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Or Diana Krall. Or anything that sounds remotely like Kenny G. Jazz was never meant to be the tepid Muzak you have to endure in hotel lobbies and at Christmas parties. Since its birth in the US at the dawn of the 20th century, jazz has been a proudly experimental and energetic style more interested in the new and the next — like these 20 tracks. Eleven musicians, including a young Pharaoh Sanders and Freddie Hubbard, were given free rein on their parts — no pre-arranged notes, melodies or chords. Easy: you choose the one that features two of the giants of jazz at the peak of their powers.
Greatest Jazz Songs of All Time
Coming from Chicago, IL, I am a lifelong jazz enthusiast who has been collecting and writing about jazz records for several years. Jazz knows no limits and no boundaries. I believe that slightly eccentric creators such as Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders are every bit as important to jazz as are Billie Holiday and Dave Brubeck. This is not a list that was thrown together lightly, either. It was stitched together one song at a time, minute by minute, hour by hour. It was written, re-written, and revised again.
Posted by Discover Jazz Jazz Music. Of course, there are hundreds of great jazz songs that musicians can call upon for their albums and performances. Many of these pieces are taken from what we call the Great American Songbook: a selection of tunes that were written broadly speaking during the first half of the 20th Century by composers like Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin. They were often written as songs for musical theatre shows, films, or simply as the popular music of the day, but their harmony and structures meant that they also worked perfectly as vehicles for jazz improvisation. There are thousands of recordings of jazz musicians playing or singing these kinds of songs, and one of the remarkable things about the music is that great players are able to bring new and exciting elements to extremely familiar tunes. Like many Gershwin songs, it has lyrics written by his brother Ira. One of the most famous songs by George Gershwin, this one reveals a softer, bluesier side to his compositional style. Written for Porgy and Bess, his first attempt at an opera, it deliberately evokes African American spirituals and folk music and is sung as a lullaby by the character Clara to her baby, reappearing a number of times throughout Porgy and Bess.