Abe Beeson’s Top 100 Jazz Songs

As you know, KPLU is currently asking our listeners to help us rank the Top 100 Jazz Songs of all time. You can vote for your Top 5 at this very website!

http://www.kplunews.org/post/jazz-100-one-hundred-quintessential-jazz-songs

In case you’re struggling to remember your favorites, I’ve put together a list of my Top 100, in a very loose order (Monk’s “‘Round Midnight” is my #1!) to remind you of great songs that I hope will find their way onto a few ballots.

So peruse, discuss, frown, laugh, feel free to comment… and vote today!

1) “’Round Midnight” THELONIOUS MONK

“Take Five” DAVE BRUBECK

“All Blues” MILES DAVIS

“St. Thomas” SONNY ROLLINS

“My Funny Valentine” CHET BAKER

“Take the ‘A’ Train” DUKE ELLINGTON

“God Bless the Child” BILLIE HOLIDAY

“Lush Life” JOHNNY HARTMAN/JOHN COLTRANE

“Summertime” MILES DAVIS

10) “Stolen Moments” OLIVER NELSON

“Chitlins Con Carne” KENNY BURRELL

“Sugar” STANLEY TURRENTINE

“Birdland” WEATHER REPORT

“Spain” CHICK COREA/RETURN TO FOREVER

“Parker’s Mood” CHARLIE PARKER

“Love Supreme Pt 1: Acknowledgement” JOHN COLTRANE

“Waltz for Debby” BILL EVANS

“Chealsea Bridge” BEN WEBSTER

“April in Paris” COUNT BASIE

20) “Moanin’” ART BLAKEY/JAZZ MESSENGERS

“Work Song” NAT ADDERLEY

“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” CANNONBALL ADDERLEY

“Oye Como Va” TITO PUENTE

“Four on Six” WES MONTGOMERY

“Midnight Special” JIMMY SMITH

“Girl from Ipanema” STAN GETZ/JOAO & ASTRUD GILBERTO

“A Child is Born” THAD JONES/MEL LEWIS ORCHESTRA

“St. Louis Blues” ART TATUM

“Central Park West” JOHN COLTRANE

30) “I’m in the Mood for Love” JAMES MOODY

“Jump, Jive & Wail” LOUIS PRIMA

“Sing, Sing, Sing” BENNY GOODMAN

“Song for My Father” HORACE SILVER

“Let’s Get Lost” CHET BAKER

“My Baby Just Cares for Me” NINA SIMONE

“Body and Soul” SARAH VAUGHAN

“Sweet Georgia Brown” ANITA O’DAY

“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” E. FITZGERALD/L. ARMSTRONG

“The ‘In’ Crowd” RAMSEY LEWIS

40) “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” VINCE GUARALDI

“Hit the Road Jack” RAY CHARLES

“Seven Steps to Heaven” MILES DAVIS

“The Sidewinder” LEE MORGAN

“Infant Eyes” WAYNE SHORTER

“Watermelon Man” HERBIE HANCOCK

“Salt Peanuts” DIZZY GILLESPIE

“Flying Home” LIONEL HAMPTON/BENNY GOODMAN

“Bouncing with Bud” BUD POWELL

“Your Mind Is On Vacation” MOSE ALLISON

50) “Canadian Sunset” GENE AMMONS

“It Don’t Mean a Thing…” D.ELLINGTON/L.ARMSTRONG

“Lester Leaps In” COUNT BASIE/LESTER YOUNG

“Everyday I Have the Blues” JOE WILLIAMS/COUNT BASIE

“Mood Indigo” DUKE ELLINGTON

“Straight, No Chaser” THELONIOUS MONK

“Fever” PEGGY LEE

“Joy Spring” CLIFFORD BROWN/MAX ROACH

“Minnie the Moocher” CAB CALLOWAY

“Georgia on My Mind” RAY CHARLES

60) “Haitian Fight Song” CHARLES MINGUS

“Misty” ERROLL GARNER

“Route 66” NAT ‘KING’ COLE

“My Favorite Things” JOHN COLTRANE

“Someday My Prince Will Come” MILES DAVIS

“Cold Duck Time” LES McCANN/EDDIE HARRIS

“Very Early” BILL EVANS

“Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” ELLA FITZGERALD

“Night Train” JIMMY FORREST

“Senor Blues” HORACE SILVER

70) “The Peacocks” STAN GETZ/JIMMY ROWLES

“A Night in Tunisia” DIZZY GILLESPIE

“Twisted” JONI MITCHELL

“Cantaloupe Island” HERBIE HANCOCK

“Listen Here” EDDIE HARRIS

“Misterioso” THELONIOUS MONK

“Tuxedo Junction” ERSKINE HAWKINS ORCHESTRA

“You Go To My Head” BILLIE HOLIDAY

“Poinciana” AHMAD JAMAL

“Killer Joe” THE JAZZTET

80) “Blues in the Night” QUINCY JONES

“Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” LOUIS JORDAN

“Doodlin’” HORACE SILVER

“What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?” MARY LOU WILLIAMS

“Java Jive” MANHATTAN TRANSFER

“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” CHARLES MINGUS

“Django” MODERN JAZZ QUARTET

“Bernie’s Tune” GERRY MULLIGAN/CHET BAKER

“Bloomdido” CHARLIE PARKER

“The Summer Knows” PHIL WOODS

90) “I Could Have Danced All Night” OSCAR PETERSON

“Bohemia After Dark” OSCAR PETTIFORD

“I’ll See You in My Dreams” DJANGO REINHARDT

“Afro Blue” MONGO SANTAMARIA

“I Loves You Porgy” NINA SIMONE

“One for My Baby” FRANK SINATRA

“Tea for Two” ART TATUM

“Soul Bird (Tin Tin Deo)” CAL TJADER

“Lover Man” SARAH VAUGHAN

“Ain’t Misbehavin’” FATS WALLER

100) “This Can’t Be Love” DINAH WASHINGTON

11 comments on “Abe Beeson’s Top 100 Jazz Songs

  1. Riki Jacobs

    I had no problems coming up with my top five (coincidently,”Take Five” being my 1st pick) but your amazingly comprensive list (from my point of view) made it a lot easier to highlight names and spellings. You confirmed what I thought, that you really are an aficiando of the language of JAZZ. Thank you. Now, how do I cast my ballot? R.J.

  2. Abe Beeson

    The best way to vote for your Top 5 is to just start at our homepage (www.kplu.org) and click on the “JAZZ 100 VOTE HERE” button. That takes you to a page that gives you the option of voting in a “Comments” box like this one, other voters will be able to see your votes, or click the “submit your vote here” button to use a ballot. The voting ends on Jan 21st, we hope to start streaming the Top 100 on Feb 7th!

  3. JST

    There is a highly addictive song by John Handy called
    ” Hard Work” I am sure it would fit in a top 100 or 1000; anywhere. I had the LP way back and would love a CD. If anyone knows how or where to find it maybe they can help.
    As for your lists ,they are fun to check out. I was so happy to see a Thad Jones/Mel Lewis number on the long list. They ran a great school on Mondays at the Vanguard.
    Now considering the top 5, Louis Armstrong’s ” What a Wonderful World “moves me every single time I hear it . For me it is my number 1 song. Many may agree.
    Thanks

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