Slow Jazz

I’m looking for anybody’s recommendations for slow tempo, late night lounge, Jazz recordings.
I’ve gotten some I like from people like Tommy Flanagan, Gene Harris, Oscar Peterson, and Bill Charlap. But still not exactly what I’m looking for.
Ideally I’d like a Jazz trio or combo; piano, bass, drums, and maybe tenor sax. Relaxed, brushes on the drums, no show-offs doing scales and trying to play 256th notes.
This is harder than I would have thought. It seems they all want to play the Jazz I find annoying, like I just referred to above.
Thanks for your suggestions.

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How far back have you looked? Modern Jazz Quartet? Charles Mingus? Bill Evans? Early Miles can even be laid-back.

What about latin Jazz? I’m a big fan of Tito Puente (You’ll know Santana’s cover of Oye Como Va) - probably Birdland is the place to start for Tito. Going back from Tito, you get to Machito, well worth a listen. If you like Latin, jazz/folk captured by Ry Cooder in the Buena Vista Social Club’s albums are quite laid back.

Pink Martini - while more world, has a lot of very nice tracks that are in jazz idiom.


have you tried brad mehldau or keith jarrett?


Generally moving toward Brazillian, you get some nice late night jazz. Antonio Carlos Jobim, who popularized “The Girl from Ipanema”

That’s a good song for my technique of discovery by one song playlist.
Compare versions from
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Charlie Byrd
Stan Getz
Astrud Gilberto
Oscar Peterson
Al Jarreau (with Oleta Adams)
Kenny G
Frank Sinatra
Ella Fitzgerald


Big second to Brad Meldhau…any of his trio recordings, live or studio, should fill the bill. His music is harmonically expressive in a very quiet, meditative way. Here’s his interpretation of a beautiful Samba standard, “Sambe E Amor”:

A touchstone for jazz that sways, not yells, is classic Miles Davis modal music (“Kind of Blue” is the best example & perhaps most famous jazz recording ever). 10 years later he was in a totally different groove and came out with a landmark recording that foreshadowed fusion: “In a Silent Way.” The music is exactly as promised by the title: quiet, beautiful, hypnotic jazz. Here is the classic slow-cooker, “So What”:

Another great jazz artist who specialized in subtlety is/was Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax, which he played so smoothly it sometimes sounds flute-like). His recording, “Two of a Kind,” features another master of understated reed playing, alto sax player Paul Desmond, best known for his years with Dave Brubeck. This album is deep but very quiet–trancelike. Here’s my favorite cut from the album, Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust”:

Another player who rarely gets in your face (but is stone cold brilliant) is vibraphonist Milt Jackson (there is nothing prettier than calm vibes playing, and he’s the master of that). I can recommend dozens of recordings, but “It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Can’t Tap Your Foot to it” (with the great Ray Brown on bass) is a good start. Here’s his interpretation (with strings) of the soupy standard, “Feelings” – a great demonstration of how he digs emotion from even the most cliched tune.

And then there’s pianist, Bill Evans (who played so beautifully on “Kind of Blue.” Pretty much any trio recording of his from the mid-to late '50’s through the mid-'60’s should do the trick for you.


I almost… almost put down Kind of Blue as a suggestion. Did Suggest Bill Evans. Of course Paul Desmond.

And Stardust is another of my songs for the one song playlist. My wife has a music box that played Stardust to her since she was about 5 years old.


I like the overall mood and sound of the bari sax and bass and drums. This is headed in the right direction for my tastes.

I just wish Jazz players would find some melody to play instead or insisting on playing random notes of a minor scale. Or, worse for my tastes, when two players seem to be playing different songs, even if they are in the same key and tempo. I’m all for improv sometimes, but for this type of Jazz I’m looking for a coherent melody would be better.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll keep listening to Gerry Mulligan.

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I’m familiar with Bill Evans and like much of his work. Not as much with MJQ or Mingus. I’ll give "em a listen.

I’ve never been much of a fan of Miles Davis, or at least the music of his I’ve heard.

Latin Jazz? Pass for this exercise.

Thanks for the suggestions.

