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There are thousands of great jazz recordings out there, and it’s a musical genre that we hear all around us — in movies, on TV, in restaurants and shops, and in the work of popular artists from Kanye West to Bruce Springsteen.

But if you don’t know your Holiday from your Hawkins, or your Miles from your Monk, the choice can seem overwhelming.

So where should a fledgling hepcat start? Right here, because we've gathered 10 of the most legendary and enduring tracks, from big band to bebop.

All you need to get swinging is click "open gallery" above.

Editor's note: sourced from allmusic.com.

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10 great jazz tunes everyone should know

There are thousands of great jazz recordings out there, and it’s a musical genre that we hear all aro…

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YapDaddy
#1 posted by
YapDaddy
on Oct 20, 2013

I like your list very much.  Is there room for “West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong, or “Butterfly” by Gretchen Parlato, or “Skylark” by Gregory Porter?  However the list may change or grow, thank you for causing me to think more about jazz. 

Jennifer Van Evra
#2 posted by
Jennifer Van Evra
on Oct 20, 2013

There's definitely room for those and more, YapDaddy! We just have to make a 10 jazz tunes everyone should know Part II!

garth burlingham
#3 posted by
garth burlingham
on Oct 22, 2013

Hi:

Love the question and buy into the list. My amendment would be to switch Benny Goodman for Ella and Louis doing Summertime.

How come we don't have more posts with such a "juicy" question?

jakehanlonjazz
#4 posted by
jakehanlonjazz
on Oct 23, 2013

Impossible to make only a list of 10 but this is good.  And Herbie Hancock originally did "Butterfly" but her version is a great modern vocal take, she's fantastic.

 

A nice, safe list of music done before 1965... sometimes I wish the CBC and other entities would support the current music rather then resting on the music that happened 60 or 70 years ago, it would help us players out a bit

markus o'reallyus
#5 posted by
markus o'reallyus
on Oct 23, 2013

I don't know how you could include Gershwin but not either Louis Armstrong's rendition of W.C. Handy's 'St. Louis Blues' or Duke Ellington's - well, just about anything by Duke Ellington. And then there is Coletrane's 'My Favorite Things', or better yet 'A Love Supreme', Dizzy Gillespie's 'Manteca'. And no Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Sara Vaughn, Art Blakey... Seriously. Who made this list?

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