Checkout our Top Ten Halloween Jazz songs to complete your spooky jazz party!
10. Lucifer's Lady - Vince Guaraldi
Is it even the holidays without a song or two from Vince Guaraldi? Released on the not well received, The Eclectic Vince Guaraldi, "Lucifer's Lady", would be the only track eventually featured in the film A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
9. Night Creature (Second Movement) - Duke Ellington
Night Creature, commissioned in 1955 by Don Gillis and the Symphony of the Air and given its premiere that year in Carnegie Hall, features a full orchestra plus saxophones. It was recorded in 1963 on the album Symphonic Ellington. Ellington had said "The second movement is concerned with that imaginary monster we all fear we shall have to meet some midnight, but when we meet him I'm sure we shall find that he too does the boogie-woogie."
8. Headless Horseman- Kay Starr
"Headless Horseman" is a villain song from the film, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad sung by Brom Bones.While most people are familiar with the Bing Crosby version of this song, Kay Starr's cover really jumps. Its sure to get anyone up and dancing.
7. I Put A Spell On You - Nina Simone
Who hasn't covered "I Put a Spell on You," the 1956 song written and composed by Jalacy "Screamin' Jay" Hawkins? Yet Nina's version is the one that stands out above all the rest. Off her 1965 studio album of the same name it peaked at number 23 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number 28 on the UK Singles Charts.
6. Great Pumpkin Waltz - Vince Guaraldi Trio
Guaraldi pops up a second time. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the soundtrack to the Halloween-themed television special of the same name that originally aired on October 27, 1966.
5. Witch Hunt - Wayne Shorter
Witch Hunt is off Wayne Shorter's sixth album, Speak No Evil, which is considered one of his best. This album is the first recorded meeting of Carter, Hancock and Shorter, need we say more?
4. Friday the Thirteenth -Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins
Friday the Thirteenth was first recorded on Friday the 13th, 1953, it refers not only to the day but the turn of events: Sonny Rollins was delayed because of a car accident, Ray Copeland fell ill, and French horn virtuoso Julius Watkins had to fill in at the last minute.
3. Witchcraft - Bill Evans Trio
Released in 1960 on Portrait in Jazz. This is hands down our favorite rendition of the song.
2. Dr. Jekyll - Miles Davis
Featured on the 1958 album, Milestones, which was recorded with his "first great quintet" augmented as a sextet.
1. Nightmare - Artie Shaw
“Nightmare” was composed by bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw in 1936 and was first released in 1938. Shaw wrote “Nightmare” the day before his band had been scheduled to open the Hotel Lexington in NYC on August 21, 1936. Shaw had been told that he would need to have a theme to play at the start and stop of the live radio broadcasts.
The resulting “Nightmare” was a haunting melody in A minor.“Nightmare” would soon become a hit and it is thought to have inspired the vamp of the “James Bond Theme” written by composer John Barry.
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