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A Jam Session is a great and informal place to explore and learn the Jazz language and most importantly, play with friends and learn from fellow musicians. Sadly so it seems there aren’t as many anymore. Despite this making me sound old, I do remember having been able to go to sessions four nights a week. Which today, even if I wanted to (which I admittedly don’t am), wouldn’t even be possible.

I have joined and listened to quite a few sessions, and it didn’t seem to matter which city or even country I was in, all of them shared more or less a common repertoire. A while ago I already had put a list of these tunes together, and since our local session is about to start again, I thought it would be neat to share it here as well.

Is this a complete list? Absolutely not! It’s not even intending to be, but if you are planning to join a Jazz Jam-Session knowing these, or at least some of these would be a good start. These are great tunes to play and learn anyway.

Commonly played Jazz standards

Blues

  • All Blues (G)
  • Au Privave (F)
  • Billie’s Bounce (F)
  • Blue Monk (Bb)
  • Blues For Alice (F)
  • Cool Blues (C)
  • Now’s The Time (F)
  • Sandu (Eb)
  • Sonnymoon For Two (Bb)
  • Straight, No Chaser (F)
  • Tenor Madness (Bb)

Rhythm Changes

  • Anthropology
  • I Got Rhythm
  • Moose The Mooche
  • Oleo
  • Rhythm-A-Ning

Standards

  • Afternoon In Paris
  • All The Things You Are
  • Alone Together
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Beautiful Love
  • Blue Bossa
  • Body And Soul
  • Bye, Bye Blackbird
  • Caravan
  • Cherokee
  • Confirmation
  • The Days Of Wine And Roses
  • Donna Lee
  • Doxy
  • Four
  • Girl From Ipanema
  • Groovin’ High
  • Have You Met Miss Jones
  • How Insensitive
  • I Fall In Love Too Easily
  • I’ll Remember April
  • I Love You
  • I Mean You
  • Impressions
  • In A Sentimental Mood
  • In Your Own Sweet Way
  • It Could Happen To You
  • Just Friends
  • Lady Bird
  • Like Someone In Love (Eb)
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
  • Minority
  • Misty
  • My Little Suede Shoes
  • My Shining Hour (C)
  • Night And Day
  • A Night In Tunesia
  • Ornithology
  • Over The Rainbow
  • Peace
  • Quiet Night Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
  • ‘Round Midnight
  • Scrapple From The Apple
  • Stella By Starlight
  • Take The ‘A’ Train
  • There Is No Greater Love
  • There Will Never Be Another You
  • Tune Up
  • Watermelon Man
  • Wave
  • Well You Needn’t
  • What Is Ts Thing Cald Love
  • What’s New
  • Work Song

I remember the host of my favourite Jam Session, trombone player Ed Kröger always had a list like this available. In fact, that specific session would be the place where I learned most of those tunes. Can’t point out enough how much I learned during those days.

I will update this list whenever it seems neccessary and if you have some great additions feel free to contact me on Twitter

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