Soft Jazz: The Best Jazz Instrumental Music to Relax To

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some of the best soft jazz around? Look no further than our collection of the best jazz instrumental music to relax to. With well-known tracks and up-and-coming artists, there’s something for everyone.

What is Soft Jazz?

Soft Jazz is a type of Jazz music that is perfect for relaxing. It is usually more mellow and has a smooth sound. This type of Jazz is perfect for background music or when you need to calm down. It can be soothing and help you focus.

The history of Soft Jazz

Soft Jazz started in the 1970s as a style of Jazz that was easy listening and relaxing. It is a mix of traditional Jazz instrumentation with a softer sound. The piano, saxophone, and guitar are often used in Soft Jazz songs.

This type of music became popular because it was seen as more sophisticated than Rock and Roll, and it had a more mature sound than the music that was popular with teenagers at the time. Soft Jazz was also seen as a good alternative to Classical music, which many people found to be too boring.

The term “Soft Jazz” is sometimes used interchangeably with “Smooth Jazz”, but there are subtle differences between the two styles. Smooth Jazz is usually more uptempo and has a greater focus on improvisation than Soft Jazz.

Despite its name, Soft Jazz can be quite sophisticated and complex. It is not simply background music, but can be enjoyed by listeners who appreciate the skilled musicianship involved in playing this style of music.

The sound of Soft Jazz

Soft Jazz refers to a genre of music that was popularized in the 1950s. It is a style of jazz that is characterized by a smooth, relaxed, and mellow sound. The songs are usually performed on acoustic instruments, such as piano, bass, guitar, and drums. Saxophone is also often used in this type of music.

The term “soft jazz” was first used in 1955 by Billboard magazine to describe a new style of music that was becoming popular with listeners of all ages. At the time, this type of music was usually played on radio stations that specialized in easy listening or middle-of-the-road (MOR) programming. Soft Jazz quickly became one of the most successful genres of the 1950s and 1960s. Many famous musicians, such as Miles Davis and Stan Getz, recorded albums in this style.

The Best Soft Jazz Albums

Music has always been a form of therapy for me. When I’m feeling stressed, anxious, or just need to relax, I listen to soft jazz. There’s something about the mellow tones and smooth melodies that just calms me down. If you’re looking for the best soft jazz albums to relax to, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll be sharing my top 10 favorite albums.

The Best of Soft Jazz

There are many different types of Jazz music, but Soft Jazz is a style that is perfect for relaxing. It is smooth and calming, and often features slower tempos and beautiful melodies. If you’re looking for the best Soft Jazz albums to add to your collection, here are some of our favorites.

1. “The Best of Soft Jazz” by Various Artists
2. “Smooth Jazz Romance” by Michael Lington
3. “The Relaxing World of Soft Jazz” by Various Artists
4. “Soft Jazz for Lovers” by Various Artists
5. ” After Dark: Smooth Jazz for Late Nights” by Various Artists

The Best of Smooth Jazz

Smooth jazz is a genre of music that is characterized by its relaxed, mellow sound. It is often described as a cross between traditional jazz and pop music, and it often features a smooth, easy-going melody.

While smooth jazz may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there are many people who enjoy its relaxing, dreamy sound. If you’re looking for some good smooth jazz albums to add to your collection, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ones out there.

The Best of Smooth Jazz features a collection of well-known smooth jazz tunes that are sure to please any fan of the genre. This album features tunes from some of the genre’s most popular artists, including Kenny G., Dave Koz, and Chris Botti. If you’re looking for an introduction to smooth jazz, or if you’re simply looking for some good tunes to relax to, this album is a great choice.

Best Relaxing Jazz Music For All Time is another excellent choice for fans of smooth jazz. This album features a variety of different styles of smooth jazz, ranging from mellow ballads to uptempo tracks. No matter what your mood, this album is sure to have a tune that will suit it. This album is also a great choice if you’re looking for something to help you relax after a long day.

If you’re looking for something a little different than the typical smooth jazz fare, Love Songs: The Music Of Romance & Passion may be just what you’re looking for. This album features romantic melodies played by some of the genre’s most popular artists. If you’re in the mood for something romantic and dreamy, this album is sure to please.

The Best of Contemporary Jazz

Contemporary jazz is a musical genre that combines elements of traditional jazz with elements of pop music, funk, and rhythm and blues. While the genre is often maligned by jazz purists, it has nonetheless produced some truly remarkable albums over the years. Here are five of the best contemporary jazz albums ever made.

