Best Jazz Songs

Perhaps one of the best – if not the best! – homegrown American inventions, jazz music has endured for over 100 years as a testament to faith, style and the heights to which raw talent can climb. The genre has its roots in the South, where African American communities first fused newfound European influences with African syncopations and rhythms. Over the years, early 20th-century jazz has evolved to incorporate elements of modern popular music, which has made the genre, as trombone player J.J. Johnson once famously said, one that revels in a constant state of flux: “Jazz is restless. It won’t stay put and it never will.”

Click here for our Top Greatest Famous Jazz Songs

We’ve compiled a brief list of the best of the greatest famous jazz songs of the past century, included below. Admittedly, most of our selections are culled from the genre’s earliest days, when titans like Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane and Billie Holiday ruled the scene (but then again, how can you argue with the likes of Thelonius, John and Billie?). Feel free to take a listen to our favorites, and let us know who you think should have made the cut by sounding off in the comments section below!

The Top Greatest Famous Jazz Songs

Thelonius Monk: “Round Midnight”

John Coltrane: “A Love Supreme”

Miles Davis: “So What”

Billie Holiday: “Strange Fruit”

Dave Brubeck: “Take Five”

Miles Davis: “In A Silent Way”

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: “Summertime”

Duke Ellington: “Take The A Train”

Benny Goodman: “Sing, Sing, Sing”

Billie Holiday: “God Bless The Child”