Swing Era & Early Jazz

Classic tunes made popular during early periods of jazz and the swing era.

It-Don't-Mean-A-Thing

It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)

It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) was written by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Irving Mills in 1931. The piece was composed and arranged during performance...
Thing's Ain't What They Used To Be

Things Ain’t What They Used To Be

Things Ain't What They Used To Be was written by Mercer Ellington in 1941. Mercer, son of Duke Ellington, wrote this piece for his father's orchestra due to an ASCAP strike...
Stormy-Weather

Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather was written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, and first sang by Ethel Waters at the Cotton Club. The tune was originally written for Cab Calloway, vocalist and band...
Sweet-and-Lovely

Sweet and Lovely

Sweet and Lovely was written by Charles Daniels, with lyrics by Harry Tobias.  Gus Arnheim, band leader and businessman, made the tune popular with his band, leading him to often be...
Just-Squeeze-Me

Just Squeeze Me

Just Squeeze Me was written by the great composer, band leader, and pianist Duke Ellington in 1941. Lee Gaines wrote lyrics to the piece. The tune has been recorded and performed...

Caravan

Caravan was written in 1932 by trombonist Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington, with lyrics by Irving Mills. It is said that while Tizol was in Duke's band, he came up with...
Just-You,-Just-Me

Just You, Just Me

Just You, Just Me was written by Jesse Greer for the 1929 musical film Marianne. Lyrics were written by Raymond Klages. This tune has become one of the most renowned standards...
Polka-Dots-and-Moonbeams

Polka Dots and Moonbeams

"Polka Dots and Moonbeams" was written by Jimmy Van Heusen. F major is the most common key for this well-known ballad. Lyrics were written by Johnny Burke. This tune was written...
Mack The Knife

Mack The Knife

"Mack The Knife" was composed by Kurt Weill for the music drama "Die Dreigroschenoper", or in English "The Threepenny Opera". The tune was originally entitled "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" and...
Star-Eyes

Star Eyes

"Star Eyes" is a tune with words and music by Gene De Paul and Don Raye. It was introduced in the 1943 musical "I Dood It" by Jimmy Dorsey and his...

PLEASE ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND CLICK THE BUTTON TO JOIN OUR JAZZ COMMUNITY

 We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.

Subscribe and get our FREE eBook, The Ultimate Jazz Guide to Practicing!