Pugnacious George lists who he thinks are the five most influential Jazz Musicians ever.

5. Benny Goodman

Few would doubt Benny Goodman aka the “Swing King’s” influence on big band jazz. He lead one of the most important big bands of the early 20th century and his concert at Carnegie Hall in New York was described by critic Bruce Eder as, “The single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s ‘coming out’ party to the world of ‘respectable’ music”

Benny Goodman Orchestra Sing Sing Sing from Hollywood Hotel
4. Miles Davis
At the forefront of several major developments in jazz music including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz and jazz fusion was Miles Davis. He has won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is also responsible for propelling John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Cannonball Aderley, Chick Corea and many others to fame with their involvement in his many bands.
Miles Davis - Live in Antibes, France (1969-07-25)
3.Charlie Parker
Known simply as the bird Charlie Parker’s influence on jazz and music in general is undeniable. Known for his fast and virtuosic playing, Parkers major influence on jazz can be seen in his complex chord progressions and revolutionary harmonic form, which greatly influenced many jazz artists. Parker also helped contribute to the idea that jazz musicians were artists and intellectuals rather than simply just entertainers.  
Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie - Hot House (1952)
2. Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington is one of the most important people in jazz having influenced and inspired the likes of Thelonius Monk, Sonny Stitt, Tony Bennett and Dizzy Gillespie to name just a few. He was a hugely popular pianist, composer and big band music. Although he was known for his pioneering role in Jazz Duke was also extremely succesfull in a many genres including gospel, blues and classical.
Duke Ellington Live in Holland 58' Black and Tan Fantasy- Creole Love Call- The Mooche
1.Louis Armstrong
It is hard to deny Louis Armstrong aka the Satchmo’s influence on American history let alone Jazz. Known for his talent as both a trumpet player and singer, he is recognized as one of the greatest musicians of all time having a major role and impact on modern day jazz. He was one of the first scat singers and has influenced the likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby for both his skills as a trumpet player and singer.
Louis Armstrong's set at 1958 Newport Jazz Festival
28 June 2012
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