4 Swinging Jazz Standards for Singles

Valentine’s Day is here again and you know what that means. Retailers and every couple that you know might want to cover everything with flowers, cards, candy, stuffed animals and every sappy sentiment in existence.

In the middle of a pandemic, give those folks a pass. We all could probably use a little extra sweetness right now. So, to cover all of the bases, we’re going to show the single people out there some love by sharing some great tunes for parties of one. Why? Because you deserve to be celebrated just as much as anyone else does.

If you’re taken, you can find songs to woo your boo here. But if you’re riding solo, here are four songs to make Singles Awareness Day, Valentine’s Day or any day special.

Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane – “Someday My Prince Will Come”

If you’ve been navigating the world of dating apps and friend hookups with no luck — yet — you probably understand Snow White’s sweet song for the person of her dreams. “Someday My Prince Will Come” was written in 1937 by Larry Morey (lyrics) and Frank Churchill (music). It was first performed by Adriana Caselotti who voiced Snow White in Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Miles Davis’ version came along in 1961 on his seventh studio album that was also titled, “Someday My Prince Will Come.” While the Disney version of the song is magical in an animated way, Davis’ version is suited for a modern single person who might be longing to meet that special someone — but they still wouldn’t change a thing about their current situation.

Antonio Carlos Jobim – “Corcovado/”Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”

Jobim wrote this bossa nova classic in 1960. The song is a tribute to Corcovado Mountain which looms over Rio de Janeiro and is home to the magnificent Cristo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer statue. While Jobim is known for his dreamy, tender and romantic songs, his pieces perfectly capture the Brazilian concept of “saudade,” which is a happy-sadness that turns into a sad-happiness.

Since its creation, “Corcovado” has been recorded by artists like Miles Davis, Charlie Byrd, Sérgio Mendes, Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, Mary Wilson, Queen Latifah and Astrud Gilberto. While the context of the lyrics speaks to someone changing their outlook on life because they found love, the same can apply to singles. Because if you love yourself, then it’s kind of hard to think that life stinks.

Andreas Varady featuring Gregory Porter – “Let the Good Times Roll”

Twenty-three-year-old jazz guitarist, Andreas Varady, is kind of an old soul. At the age of 13, he became the youngest headlining artist at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. A year later (2012), he performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival where he managed to get Quincy Jones’ attention. A few months later, Jones signed Varady to his management company.

Since he’s been on the scene, Varady has worked with a wide variety of well-known musicians. His cover of Louis Jordan’s swinging party anthem, “Let the Good Times Roll.” is a great reminder to live life to the fullest regardless of what’s going on. And with Gregory Porter serving some party booster realness on the track, this song is bound to put you in a celebratory mood anytime.

The Lorca Hart Trio featuring Ralph Moore – “Introspection on the 401”

A lot goes on during our days — random interactions, work issues, family obligations or friendship duties. And yes, bad dates sometimes work their way in every now and then. Sometimes, we just want to be able to unwind and decompress after the day’s events. Well, “Introspection on the 401” is the perfect tune to do just that.

Released in 2020 by The Lorca Hart Trio featuring Ralph Moore, this gorgeous tune is wonderful to listen to after those “what the hell just happened?” moments or during your wine (yes, wine) down sessions on the couch. And don’t just stop at that one song. Check out the full album titled “Colors of Jazz,” to discover even more tunes to help you relax and enjoy those quiet, blissful moments alone.

Five Love Songs To Woo Your Sweetheart this Valentine’s Day

When you’re going through a breakup, it’s comforting to belt out the lyrics to contemporary love songs, like Selena Gomez’s Lose You To Love Me and Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved. But when you’re falling in love and trying to woo your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, you want some more upbeat and classical tunes. Here are five jazz songs that’ll create that flirty, fun, and romantic mood to get you and your Valentine dancing, twirling, and kissing all around the room.

