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Valentine's Day List: Five Jazz Songs About Lost Love


Below are five classic jazz songs about lost love. Hang in there! There are plenty of fish in the sea! Let some jazz legends soothe you while you get used to being single for a while.

Make sure to also read my Valentine's Day List of Jazz Love Songs, and my Valentine's Day List of Depressing Jazz Songs.

1. ‘When Your Lover Has Gone’ - Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson

Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson
Courtesy of Verve Records
From their 1959 album Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson, the duo is joined by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen. Webster’s tone wavers and breaks the way a human voice might if it were the voice of someone who had just been dumped.

Download "When Your Lover Has Gone" single track.

2. ‘It’s Easy to Remember (But So Hard to Forget)’ - John Coltrane

John Coltrane Ballads
Courtesy of Verve Records
In 1962 John Coltrane and his classic quartet, featuring drummer Elvin Jones, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Jimmy Garrison put a damper on their intense jams and showed their sensitive sides with the album Ballads. Coltrane wrote the book on how to play a ballad with this album.

Download "It's Easy to Remember" single track.

3. ‘Body and Soul’ - Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday Body and Soul
Courtesy of Verve Records
This well-known lament can’t be made any sadder than the way Billie Holiday sang it. It is on her 1957 album Body and Soul.

Download "Body and Soul" single track.

4. ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’ - Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins Jazz Saxophone Collosus
Courtesy of Original Jazz Classics
Sonny Rollins brings his usual quirky charm to this otherwise brooding ballad on his renowned Saxophone Collosus from 1956.

Download "You Don't Know What Love Is" single track.

5. ‘My Man’s Gone Now’ - Bill Evans

Courtesy of Ojc

This haunting version of the George Gershwin tune from the show Porgy and Bess was recorded in 1961 on Bill Evans’ masterpiece live album, Sunday at the Village Vanguard.


Download "My Man's Gone Now" single track.

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