Easy Listening music is instrumental music that was designed to be soothing and relaxing. Unlike jazz, which demands your utmost attention, easy listening slips into the background, which is the very reason many critics and listeners dismissed the music as nothing more than disposible fluff. Although some records certainly fall into that category, there were a number of inventive arrangers and conductors working in the genre, such as Martin Denny, Les Baxter and Esquivel, who distinguished themselves with unpredictable instrumentation and idiosyncratic arrangements. Still, the primary characteristic of easy listening, from Ray Conniff's lush wordless vocals to the Latin flourishes of Herb Alpert, is that it's pleasant and easy on the ears.
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