WJ3 All-Stars – From This Moment On

Nothing says, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” like this iconic jazz standard. Originally written by Cole Porter in 1950, this song has been recorded again and again by stars including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne and The Supremes. And recently, in 2020, world-class artists Willie Jones III and his All-Stars have released a heartwarming rendition that brings the song back to life in a new and inspiring way. WJ3 All-Star’s instrumental rendition will get you and your sweetheart smiling and tapping your toes this Valentine’s Day.

Billie Holiday – Let’s Do It

This playful, flirty and clever classic was a popular song written in 1928 by Cole Porter. It appeared in a few Broadway shows and a Hollywood movie in the 30s. And it’s perfect for impressing a new love interest on a first date because the suggestive comparisons and double entendre of the lyrics (“birds do it, bees do it… let’s do it, let’s fall in love”) will help break the ice and make you and your lover giggle and fall in love.

Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra – Somebody Loves Me

Sweep your sweetheart off of his or her feet with this exciting celebration of love, recorded by a 19-member band based in Los Angeles. Whether you’ve been going steady for a while or you’re in a budding relationship, this song will really get you on your feet, swinging around in each other’s’ arms.

Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine

Slow down the pace with this smooth and signature rendition of the 1937 show tune turned jazz standard. My Funny Valentine has appeared in over 1,300 albums, but Chet Baker, also known as the “prince of cool,” is the only artist to have his version inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. This silky song is perfect for cuddling up together with a glass of champagne and box of chocolates.

Lorca Heart Trio – Here’s That Rainy Day

All good things have to come to an end and this modern and vibrant rendition of the popular song from 1953 will provide a great backdrop for you and your valentine to look into each other’s’ eyes and say that wistful goodbye.

Find the Best Jazz Love Songs at Night is Alive

If you’re looking for new tunes to create that romantic night you’ll never forget, or if you’re looking for valentine’s day gift ideas we can help. Night is Alive is proud to offer two albums that can allow you to begin writing your very own love story. Check WJ3 All-Star’s Lovers and Love Songs and Lorca Heart Trio’s Colors of Jazz. Both are available right now in our store. And if you’d like to book one of our lovely musicians for an upcoming party or event, contact us today.

Chet Baker: “My Funny Valentine”

From now until Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing some of our picks to get you in the mood.  Last time, we told you about “Our Love Is Easy” by Melody Gardot. Now, we’re giving you a jazz standard.

 

Chet Baker

“My Funny Valentine”

 

My funny Valentine, sweet comic Valentine

You make me smile with my heart

Your looks are laughable

Unphotographable

Yet you’re my favorite work of art

 

Of course, this made the list.  C’mon, you can’t have Valentine’s Day without it!  The funny thing about it is that “My Funny Valentine” started as a show tune written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart back in 1937, and it was introduced by child star, Mitzi Green.  It’s since become a popular jazz standard and has been performed by more than 600 artists. Baker was able to turn the tune into a jazz classic when he recorded an instrumental version with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in 1952, and then a haunting vocal version in 1956.  He then would go on to revisit the song a number of times throughout his career.

Chesney Henry Baker Jr., or Chet Baker, was known for the melancholic, fragile tone of his trumpet playing and singing.  He began playing the trumpet at 10 and later went on to play in Army bands while he was a soldier.  During the 50s, he played with Charlie Parker and joined Gerry Mulligan’s quartet in 1952.

In 1954, Baker beat out Miles Davis and many others to win the Downbeat Jazz Poll. Over the next few years, Baker was a frontman for his own combo He played trumpet and sang.  Baker’s good looks, vibratoless, soft tenor voice and cool vibe pretty much put him on the fast track.  But his personal struggles would end up taking a toll on his career.

Despite the troubles, it’s been said that the period between 1977 and 1988 were Baker’s most prolific musical years.  He’s pretty much an icon for the “cool school” style of jazz.

What’s your favorite song for Valentine’s Day?  Let us know in the comments.