Watercolors is what they call Smooth Jazz. I think its elevator music and some times they play R&B like Luther Vandross, Boyz II Men, and Sade. Pure Jazz is the classics, what most people will think of when you hear jazz. Artists like Duke Ellington, Louie Armstrong, Coltrane, Miles Davis.
I like both but much favor Watercolors. I would say in the past fifteen-twenty years, that smooth jazz has popularized jazz and opened the door for new listeners to sample true jazz. Although it may be that pure jazz fans would disagree strongly with that notion.
JAM Celebrity DJ Show: Earl Klugh Fri 4/1 @ 11:00 am ET
Watercolors celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month all April long with an amazing lineup of contemporary jazz talent! Today, Watercolors kicks off the celebration with master guitarist Earl Klugh as your celebrity DJ. The 12-time Grammy nominee, who has played with everyone from Jimmy Buffet to George Benson, continues to carry the torch for jazz music and its legendary musicians. Hear Earl Klugh perform live from the SiriusXM Studios, sharing songs and stories on what jazz appreciation means to him. > Rebroadcast: Sat 4/2 2:00 pm ET
I listen to jazz once in a blue moon and these are two equally good format stations. That kinda why I put them up against one another in the 2011 SiriusXM Music Channels Tournament, but anyway if I had to choose I prefer Watercolors.
Now there is a another option for the midnight, early morning listerner. HUR Voices, Channel 141, has a program called Softones, I've heard now and then since the beginning of the year. Enjoyable stuff. Closer to Watercolors then Real Jazz.