The Perfect Jazz Music Playlist For This Thanksgiving

This curated list was put together by Matt Schudel of the Washington Post in 2016.  Perfect for the Thanksgiving Holiday – Enjoy:

As it happens, the musical genre that offers up some of the song titles most apt for Thanksgiving is the one I love most: jazz. A diligent look through a well-curated record collection proves the point.

To prepare for the meal, you need to get provisions from the “Big Butter and Egg Man,” you have to find the right turkey — or, as Charlie Parker would have it, “Chasin’ the Bird” — and you need the energy of Nat Adderley’s “Work Song.”

Then, when you sit down to “Dinner With Friends” (by Count Basie), you’re “Carvin’ the Bird,” and you ask “Are You Going to Eat That?” until “Something’s Gotta Give.”

But, finally, “The Party’s Over,” and it’s time to clean up with “Black Coffee” as you look back on “a house that rings with joy and laughter with the ones you love inside” of “Give Me the Simple Life.”

Thanksgiving Jazz Playlist


Before the meal

Rosemary Clooney, “Come On-a My House”

Louis Armstrong or Wynton Marsalis, “Big Butter and Egg Man”

Charlie Parker, “Chasin’ the Bird”

Nat Adderley, “Work Song”

Coleman Hawkins, “Stuffy”

Duke Ellington, “Jumpin’ Punkins”

Ben Webster, “Cocktails for Two”

Dizzy Gillespie, “Salt Peanuts”

Louis Armstrong, “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue”

Louis Armstrong and Maggie Jones, “Anybody Here Want to Try My Cabbage?”

During dinner

Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins, “Suppertime”

Barney Bigard, “Clarinet Gumbo”

Charlie Parker, “Carvin’ the Bird”

Nat “King” Cole, “Frim Fram Sauce”

Bob Dorough, “I Get the Neck of the Chicken”

Count Basie, “Sweetie Cakes”

Ahmad Jamal, “Tater Pie”

Mike Melvoin, “Are You Going to Eat That?”

Frank Sinatra, “Something’s Gotta Give”


Count Basie, “Dinner With Friends”

Giacomo Gates, “Scotch and Soda”

Wynton Marsalis, “The Party’s Over”

Diana Krall, “Peel Me a Grape”

Ella Fitzgerald, “Black Coffee”

Gene Harris Quartet, “Hot Toddy”

Scott Hamilton, “Tonight I Shall Sleep With a Smile on My Face”

Nat “King” Cole, “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home”

Dave Brubeck, “Thank You”

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