ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The best music and songs list in history

Updated on December 21, 2015

Personal and subjective choices

I've just updated this hub with a terrific video of Bobby McFerrin - check it out below!

If you are a musician you could try learning the jazz standards listed. There is a miniature music lesson contained in each piece, so memorize as much as possible. For me, a track by Weather Report entitled "A Remark You Made" takes a lot of beating- see below.

If you're not really into jazz, you might need to listen to it a few times as it's complex music and a lot of the effect is from the changing textures in the music. It features a bass solo from Jaco Pastorius, one of the all-time greats.

Single best song - My Funny Valentine (Rodgers and Hart)

Other contenders:

The Nearness of You (Hoagy Carmichael)

Embracable You (Gershwin)

These three songs really stand out from the standards, due to their wonderful chord progressions, strong melodies, and inventive lyrics. They are tunes that are constantly reworked and re-recorded, and also give a strong enough harmony to support endless improvisations.

Best orchestral work - Rodrigo, Adagio from Concierto De Aranjuez. It's got Spain written all over it, in a good way.The Jim Hall jazz version is terrific, and by some strange fluke of nature it costs $2.60 for the album! That's only about 3 cents per thousand notes! Please buy it, you can't go wrong. Jim Hall is an American national treasure, though I'm not sure he is recognised as such. You also have Paul Desmond of Take Five fame improvising on the track.

My new hub entitled Great Music - Rodrigo and Jim Hall has a video of this piece.

The Paco De Lucia version is great too, an amazing interpretation with a fantastic orchestra.

Other great music- The end (ballad) section of Layla, which I believe is called Peaches and Cream. Here Comes the Sun. The guitar break in Badge (Cream with George Harrison)

John Coltrane version of My Favourite Things

Although I don't like all of his compositions I must admit that Mike Stern is brilliant. Check out the Voices album, also Who Let The Dogs Out. These albums feature fantastic solos, with very strong melodies and harmony.



Bobby McFerrin sings Bach

Paco De Lucia Aranjuez

Best compositions and songs

  • Duke Ellington: East St.Louis Toodle-oo, Take the A Train, In a Mellow Tone
  • Antonio Jobim: How Insensitive (Insensatez)
  • Thelonius Monk: Blue Monk, Round Midnight
  • JS Bach: Air on a G string, Brandenburg concertos, cello suites. Prelude in C.
  • The Beatles: Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever, A Day in The Life, In My Life, For no-one, I Will, Yesterday,We Can Work it Out, Blackbird, Here there and everywhere.
  • Joni Mitchell: Refuge of the Roads, Edith and the Kingpin, A Case of You.
  • Erik Satie: Gnossiennes,Gymnopedies
  • The Beach Boys: God Only Knows
  • Rodrigo: Concierto De Aranjuez (Adagio)
  • Raglan Road (Trad.Irish)
  • Arthur McBride (Paul Brady version)
  • Night Passage (Forcione)
  • A Remark You Made (Weather Report)
  • Leonard Cohen- Famous Blue Raincoat (Jennifer Warnes version)

  • Up on the Roof - Carole King, James Taylor version
  • Randy Newman - Still the same girl, Feels Like Home, Jolly Coppers on Parade.

  • Django Reinhardt: Tears, Nuages, Manoir De Mes Reves (see my hub Django's legacy)

  • John Coltrane - My Favourite Things

  • Love's in need of love today (Stevie Wonder)

    Cole Porter - Ev'ry Time We say Goodbye




  • Standards:
  • All the Things You Are
  • My Funny Valentine
  • Embraceable You
  • The Nearness of You
  • Take Five
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Bewitched,Bothered and Bewildered
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Someone to Watch Over Me
  • Day in the Life of a Fool
  • How Insensitive
  • I'm Old Fashioned
  • With a Song in My Heart
  • The Way you look Tonight.


Greatest improvisers (random order)

  1. Art Pepper, especially the later years - terrific sax and clarinet soloist.
  2. Robben Ford, a brilliant blues and jazz guitarist
  3. Django Reinhardt,the original guitar superstar from the 1930s, still revered today
  4. Bireli Lagrene,the most recent the better - don't like his child prodigy stuff, but now he is great. Gypsy Jazz lives on!
  5. Art Tatum,amazing piano player from back in the day.
  6. Miles Davis, massively influential jazz trumpet.
  7. John Coltrane,one of the greatest sax players,but prone to playing weird stuff!
  8. Charlie Parker, - mostly on Youtube.


