music The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time  

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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. 

1
+ - 243 37
Bob James is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Bob James Crossover jazz, Sophisti-pop, Smooth jazz

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+ - 286 56
Fourplay is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Fourplay Smooth jazz, Jazz

3
+ - 239 54
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Earl Klugh Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

4
+ - 392 112
Paul Hardcastle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Paul Hardcastle Synthpop, New Wave, Electro

5
+ - 196 39
David Sanborn is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
David Sanborn Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

6
+ - 125 18
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

7
+ - 227 53
Dave Koz is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Dave Koz Adult contemporary music, Smooth jazz, Jazz

8
+ - 105 13
Boney James is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time

9
+ - 180 35
Peter White is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Peter White Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Alternative rock

10
+ - 210 47
Sade Adu is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time

11
+ - 204 45
The Rippingtons is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
The Rippingtons Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

12
+ - 204 45
Norman Brown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Norman Brown Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

13
+ - 234 58
Brian Culbertson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Brian Culbertson Smooth jazz, Funk

14
+ - 174 35
Spyro Gyra is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Spyro Gyra Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

15
+ - 137 24
David Benoit is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
David Benoit Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Easy listening

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+ - 154 30
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

17
+ - 158 35
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Anita Baker Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

18
+ - 149 32
Kirk Whalum is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Kirk Whalum Christian music, Pop music, Smooth jazz

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+ - 170 42
Earth, Wind & Fire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Earth, Wind & Fire Disco, Rock music, Black metal

20
+ - 119 21
Jeff Lorber is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Jeff Lorber Crossover jazz, Sophisti-pop, Smooth jazz

21
+ - 164 44
Marc Antoine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Marc Antoine Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Latin jazz

22
+ - 131 29
Acoustic Alchemy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Acoustic Alchemy New Age music, Smooth jazz, Instrumental

23
+ - 146 39
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Miles Davis Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

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+ - 130 35
Chris Botti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Chris Botti Smooth jazz, Jazz

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+ - 110 26
Euge Groove is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Euge Groove Smooth jazz

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+ - 108 26
Hiroshima is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Hiroshima Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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+ - 104 24
Incognito is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Incognito Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Pop music

28
+ - 93 22
Pieces of a Dream is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Pieces of a Dream Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

29
+ - 104 29
Keiko Matsui is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Keiko Matsui New Age music, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

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+ - 87 21
Yellowjackets is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Yellowjackets Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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+ - 89 23
Bobby Caldwell is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Bobby Caldwell Blue-eyed soul, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

32
+ - 84 21
Michael Franks is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Michael Franks Smooth jazz

33
+ - 88 24
Gregg Karukas is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Gregg Karukas Smooth jazz

34
+ - 42 5
Chuck Loeb is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time

35
+ - 32 3
Rick Braun is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Rick Braun Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

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+ - 71 17
Chuck Mangione is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Chuck Mangione Smooth jazz, Jazz

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+ - 44 6
Al Jarreau is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Al Jarreau Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

38
+ - 101 36
Norah Jones is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Norah Jones Vocal jazz, Jazz blues, Jazz fusion

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+ - 70 18
Tower of Power is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Tower of Power Jazz-funk, Smooth jazz, Rhythm and blues

40
+ - 64 15
Walter Beasley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Walter Beasley Smooth jazz

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+ - 77 23
Candy Dulfer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Candy Dulfer Nu jazz, Smooth jazz, Funk

42
+ - 148 67
Kenny G is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Kenny G Adult contemporary music, Smooth jazz

43
+ - 52 10
Ronny Jordan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Ronny Jordan Crossover jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

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+ - 29 3
Richard Elliot is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time

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+ - 67 20
Fattburger is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Fattburger Jazz-funk, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

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+ - 85 32
Luther Vandross is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Luther Vandross Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Contemporary R&B

47
+ - 55 13
Sérgio Mendes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Sérgio Mendes Adult contemporary music, Disco, Lounge music

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+ - 62 19
Gato Barbieri is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Gato Barbieri Smooth jazz, Latin jazz, Jazz

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+ - 63 20
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Chick Corea Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

50
+ - 50 12
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Smooth Jazz Bands and Artists of All Time
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz