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Intro to Jazz

I'm always amazed when I hear people say they don't like jazz. There are so many styles of jazz out there, there's bound to be one type that you can appreciate and enjoy. Here are some examples of some of the different styles of jazz, so hopefully you can find at least one that you like (and keep in mind, this is just me picking examples that I happen to like from each genre, and this is not an exhaustive list of every sub-genre out there, so don't hesitate to go look up more on your own!)
First here's the Wikipedia article on Jazz so you can learn some about the history of the genres and what it means to be Jazz.
New Orleans Jazz / Dixieland
Hello Dolly! (Louis Armstrong)
When the Saints Go Marching In (Dukes of Dixieland)
In the Mood (Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman)
Sing Sing Sing! (Benny Goodman)
Take the A Train (Duke Ellington)
I could go on forever with swing artists and songs you should know, but I’ll not for the sake of getting to other genres. Also keep in mind that a lot of these artists and genres overlap in a lot of places, so just because I put one artist or song under a certain genre doesn’t mean they don’t fit under others as well.
Kansas City Jazz
Swingin’ the Blues (Count Basie)
Manouche Jazz
Minor Swing (Django Reinhardt)
It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing (Ella Fitzgerald)
Salt Peanuts (Dizzy Gillespie)
Koko (Charlie Parker)
Modal Jazz
So What (Miles Davis)
Avant Guard Jazz
Bitches Brew (Miles Davis)
Gevurah (John Zorn)
Latin Jazz
I’m putting a bunch of artists in here because Latin Jazz is a very broad sub-genre with tonnes of sub-genres of its own.
One Note Samba (Antonio Carlos Jobim, second link in English by Sergio Mendes and the Brazil 66)
Mas Que Nada (performed by many artists, here in Portuques by Sergio Mendes and the Brazil 66)
Guantanamera (performed by many artists, here Arturo Sandoval)
Bim Bom (Joao Gilberto)
Desafinado (Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz)
Jazz Rock / Jazz Fusion
Jazz Fusion and Jazz Rock also are very broad categories that have too many sub-genres to count, so I have several songs listed here.
Spinning Wheel (Blood, Sweat, and Tears)
Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
Oye Como Va (Santana)
Spain (Chick Correa)
Black Satin (Miles Davis)
Acid Jazz
The Awakening of a Woman (The Cinematic Orchestra)
Come with Me (Audiomontage)
Nu Jazz
So Flute (St. Germain)
Jolie Coquine (Caravan Palace)
Coffee Talk (Jazzanova)
Now with a list like that, a short not at all extensive list mind you, I’d bet you’d be hard pressed to say there isn’t a single style or genre of jazz music that you could see yourself liking or learning to like. Even just in making this list I found new genres I hadn’t heard of yet that I really like. So I hope you listen to these songs and definitely do some more listening on your own, because jazz is too broad a category of music to just completely write off.
I'll make another post soon with some videos of great jazz drummers, so keep an eye out for that as well.
Happy listening!



Travis G.

Great Drum Instruction for Beginning and Intermediate Musicians

20+ hours