Smooth Jazz at Midnight brings together some of smooth jazz's best-known artists playing some of their lesser-known songs from some of their better-known recordings. As the title implies, this compilation is ripe with 13 previously released late-night tracks. It also features an exclusive track by trumpeter Tony Guerrero called "If I Could Have It All." His muted approach is flawless in the lower registers and provides the listener with the soothing sounds of his take on night music with just the right balance of guitar symmetry. However, the crème de la crème piece is Brian Bromberg's composition from his tribute to Jaco Pastorius. "Tears" is a beautiful song lead by Bromberg's electric bass voicings, and through his music and guitar savvy, it is a voice that pays homage to the bassman. It appears on Bromberg's CD titled Jaco. Acoustic Alchemy performs "Hats of Magic" from their The Beautiful Game recording. It is a song that has always had a toned-down balance of intimacy and accessibility that comes at night when one is relaxed and peaceful. Joe Sherbanee contributes "San Luis." The song sounds better beside its new thematic company and proves that even songs can have a better life when they are presented in the right musical environment. Maysa provides a nice accent to the theme of the compilation with her Sade-like vocals on "Got to Be Strong." Overall, this compilation is better than most greatest-hits collections and provides the listener with a groovy collection of smooth night music to play while thinking, reading, at work, or anywhere the night takes you.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein