a little dinner music

I would love your help in selecting a few CD's that would play well in the background during a nice evening meal with friends. I am looking for music with limited dynamic range so that it can play with fairly uniform softness, generally upbeat in tone, and very beautiful.
Some I like are Japanese Melodies,Rampal flute on Denon. Distant Songs, Barry Gordon,piano on Telarc, Haydn 3 Piano Sonatas, Schriff on Denon, and I Ching Synphony, Steiner on Real Music.
A few cds, which I think would fit to your needs:
Handel Violin sonatas, Pauk-Hungaraton,
Telemann, metodische sonaten, sony seon,
Chopin - any solo piano music with Rubinstein,
Bach Wohltemperiertes Clavier- Schiff Andras,
French viloni sonatas, NAxos
"Houston Person"....mellow tenor saxophone

"Chris Botti"...mellow trumpet

Any recordings by Bill Evans, especially "Waltz for Debby" and "Sunday at the Village Vangaurd". Perfect mello, lyrical, and intimate dinner music. Have fun!
Vince Guaraldi and Bill Evans are always nice.

Also look for "The Astaire Story" (Fred Astaire singing with Oscar Perterson, Barney Kessel, Charlie Shavers, Flip Phillips, Ray Brown and Alvin Stoller).

The 1952 Astaire recordings have generated the most interest from guests.
I'm listening to Ruby Braff right now.
That would be good.
Maybe some Chet Baker too?
Great suggestions, thank you. I love to hear about and purchase music that is new to me. keep 'em coming.
as your friends what they would like to hear.....otherwise it may seem rude or anoying to play music unless they would like to hear it......
Jaybo Yes, my approach is usually: Would you like some music on during dinner or do you prefer silence? What kinds of music do you like? If they say classical or jazz or something mellow, I will be armed and ready. Usually in their politeness they say anything you'd like me to hear. Once I start a CD, I say how about that? And they say wonderful.
. . . some good suggestions above, I aspecially like Jond's recommendation of Bill Evans.

Jaybo also makes a good point - I actually know some people who don't like music playing during dinner.

Finally, I have always liked Ralph Towner and Gary Burton - "Matchbook" for dinner music.
Agree w/Sogood re Houston Persons. Most any of his recent recordings on Blue Note. My wife prefers these when we have guests.

Also there are recordings by Charlie Haden that are not only good dinner stuff, but outstanding performances 'Beyond the Missouri Sky', and 'Night and the City'. Additionally, Andre Previn has three recordings on Telarc - piano trios with Ray Brown, Mundell Lowe and Joe Pass (on one disc).

While I love classical, especially piano, its hard to make a recommendation - I just don't think of it as good background music. But, having said that, the Jacques Loussier Trio has several lite jazz transcriptions of Satie, Vivaldi, Bach, etc, which might fit the bill.
Try The Damned, "Damned, Damned, Damned". It is perfect.
Curtis Stigers/ Secret Heart
Thank you one and all. I ordered several of the pieces and am eager to hear them
Ralph Sharon.Good soft jazz piano music.
A perfect answer to your search is 'Oscar Peterson,My Favorite Instrument'.This is Oscar and piano,solo.
Antonio Carlos Jobim,and specifically the cd 'Tide' is IMHO nice dinner music
I usually throw in a little Pantera "Cowboys from Hell". It sets the mood just right...


Concur with the "Carlos Jobim" recommendation, as it appeals to diverse taste. Classic staple, but amongst many. I'll even check out the other recommendations myself.
I often play classical or Spanish guitar for an evening dinner party. It's makes a nice unobtrusive background, and is also relaxing and stimulating at the same time. There have been at least two Spanish guitar threads in the not to distant past which provide some excellent selections. A new classical guitar release that I just happened upon at a favorite store is by Paul Galbraith - French Impressions (Debussy & Ravel) seems to meet your criteria well. Good luck.

Thanks everyone - now I'll have to have more dinner parties
Here are the ones, I usually have stacked next to the cd player, when friends come to visit us (more or less in alphabetical order)
- Ambersunshower: "Walter T. Smith"
- Jacques Brel: "J'arrive"
- Dave Brubeck Quartet: "Time Out"
- Ron Carter & Rosa Passos: "Entre Amigos"
- Paolo Conte: "Una Faccia in Prestito"
- DePhazz: "Death by Chocolate"
- Bill Evans Trio: "How my Heart Sings"
- Antonio Forcione & Sabina Sciubba: "Meet me in London"
- Norah Jones: "Come Away with Me"
- James Kline: "Music of J.S. Bach" (on classical guitar)
- Paul Kuhn Trio: "My World of Music"
- Daniel Lanois: "For the Beauty of Wynona"
- Wulfin Lieske: "What about this Mr. Tarrega?"
- Joni Mitchell: "Mingus"
- Modern Jazz Quartet: "Concorde" and "Django"
- Marc Moulin: "Top Secret"
- Joe Pass: "Virtuoso"
- Rosanna & Zelia: "Coisario"
- Sara K: "Hobo"
- St. Germain: "Tourist"
- David Sylvian: "Brilliant Trees" (OK, not very upbeat)
- Toots Thielemans: "The Brasil Project"
- Tuck & Patti: "Learning how to Fly"
To be sure, our dinner parties don't run long enough to play them all, we just let the evening inspire us what will eventually be chosen.
Oh, and if our best pal Luc comes to visit us and it needn't be soft - in any sense of that term - at all: The Clement Peerens Explosition: "Vindegij Mijn Gat" as I think one has a duty to cater for the guest who's bringing some of the rare and special wines and the culatello zibello, right.
Karelfd - Thanks, your list gives me plenty to audition
Try some of the delightful Haydn Piano Trios, particularly those recorded in the complete set by the Beaux Arts Trio.
Cowboy junkies: Trinity sessions
@opus88- I think after nearly 10 years his evening meal is over...unless it's some world record attempt...
After 9 years he might have joined the dark side-MP3/Bose/dumpster rat!
Or worse...he has a B&O thing...
Why don't you just plug into Spotify...surely you will find the right music for yourself