This incredibly light, fun, and surprisingly hip two-CD collection from Blue Note uses the term "smooth jazz" in an unexpected way. Rather than referring to the genre, "smooth" refers to the temperament and feel of these sometimes funky/sometimes poppy tracks that are selected from six decades of jazz. Dave Koz
, Richard Elliot
, and a couple other names could be filed in the smooth jazz section, but Adderley
, Baker, and Byrd
are too classic for that, and it's easy to imagine the legions of funky Medeski, Martin & Wood
fans recoiling in horror over the title's Kenny G.
insinuation. In actuality the disc is a whole lot of fun. Most of it is very hip fun and very little of it is wallpaper. The Bobby McFerrin
, Ramsey Lewis
, and Chet Baker cuts are obvious choices, but the inclusion of Charlie Hunter
's smoky version of Roxy Music
's "More Than This" is a very pleasant surprise and having such divergent sounds as St. Germain
's "Latin Note" and Elza Soares
' "Mas Que Nada" in the same collection is crafty cool. Perhaps Sauve Jazz
would be a better title for this pleasing collection of refined and relaxing tunes.