Ten songs of the year


Every year the jazz department creates a list of ten standards which all jazz students at Ithaca College must thoroughly internalize (the melody, chords, and often with the lyrics and all 12 keys, and completely memorized). These songs are subsequently used as study material for jazz repertoire and jazz arranging classes, and are played in private jazz lessons, combos, ensembles and jam sessions. 

For the 2015-16 school year, we are celebrating the 100th birthday of two legendary "Billies" of jazz: Billie Holiday and Billy Strayhorn. The 10 songs include three beautiful compositions by longtime Ellington collaborator Billy Strayhdorn, and three standards that are closely associated with the great jazz singer Billie Holiday. The list is completed with four additional songs that every jazz musician needs to know.

The ten songs are:

  • Isfahan by Billy Strayhorn
  • I Love You by Cole Porter
  • But Beautiful by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke
  • Yardbird Suite by Charlie Parker
  • Bye Bye Blackbird by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon
  • Upper Manhattan Medical Group (also called U.M.M.G.) by Billy Strayhdorn
  • All or Nothing At All by Arthur Altman
  • Darn That Dream by Jimmy Van Heusen and Eddie DeLange
  • Chelsea Bridge by Billy Strayhorn
  • Star Eyes by Don Raye and Gene dePaul

Do you have all these songs completely internalized? In all 12 keys? With lyrics?  If so, then be sure you've done the same with all the songs from previous years.


The listening list below can be accessed in Spotify at:


