Classy Music for Your Jazz Collection

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Here are some of the best jazz tracks to add to your collection. These classics will never go out of style!

The Best of Jazz

Jazz is a beautiful, timeless genre of music. If you’re looking to add some sophistication to your music collection, look no further than these essential jazz tracks. From classics by Miles Davis to more modern tunes by Norah Jones, we’ve got you covered.

Miles Davis

Miles Davis (1926-1991) was an American trumpeter, bandleader and composer who was one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the 20th century. He was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz from the 1940s to the 1990s.

As a trumpeter, Davis had a distinctive, mellow sound which made him one of the most recognizable soloists in jazz. His style ranged from lyrical and melodic to harsh and abrasive, and he was able to evoke a wide range of emotions in his playing. He was also an accomplished bandleader, and his groups were renowned for their tight ensemble playing and exploration of new rhythmic and harmonic ideas.

As a composer, Davis wrote some of the most memorable tunes in jazz history, including “So What” and “All Blues” from his influential album Kind of Blue (1959), “In a Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew” from his groundbreaking fusion albums of the 1970s, and “Jean Pierre” from his later period. He also wrote film scores for several movies, including Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (1957), Elevator to the Gallows (1958) and Loup Garou (1981).

Davis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

John Coltrane

John Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer who was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He is best known for his work with the Miles Davis Quintet, as well as his own recording and performances with his trio and quartet. His style of playing was characterized by a deep, soulful sound and a highly improvisational approach. He is considered to be one of the greatest jazz saxophonists of all time.

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday, one of the most influential jazz singers of all time, was born 100 years ago today. To celebrate, we’re taking a look back at her life and career.

Born Eleanora Fagan in Philadelphia in 1915, Billie Holiday began singing in Harlem nightclubs in the 1930s. She soon attracted the attention of record labels and bandleaders, making her recorded debut with Benny Goodman in 1933. She went on to have hits with a number of different bandleaders, including Count Basie and Artie Shaw, before embarking on a solo career in the 1940s.

Billie Holiday’s voice was distinctive and instantly recognizable – she was able to convey both sadness and joy in her singing, and her personal life often mirrored the emotional rollercoaster that was reflected in her music. She had a difficult childhood (her mother was a teenage prostitute and her father was absent for most of her life), and she turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the hurt and pain that she felt. In spite of – or perhaps because of – her tumultuous personal life, Billie Holiday’s music remains some of the most beautiful and moving jazz ever recorded.

If you’re new to Billie Holiday’s music, we recommend starting with one of her most famous songs, “Strange Fruit.” Written by Abel Meeropol in response to the lynchings of African Americans in the south, “Strange Fruit” is a haunting ballad that highlights the terror and injustice of racism. Billie Holiday’s performance of the song is stirring and devastating – it will stay with you long after you’ve heard it.

The Best of Jazz Standards

If you’re looking for some classy music to add to your jazz collection, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the best jazz standards that you can add to your collection. Jazz standards are songs that have been composed by well-known jazz artists and have become popular over the years. These songs are often played by jazz bands and can be found in many different jazz albums.

“Moody’s Mood for Love”

Moody’s Mood for Love is one of the most popular and well-known jazz standards. It was written by Jimmy McHugh in 1940 and popularized by King Pleasure in 1952. The song has been recorded by many different artists over the years, including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Miles Davis.

The song is a perfect example of the way that jazz standards can take on a new life when interpreted by different artists. Each musician brings their own style and personality to the song, making it unique. If you’re a fan of jazz Standards, Moody’s Mood for Love is a must-have for your collection.

“Body and Soul”

“Body and Soul” is a popular song and jazz standard written in 1930 with lyrics by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton; and music by Johnny Green. The song was published in 1930. It has been recorded by many artists through the years, but the first recording was made by Libby Holman in 1930.

The song has been used in a number of movies over the years, most notably in the Warner Brothers film “The Jazz Singer” (1927), starring Al Jolson, and again in “Swing Time” (1936), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. More recently, it was used in Woody Allen’s “Stardust Memories” (1980).


“Summertime” is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by DuBose Heyward, originally for the opera Porgy and Bess. It was adapted for the movie version in 1959, with a new arrangement by André Previn and new lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and sung by Dorothy Dandridge and Sam Cooke. That version won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It became a standard recorded by many artists, including Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Bernard Herrmann (in his score for the film Taxi Driver), Miles Davis (on his 1958 album Porgy and Bess), Whitney Houston and Sting.

The song has been associated with the summer season since its composition. It is considered one of the most popular jazz standards of all time.[1][2]

1. “Summertime.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Mar. 2019,
2. Cite This For Me: The Ultimate MLA Formatting Toolkit Conference Proceedings – EasyBib Blog,” MLA Style Guide – 8th Edition: Conference Proceedings – Citing & Writing

The Best of Contemporary Jazz

“So What”

Miles Davis’s “So What” is one of the most iconic pieces of jazz music ever recorded. The tune first appeared on Miles’s 1959 album Kind of Blue, and has since been covered countless times by other artists.

The original version of “So What” is a 9-minute long jazz standard, which features a solo by Miles Davis and an improvisation section for the entire band. The tune is based on a chord progression that is repeated throughout the piece, with each repetition followed by a series of improvised solos.

The melody of “So What” is very simple, and consists of just two notes, D and E. However, the way in which Miles Davis plays these two notes is what makes the tune so special. His playing is full of emotion and feeling, and he makes the most out of every note he plays.

If you’re a fan of jazz music, then “So What” is a must-have for your collection.

“Take Five”

No jazz song has been covered more times than Paul Desmond’s “Take Five.” Even though it was written in 5/4 time, the melody is so catchy that it became one of the most popular jazz tunes ever, and Desmond’s saxophone solo has been copied by countless other players. The song was first recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959 and released on their album Time Out, one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time.

“All Blues”

Miles Davis’ “All Blues” is a must-have for any contemporary jazz collection. The piece is performed by a quintet and features Davis on trumpet, John Coltrane on saxophone, Paul Chambers on bass, Wynton Kelly on piano, and Jimmy Cobb on drums.

“All Blues” is a blues composition in 6/8 time that features a call-and-response between the instruments. The piece begins with a solo from Davis, followed by responses from Coltrane and Kelly. The rest of the quintet joins in during the bridge, creating a full and rich sound. Cobb’s drumming is particularly noteworthy, providing a steady pulse that anchors the piece.

“All Blues” is a classic example of Miles Davis’ signature sound: cool, relaxed, and elegantly understated. It’s a must-have for any jazz fan.

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