However "smooth jazz" -- the recent stylistic phenomenon -- may be defined, there is no doubt that it has become an important force in radio programming and record sales. Across the country, radio stations have switched to this formula, which for many listeners begins (and for some ends) with the performances of Kenny G, whose recordings have sold in the millions.
Dick Hyman, having listened intently to the new style, concluded that its attraction is more from its tried-and-true rock rhythmic sources than from melodic or harmonic content. The latter qualities, of course, abound in Gershwin songs, and Hyman, possessed of a speculative nature, wondered if the graceful melodies and complex harmonies of Gershwin might be applied to a "smooth jazz" underpinning. He undertook to arrange a Gershwin concert in this manner and wryly offers it as an experiment, no more, likely to pique both jazz and Gershwin fans equally.