Bossa Nova founder Tom Jobim often used the chord progressions of American jazz standards in his compositions. After the wave of success of Bossa Nova in America, it was the other way around. Many jazz musicians wrote pieces with rhythms typical of bossa nova and many well-known jazz standards are now regularly interpreted in the style of the Brazilian genre. This list contains both songs that were written after the success of bossa nova, as well as jazz standards that were already played with Latin elements before bossa nova came into being .


Blue Bossa
Kenny Dorham

Blue Bossa is one of the most played  jazz bossa pieces and a popular song for jam sessions and improvisations. The short form (the piece is only 16 bars long) and the simple but catchy melody are certainly the main reasons for this success. The fact that Kenny Dorham recorded the piece with jazz legends Joe Henderson and McCoy Tyner certainly didn’t hurt the quality.

Learn how to play Blue Bossa on guitar!


Song For my Father
Horace Silver

Horace Silver is known for his compositions on the borderline between Jazz, Groove and Latin music. A decade later, the Fusion label would be created for this kind of music. Song for my father is said to be inspired by the musician’s tour of Brazil and combines a groovy bossa nova rhythm with a blues-inspired melody.


The Shadow Of Your Smile
JOhnny Mandel

A song typically had a life before its inclusion in the canon of jazz standards: either as a musical song on Broadway or as a film score . The Shadow of your Smile was composed for the 1965 film “The Sandpiper”. Shortly afterwards, Astrud Gilberto covered it in the Bossa Nova style. Listen to this wonderful solo guitar recording by Baden Powell



There are several pieces by legendary Broadway songwriter Cole Porter that contain Latin elements. One of his most famous pieces is Night & Day. The first eight bars are usually played in a Latin rhythm that changes to Swing afterwards. In Diana Krall ‘s recording, the entire piece has a slow bossa nova feeling. 


On Green Dolphin Street
Bronislav Kaper

On Green Dolphin Street also began its life as a film score and was quickly adapted by many jazz musicians. The unusual first part with a bass pedal and the changing harmony from major to minor is mostly played in Latin style. Jazz guitarist Barney Kessel also pioneered this with his recording.


GEorge Gershwin

George Gershwin is one of the central figures in the development of the harmonic elements of mainstream jazz as it is established today. He has composed for solo instruments as well as for orchestra or classical piano. Bossa Nova guitar legend Joao Gilberto has arranged one of his songs into a beautiful ballad. 


Watch What Happens
Michel Legrand

Michel Legrand was a French film composer whose songs are very popular with jazz musicians. With its short form and creative chord changes, Watch What Happens is a suitable vehicle for improvisation. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by chord specialist Joe Pass whose treatment of the song is as elegant as it gets.

Learn a solo guitar arrangement of this song!


I'll Remember April
Gene DePaul

I’ll remember April is a jazz standard from the very beginning, established by icons of the style such as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. The song is usually played at a fast tempo, so Samba or Afro-Cuban rhythms are usually used in the arrangements. In this version, Luiz Bonfa went the opposite way and integrated a walking bass into his solo guitar arrangement.


Love For Sale
Cole Porter

In this recording by Dexter Gordon, it is the drums (with a variation of the clave-rhythm) that sets up the Latin groove. Love for Sale is another famous standard by Cole Porter.


Moon And Sand
Alec Wilder

Moon and Sand is a lesser-known jazz standard by film and musical composer Alec Wilder. The slow flowing chords and the melancholic melody are ideal for a bossa nova treatment. The fantastic recording by jazz guitar legend Kenny Burrell and arranger Gil Evans paved the way for this.

Entdecke weitere Jazz-Standards mit Latin-Einflüssen oder im Bossa Nova-Stil in dieser Playlist:

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