Smooth jazz is a genre that is disliked for a number of different reasons. But I think that the big one that tends to come up is that “it’s boring”. And sure, the smooth variety of jazz tends to be less lively and more predictable than the non-smooth kind (at least to my novice-level jazz listener sensibilities).
But sometimes, the situation calls for something a lot more chill than the norm.
I’ve been a metalhead for 15 years, but I don’t like driving while listening to anything that’s loud and aggressive. It tends to rub off on me a little bit, making me just the tiniest bit on-edge. I first found out about that quirk of my personality as I listened to Propagandhi’s How to Clean Everything during a morning drive to my day job. The music, combined with having to deal with traffic on my route, made me white-hot with rage. My car has been a Propagandhi-free zone ever since that day.
In recent years, I discovered that listening to soothing, calming music made me calm down just a tiny little bit. I didn’t think that it would “move the needle” for me, but it has! I don’t usually listen to anything that I’ve been known to like when I’m in the car. Goodbye, Slayer! Hello… Kenny G!?
My source for relaxing music is an FM radio station: 106.3 WSBZ The Seabreeze. Smooth jazz. It’s not bad! They play a wider selection of music than you might expect. Sure, there’s plenty of smooth jazz, but they toss-in in some classic jazz, adult contemporary, and even new age music every now and then. And none of it grates on me. It’s soft, low-tempo, calming music that helps me stay calm when someone passes me going 90+mph on a 60mph, two-lane road!