5 Just One Of Those Things performed by Bryan Ferry

Before you scroll down to see what is number 1 it might be worth pausing to take a wild stab at what is and what isn’t over-familiar in jazz today. Some material after all is just so hardwired into the jazz consciousness it never will be removed or cease to provide inspiration for new artists coming through.

Becoming too familiar isn’t necessarily bad (as the inclusion of the sublime version of ‘Skylark’ by Gregory Porter goes some way to show). But it can be a bit wearing especially if the song or tune ends up in other less than subtle hands. When you’re sick of hearing a song and never ever want to hear it again then obviously something has gone wrong with the version you are listening to.

One of the things I love about jazz is that musicians and singers don’t cover a tune or a song in a pop sense no matter how awkwardly they tackle it unless they happen to be a pop or rock singer and there are one or two examples here.

Yet however randomly and relentlessly jazz-friendly buskers, a hardy breed, the world over tend to play some of these indestructible earworms, or coffee shops seek to claim ownership by playing Kind of Blue a few too many times for comfort, their memory never quite palls. 

List continues from above

4 Round Midnight performed by Amy Winehouse

3 Skylark performed by Gregory Porter

2 The Way You Look Tonight performed by Rod Stewart

1 Take Five performed in the Sachal Studios version