The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Jazz For All Generations


With winter fully upon us, the time has come for many San Luis Obispo High School students to bundle up indoors with some of their favorite music. This season, dear students, I implore you to ditch the Fetty Wap and the Wacka Flocka, in exchange for true audio artistry. Herein, I have compiled fifteen songs that truly express what I feel is wonderful about jazz… enjoy!


1.)    “générique bof ascenseur pour l’échafaud” – Miles Davis

  • With its moody, flowing style, this tune will leave you with a sense of mystery.


2.)    “My Favorite Things” – John Coltrane

  • Coltrane’s take on this classic song from the “Afro Blue Impressions” record takes you on a journey through over twenty minutes of phenomenal saxophone and piano playing.


3.)     “Round Midnight” – Thelonious Monk

  • Another moody song, “Round Midnight” seems to almost bring the blues into jazz. With its heavy use of minor scales, this song will surely have you in a contemplative mood.


4.)    “Blue in Green” – Miles Davis

  • This is my favorite Miles Davis track. It just is.


5.)    “All the Things You Are” – Charlie Parker

  • Starting out sinister but ending upbeat, this song has great range and is a wonderful display of the musical talents of Charlie Parker.


6.)    “In a Sentimental Mood” – Duke Ellington & John Coltrane

  • This collaboration between two titans of jazz is truly awe inspiring and wonderful. The melancholy of Coltrane’s sax complements the soul of Ellington’s piano. It is simply a beautiful song.


7.)    “Brainville” – Sun Ra

  • A more upbeat track, “Brainville” will leave you feeling grand and glamorous. Although this style of instrumental jazz is not typical of Sun Ra, it is great nonetheless.


8.)    “Minor Swing” – Django Reinhardt

  • This incredibly melodic tune comes from the famous Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt (the ‘D’ is silent). Reinhardt skillfully displays his talent and unique style of playing that originates from his only having two fingers on one hand in this triumph of the jazz guitar.


9.)    “Planet Earth” – Sun Ra

  • Another great track by Sun Ra. With traditional sounds mixed in with his trademark strangeness, lovers of the eclectic will dig this track.


10.)  “Winter Weather” – Benny Goodman & Peggy Lee

  • A more upbeat song, Peggy Lee delivers wonderful vocals in a classic 1940’s style. This track will certainly take you back to your grandparent’s generation.


11.)   “Moonlight Serenade” – Glenn Miller

  • A big band classic. This instrumental certainly retains a romantic tone that will surely have you and your significant other in each other’s arms.


12.)   “Sing Sing Sing (with a swing)” – Benny Goodman

  • Quite possibly the most upbeat track on this list. Benny Goodman and his band deliver a powerful performance, in a very Gatsby-esque take on big band music.


13.)   “Nuclear War” – Sun Ra

  • A more politically charged track from the mighty Sun Ra. This song confronts the ideas of militarism and nuclear armaments.


14.)   “Nefertiti” – Miles Davis

  • Another mysterious track by Miles Davis. This one will certainly leave you melancholy and loving it.


15.)   “Flamenco Sketches” – Miles Davis

  • Honestly, the entire “Kind of Blue (Legacy Edition)” album is fantastic, but this track stands out in particular. The rest of the band keeps their playing subtle in order to highlight the horn section. The synchronization and arrangement of the players really helps accentuate what makes jazz so amazing. It is true artistry, appropriate for everyone.
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