An Introduction to Jazz in 11 Tracks

Sophie Dunér is a singer, songwriter and visual artist. Jazz music inspired her now worldwide career and she continues to write and perform jazz, while taking influences from many other musical styles. This is her introduction to jazz in 11 key tracks.

1 | ‘Cubana Bop’ by Dizzy Gillespie

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I love this because the sound is so raw! Lovely when the trumpet(s) start “screaming”.

2 | ‘Caravan’ by Juan Tizol & Duke Ellington (from the album Thelonious Monk plays Duke Ellington)

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A lovely interpretation of one of my favourite tunes by one of my favourite jazz pianists.

3 | ‘Lookout For Hope’ by Bill Frisell

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One of the first CDs I got while in jazz school. I love this very creative, kind of ‘vertical’ sounding folky jazz with the great jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.

4 | ‘Weird Nightmare’ by Charles Mingus

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I love Mingus’ music because he has the fantastic capacity to produce both a raw, spontaneous, unexpected and ‘brainy’ sound. He is absolutely one of my favourite jazz composers and this tune is a clear highlight – lyrics, melody, everything!

5 | ‘Zingaro’ by João Gilberto

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A most sensual piece – I think it’s great because its expression and melody is so elegant and subtle!

6 | ‘Dat Dere’ by Bobby Timmons / Sung by Rickie Lee Jones

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I like her `nonchalant´ attitude when she sings – together with her stunning timing and cool.

7 | ‘Caravan’ by Juan Tizol & Duke Ellington / from Duke Ellington’s Money Jungle album

I love the groove, timing, tempo and raw sound of this version of Caravan.

8 | ‘Driva Man’ by Max Roach & Oscar Brown / Sung by Abbey Lincoln

This arrangement is fantastic, as well as the interpretation and the singer. Very authentic, real and simple. Each instrument is played alone – one after the other – quite an unusual arrangement actually – as opposed to the instruments all sounding on top of each other.

9 | ‘Sketches of Spain’ by Gil Evans & Miles Davis

A most gorgeous and exciting arrangement.

10 | ‘I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)’ by Haven A Johnson

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A wonderful classic – I love it when it’s played with a ‘stride’ type of accompaniment.

11 | ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas  / Sung by Nina Simone

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Nina Simone [p[pictured above]s one of my favorite jazz singers because she has a very real and honest expression when she sings. She just throws it out there and to me, she never tried to please, or tried to sound “pretty” – she just makes her statements with her singing and that is what’s so cool about her.

Sophie’s album The City of My Soul is available now. For more info, visit