Yoko Miwa

From the blog


Jazz Versions Of American Anthems

As the Fourth of July approaches, we’ll be hearing the national anthem and other patriotic songs a lot more than usual. (Well, unless you’re a sports fan, in which case you already hear them all the time.) Here are a few jazz versions of American anthems.

There are several recordings of Duke Ellington’s band playing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which he sometimes used to open shows. Here’s one from the Newport Jazz Festival. It’s a fairly straight reading of the tune.

Nobody could sing “America The Beautiful” like Ray Charles. Period.

This also sounds at first blush like a fairly straight reading of the national anthem, but listen twice and I think you’ll find some hidden depth there.

Finally, here’s the version of the national anthem with the most chord substitutions. Enjoy!

1 comment

  1. Great blog post. It’s hard to get better than those four gentlemen. My favorite is Branford’s version, as I think he is a genius, and I always felt that people really don’t appreciate how good he really is, and how original. I think he’s better than Wynton and Wynton is brilliant.

    Maybe a Yoko Miwa Trio version for the next CD? How about America the Beautiful or God Bless America as two suggestions.

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