|Cultural origins||1970s, United States|
|List of musicians|
Smooth jazz is a commercially oriented, crossover jazz which came to prominence in the 1980s, displacing the more venturesome jazz fusion from which it emerged. It avoids the improvisational "risk-taking" of jazz fusion, emphasizing melodic form and much of the music was initially "a combination of jazz with easy-listening pop music and lightweight R&B".
During the mid-1970s in the United States it was known as "smooth radio", and was not termed "smooth jazz" until the 1980s.
The mid to late 70s included songs “Breezin'" as performed by another smooth jazz pioneer, guitarist George Benson in 1976, the instrumental composition "Feels So Good" by flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione, in 1978, "What You Won't Do for Love" by Bobby Caldwell along with his debut album was released the same year, jazz fusion group Spyro Gyra's instrumental "Morning Dance", released in 1979 and in 1981, a collaboration between Grover Washington Jr. and Bill Withers was released as one of the most popular smooth jazz songs "Just the Two of Us".
Music reviewer George Graham argues that the "so-called 'smooth jazz' sound of people like Kenny G has none of the fire and creativity that marked the best of the fusion scene during its heyday in the 1970s".
Digby Fairweather, before the start of UK jazz station theJazz, denounced the change to a smooth jazz format on defunct radio station 102.2 Jazz FM, stating that the owners GMG Radio were responsible for the "attempted rape and (fortunately abortive) re-definition of the music — is one that no true jazz lover within the boundaries of the M25 will ever find it possible to forget or forgive."
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