Have you ever just stopped someone and asked him/her what’s the first thing that pops up in their mind when they think of Jazz music? because we have. When most people think of jazz music, they automatically think of Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra as if they are the only great jazz musicians in history. Of course we are not denying their contribution to the history of jazz music or criticizing their outstanding music. It’s just when it comes to jazz music, there are a lot of great musicians who also deserve as much attention as Armstrong and Sinatra and that’s what we’re about to give them today.
Top 6 Jazz Musicians In History
- Miles Davis (1926 – 1991): Born to an American family in Alton, Illinois, Miles Davis was one of the most important jazz musicians and is currently somehow underrated. Davis’s contribution to jazz music is huge. He was known for forming bands of young musicians and introducing them to the music world. Many of these young musicians grew up to be well-known successful jazz artists themselves and among these names are Bill Evans, John Coltrane and Ron Carter. Davis used to play different subgenres of Jazz like free jazz, cool jazz and he was even involved in Jazz Fusion. So if you haven’t listened to any of his music before, we highly recommend that you start doing so and you can start by listening to So What and All Blues.
- Chet Baker (1929 – 1988): Also an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist, nicknamed the “Prince of Cool” for his great innovations in the cool jazz subgenre. When listening to Chet Baker, you literally melt because of his fragile vocal style. His music puts you in an intimate relaxing mood that you might definitely need when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. He was nominated for many awards and many festivals were made for his honor. If you’re looking for some intimate relaxing songs, you should try listening to Born To Be Blue or I Fall In Love Too Easily.
- Duke Ellington (1899 – 1974): Born in Washington, DC, Duke Ellington was a great composer, pianist and leader of a band orchestra. He had his own personality when composing music and his orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra is one of the greatest orchestras in the history of jazz music and he sure made a great impact on jazz. When mentioning awards and honors, Ellington was very much appreciated even after his death. In 1999, 25 years after his death, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to music and culture. If you want to listen to some good jazz music, check out In A Sentimental Mood and It Don’t Mean A Thing.
- Ella Fitzgerald (1917 – 1996): You probably know Ella because she has lots of famous songs with the great Louis Armstrong but that’s not just it. Ella is an American jazz singer who is sometimes referred to as The Queen Of Jazz. Ella has many awesome songs of her own and won a lot of awards because of her heavenly sweet voice. She won thirteen Grammy awards alongside many other awards and honors. She mastered harmony, diction, rhythm, and intonation and that’s certainly why she’s referred to as the Queen of Jazz. If you want to listen to the sweetest vocals ever, make sure you listen to Dream A Little Dream Of Me and Summertime.
- John Coltrane (1926 – 1967): As previously mentioned, John Coltrane is one of the jazz musicians that Miles Davis introduced. John is an American jazz saxophonist, composer and band-leader who was very well-known for his intense style and unique tone on the sax that was very dark and huge. Coltrane was also famous for his simultaneous improvisation when it comes to composing music and playing it. His subgenre, thus, is maily free jazz. He was appreciated after his death and awarded The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 for his lifetime contribution to jazz music. You would very much like to listen to My Favourite Things and I’m Old Fashioned.
- Ornette Coleman (1930 – 2015): Is an American jazz trumpeter, saxophonist, composer, and violinist who was born in Fortworth, Texas. We can’t just skip Ornette Coleman when mentioning some of the best jazz musicians. Coleman was one of the main free jazz movement leaders. He had this outstanding powerful plastic saxophone performance and he even taught himself how to play trumpet and violin. His unique and powerful saxophone style influenced a lot of saxophonists and many other instruments players in jazz. Coleman had a very successful career and was very much honored and awarded. He was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2007. If you are curious to listen to some of Coleman’s music, make sure you don’t miss listening to Lonely Woman and All My Life.
Back To Louis Armstrong And Frank Sinatra
Hands down, as previously mentioned, we cannot say that Armstrong and Sinatra aren’t some of the most influential jazz musicians in history. We just had to give credit to the musicians mentioned above because they deserve acknowledgment as well for their great work. As a jazz music enthusiast, you certainly adore Armstrong and Sinatra’s music. You cannot just disregard the influence and the relaxing mood that La Vie En Rose, What A Wonderful World or A Kiss To Build A Dream ON put you in. You can also just chill by listening to MY Funny Valentine, I’ve Got You Under My Skin or Fly Me To The Moon. If we are to talk about Jazz music then, we cannot just not mention any of the names we already mentioned because they offered us some good pure music that is very rare to find nowadays.
Anyway, Hope you guys enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it and if you want to read more interesting art-related articles make sure you look this up.