The fast pace of our modern lifestyles, with work and social events taking up so much of our time, can lead to a build-up of stress that can be challenging to cope with. Dealing with this stress, especially in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding day can become overwhelming.

Destressing and relaxing may seem hard to do with a hectic schedule so it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity you get to relax, especially those opportunities where both of you are together for some alone time.

Instead of spending the final hours of the day zoning out in front of the TV you can use this time to discover better relaxation techniques. A great way to unwind after a long day is to sit down together on the couch and play some good music. Listening to pleasurable and calming music has been proven to reduce production of the stress hormone; cortisol.

Jazz music is well-known for the musical genius of its artists. Soft, melodic vocals and beautiful sounds from string, wind and percussive instruments provide a relaxing atmosphere that inspires conversation and thought. Taking an hour or so to listen to a good Jazz record is an amazing way to relieve the pressures of the day while staying involved and engaged in each others company.

Jazz is popular music that has touched the hearts and dance clubs across the world for generations. Although Jazz music found its humble beginnings back in the 1950’s, it’s still as relevant and popular today as it ever has been. You would be forgiven for thinking that Jazz is just for old people and is plain boring, but the truth is that Jazz is alive and well in modern culture and the Jazz classics of old are masterpieces of listening pleasure that can sooth the soul and inspire the mind.

If you find yourself starting to enjoy Jazz music and you need a good idea of where to start listening to the genre, then we have put together this list of the Top 7 Jazz tracks of all time. There are so many different styles of Jazz that it may seem a bit overwhelming selecting the artists whose styles you will enjoy.

This list will give you the best of the best, just listen to the 7 tracks and then branch out listening to the catalogs of the artists you like. So, sit back and enjoy this new soundtrack to your life, let the smooth sounds of Jazz take you away with these top 10 tracks.

  1. Duke Ellington – ‘Take The “A” Train’

Many describe Duke Ellington as the greatest artist of the Jazz genre. He had so many great classics and hits that it’s hard to choose just one for the new listener. This track is considered his masterpiece, a swing classic from the Forties written by Billy Strayhorn for Duke, this piece is a classic that will start your journey into Jazz appreciation. However, if you like this one, then definitely give the rest of his catalogue a further glance in the future.

 

  1. Ella Fitzgerald – ‘Round midnight’

This talented lady was also known as ‘The Queen of Jazz’. Ella is most known for her stunning vocal range and tone that saw her rise to the top of Jazz stardom, forming the foundations for female artists in the generations to come. She is and inspiration for female musicians and a valuable piece of jazz music history.

Her composition ‘Round Midnight’ is as beautiful as she was, her improv skills and scat are astounding and this piece has to go down as her best ever.

 

  1. Miles Davis – ‘The Duke’

Miles Davis is known as the ever-changing perfectionist that was never happy with his skills as a musician, always looking to improve on his sound. His relentless pursuit of perfection led him to write some of the most beautiful Jazz music ever and his fans describe him as Jazz music genius that changed the way Jazz music evolved in popular music such as Acid jazz and Fusion music.

While the Miles Davis catalog should be required listening for any newcomer to Jazz music, ironically, we think his best track is a cover. ‘The Duke’ is a rendition of a Dave Brubeck classic, another artist that deserves mention for his popular hits such as ‘Take 5’. Davis’ personal touch on this track is utter Jazz mastery that belongs on the playlist of any newbie listener.

  1. Pat Metheny Group – ‘Have You Heard’

With their infusion of South American music into their Jazz productions, this band diversified the Jazz sound with absolute genius. The best example of their unique work can be found in ‘Have you heard?’ The Latin theme is obvious and this is a perfect example of the worldwide effect that Jazz had, with artists coming from all over the globe, each producing their own unique sound that represented their culture and social settings. Check out King of Swingers from Earcandy who are exceptional.

3. Wes Montgomery – ‘Four on Six’

Wes was most known for his amazing skills on the guitar and his sound was incredibly unique, with massive innovation in his style. Jazz musicians have been known to be amongst the most creative musicians of all time, experimenting with their instruments to put fresh sounds into songs. This track is his masterpiece and every newbie should pay attention to the work on the guitar that made him famous.

2. John Lewis – ‘Afternoon in Paris’

This classic was recorded by John Lewis and Sacha Distel back in 1949, with the original LP releasing in 1956. It really is a Jazz classic that represents everything the genre stands for. This track was best known for Sacha’s guitar work that set a new example of what could be done with a guitar in a Jazz song. A piece that you will want to listen to more than once just to get a feel for all of the elements that it contains and their orchestration into musical perfection.

 

  1. George Benson – ‘The World Is A Ghetto’

George Benson was another pioneer of the Jazz sound. His unique sound, mixing elements of early Soul and Motown into his work that would pave the way for some of the most successful pop artists of the seventies and eighties. George even earned himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is credited as one of Jazz’s’ most influential artists of all time.

His work on ‘The world is a Ghetto’ is known to be some of his best and if this speaks to you, then you may want to review his other work, as well as the genres of Motown and Soul as well.

 

The final word

Jazz has something for everyone, so just find the track that speaks to you the most and then explore that side of the genre. With so many different styles, you could spend a lifetime listening to everything, so don’t be afraid to try new things and get a feel for a wide range of themes and styles of Jazz, we are sure you will love it and happy listening! A big thank you to the team @ http://www.jazzradio.com/ for bringing us this great feature piece.  You can also visit them on Facebook or Twitter here.