Jazz has a reputation for being soulful and revolutionary, but it can also be a bright spot on a dark day.
When a lot of people think of jazz, they also think of the blues. That is natural, since the blues originated from jazz music and the two are very similar in nature. A lot of the jazz greats actually sang the blues as well, which is why so many jazz fans have the mournful, soulful sound of the blues linked in their minds with their favorite musical genre. However, jazz does not have to be sad and soulful. It can be bright and happy as well.
To make sure you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that jazz is only for your dark days, I’ve compiled a list of 3 happy jazz songs you need in your playlist. I actually play one or more of these songs most mornings just to put myself in the right mindset for tackling my day. Getting the morning started with an optimistic, uplifting jazz song is the best way I know to get the most out of my entire day.
Here is my happy jazz playlist:
This song has been recorded more than 150 times, and one of the best is the one by Stan Getz. The lyrics actually are about taking a new road, which can be an upbeat topic or a downbeat one, but the swinging music keeps my hopes up no matter what.
Recognize this tune? If this song sounds familiar to you, it’s because it has featured in a number of popular shows and plays.
I’m Crazy ‘Bout My Baby
If you can’t stop thinking about your one true love (and you’re meeting up later in the day for a quick smooch), then Fats Waller’s toe-tapping tune will definitely fit the bill. With easy, sing-able lyrics like “I’m the world’s most happy creature, Tell me what can worry me? I’m crazy ‘bout my baby, Baby’s crazy ‘bout me!” it is hard to stop smiling when this song is ringing in your ears.
What’s in a name? Fats Waller was described as “a bubbling bundle of joy” by his closest collaborator, so it’s no wonder this song makes our list.
I Got Rhythm
Who hasn’t felt the irresistible pull of those famous words, “I got rhythm, I got music, I got my gal, who could ask for anything more?” This song has been recorded and rerecorded by so many jazz greats over the years, but one of my favorites is the Louis Armstrong version of the song, which rose to 17 on the recording charts in 1932. Of course, the song has placed as high as number 1 with other artists, but Armstrong’s version has a special place in my heart.
Carnegie, here we come! This song made “the big-time” in the Broadway production of Girl Crazy, which launched Ethel Merman’s longstanding career in musicals in 1930. Her last New York performance was at Carnegie Hall in 1982.