100 Essential Jazz Standards

Since the release of The Jazz Standards Progressions Book where I analyzed 1000+ songs I have been asked many times for a list of essential jazz standards.

I do not want to promote uniformity in repertoire nor do I believe in programatic lists. Jazz is a personal intuitive journey. What I do believe in is finding our own voice. I think it’s the deepest experience  in music. It’s a self-realization process and everyone needs to create their own path.

Having said that, I’ve been inspired and guided many times in my personal ride with music. If taken only as a starting point, I believe this list can help some people get started. Also, having clear, specific objectives helps many students who feel overwhelmed by the dimension of the work ahead.

I encourage everyone to see the whole list of 1000+ songs included in The Jazz Standards Progression Book. They have full harmonic analysis, chord-scales, arrows & brackets and a full glossary of scales over the circle of fifths. A whole parallel collection of each song re-harmonized is available as well. 


Here’s a list of 100 songs I came up with. I’m sure there are lots of great songs missing in this list but again, I see it just as a starting point.

Ain’t Misbehavin’
All Blues
All of Me
All of You
All the Things You Are
All the Way
Alone Together
Angel Eyes
As Time Goes By
Autumn Leaves
Beautiful Love
Be Careful, It’s My Heart
Body And Soul
But Not For Me
Bye Bye Blackbird
Cheek to Cheek
Darn That Dream
Days Of Wine and Roses
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
East of the Sun
Easy Living
Embraceable You
Everything Happens to Me
Fly Me to the Moon
From This Moment On
Georgia On My Mind
Girl From Ipanema
God Bless The Child
On Green Dolphin Street
Here’s That Rainy Day
Honeysuckle Rose
How Deep Is the Ocean
How High the Moon
How Insensitive
I Can’t Get Started
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
I Didn’t Know What Time it was
I Got Rhythm
I Thought About You
I Wish You Love
I’m Old Fashioned
If I Should Lose You
In A Sentimental Mood
It Don’t Mean A Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing
It Had To Be You
It’s All Right With Me
It’s Only a Paper Moon
Just Friends
Just One of Those Things
The Lady Is A Tramp
Oh, Lady Be Good
Like Someone In Love
Lover Man
Lullaby of Birdland
Lush Life
Mean to Me
Mood Indigo
More Than You Know
My Funny Valentine
My One and Only Love
My Romance
My Favorite Things
Nature Boy
Night And Day
Night In Tunisia
On the Sunny Side of the Street
One Note Samba
Our Love Is Here to Stay
Over The Rainbow
Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars
Round Midnight
Satin Doll
Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise
Sophisticated Lady
Speak Low
So In Love
Stella By Starlight
Stormy Weather
Take The “A” Train
Teach Me Tonight
Them There Eyes
There Is No Greater Love
There’ll Never Be Another You
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
What Is This Thing Called Love?
What’s New?
You Don’t Know What Love Is
You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to

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