At the time when smooth jazz came into use the term usually referred to music that fused the lighter side of jazz combined with the music it had a close relation to – soul and R&B both in their original and more pop forms.
Somehow, as time went by, the genre often came up with music that had more to do with mainstream pop than jazz, smooth or not. These days, that jazz tag in smooth jazz often refers to practically impeccable musicianship that always seems to be there, rather than the supermarket wallpaper sound some of the big names in smooth jazz come up with.
Still, there are artists that work within the genre that don’t deserve the bad name some listeners attribute to smooth jazz, and who come up with music that doesn’t just offer impeccable musicianship, but quite a bit of substance to go along with it.
Clarence Taylor MD, an award-winning musician, and producer who works under the moniker Doc City, could definitely be listed in the latter group, particularly based on his latest album Welcome to Doc City.
First of all, Taylor seems to come up here with an almost perfect balance between jazz itself, R&B, soul, hip-hop, and pop that has not only substantive music but also some lyrics to think of (“Did You Choose”).
Part of it relies on some of Taylor’s excellent songwriting, but also on an equally excellent selection of guest singers and musicians, who have played with key jazz (Wynton Marsalis), pop (Peter Frampton), R&B (Dazz Band) music, and even country (Trisha Yearwood) and classical music (Yo-Yo Ma).
The deluxe edition here refers to additional remix tracks that only add to the qualification that this is one of the more substantive smooth jazz albums to have been released in recent times. Of course, if you want to call it that.
Doc City – ‘Welcome to Doc City (Deluxe Edition)’ Review
On 'Welcome to Doc City' the artist/producer of the same name defies all the bad names given to smooth jazz.