SmoothViews started as an internet magazine devoted exclusively to the world of Smooth Jazz. When we started up in 2005 the goal was to present a broader, more multifaceted view of Smooth Jazz, showcasing the music as it is experienced at live shows and as it is heard on the deeper tracks of Smooth Jazz CDs. As life intervened and staff members took on the responsibilities that come with “advanced adulting”- kids, grandkids, caregiving, personal and family members’ health challenges, job and career changes as the economy shifted we decided to simplify the process and the contributors moved on over time; The interviews and reviews on these pages are still as relevant today as they were when they were done. So many artists shared depth and insight in their comments. If you are new to the music or want to discover some albums you may have missed the ones reviewed here are excellent suggestions. This is why we have kept the site live. And shifted the focus of the adventure as we move deeper into the 21st century.
Our newest adventure is the launch of an internet radio station – The Stream Smooth Jazz . The goals of the station are the same as the publication. To present a broader and more multifaceted range of the music. To return to programming music from a place of love of music and love of sharing music instead of the corporate radio perspective that has shifted to fear of music.
Explore our archives. SmoothViews will help you get to know the artists, introduce you to albums you may have overlooked or miss, as well as some classics, and keep them up to date on what’s new in Smooth Jazz through regular feature articles including: Featured Artists; On The Side, News; CD Reviews, Concert Reviews; and Perspectives.
Meet the writers and photographers who have contributed over the years:
Mary Bentley grew up in NYC, and spent a good deal of time in the 80’s listening to what would become known as smooth jazz music. She currently resides and works in the Washington DC area, Her leisure time is divided between her loves of family, friends, cooking, and music.
Bonnie Schendell is from Northern Virginia, just outside Washington DC. Originally from New Jersey, and an admitted fan of Barry Manilow, Bonnie has been into smooth jazz for over 15 years, and has been a contributing writer to jazz websites for the past year. In her non-jazz life, she is a membership database manager/webmaster for a non-profit trade association, wife, mother, and caretaker of spoiled cats
Elizabeth Ware lives and works in Newport News VA, and was first exposed to Smooth Jazz when her younger son (then 13) picked up the saxophone in the fall of ’97. His instructor suggested listening to some contemporary sax players and recommended Dave Koz. Just one time through Off the Beaten Path and she was hooked. She’s been involved in music since she was three years old singing in a children’s choir. She took piano lessons as a child but gave it up when she fell in love with the guitar at age 13. Elizabeth is a graphic artist. She designed the original website and created the updated version
Randall Ware also lives and works in Newport News VA. He and Elizabeth have been married since 1982. He became a Smooth Jazz fan out of self-defense when his wife and son did in ’97. To help support the family’s music additiction, Randy works as a chemist at Newport News Shipbuilding. Randall had a brief but noteworthy fling with the accordian as a child. Although he doesn’t play any instruments now, he would really like to play the bari sax. His concert photos are published on several smooth jazz websites.
Shannon West was bartending at a music club in the mid 70’s when a fusion band came to play. Within a week she spent her financial aid check on music and started a contemporary jazz/fusion show on her campus radio station. In the early 80’s she worked for several of the first wave of soft rock/jazz mix stations before jumping to Top 40 so she could talk faster. During her 20 plus years in Top 40 and Adult Contemporary radio she always had a smooth jazz “brunch” or evening show. She spent some time in music retail management and wrote for several radio trade publications before jumping to the web in the 21st century. She currently pays the bills by working a “keep your daytime job” job in retail, teaching group exercise (aerobics), and taking care of plants and pets. Shannon lives in the reading lounge at the San Marco Branch of the Jacksonville Fla. public library which was lavishly funded by her overdue fines.