Ask Aureus • Blog

April 2022

Jazz Music to Relax to

For the last edition in our series of music to relax to, let us explore the wonderful world of jazz! A genre of music you will often find being played in cafes and restaurants, jazz music is undoubtedly associated with down time and relaxation.

Jazz music relies heavily on a musician’s improvisations, which makes every performance unique and brand new. It also means that each piece is open to an endless number of interpretations depending on the performer’s creativity and style. Below are some of our favourite soothing jazz pieces to ease your mind after a long day.

Bill Evans – Peace Piece

The title of this one speaks for itself. This was originally an improvisation Evans played after a recording session for Leonard Bernstein’s Some Other Time. He borrowed the same chords from Bernstein’s piece and created a soothing bass accompaniment, paired with an improvised melody with a whimsical touch. The tranquil beauty of this piece reminds one of the subtle brilliance of Bill Evans’ music.

Ella Fitzgerald – Misty

There is a reason why this is one of the most recorded jazz classics of all time. With a beautiful piano accompaniment and Ella Fitzgerald’s dreamy voice in this recording, the feeling when listening to this song can be described perfectly by a line from its lyrics – “clinging to a cloud”. This is the perfect song to go with a cosy mug of hot coffee or tea on a rainy day.

Chet Baker – I’ve Never Been in Love Before

There is a certain charm about Chet Baker’s voice which makes you feel perfectly at home. Despite being first and foremost a trumpet player, there is a tender, controlled quality to his singing that made him known for his vocal talent. He recorded this jazz standard as part of his album Chet Baker Sings, which also features other soothing romantic tunes.

Henry Mancini – Holly

This is a track from the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which starred the female screen legend Audrey Hepburn. The movie soundtrack, composed by Henry Mancini, consists of symphony jazz works that range from quirky to dreamy. Opening with a playful guitar intro, this one quickly takes you back to the glamour of the sixties with a slow brass and string theme that is tinged with nostalgia.

Ronald & The Fairies – Snow Keeps Falling

Pieces inspired by or written around the theme of winter are often the most calming pieces of music. This modern-day jazz piece is no exception, as its slow and soothing rhythm encourages you to find peace and quiet amidst the noise.

Eli Starr Trio – Autumn in New York

Autumn in New York is a 1930s jazz standard by Vernon Duke, with many versions recorded over the years by various singers and musicians. The song’s lyrics describe the romantic autumn sights of New York. This jazz trio version is a cosy and laidback take in contrast to the popular Frank Sinatra recording that features richer sounds of strings and brass.

Bill Evans & Jim Hall – Skating in Central Park

The combination of piano and guitar lines in this one work hand in hand to create an incredibly calming atmosphere. The rhythm of the main theme is reminiscent of the graceful movement of skating, as hinted by the title. Following that is a lighthearted piano improvisation. Overall, this is a piece that reminds you of all the little happy moments in its own subtle way.

Beegie Adair – In a Sentimental Mood

This jazz standard was originally composed by Duke Ellington and performed by his orchestra in 1935. In this modern rendition which combines the piano, drums, guitar and bass guitar, however, there is a rather sophisticated and romantic touch. It makes for a perfect background music for lounging around at home.

Has jazz always been fascinating to you? Come and embark on a musical learning journey with Aureus and let our experts in jazz teach you all you need to know about performing the genre! Music lessons at Aureus Academy are individually tailored and allow students to explore various genres of music to their liking. Our teachers are equipped with the skills and experience to craft the best music lessons that suit your needs! Have a taste of what music lessons at Aureus are like by signing up for a free trial now!

Xin Min

Xin Min is a content writer at Aureus Group with a passion for all things related to music and the arts. Being in touch with music from a young age, she has grown to enjoy a wide range of musical genres from classical to jazz and musical theatre, and hopes to share the endless charms of music through her writing. When she is not busy typing away in front of a screen, she can be found running her fingers across her piano keys.