Awesome Jazz

Everlong But It’s Jazz

Everlong But It’s Jazz

The Foo Fighters’ track Everlong is already a pretty emotive song. But vocalist Anthony Vincent has taken things to a whole other level, turning the tune into a smooth and soulful jazz ballad with the help of producer and pianist Joey Izzo.

Ron Carter Tiny Desk Concert

Ron Carter Tiny Desk Concert

Throughout his 60-year jazz career, double bass maestro Ron Carter has always been the coolest cat in the room. To celebrate his 85th birthday, the national treasure jams supreme in an NPR Tiny Desk Concert filmed onstage at the Blue Note Jazz Club. The jazz deity will be fêted at Carnegie Hall on 5.10.22.

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Giant Steps on Harmonica

Giant Steps on Harmonica

A rambling, improvisational style is a trademark of jazz saxophone great John Coltrane’s sound, making them notoriously difficult for others to perform. Listen as harmonica player Cy Leo shows off his incredible breath control as he keeps perfect time with a passage from Coltrane’s 1960 classic Giant Steps.

We Will Rock You: Dixieland Edition

We Will Rock You: Dixieland Edition

Dustin over at There I Ruined It absolutely annihilates another classic song by turning it into the worst version of itself. His terrible Dixieland jazz version of Queen’s We Will Rock You will certainly have Freddie Mercury turning over in his grave.

Yoshologie

Yoshologie

Louis Zong presents a magnificent medley of tunes from the world of Yoshi, performed in the style of jazz great Django Reinhardt. The tracks include music from the soundtracks of Yoshi’s Crafted World, Yoshi’s Island DS, Yoshi’s Cookie, Yoshi’s Story, and Yoshi’s Island. The EP is available for download from Bandcamp.

Easy Listening Monster Band

Easy Listening Monster Band

Need to take the edge off of a hard week? Put on your headphones, take a sip of your favorite spirit, and listen to some smooth jams from the Monster Quintet. This series of easy listening musical interludes was produced for the Sesame Place theme parks back in the 1980s and is a must-watch Muppet fans.

Get Low: Swing Edition

Get Low: Swing Edition

(PG-13: Language) If Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz recorded music back in the 1930s, it might have sounded something like this. There I Ruined It took the 2009 track Get Low and crunked it up swing style. Skeet-skeet that slide whistle!

The Dirtiest Clarinet Solo

The Dirtiest Clarinet Solo

New Orleans is home to some of the world’s most talented jazz musicians. George Collier shared this excerpt of a street performance by Doreen Ketchens belting out one of the best and raspiest clarinet solos in a cover of The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun. We recommend listening to the complete performance.

The Kiffness x Light Jazz Glove Box

The Kiffness x Light Jazz Glove Box

Musician and remix artist The Kiffness takes on a classic meme video, adding a chill rhythm and trumpet to the Light Jazz Glove Box video by stuffwhatidone. We could listen to this smooth groove all day. Kiff, we suggest you do the Chewbacca cabinet next.

Tempo Playing Cards

Tempo Playing Cards
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Artist Michael “Komboh” Mateyko created these unique playing cards that celebrate jazz music. Each card features dynamic illustrations and hand-drawn numbering inspired by the improvisational style of jazz greats like Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. Printed by the USPCC on custom thin card stock.

Take Five: Harmonica Cover

Take Five: Harmonica Cover

Cy Leo, Ivan Chong, Jerry Wong, and Ramiel Leung of the quartet Perfect Fourth turn in a perfectly executed cover version of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s cool jazz classic Take Five, replacing the piano, drums, flute, and alto sax of the original with harmonicas. They also do a mean version of the William Tell Overture.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World: Jazz Funk Cover

Everybody Wants to Rule the World: Jazz Funk Cover

Scary Pockets presents a sublime new take on the Tears for Fears hit Everybody Wants to Rule the World. With Cory Henry kicking ass on keys and lead vocals, we can’t help but think this is how Stevie Wonder would have recorded this song.

Playing the Mouth Trumpet

Playing the Mouth Trumpet

Comedian Taylor aka Itzabennie possesses a unique talent. She can put her lips together and blow in just the right way to make them sound like exactly like a trumpet. After you enjoy some Benny Goodman, how about the Imperial March or La Vie en Rose?