Isfahan - Duke Ellington 
Isfahan - Duke Ellington 
Isfahan - Joe Henderson 
Isfahan - Donny McCaslin 
Isfahan - Bill Charlap Trio 
Isfahan - Herb Geller 
Isfahan - Warren Vaché  
Isfahan - Bucky Pizzarelli, John Bunch And Jay Leonhart
Isfahan - Bob Sneider 
Isfahan - Steve Brown, Guillermo Bazzola 
I Love You - 1991 Digital Remaster - Julie London 
I Love You - Judy Garland 
I Love You - Anita O'Day 
I Love You - John Coltrane 
I Love You - Bill Evans 
I Love You - Bill Evans 
I Love You - Milt Jackson 
I Love You - Frank Sinatra 
I Love You - 1997 Digital Remaster - Jackie McLean  
I Love You - Teddy Wilson 
I Love You - Kenny Dorham 
I Love You - 1991 Digital Remaster - Art Farmer 
But Beautiful - Single Version - Bing Crosby  
But Beautiful - Take 1 - Billie Holiday 
But Beautiful - Billie Holiday 
But Beautiful - Tony Bennett, Bill Evans  
But Beautiful - Doris Day, Paul Weston and His Music From Hollywood  
But Beautiful - Margaret Whiting 
But Beautiful - Rosemary Clooney 
But Beautiful - Live - Peggy Lee 
But Beautiful - Peggy Lee 
But Beautiful - 78 rpm Version - Frank Sinatra 
But Beautiful - Betty Carter 
But Beautiful - Ben Webster 
But Beautiful - Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry  
But Beautiful - Stan Getz, Bill Evans  
But Beautiful - Kenny Dorham, Sonny Rollins 
Yardbird Suite - Charlie Parker 
Yardbird Suite - Charlie Parker 
Yardbird Suite - Gil Evans, Lee Konitz 
Yardbird Suite - Supersax 
Yardbird Suite - Steve Davis  
Yardbird Suite - 1996 Digital Remaster - Bud Powell  
Yardbird Suite - Bob Dorough  
Yardbird Suite - Carmen McRae, Mat Mathews Quintet  
Yardbird Suite - Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Cyrille Aimee  
Yardbird Suite - Remastered Version - Sonny Stitt  
Yardbird Suite - Live - Chet Baker 
Bye Bye Blackbird (Recorded 1926) - Gene Austin  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Nick Lucas 
Bye Bye Blackbird - Miles Davis 
Bye Bye Blackbird - Live - Miles Davis  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Live Version - Miles Davis  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Live - Miles Davis  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Live - John Coltrane 
Bye Bye Blackbird - Sammy Davis Jr. 
Bye Bye Blackbird - Sammy Davis Jr. 
Bye Bye Blackbird - Carmen McRae  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Live At The Village Gate - Nina Simone  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Peggy Lee 
Bye Bye Blackbird - Dean Martin  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Red Garland, Leo Wright  
Bye Bye Blackbird - Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer 
Upper Manhattan Medical Group U.M.M.G. - Billy Strayhorn  
U.M.M.G. - Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie  
U.M.M.G. - 1999 Remastered - Duke Ellington  
U.M.M.G. (Upper Manhattan Medical Group) - Duke Ellington  
Upper Manhattan Medical Group - Dizzy Gillespie  
U.M.M.G. (Upper Manhattan Medical Group) - Joe Henderson  
Upper Manhattan Medical Group - Clare Fischer 
U.M.M.G. (Upper Manhattan Medical Group) - Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield,  Peter Washington, Bruce Barth, Dana Hall  
Upper Manhattan Medical Group - Bob Brookmeyer, Tom Harrell, Benny Aronov  
Ummg - Branford Marsalis 
Upper Manhattan medical group - George Colligan 
All or Nothing at All - Billie Holiday
All or Nothing at All - Frank Sinatra, Harry James & His Orchestra
All Or Nothing At All - Frank Sinatra 
All Or Nothing At All - John Coltrane
All Or Nothing At All - Joey DeFrancesco
All Or Nothing At All - 2002 Digital Remaster; The Rudy Van Gelder Edition -  Freddie Hubbard  
All or Nothing at All - Keely Smith, Gerald Dolin & His Orchestra  
All Or Nothing At All - 1991 Remastered Version - Sarah Vaughan  
All Or Nothing At All - Mark Turner  
All Or Nothing At All - Jonathan Kreisberg, Gary Versace, Mark Ferber 
Darn That Dream - Billie Holiday 
Darn That Dream - Ella Fitzgerald 
Darn That Dream - Sarah Vaughan 
Darn That Dream - Thelonious Monk  
Darn That Dream - 2000 Digital Remaster - Miles Davis  
Darn That Dream - Digitally Remastered - Bill Evans  
Darn That Dream - Gerry Mulligan  
Darn That Dream - Live At The Blackhawk - Ahmad Jamal Trio  
Darn That Dream - Thelonious Monk  
Darn That Dream - Jim Hall, Bob Brookmeyer  
Darn That Dream - Bill Charlap Trio 
Chelsea Bridge - Billy Strayhorn  
Chelsea Bridge - Duke Ellington Famous Orchestra  
Chelsea Bridge - Ben Webster 
Chelsea Bridge - Ella Fitzgerald  
Chelsea Bridge - Gerry Mulligan, Ben Webster, Billy Strayhorn  
Chelsea Bridge - Dizzy Gillespie 
Chelsea Bridge - Sarah Vaughan 
Chelsea Bridge - Joe Henderson Sextet 
Chelsea Bridge - Joe Lovano 
Star Eyes - Charlie Parker Quintet 
Star Eyes - Charlie Parker Quintet 
Star Eyes - Anita O'Day 
Star Eyes - Chris Potter 
Star Eyes - Sarah Vaughan 
Star Eyes - Live At The Alhambra - Ahmad Jamal Trio 
Star Eyes - Bill Evans  
Star Eyes - Chet Baker, Bobby Jaspar, René Thomas, Amadeo Thommasi, Benoit  Quersin, Daniel Humair 
Star Eyes - Bud Powell 
Star Eyes - Phil Woods, Franco D'Andrea  
Star Eyes - Bill Holman, Richie Kamuca  
Star Eyes - The Cannonball Adderley Quintet 
Star Eyes - Irene Kral 


Questions about the jazz program at Ithaca College?  Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

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