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Top Jazz Songs

Tulika Nair May 10, 2019
A list of the top jazz songs have to include classics by Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. But, there are many other musicians out there who have contributed to the popularity of jazz music. Here, we list out the top jazz songs that have been popular with the listeners.
A music genre that originated sometime in the 20th century in United States, Jazz combines musical influences from both African and European styles of music. Some features that are very intrinsic to Jazz are the use of blue notes, poly-rhythms, syncopation (rhythms that deviate from the regular succession of strong and weak beats), and swung note.
Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, and Billie Holiday are just some of the maestros of jazz who have made it an internationally recognized and loved genre. Today, there is a confluence of various musical styles being played by contemporary artists, and most of them accept the influence of Jazz in their styles.
With such a long-standing heritage, it is difficult to choose the top jazz songs of all time. With some of the songs of the 1920s considered to be the harbingers of the popularity of jazz music, it is difficult to make the list all-encompassing.

List of Popular Jazz Songs

Making a list of the best jazz songs can be a Herculean task, with the sheer number of songs that are out there. In this list, we try and restrict ourselves to the most popular jazz songs of all time.
  • What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
  • It Ain't My Fault - feat. Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mos Def, Lenny Kravitz & Trombone Shorty
  • Feeling Good - Nina Simone
  • Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles & The Count Basie Orchestra
  • Just One of Those Things - Jamie Cullum
  • Be My Baby - The Ronettes
  • La Vie en Rose (Single) - Louis Armstrong
  • The Dial Sessions - Charlie Parker
  • Take Five - Dave Brubeck
  • Ask the Ages - Sonny Sharrock
  • Green Onions - Booker T. & The MG's
  • Just the Two of Us - Grover Washington & Bill Withers
  • The Inner Mounting Flame - Mahavishnu Orchestra
  • Thelonious Monk - Monk's Music
  • Somethin' Else - Cannonball Adderly
  • Don't Stop the Music - Jamie Cullum
  • How Do You Keep the Music Playing - James Ingram & Patti Austin
  • Places and Spaces - Donald Byrd
  • When you're in Love - Horace Silver
  • Lazy River - Pete Fountain
  • Till You Come to Me - Spencer Day
  • Dream a Little Dream of Me - Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
  • The Far East Suite - Duke Ellington
  • In a Sentimental Mood - John Coltrane & Duke Ellington
  • Count Basie - Atomic Basie
  • In the Mood - Glen Miller
  • Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out - Jimmy Cox
  • Wild Women Don't Have the Blues - Ida Cox
  • Chain Gang Blues - Ma Rainey
  • Back Water Blues - Bessie Smith
  • My Favorite Things - John Coltrane
  • Freddie Freeloader - Miles Davis
  • Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday
  • Charleston - James P. Johnson
  • Downhearted Blues - Lovie Austin
  • West End Blues - Louis Armstrong
  • Gimme a Pigfoot (and a Bottle of Beer) - Bessie Smith
  • My Feet Can't Fail Me Now - Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  • Meets the Rhythm Section - Art Pepper
  • Our Man in Paris - Dexter Gordon
  • Waltz for Debby - Bill Evans
  • Eternal Child - Chick Corea's Elektric Band
  • Out of the Night - Brian Melvin Trio
  • School Days - Stanley Clarke
  • Five Hundred Miles High - Stan Getz
  • Hog Callin' Blues - Charles Mingus
  • Out of the Cool - Gil Evans
  • Potato Head Blues - Louis Armstrong
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - Cannonball Adderley
  • Chitlins Con Carne - Kenny Burrell
  • Chameleon - Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters
  • The Creator has a Master Plan - Pharaoh Sanders
  • One O'Clock Jump - Count Basie
  • Mister Magic - Grover Washington Jr
  • Rocket Number Nine Take off for the Planet Venus - Sun Ra and his Arkestra
  • Moon Tune - Bob James/David Sanborn
  • Blue Rondo A La Turk - Dave Brubeck
  • Black Satin - Miles Davis
  • A Remark You Made - Weather Report
  • Aerial Boundaries - Michael Hedges
  • Straight, No Chaser - Thelonious Monk
  • Minnie the Moocher - Cab Calloway
  • Room 335 - Larry Carlton
  • Epistrophy - Thelonious Monk
  • The Girl From Ipanema - Getz/Gilberto
  • Speak no Evil - Wayne Shorter
  • Cause We've Ended as Lovers - Jeff Beck
  • Tea for Two - Art Tatum
  • Volunteered Slavery - Rahsaan Roland Kirk
  • Pharoah's Dance - Miles Davis
  • A Night in Tunisia - Sonny Rollins
  • Pursuance - John Coltrane
  • Cover Girl - Larry Coryell
  • Willow Weep for Me - Wes Montgomery
  • A Long Drink of the Blues - Jackie McLean
  • Three Views of a Secret - Jaco Pastorious
  • Tones for Elvin Jones - John McLaughlin
  • Icarus - Winter Consort
  • Bemsha Swing - Thelonious Monk
  • My Funny Valentine - Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker
  • Race with Devil on Spanish Highway - Al DiMeola
  • Moritat - Sonny Rollins
  • Son of Mr. Green Genes - Frank Zappa
  • Big Chief - Professor Longhair
  • Anonymous Skulls - Medeski, Martin & Wood
  • Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
  • The Hong Kong Incident - Jing Chi
  • Hamp's Hump - Galactic
  • A Year Ago - Kenny G
  • New York, New York - Liza Minelli
  • Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra
  • Havana - Kenny G
  • Don't Know Why - Norah Jones
  • Unforgettable - Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole
  • What Cha Gonna Do For Me - Darren Rahn Featuring Wayman Tisdale
  • Till You Come to Me - Spencer Day
  • Science Funktion - Donald Byrd
  • Resolution - John Coltrane
  • Back at the Chicken Shack - Jimmy Smith
  • Bumpin' on Sunset - Wes Montgomery
  • Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
  • All Blues - Kenny Burrell
  • Caravan - Whiplash
  • So What - Miles Davis
  • Song for My Father - Hermao Feriera
  • Let the Good Times Roll - Louis Jordan
  • Hymn to Freedom - Oscar Peterson
  • Moondance - Van Morrison
  • The Look of Love - Diana Krall
  • You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse
Hopefully, you agree with this subjective list of the most popular jazz songs. In the past few years, jazz music has undergone a tremendous transformation with the growing popularity of punk jazz, jazz-core, and modern creative. However, traditional jazz music still has a lot of faithful followers.