Looking for non-abrasive background-type music

Over the past months, my wife and I have developed a nice habit of playing chess in the evenings. With her never having played before, she’s learning well and has taught me how to lose graciously — a first for me. (As a kid, my older sister taught me how to cough, bump, and scatter the pieces when all is lost.)

While playing, we like music in the background, but it can’t have too much of a beat (her), or get so rowdy that it distracts (me), so we need something pretty middle-of-the-road.

We’ve played Jack Johnson’s entire catalogue… wayyyy too much. I guess that makes him a good example of what I’m looking for. ALO would be the next logical step from there, but they can get too up-tempo at times. Norah tends to hit the mark pretty well. I can take Melody Gardot in limited doses.

Who else is there that would fit in this category? Jazz and classical would not be good for this circumstance.


I reckon Radio Paradise Mellow Mix should do the job - interesting and diverse selection but always nice and mellow…!

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I can’t seem to find that on Qobuz (Roon).

I should add Qobuz access to my list of ‘requirements’. Heck, I no longer even have the hardware to rip a new CD, much less play it.

They have their own website or are available through tunein. I guess it depends on what control app you’re using - I’ve moved to a Bartok DAC so the Mosiac app gives access to radio stations which is nice and convenient.

I should have said, Radio Paradise transmit at relatively high bit rates so sound quality is very good.

Regards, Mike.

I think some low- key “Piano Jazz” or non-corny “Smooth Jazz” would actually do nicely. Sample some tunes in these “genre” and see what you think. For example, look into the group, New York Jazz Lounge or check out the title, “Jazz and Tea: Excellent Music for Meetings, Conversations, Shared Meals and Rest” (Product No. 8134130798215) The latter might just result in some “extra-curricular chess moves” though, so be warned. :wink:

Just a thought…

Moby, Long Ambients might fit the bill.

Eno, if you like ambient and can (koff, koff) handle the moral quandary. Mixing Colours, Apollo, Music for Installations (which is something like 5 hours all by itself).


SmoothJazz.com.pl is very nice but can’t seem to get it on Roon either. MControl does have it despite its basic interface. I managed to get Rondo Classic from Finland and it is flac 44.1/16

thejazzgroove.com is good and it’s available on roon.

I second badbeef’s recommendation for Brian Eno, Apolo is a good starting place as is Neroli:

Ambient is cool. Trying out Apollo now, but it might be a bit low key.

Something with lyrics and some beat are good… I just want to avoid brash breakouts in an album.

Jessie Collin Young - Song for Julia

I second the SmoothJazz.com suggestion. It’s also available on Roon Radio

I will def look into the smooth jazz recommendations. While not a huge fan of jazz, smooth is good, and it reminds us of past dinners at the Charleston Grill in South Carolina. They always seemed to have a good act there.

Try some Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano - good thinking music