I have to comment on your second paragraph, @BlancoSuave. All of these preferences for jazz, then type of jazz & why, are deeply subjective. What I need to point out is that others love certain jazz artists and recordings BECAUSE they are complex, multi-layered, and multi-voiced. If you’re really all for improv, you would allow that multi-player improv & somewhat dissonant melodic/harmonic improv are known progressive styles in jazz, beloved by some (perhaps many). I’m one who love the wilder, more multi-solo stuff. And that totally includes greats like Charles Mingus (the wilder his work got, the more I groove on it).

I carefully didn’t recommend any to you because it seemed you wouldn’t welcome it. But I welcome it all day long.

There’s an often quoted story about how much Bill Cosby (yes, that Bill Cosby) loved circa-1960 Miles Davis–and how much he despised “Electric Miles” that began w/“In a Silent Way” and progressed to “Bitches Brew” and beyond. I love all of it–and saw Miles live 6-7 times during his early to middle Electric Miles period (and savor those memories more than I can describe). That was some wild music.

Jazz lives!


Hello Bianco Suave.

Jazz is not the easiest music to recommend to another person. It’s usually best to do by discovery. The way I have done it, over nearly seventy years, is after finding a performer, say a sax player and then find other players who he or she sometimes may record with and so on. This is not so easy with piano trios unfortunately.

So I have tried to select what may appeal to you with the following.

Julia Hulsmann Trio. ‘‘Sooner and Later’’ ‘‘Imprint’’ ‘‘The End Of Summer’’

Tord Gustavsen Trio. ‘‘The Well’’ ‘‘Being There’’ ‘‘The Ground’’ ‘‘Changing Places’’ ‘‘Restored, Returned’’ ‘‘The Other Side’’

Marcin Wasilewski Trio. ‘‘Trio’’ ‘‘Spark of Life’’ ‘‘January’’ ‘‘Faithful’’ and possibly ‘‘Live’’

If you enjoy the last trio then their earlier name was Simple Acoustic Trio and recorded the following.’‘Lullaby for Rosemary’’ ‘‘Komeda’’ ‘‘Habanera’’

Please don’t be put off by my age, These players are less then half my age.

                        Good luck and good listening, Roland.

Sorry Carl, I missed your name on first reading.

                 Enjoy the music, Roland.

Try Cava Menzies and Nick Phillips album “Moment to Moment”, one of the nicest interpretations of the song “The Peacocks” I’ve ever heard. The entire CD may be what you’re looking for but of course, YMMV.

Happy Listening!

Hi Roland,
On the name- with both screen names and real ones it’s easy to miss. No big deal.

I get how tricky making recommendations of a whole genre of music is. Given that built-in condition I was trying to draw on other’s greater experience with Jazz than mine.

I’m not new to Jazz, although it’s not my forte. I was listening to Weather Report in 1975 when everybody else I knew was listening to Peter Frampton and David Bowie.

It looks like you made some unique recommendations. Thanks, I’ll try ‘em out.

And the last thing I would be is put off by your age. I’m 67.

Music is a timeless love anyway. I’ve met teens who love Nat King Cole and 60 year olds who loved Punk. :slightly_smiling_face:

Cheers mate.


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Opinions vary widely. That’s why I framed it by saying “worse for my tastes.”

I was asking for suggestions and trying to guide those suggestions by stating my prefs, not disparaging anybody else’s or trying to start a debate.

Thanks for replying.

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Miles - have you listened to the Sketches of Spain album? This might be in your zone.

Thanks DeeCee.

Replace the muted trumpet with a bari sax and that would be about right for me.

No, I haven’t. Maybe I’ll give Miles a try again.

I’m a Stanley Turrentine fan for Sax, but it’s more aggressive than lounge. For kicks, “The Evil Genius Orchestra” does some great lounge covers of Star Wars. I’m not a Spotify guy, but here is their link.

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Stardust was my grandmother’s favorite song, so I began hearing versions of it since I was 10 years old. I have probably a dozen versions of it in both vocal and instrumental.

I’ll try out Paul Desmond. Thanks.

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Hmmmm… You can try Stan Getz’s album “The Peacocks”, but I don’t know how the rest of the album is for your tastes (you will have to settle for a tenor sax, however :wink:)

I do like Stan Getz, he’s one of my favorites since “Girl From Ipanema”…

Good Luck on your search! (that’s half the fun!)

  • DeeCee