Jazz Repertoire

Jazz Tunes & Standards

Jazz and pop musicians learn tunes from records, other musicians  or from printed music. Jazz musicians sometimes specialise in a particular area but there are some tunes that everyone should know, if only to avoid embarrassment at a jam session when someone calls Summertime. It is important to know the harmony as well as the melody. Most standards are available as sheet music, but jazz musicians often use fake books (aka real books or buskers books) which contain only the melody and chord symbols (and sometimes a rough rhythm guide).

Below is a list of some of the most famous jazz tunes that I have found useful. This is by no means a comprehensive list, it is based mostly on jazz of the 30s – 50s and useful repertoire can vary from region to region in the world. There is a very comprehensive repertoire list in The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine. More modern jazz has become so diverse stylistically that it becomes almost impossible to list modern standards.

Standards

  • Ain’t Misbehavin’
  • All Blues
  • All Of Me *
  • All The Things You Are *
  • Autumn In New York
  • Autumn Leaves *
  • Blue Moon *
  • Bye Bye Blackbird
  • Cherokee
  • Days Of Wine And Roses
  • Desafinado
  • Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me
  • Flamingo
  • Fly Me To The Moon
  • Foggy Day
  • Georgia On My Mind **
  • Girl From Ipanema *
  • Green Dolphin Street
  • Have You Met Miss Jones?
  • Here’s That Rainy Day
  • Honeysuckle Rose
  • How High The Moon
  • I Got Rhythm **
  • I Can’t Get Started
  • I Cover The Waterfront
  • I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
  • I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good
  • I’m Beginning To See The Light
  • I Want To Talk About You
  • I’m Beginning To See The Light
  • I’m Getting Sentimental Over You
  • Just Friends
  • Lady Be Good
  • Lady Is A Tramp *
  • Love For Sale
  • Lover Come Back to Me
  • Lullaby Of Birdland
  • Mack The Knife *
  • Mean To Me
  • Meditation
  • My Favourite Things
  • My Funny Valentine
  • Night And Day
  • On The Sunny Side Of The Street
  • On A Slow Boat To China
  • One Note Samba
  • Out Of Nowhere
  • Over The Rainbow
  • Pennies From Heaven
  • Shadow Of Your Smile
  • Softly as In A Morning Sunrise
  • Someone To Watch Over Me
  • Star Eyes
  • Stella By Starlight
  • Stomping At The Savoy
  • Stormy Weather
  • Summertime **
  • Sunny **
  • Sweet Georgia Brown
  • Tangerine
  • Tea for Two
  • There Will Never Be Another You
  • These Foolish Things
  • Wave
  • Way You Look Tonight
  • What Is This Thing Called Love?
  • When The Saints Go Marching In **
  • You Are My Sunshine

Jazz Standards

  • Basin Street Blues
  • Blue Bossa
  • Caravan *
  • Chelsea Bridge
  • Cotton Tail
  • Countdown
  • Dat Dere
  • Dig
  • Dolphin Dance
  • Donna Lee
  • Doxy
  • Four
  • Giant Steps *
  • Good Bait
  • I Remember Clifford
  • Impressions
  • In A Mellow Tone
  • Invitation
  • It Don’t Mean A Thing *
  • Jeannine
  • Jeep Is Jumpin
  • Jitterbug Waltz
  • Jordu
  • Joy Spring
  • Just Friends
  • Killer Joe *
  • Lazy bird
  • Lester Leaps In **
  • Little Sunflower
  • Lonely Woman
  • Lullaby Of Birdland
  • Maiden Voyage
  • Manteca
  • Meet The Flintstones
  • Moments Notice
  • Mercy, Mercy*
  • Milestones
  • Moanin *
  • Moments Notice
  • Monks Mood
  • My Little Suede Shoes *
  • Nefertiti
  • Night In Tunisia
  • Oleo
  • Ornithology
  • Perdido **
  • Preacher
  • Prelude To A Kiss
  • Rhythm-A-Ning
  • Robbin’s Nest
  • Satin Doll **
  • Scrapple From The Apple
  • Shiny Stockings
  • Sidewinder
  • Sister Sadie
  • So What?
  • Song For My Father*
  • Solar
  • St. Thomas *
  • Stolen Moments
  • Sugar
  • Take Five *
  • Take The A Train **
  • Tune Up
  • Well You Needn’t
  • Work Song *
  • Yardbird Suite

Ballads

  • Body And Soul
  • But Beautiful
  • Chelsea Bridge
  • Embraceable You
  • I Can’t Get Started
  • In A Sentimental Mood
  • Laura
  • Loverman
  • Lush Life
  • Misty **
  • Mood Indigo
  • My Foolish Heart
  • Moonlight In Vermont
  • Sophisticated Lady
  • Skylark
  • Stardust
  • Tenderly
  • When I Fall in Love
  • When Sunny Gets Blue
  • Where or When
  • Willow Weep For Me
  • Naima
  • Round Midnight

Blues

  • Billie’s Bounce
  • Blue Monk **
  • C Jam Blues **
  • Cool Blues
  • Cousin Mary
  • Jumping With Symphony Sid *
  • Mr. P.C. *
  • Night Train
  • Now’s The Time **
  • Red Top
  • Some Other Blues
  • Sonnymoon For Two *
  • Straight No Chaser
  • Tenor Madness
  • Things Ain’t What They Used To Be *
  • Watermelon Man **

Tunes marked * are very important – everyone ought to know.

Tunes marked ** are essential – everyone must know.

 

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