The Perfect Playlist: #2 – ‘Ambient Coffee Shop Jazz’ 

Words: Charlie Scarrott

After the last instalment of ‘The Perfect Playlist’ – where we looked at songs that make you feel like you’re in a movie, today we’re going to add to that by looking at some ambient, coffee shop jazz that is playing in the background while you get your morning coffee at the start of your daily movie…

It’s fair to say that we have all felt like we’re the main characters when we visit old cafés. There is something about the atmosphere in there that is unlike other shops. You get the same feeling when you visit old bookstores. The heritage, the aesthetic, the history creates a collective feeling of joy that is – in many ways – extremely hard to explain. Getting coffee, either by yourself or with a friend, in a quaint little coffee shop for some reason pleases us. I guess it’s true what they, the little things really do mean the most. 

In many of these old-fashioned coffee shops, jazz music – often from the 50s and 60s – is played in the background. It’s usually soft and harmonises with the gentle blend of conversations occurring across the room. These beautiful compositions were made by some of the best and most talented musicians that this world has ever seen. Over the years, jazz has inspired generations and has been a key component in the development of today’s most popular genres, so we believe it’s important to appreciate it and give it some recognition. Go listen to some and we can guarantee that you regret it!

Coffee shop jazz often includes pianos, double basses, and soft drums. The tempo is usually slow which allows us to follow the piece in a relaxed manner and thus, gives us more time to appreciate the music. It’s not a seasonal genre, it can be played all year round and fit almost any occasion, but we believe it’s best with breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning!

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your coffee and listen to these six tracks to start you off on your journey…

  1. ‘Blue In Green’ – Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans

From 1960, released on the seminal Blue Note label, this is a melancholic journey through sound from three of the greatest ever musicians.

2. ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’ – Stan Getz, Bob Brookmeyer

Originally released by Dame Vera Lynn in 1940, this rendition by Stan Getz and Bob Brookmeyer creates imagery associated with easy, lazy Sundays and breakfasts in beds.

3. ‘I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good’ – Oscar Peterson Trio

Released in 1963 on their ‘Night Train’ album, this heartfelt piano Jazz that makes you feel like you’re walking through a 1960’s New York. This track belongs in a black and white movie.

4. ‘This Is New’ – Bernstein Square

Released on the 7th of May 2021, this track by Bernstein Square is full of beautiful, hopeful, piano chords with an influence of the 50s. It’s classic in its nature but contemporary in its production.

5. ‘When I Fall in Love’ – Meadow Park

Arguably Nat King Cole’s most famous track, this Meadow Park Jazz cover is softer and slower than the original and embraces all of the small intricacies of modern Jazz. It combines to make the perfect composition for the modern day hopeless romantic.

6.Lady d’ – Streetlight Trio

Relatable energy about love and lust that makes you think about that certain someone.