1. Miles Davis – Tutu (1986)

Miles Davis’ final studio album was also one of his best. Released in 1986, Tutu is a perfect blend of traditional jazz and contemporary R&B, with Davis’ trumpet playing front and center throughout. The album also features guest appearances from some of the biggest names in R&B at the time, including Herb Alpert, George Benson, and Chaka Khan.

2. Pat Metheny Group – Still Life (Talking) (1987)

The Pat Metheny Group’s ninth studio album, Still Life (Talking), is a masterpiece of contemporary jazz. Released in 1987, the album features some of Metheny’s most innovative playing, as well as guest appearances from Vince Mendoza and Lyle Mays. The title track, “Still Life (Talking),” is a particular highlight; a perfect example of Metheny’s distinctive style.

3. Weather Report – Heavy Weather (1977)

Weather Report’s eighth studio album, Heavy Weather, is often considered their best. Released in 1977, the album features some amazing playing from all members of the band, but it is saxophonist Wayne Shorter who steals the show throughout. “Birdland” is perhaps the best- known track on the album; a jubilant piece of music that perfectly sums up Weather Report’s appeal.

4. David Sanborn – Straight to the Heart (1984)

David Sanborn’s fifth studio album, Straight to the Heart, is often cited as one of the best contemporary jazz albums ever made. Released in 1984, the album features Sanborn at his very best; saxophone solo after saxophone solo backed up by a tight band who know exactly how to support him. The opening track “Late Night Talking” perfectly sets the tone for what is to come; a beautiful piece of music that will stay with you long after it has finished playing.
5 Chick Corea & Return to Forever – Return to Forever IV (1984) Chick Corea & Return To Forever’s final studio album together is also their best. Return To Forever IV was released in 1984 and features Corea at his Jazz/Fusion peak; his playing throughout is simply outstanding. Also worth mentioning are drummer Dave Weckl and bassist Stanley Clarke who both turn in phenomenal performances throughout this excellent album

The Best Soft Jazz Songs

“Summertime” by George Gershwin

“Summertime” is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by DuBose Heyward. It was first performed in the opera Porgy and Bess. The song soon became a popular standard, appearing on numerous recordings and becoming one of the most recorded songs of all time.

“Autumn Leaves” by Joseph Kosma

This song is a must-have for any soft jazz playlist. “Autumn Leaves” was composed by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma in 1947, and has been covered by many artists since. The most famous version of this song is probably the one by pianist Erroll Garner, which was released in 1955. The song has a mellow, relaxing vibe that makes it perfect for unwinding at the end of a long day.

“Take the ‘A’ Train” by Billy Strayhorn

This composition by Billy Strayhorn is one of the most well-known and loved pieces of soft jazz. It has been covered by many artists, but the original recording by Duke Ellington and his orchestra is still the best. The song has a catchy melody that will stay with you long after it is over, and the relaxed tempo is perfect for a soft jazz playlist.

The Best Soft Jazz Artists

There are many great soft jazz artists out there who can provide the perfect background music to help you relax. This type of music is perfect for studying, working, or just relaxing. It can be mellow and calming, or it can be upbeat and energizing. It all depends on your mood.

George Benson

George Benson is a legendary American jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has released more than30 studio albums and has been awarded 10 Grammy Awards. His 1976 album, Breezin’, was certified triple-platinum by the RIAA. Benson’s musical style encompasses a wide range of genres, including Jazz, R&B, pop, and soul. He is one of the best-selling jazz artists of all time, with sales of more than 30 million records worldwide.

Kenny G

saxophonist Kenny G is one of the best-selling jazz artists of all time. He has achieved success in a wide range of genres, including pop, R&B, and adult contemporary. His 1986 album, Duotones, brought him commercial success with a blend of smooth jazz and R&B. Kenny G’s albums have sold more than 75 million copies worldwide. He has won numerous awards, including Grammys for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

Dave Koz

Dave Koz is one of the most successful smooth jazz saxophonists of the last 20 years. His career began in the 1980s as a member of the pop group Bobby Caldwell’s band. He soon branched out into a solo career, releasing his first album in 1990. Koz has released 17 solo albums, the latest of which, “Summer Horns II,” was released in 2016. He has also won nine Grammy Awards and been nominated for 15 more.

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