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Pakistani Take Five

Pakistani Take Five

December 2020 marks the 100th birthday of jazz musician Dave Brubeck. To celebrate this occasion, we present this unique version of his track Take Five, as performed by Pakistan’s Sachal Studios Orchestra. There’s something about the twang of a sitar that always draws us in.

Jacob Collier: Tiny Desk Concert

Jacob Collier: Tiny Desk Concert

Among his many talents, musician Jacob Collier is known for his multitrack music videos. While quarantined at home, he and his three identical (virtual) twins performed this stellar NPR Tiny Desk Concert that showcases his diverse musical skills through three smooth and enveloping tunes.

In Bloom: Jazz-funk Cover

In Bloom: Jazz-funk Cover

(PG-13: Language) Metaphump presents a cover version of Nirvana’s In Bloom unlike any we’ve ever heard before. With an big band, jazz-fusion arrangement by Léonard Piacentino, and a freestyle rap vibe, it’s basically a completely different song.

Squirrel Nut Zippers: La Grippe

Squirrel Nut Zippers: La Grippe

Minutes before COVID-19 shutdowns started, at The Magic Bag in Detroit, the Squirrel Nut Zippers made this video of “La Grippe,” a macabre ditty about the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. The infectious song originally appeared on the band’s debut album and will inevitably rock the setlist for the “Inevitable 25th Anniversary Tour.”

Snarky Puppy: Tiny Desk Concert

Snarky Puppy: Tiny Desk Concert

The members of the jazz collective Snarky Puppy turned in a downright funky mix of keyboards, horns, bass, guitar, violin, and percussion during their appearance at the NPR Music offices. They performed their instrumental tracks Tarova and Xavi, the latter’s complex rhythms with the assistance of the audience.

Without Me: Jazz Edition

Without Me: Jazz Edition

(PG-13: Language) Guess who’s back, back again? Musician Lucas Brar gives Eminem’s 2002 hit track Without Me a jazzy new acoustic arrangement that only slightly softens the blow of Slim Shady’s stinging and acerbic poetry.

A Jazz Guitarist at a Party

A Jazz Guitarist at a Party

“I meant like Wonderwall from Oasis you know.” Professional musician Lucas Brar pokes fun at how people ask him what his real job is, along with one of the more popular requests he hears from party guests. His interpretation of the track really brought a smile to our faces.

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Still Alive: Swing Cover

Still Alive: Swing Cover

If you ask us, Jonathan Coulton’s Still Alive is one of the greatest video game songs of all time. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy this vibrant and jazzy version of the track, performed by The 8-Bit Big Band, with singer Benny Benack III doing his best Frank Sinatra.

The 10 Levels of Jazz Guitar

The 10 Levels of Jazz Guitar

Not to be outdone by bass player Davie504, guitarist Mattias Krantz presents a compilation of acoustic jazz styles performed masterfully as he advances level by level through an arrangement of George Gershwin’s 1935 classic Summertime.

Dancing Queen: Jazz Cover

Dancing Queen: Jazz Cover

See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen. The multi-talented Gunhild Carling joins Scott Bradlee and Aaron McLendon of Postmodern Jukebox for a fun 1920s jazz-infused remake of ABBA’s 1979 disco hit Dancing Queen.

The Look of Jazz Albums

The Look of Jazz Albums

Vox video producer Estell Caswell digs into the design language of album art from Blue Note Records, and how one graphic designer, Reid Miles, working with the photography of Francis Wolff – was responsible for many of the most iconic jazz album covers of all time.

Tetris A: Jazz Cover

Tetris A: Jazz Cover

We’ve heard a number of covers of the familiar theme song from Tetris over the years, from bluegrass to dubstep, game fanatic insaneintherainmusic’s jazzy rendition is our favorite yet. Beyond the cool arrangement, the man has some serious sax skills.

Mr. Sandman Ragtime Cover

Mr. Sandman Ragtime Cover

Pianist and self-proclaimed redneck Leslie Blake makes his fingers fly across 88 keys like few other musicians. Here, he performs a sped-up ragtime arrangement of The Chordettes 1958 classic Mr. Sandman designed to wake you up more than to put you to sleep.

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