The Top 10 Songs in … SMOOTH JAZZ

1. Peter White, “Here We Go”


Let the beat drop! Let the beat drop! Never mind! Please undrop the beat! Thanks! Peter White was the guitarist for Al Stewart and played on/mixed Creed Bratton from The Office‘s first three solo albums.  
Grade: C
Best YouTube Comment: “Not feeling this one.” —catshavesouls

2. Jeff Lorber Fusion, “Big Brother”


Jeff Lorber is a smooth jazz pioneer. This sounds like Lil’ Kim’s and Lil’ Cease’s “Crush on You” because Jeff Lorber’s “Rain Dance” was the sample in that song, and this is sort of a “Rain Dance” retread. Heat up the clutch / seven-fifty deluxe / then we speed down the hutch / breakin’ trees in the dutch.
Grade: A-
Best YouTube Comment: “I have always listened to you in my head as I train in the pool.” —therode5

3. Chris Standring, “Oliver’s Twist”


If only all videos could be guys in wine-colored velvet jackets and snakeskin-print pants playing jazz guitar on a skyscraper roof while individual humans dance near each other like Sims. I could do without Standring’s “hip-hop influenced” ad-libs, but I like his playing. 
Grade: B+
Best YouTube Comment: “I always wondered why I dug that cat Rodney Lee so much, now I know why!! I had no idea so much of your outta sight axe work populated his joints! You are hands down my fave axe master!! Cheers!” —jhardw

4. Paul Brown, “The Funky Joint”


This makes me feel like I’m on a boat, and the little electronic swirls make my serotonin spike.
Grade: A
Best YouTube Comment: “um humm oke likes her native Texas wine cups is wild enough, want a sip of wine from oke’s cup? yes, I know exactly what you mean Ty ((( xxxxx oke xxxxx)) —gatitame2azul

5. Darren Rahm, “Magnetic”


Dear saxophonist D. Rahm, fedoras are always a fedon’tra. 
Grade: D
Best YouTube Comment: “You go boy.” —Milton754

6. Michael Lington featuring Lee Ritenour, “Roadtrip”


Michael Lington has played at the Playboy Jazz Fest, Dodger Stadium, and Denmark’s Royal Wedding at Fredensborg Castle. He is a columnist for Wine and Jazz magazine, which covers pop culture and sports (jk — it’s about wine and jazz).
Grade: B
Best YouTube Comment: “!!!(“,)!!!!” —biboingka

7. Najee, “Perfect Nites”


Perfect YouTube still photo video! Jerome Najee Rasheed is a saxophonist and flautist who has performed and recorded with Chaka Khan, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Prince, and Billy Cobham, among others.
Grade: A-
Best YouTube Comment: “lovely flow put me in a really good mood :)))” —masterblackmagic

8. Paul Taylor featuring Steve Oliver, “Horizon”


I feel like the saxophone is talking to me. Or is that the background vocalese?
Grade: B+
Best YouTube Comment: “Paul, I play this song all the time here at my Gun Store. Your fantastic!” —skeeteatter

9. Nick Colionne, “The Connection”


Nick Colionne, like Najee and Boney James, works in the genre called “urban jazz.” It’s smooth jazz fused with a lot of percussion and occasionally some beats. Nick Collionne was named best live performance at the Jazztrax Catalina Jazz Festival second year in a row!
Grade: B+
Best YouTube Comment: “great sound love it want more” —22tjader13

10. Down to the Bone, “Uptown Hustle”


ACID JAZZ!
Grade: A-
Best YouTube Comment: “I play this one loud in my car every day. You have to be dead not to love this group.” —radreader01

Filed Under: Grading the Charts, Top Ten

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert