Vocal Improv Solos


Darmon Meader

Great for more advanced transcription - great vocabulary to add to your solos, clear articulations, horn-like

Darmon Meader - Spain (I Can Recall) Solo at 4:21

Darmon Meader - I Thought About You Solo at 2:30


Chet Baker

Perfect spot to start for beginners - clear lines, easy range for female and male vocalists.

Chet Baker - It Could Happen To You Solo at 1:20

Chet Baker - You Make Me Feel So Young - Solo at 1:19

Chet Baker - Dancing On The Ceiling Solo at 1:10

Chet Baker - Do It The Hard Way. Solo at :59

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella was one of the first jazz singers to popularize vocal improv — her style is acrobatic, fast and FUN. These are all great solos to transcribe and there are many more.

Ella Fitzgerald Flying Home - Soloing throughout

Ella Fitzgerald How High The Moon - one of Ella’s most iconic solos. Starts at 1:27.

Ella Fitzgerald - Air Mail Special

Sarah Vaughan

Another vocalist famous for her vocal improvisation - Sarah’s huge range and velvety tone set her improv a part.

Sarah Vaughan - All of Me Solo at 1:09

Sarah Vaughan - Shulie A Bop

Sarah Vaughan - Scat Blues


Nancy King

Nancy King - I Concentrate On You Solo at 1:36

Nancy King - There Will Never Be Another You Solo at 1:03

Jo Lawry

Jazz/Singer-Songwriter Jo Lawry is a great example of a singer using vocal improvisation masterfully and creatively.

Jo Lawry - I’m Old Fashioned Solo at :53

Jo Lawry - In A Spin Solo at :30

Kurt Elling

Modern jazz master Kurt Elling often uses vocal improvsation, especially in his live performances. His style is horn-like, aggressive and confident.

Kurt Elling - Tight. Solo at 1:01

Kurt Elling - Nature Boy Solo at 3:10

Cyrille Aimee

Cyrille Aimee - Mean To Me Solo at :52

Vocal improv with a looper!

Michael Mayo

Michael Mayo - It Could Happen To You Solo at: 3:58