Sirius Satellite Radio

Sirius Satellite Radio features seven channels of jazz and blues music. One of them is called "Cafe Jazz," which caters to the smooth jazz enthusiast. I have had a chance to hear both "Cafe Jazz" and its competetor, XM Satellite Radio's "Watercolors," and I was very impressed with the diversity of "Cafe Jazz." If I was to program a smooth jazz station, "Cafe Jazz is the way I would program it. It is a great mixture of instrumental and vocal jazz that goes beyond the normal music range of smooth jazz radio. They not only play the latest in smooth jazz, but bring back some of the classic smooth jazz tracks that helped to establish the format in the late 80's and early 90's. Some of those tracks have been lately ignored by over the air smooth jazz radio stations, but are very important for people who have lately discovered smooth jazz to know where the roots of smooth jazz come from.

"Cafe Jazz" also goes beyond the normal smooth jazz radio rotation by going further into CD's. For instance, instead of just playing the one or two familiar tracks from Kenny G's "Classics in the Key of G," "Cafe Jazz" goes into his version of "Round Midnight," which very few smooth jazz stations would play because it sounds close to straight ahead jazz. Going beyond the normal is one way that Sirius will get people who have been getting away from regular radio and staying with CD's or casettes in their cars.

One thing I noticed about "Cafe Jazz" is that there is a live announcer to tell about what was played after no more than three songs. Eric Boston, who was the announcer at the time, did a good job of mentioning the titles and artists and also gave some concert information as well. Especially when driving in the car, you need to have someone tell you that information instead of having to look at the tuner to get the artist and song information.

All in all, when you pay $11.99 a month for Sirius service, you should expect more than what you get from regular radio. For the money, "Cafe Jazz" is worth more than the $11.99 a month, and you have 99 other choices if you have a change in music swing or if you want to get into the issues of the day or talk about last night's game. You pay more than with XM, but you get more.

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