I’ve been working on a Spotify playlist for the last few weeks that is finally done, and I thought I would share it here. It’s a collection of all of the versions of jazz standards listed as “recommended versions” in Ted Gioia’s The Jazz Standards. If you aren’t familiar with this, this book is a tremendous resource that provides a history of ~250 popular jazz standards as well as recommended recordings from the origins of each song up through 21st century versions. Here’s a link to that book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0199937397. I highly recommend checking it out on your own. Ted Gioia is an excellent jazz historian and writer, and I’ve also enjoyed his other works The History of Jazz (https://www.amazon.com/History-Jazz-Ted-Gioia/dp/0195399706) and How to Listen to Jazz (https://www.amazon.com/How-Listen-Jazz-Ted-Gioia/dp/0465093493).
Anyway, a few Spotify playlists existed for The Jazz Standards, but I found them to be lacking many versions that Gioia listed in his book. This may be due to the fact that Spotify continuously updates its content (for example, ECM albums only appeared on Spotify in the last few years), but either way, I wanted as complete of a list as possible for my own reference. Additionally, not all versions included in other playlists actually matched the specific recordings Gioia listed. So, the nutcase that I am, I’ve been working hard on tracking down all the actual versions in Gioia’s book. This was a pretty heavy undertaking, but Gioia provides the recording dates for all recommended versions, and certain online resources like https://www.jazzdisco.org/ helped me narrow down the right ones. I’m fairly confident that 95-99% of the ones in this playlist now correspond to those specified by Gioia. However, I should mention that probably ~20% of recordings in Gioia’s book aren’t on Spotify yet, though they can often be found on YouTube. So again, if you are interested, definitely check out the book! And of course, this goes without saying, but obviously there are hundreds of versions of every standard and you shouldn’t confine yourself to just these, but if you’re looking for a simple reference that has ~10-15 versions in a diversity of styles for standards you are working on, I think you may find this useful.
tl;dr I made a jazz standards playlist, here it is:
Oh, and if you still haven’t seen my History of Jazz playlist, it’s here (and still a work in progress in the latter ~20%!):