17, 11:41 AM
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@clemsongirl: that's a lovely, soothing track - perfect to listen to now here in the UK as I've just finished a hard week at work and am now relaxing with a delicious cup of tea!
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Old 09-15-17, 11:45 AM
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Gary Burton, Larry Carlton, Pat Metheny, Joe Sample

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Old 09-15-17, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
Is anyone into smooth jazz? If so, it would be interesting to share artists/tracks and media outlets. I started listening to Best Smooth Jazz UK almost two years ago and have been hooked since. It's an online station that also has Podcasts on iTunes. There's a live studio show at the weekends.

Through that station I've built up a list of favourite smooth jazz artists, including:
  • George Duke
  • Acoustic Alchemy
  • Peter White
  • Jeff Lorber
  • Special EFX
  • Light of the World
  • Lee Ritenour
  • Tom Browne
  • The Rippingtons
  • Gregg Karukas
  • Phillip Saisse
  • Gabriela Anders
  • Dave Grusin
  • Jeffery Smith
  • Nathan East
  • Earl Klugh
  • Chieli Minucci
  • Nils
  • Paul Hardcastle
  • Lawson Rollins
  • Kenny G
  • Jonathan Butler
  • Ken Navarro
  • Fourplay

It would be good to hear from fellow smooth jazz fans!
Love me some smooth jazz! Your list of good, but I'd lose Kenny G (barf) and add Sadao Watanabe and David Sanborne.
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Old 09-15-17, 04:50 PM
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It's mostly pleasant background music for work or restaurants. I have some of those musicians and play it occasionally.

They're accomplished musicians but it's hard to call some of it jazz in any form since the pieces follow standard patterns with no improv and no flirting with the boundaries of the nexus between what's played and what the listener interprets.

The great jazz musicians, like Coltrane, flirt with the boundaries, implying melody without actually playing it, and the listener fills in the blanks. Kenny G is all over that melody, like frosting on a cake.

Some Coltrane, by the way, is very accessible. Coltrane Plays the Blues, while not one of his official releases, was a good montage of his more accessible playing.

I'd add Pat Metheny to the accessible jazz list. Which is ironic because he's been a harsh critic of Kenny G. While Metheny plays much more complex pieces, he does so with a guitar sound that's a bit too sweet and cloying after awhile, always carefully avoiding dissonance.

A few others include Michael Franks, Mose Allison, Diana Krall, Jobim, Astrud Gilberto and, of course, Frank Sinatra. Even when his voice was faltering Sinatra's phrasing was a delight.
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Old 09-15-17, 05:29 PM
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You forgot Peter Brotzmann
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Old 09-15-17, 06:43 PM
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Billy Cobham, Spyro Gyra, Yellowjackets, David Sanborn, Mark Egan, Michael Manring and
Lee Oskar.
I still listen to my Breathless album by Kenny G. Acoustic Alchemy I would have put in the new-age category, but there are many acts that skirt and inhabit coupled genres. Thanks for reminding me of some artists I had neglected, and others I had never heard of.

Here's some spicy soup:


Last edited by 1989Pre; 09-15-17 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 09-16-17, 12:40 AM
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I gotta' add Dawg Music, a style of jazz on acoustic stringed instruments - think bluegrass band finds jazz. Invented and perpetuated by David Grisman. Awesome and accessible.
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Old 09-16-17, 12:43 AM
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IMO lots of smooth jazz is too heavy on the smooth and too light on the jazz. I can take it or leave it, mostly leave it, except maybe for elevators.
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Old 09-16-17, 01:24 AM
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Indeed, I appreciate that smooth jazz isn't for everyone!

Here's another artist that I should include on my list. Euge Groove. Some nice laid back sax going on here:

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Old 09-16-17, 06:02 AM
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Although more classic jazz than smooth I'd include Herbie Mann. Hard to get smoother than some jazz flute.


Last edited by TCR Rider; 09-16-17 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 09-16-17, 06:19 AM
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Although I would never insult 'Trane by categorizing his work as smooth jazz this piece is smooth as glass.

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Old 09-16-17, 09:56 AM
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Old 09-16-17, 10:07 AM
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blah. EDM, like... Tosca, Groove Armada, Nightmares On Wax, etc. Need some beat...
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Old 09-16-17, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The great jazz musicians, like Coltrane, flirt with the boundaries, implying melody without actually playing it, and the listener fills in the blanks. Kenny G is all over that melody, like frosting on a cake.

Some Coltrane, by the way, is very accessible. Coltrane Plays the Blues, while not one of his official releases, was a good montage of his more accessible playing.
.
I've always preferred Lester Young's old fashion to the progressive but that's just me. And probably not described as 'smooth jazz'

I think Dave Brubeck is somewhat towards the 'smooth' category. Maybe 'Take 5' on a synthesizer might fit in an elevator.
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Old 09-16-17, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Zinger View Post

I think Dave Brubeck is somewhat towards the 'smooth' category. Maybe 'Take 5' on a synthesizer might fit in an elevator.
While there's plenty of examples of Jazz that are pretty smooth, that's a bit different than the smooth jazz genre.
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Old 09-16-17, 07:18 PM
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arguable considerations

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Old 09-16-17, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
While there's plenty of examples of Jazz that are pretty smooth, that's a bit different than the smooth jazz genre.
You're right if not covered smoothly.

Smooth needs some juice.
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Old 09-16-17, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IMO lots of smooth jazz is too heavy on the smooth and too light on the jazz. I can take it or leave it, mostly leave it, except maybe for elevators.
Simplicity of the structure of the music is intentional in "smooth jazz". Bop can, and often does, manifest as an intellectual exercise in "How complex can I get?" "How many ways can I alter the tonal and rythymic structure of the music?"

The biggest difference between the two genres is their approach to the concept of ego, or drawing attention to oneself. Once I understood that relaxation is better fuel than stimulation, I could understand what the new-age and mainstream jazz music was all about.

I'd rather hear Chuck Mangione on the elevator than Lester Bowie, for example.
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