Less well known greats

  1. Antonio Forcione (guitar)
  2. Danny Gatton (guitar)
  3. Mike Stern (guitar)
  4. Lyle Mays (piano)
  5. Richard Bona (bass)
  6. Jaco Pastorius (bass)
  7. Ted Greene (guitar)
  8. Jim Hall (guitar)
  9. John Scofield (guitar)
  10. Debashish Bhattacharya (Indian slide guitar!)

Great writers from yesteryear

  • Fats Waller
  • Louis Jordan
  • Harry Warren
  • Jerome Kern
  • Cole Porter
  • Hoagy Carmichael


Too many great songs to list here, but essential listening, with great lyrics. A good place to start is always the Ella Fitzgerald version from the Songbooks series. Try some web shopping for Ella CDs - many musicians agree they're the best source for accurate versions of the great standards from the American songbook.

World's best jazz singer?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      7 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane are probably my favourites - but even this combination on one single wasn't enough for the record-buying public as it never made No.1 in the UK charts!

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      The Beatles are timeless. My two teenagers love them.

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      7 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Someone to Watch Over Me - just a terrific tune. Also Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered is great to play. If you look at youtube, there are many different versions of classic songs.

    • profile image

      McCoy 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful choices of for no-one and I will by the Beatles. Im also in love with someone to watch over me

    • profile image

      klarawieck 

      8 years ago

      That's what I call good music!

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      I missed Tuck and Patti off the list somehow - great musicians to check out if you are not familiar with their albums.

    • profile image

      akhil 

      8 years ago

      g888888888888 !!!!!!!!

    • music messenger profile image

      music messenger 

      8 years ago

      Good artists and songs. I agree. I have music reviews and info on my hub you might enjoy. Stop by. I voted.

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi illkid - Can't believe I missed that one, it's one of the best. Cheers, Jon

    • illkid_88 profile image

      illkid_88 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow Jon, you and I have a lot in common! Robben Ford is also one my favourite guitarists. I especially loved his work from his early days playing in the Yellow Jackets. I would maybe add All The Things You Are to the list of great standards ; )

    • moondive profile image

      moondive 

      8 years ago from Modena,Italy

      Yes he does but he stil composing. Cheers:)

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi moondive, you've just added a touch of glamour to the comments box! Will check them out, I think Jason had some awful disease? Cheers, Jon

    • moondive profile image

      moondive 

      8 years ago from Modena,Italy

      This is great hub! Do you like Jason Becker or Michael Romeo?

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Thanks ixwa, will do.

    • ixwa profile image

      ixwa 

      8 years ago

      Sketches of Spain By Miles; Rahsaan Roland Kirk's Raped Voices; Thelonious Monk's Blue Monk. In fact, you should check out my Internet Station called FASTTRACKS on Live365.com/stations/djtot12, I am sure you'll find a lot through listening. Please contact me if you do through the station's Shout Out or email. Great Hub!

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      9 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Yes, they're both great tunes. Something that you may not know (I didn"t) is that The Real Book is now available as an app on the i-phone - as of yesterday the new one is much faster (i-phoneS). I've heard of people using it on the bandstand through a sat nav sized screen! So Ellington is now in cyberspace too.

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Good choice from Ellington (and Billy Strayhorn). My favourites would include Mood Indigo and Sophisticated Lady. But he did so much.

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      true, but descending :)

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      9 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi Paraglider - that's a fair point, will act on it.

      Minor 6th - yes, but Love story theme (Where Do I Begin) is another one I reckon.

      Cheers, Jon Green

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      What, no Ellington? I saw the Duke live in Glasgow and remember it to this day. Johnny Hodges (alto) was already dead but Harry Carney (baritone) was still going strong.

      Day in the Life of a Fool - I reckon it's the only well known melody where the first two notes form a minor sixth. Over to you?

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      10 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi Kosmo. Forgot to include Pat Metheny,one of my favourites. Recently saw Bob Brozman on slide guitar who was excellent, and a great teacher too. His playing is all over youtube. Cheers, JG

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley Marks 

      10 years ago from California

      I'm definitely one to compile lists regarding music, particularly rock and jazz. Thanks for mentioning Miles Davis and John Scofield, who once played and recorded together in the early eighties. Please check out my hubs!

      Kosmo

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)