Smooth jazz is a subgenre of jazz that originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is characterized by its soft, mellow and melodic sound, often featuring the use of electronic instruments such as synthesizers and drum machines. Some people enjoy listening to smooth jazz for its relaxing and calming qualities, while others find it unchallenging and boring.
According to a study published in the Journal of Music Therapy, listening to smooth jazz can have a positive impact on one's mood, reducing anxiety and increasing relaxation. This is due in part to the genre's slower tempo and lack of complex musical structures, which allows listeners to unwind and destress.
However, it is worth noting that smooth jazz has been criticized by some for being too formulaic and lacking in creativity. Many jazz purists argue that the genre has strayed too far from its roots in improvisation and experimentation, instead relying on predictable melodies and repetitive chord progressions.
In a review of smooth jazz for The New York Times, music critic Ben Ratliff noted that the genre often relies on "technique, control and taste" rather than risk-taking and spontaneity. He argued that while smooth jazz can be enjoyable in small doses, it ultimately lacks the depth and complexity of other forms of jazz.
Despite these criticisms, smooth jazz remains a popular genre, particularly in the United States. In 2019, Billboard reported that smooth jazz had experienced a resurgence in popularity, with a number of artists achieving chart success in the genre.
In conclusion, while opinions on smooth jazz vary widely, it is clear that the genre has its strengths and weaknesses. Whether one enjoys listening to it or not is ultimately a matter of personal taste, but it is worth considering the genre's history and characteristics before forming an opinion.