Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Case for Smooth Jazz

I'm genuinely looking forward to hearing Joe Sample perform at White Recital Hall tonight.  As a member of the Crusaders and as a solo artist, Sample played a pivotal role in putting the "smooth" into jazz.  Sample has a lot to answer for. 

And what of it?  Sample may have perfected the smooth jazz template, but he shouldn't be held responsible for the sins of his musical descendants.  Even his funk-pop hits like the Crusaders' "Street Life" were indelibly smooove. 

Besides, context is everything.  Anyone who's experienced the functional music in the proper situations understands the ongoing appeal of smooth jazz.  Sample may have created a monster, but it's a beast I contentedly embrace. 

I reviewed Jimmy Webb's performance at Knucklheads on Friday.

The schedule for the Middle of the Map festival has been finalized.

I just downloaded Baktun Baby, a new four-song EP by Spirit is the Spirit.

Here's an EPK for Gene Clark's Here Tonight: The White Light Demos.  The album was released today.

An old friend is affiliated with the Sin City Soul & Blues Revival.  It's not exactly my thing, but the idea of hearing James Harman, Lil' Ed, John Cleary and over two dozen additional like-minded bands in Las Vegas is intriguing.

Andre Royo, aka Bubbles from The Wire, tells the world "What's In My Bag".

I'll audition the latest releases from Wavves, Lil Wayne, Chvrches and Kvelertak as soon as I finish listening to Shirley Caesar's new album.

Kansas City Click: Pop Evil performs Tuesday at Aftershock.

Masta Killa appears at the Riot Room on Wednesday.

Tear Out the Heart hit the Riot Room on Thursday.

Fat Fish Blues hosts Nick Moss and the Flip Tops on Friday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

1 comment:

bgo said...

Joe Sample is much more than smooth jazz. I've been listening to him since the 1960's when I got turned on to some Jazz Crusaders recordings. The guys were smart to go and play more commercial sounds. But Joe can get right funky and bluesy with the best of them. Enjoy the show and gives us a report. Cheers.