Louis Armstrong
Kind of Blue


Jazz has been called America's classical music, and for good reason. Along with the blues, its forefather, it is one of the first truly indigenous musics to develop in America, yet its unpredictable, risky ventures into improvisation gave it critical cache with scholars that the blues lacked. At the outset, jazz was dance music, performed by swinging big bands. Soon, the dance elements faded into the background and improvisation became the key element of the music. As the genre evolved, the music split into a number of different styles, from the speedy, hard-hitting rhythms of be-bop and the laid-back, mellow harmonies of cool jazz to the jittery, atonal forays of free jazz and the earthy grooves of soul jazz. What tied it all together was a foundation in the blues, a reliance on group interplay and unpredictable improvisation. Throughout the years, and in all the different styles, those are the qualities that defined jazz.

Jazz Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
So What Miles Davis
The Girl from Ipanema Stan Getz / João Gilberto
A Night in Tunisia Dizzy Gillespie
Sing, Sing, Sing Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
Artistry in Rhythm Stan Kenton & His Orchestra
Take Five The Dave Brubeck Quartet
One O'Clock Jump Count Basie
My Funny Valentine Chet Baker
Walkin' Miles Davis All-Stars / Miles Davis Sextet
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy Cannonball Adderley Quintet
Out to Lunch Eric Dolphy
Miles Runs the Voodoo Down Miles Davis
Misty Erroll Garner
The Inflated Tear Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul Charles Mingus
Djangology Django Reinhardt
Way Out West Sonny Rollins
Speak No Evil Wayne Shorter
Song for My Father Horace Silver / Horace Silver Quintet
Ain't Misbehavin' Fats Waller
Lester Leaps In Lester Young
Body and Soul Coleman Hawkins
Struttin' With Some Barbecue Louis Armstrong
Moanin' Art Blakey / Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers
Lonely Woman Ornette Coleman
Naima John Coltrane
Caravan Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
In the Mood Glenn Miller
'Round Midnight Thelonious Monk
Koko Charlie Parker
Soul Bossa Nova Quincy Jones
All Blues Miles Davis
The Sidewinder Lee Morgan
Stolen Moments Oliver Nelson
Take the "A" Train Duke Ellington
Rockin' Chair Mildred Bailey
Madison Time, Pt. 1 Ray Bryant Combo
Cool Struttin' Sonny Clark
Good Bait Tadd Dameron / Miles Davis
Whistle Stop Kenny Dorham
Better Than Anything Bob Dorough
Killer Joe Art Farmer / Benny Golson
Blues March Art Farmer / Benny Golson
The Train and the River Jimmy Giuffre
Flying Home Lionel Hampton
Chasin' the Bird Barry Harris
Exodus Eddie Harris
Freedom Jazz Dance Eddie Harris
Tuxedo Junction Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra
You Know You Know Mahavishnu Orchestra

Jazz subgenres and styles [+]