Music evokes emotion, and I think the mood for a dinner party should be mellow. It should be conducive to setting a lower energy level. The right background music will encourage your guests to slow down and to relax so they can enjoy their dinner.
Your background music should also be nondescript – the less recognizable the better. Your selections should be interesting, yet unobtrusive. Lyrics can be distracting, so I believe the best music for your dinner party is instrumental. Also, be sure to turn the volume down low enough so it doesn’t compete with the conversation.
And lastly, I think it would serve you well to change the music throughout the evening. Listed below are my suggestions:
For Arrival And Appetizers:
I prefer easy traditional jazz or smooth jazz. Some examples would be:
- Ben Webster, a former tenor sax player in Ellington’s band. Look for his solo albums.
- Ottmar Liebert, non-categorical but his style is Spanish guitar in a laid-back manner.
- Larry Carlton, California smooth jazz. Search his mellower albums.
- Free Flying by Fred Hersch and Julian Lage, will produce a good vibe.
- Chicago, New York, Paris by Johnny Griffin is perfect for this (my favorite).
You actually could continue with the above selections, but I prefer classical music:
- Yo-Yo Ma, J.S. Bach Great Performances.
- John Williams, The Baroque Album.
- Duos by Itzhak Perlman and John Williams (my favorite).
Scotch and Cognacs:
- The conversation highlights this stage. It’s probably best to turn off the music.
Romantic Cognacs For Two:
- Just The Two Of Us by Grover Washington, Jr.
- Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim.
- Actually, almost anything by Sinatra.