Some Good Jazz Songs

A common inquiry: “Hey, can you tell me some good jazz songs? Like Frank Sinatra’s Misty?”

(First, ignore that Misty isn’t Sinatra’s any more than Over The Rainbow is Judy Garland’s. We’ll get to that, later.

I try to recommend a classic interpreter of jazz standards, which most often to me means suggesting a deep dive into Ella Fitzgerald’s works.

I don’t think you can do better than the recently released Twelve Nights In Hollywood – a complete record of basically her entire book, circa 1961-62. (Amazon) (Spotify)

Then I like to make a personal recommendation based on what I know of that individual. Here are a few that turn up a lot.

Joe Williams – The Best of the Verve Years

Shirley Horn – Anything!

Chet Baker Sings

Sarah Vaughan – Live in Japan

Mel Tormé – Live at Marty’s

Carmen McRae – The Great American Songbook

What do you recommend to the newbie who wants to dig deep?

This is my first “Vocal Jazz Monday”, a planned weekly focus on topics explicitly vocal jazz styles and issues.