- Aaron J. West
A label used for an American radio format that emerged in the late 1980s that also has come to designate a substyle of jazz. The term “smooth jazz” was the product of a consumer research attempt during the 1980s to create a short and easily identifiable descriptor for a specific radio format that featured a mixture of rhythm-and-blues-inspired instrumental and vocal recordings. Partly because of its inclusion within the popular radio format, smooth jazz (the substyle), enjoyed massive popularity in the 1990s. As a radio format, smooth jazz has declined in popularity in the early 21st century....