The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time Bands/Musicians

The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time

7,419 votes 1,280 voters 230,287 views 185 items tags f p @

Combining elements of funk, R&B, funk, rock, pop, and yes, jazz - smooth jazz was wildly popular as a commercial subgenre of jazz. Smooth jazz artists also could be found adult contemporary radio and is called smooth because of its downtempo melody that carries the song. First emerging in the 1960s, smooth jazz works well as background music and wasn't necessarily as complex or innovative as traditional jazz music. Nevertheless, top jazz artists rose to prominence in the late 1980s before peaking in the 1990s and early 2000s. Though smooth, contemporary jazz isn't as big as it once was, it's impact can't be disputed and many famous jazz artists are considered to be some of the best musicians of modern time. 

So, who are the best smooth jazz artists of all time? Any list of smooth jazz musicians has to include names like Anita Baker, Dave Koz, Chris Botti, Al Jarreau and Norah Jones. These smooth jazz artists are among the most well known names in the genre and with good reason. Their smooth songs, accomplishments, and awards speak for themselves. It's likely when you think of contemporary jazz and smooth jazz, these are the top artists that come to mind.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best smooth jazz artists. If you're familiar with smooth jazz, please feel free to vote on this list of smooth jazz artists. If you notice new artists that are missing from this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best smooth jazz bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest smooth jazz musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular smooth jazz bands that you might've heard of. 


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  1. 1
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    Lethal Weapon 3, Another Hand, Double Vision

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  2. 2
    + 334
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    The Jazzmasters 4, 19 Below Zero, Jazzmasters: The Smooth Cuts

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  3. 3
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    Low Ride, Sudden Burst of Energy, HandPicked

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  4. 4
    + 151
    - 21

    After the Storm, Just Chillin', Celebration

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  5. 5
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    - 33

    Between the Sheets, Snowbound, Fourplay

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  6. 6
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    Brave New World, Black Diamond, 20th Anniversary

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  7. 7
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    It's on Tonight, Secrets, Nice and Slow

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  8. 8
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    Summer Horns, Lucky Man, Off the Beaten Path

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  9. 9
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  10. 10
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    Ivory Coast, The Genie: Themes & Variations From the TV Series ...

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  11. 11
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    That's the Way of the World, Spirit, All 'n All

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  12. 12
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    Caravan of Dreams, Playin' Favorites, Collection

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  13. 13
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    Old Boot Wine, Alternating Currents, Three Wishes

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  14. 14
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    Alive In L.A., Rit, Captain Fingers

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  15. 15
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    Galaxian, He Had a Hat, Wizard Island

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  16. 16
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    Rapture, Christmas Fantasy, Giving You the Best That I Got

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  17. 17
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    The Christmas Message, Unconditional, The Gospel According to Jazz: ...

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  18. 18
    + 143
    - 35

    Urban Gypsy, Universal Language, Classical Soul

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  19. 19
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    Christmas at My House, All Strings Attached, Last Nite

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  20. 20
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    Fuzzy Logic, Remembering Christmas, Christmastime

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  21. 21
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    - 18

    This Way, The Beautiful Game, Arcanum

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  22. 22
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    - 25

    Bitches Brew, Kind of Blue, Agharta

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  23. 23
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    - 22

    December, Italia, Night Sessions

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  24. 24
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    - 19

    East, Go, Spirit of the Season

  25. 25
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    Always There, Who Needs Love, Tribes

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  26. 26
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    House of Groove, Play Date, Born 2 Groove

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  27. 27
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    - 14

    Acquainted With the Night, The Best of Pieces of a Dream, Pillow Talk

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  28. 28
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    - 38

    Miracles: The Holiday Album, Faith: A Holiday Album, Breathless

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  29. 29
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    - 16

    Timeline: The Anthology, Part 1, What You Won't Do for Love

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  30. 30
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    - 6

    added by slaft
    Shake It Up, Boney's Funky Christmas, Ricky Lawson & Friends: First ...

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  31. 31
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    - 24

    Come Away With Me, Feels Like Home, The Fall

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  32. 32
    + 64
    - 15

    Peace Round: A Christmas Celebration, Yellowjackets, Dreamland

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  33. 33
    + 77
    - 23

    Whisper from the Mirror, Sapphire, The Ring

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  34. 34
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    - 17

    Sound of Emotion, Heatwave, Nightshift

  35. 35
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    - 9

    The Best of Chuck Mangione, Fun and Games, Feels So Good

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  36. 36
    + 72
    - 25

    This Is Christmas, Every Year, Every Christmas

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  37. 37
    + 36
    - 5

    A Brighter Day, Off the Record, The Antidote

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  38. 38
    + 55
    - 15

    Blue Pacific, Time Together, Love Songs

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  39. 39
    + 47
    - 11

    Back to Oakland, Tower of Power, Monster on a Leash

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  40. 40
    + 44
    - 9

    Won't You Let Me Love You, Rendezvous, Walter Beasley

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  41. 41
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    - 15

    Sax-A-Go-Go, Saxuality, Saxuality

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  42. 42
    + 51
    - 15

    Work to Do, Best of Fattburger, Living in Paradise

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  43. 43
    + 38
    - 9

    Timeless, Ye-Me-Lê, Equinox

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  44. 44
    + 35
    - 7

    Far Wes, Full House, Greatest Hits

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  45. 45
    + 43
    - 13

    Last Tango in Paris, Chapter Four: Alive in New York, Caliente!

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  46. 46
    + 44
    - 14

    Life Thru Rose Colored Glasses, Devotion, Collected Warren Hill

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  47. 47
    + 42
    - 13

    Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, Time Warp

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  48. 48
    + 37
    - 10

    Lay Your Hands on Me, Pocket City, Undercover

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  49. 49
    + 39
    - 14

    Summer Horns, It Just Happens That Way, Life Less Ordinary

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  50. 50
    + 34
    - 11

    Belonging, Personal Mountains, La Scala

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