Please refer to the article “Bridging the Gap”: Creed Taylor, Grover Washington Jr., and the
Crossover Roots of Smooth Jazz” by Charles D. Carson and Washington’s composition Mr. Magic
– available on Sakai/Resources – to answer the following questions. Answer each question clearly
and thoroughly in an essay format.
1- Discuss the origins and evolution of smooth jazz. In your discussion, talk about the musical
characteristics that define this genre (e.g. instrumentation, repertoire, improvisation &
production process etc.), important artists and the critical reception of mainstream jazz
musicians, scholars and enthusiasts toward smooth jazz.
2- Lastly, do you think smooth jazz should be consider, studied and understood as an authentic
jazz style? Listen to George Grover Washington Jr’s Mr. Magic – compare it with other
tunes we have listen studied in class – and explain your thoughts/opinion about whether
smooth jazz should be excluded from discussions of jazz styles or not.

Essay Guidelines
1- Font/Style: Microsoft Word, 12-points Times New Roman.
2- Margins: Use one-inch margins around the entire page.
3- Spacing: Double Space
4- Quotations: Do not over used them. Rather, used them to defend an argument, prove a point,
add emphasis etc. Please used MLA format when using quotation:
4- Length: In general, three to five pages should be enough. Just be sure that your paper is as
complete, clear, insightful and cohesive as possible.
5- Be sure to carefully proofread your essay before submitting it.
Essay Format
Thesis Statement – consult the guidelines on the following link:
Introduction – The first paragraph, should explain/articulate what your essay is going to be
about. In other words, it should state the argument you are trying to prove or the position/point of
view you are arguing for in your essay.
The body – Be sure to provide tangible evidence; arguments, discussions and explanations that
validates you initial argument/thesis statement. Consider using musical examples, relevant data
(lyrics, musicians, bands, locations), historical/socio-cultural or political facts etc., relevant to
your discussion.
The conclusion – Used the final paragraph of your essay to summarize and provide conclusive
remarks about your initial argument/thesis statement.
Lastly, the point of this essay is to give you an opportunity to synthetize – in your own
words/thoughts – the information you learned through the article, book and audio. To that end,
you must use your critical thinking skills and reflect on smooth jazz’s legacy, authenticity – or
lack of thereof – as a jazz style, and its importance in American music and culture.


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