Jazz Repertoire

Jazz Tunes & Standards

Jazz and pop musicians learn repertoire from records 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.

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

Tunes marked ** are essential – everyone must know.


Ain’t Misbehavin’
All Blues
All Of Me *
All The Things You Are *
Autumn In New York
Autumn Leaves *
Blue Moon *
Body And Soul
Bye Bye Blackbird
Days Of Wine And Roses
Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me
Embraceable You
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
In A Sentimental Mood
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
Misty **
Moonlight In Vermont
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
Satin Doll **
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
Tea for Two
There Will Never Be Another You
These Foolish Things
Way You Look Tonight
What Is This Thing Called Love?
When The Saints Go Marching In **
When Sunny Gets Blue
Willow Weep For Me
You Are My Sunshine

Jazz Standards

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

Jazz 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 **


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