Great Trumpet Solos: 20 Of The Best Trumpet Solos In History

What are the best trumpet solos of all time? Well, that’s a question with a million different answers. What one person thinks is the Best Trumpet Solo Ever might be something completely different for you.

That said, here are 20 of my personal favorites to get you started on your own search for the Best Trumpet Solo Ever!

best trumpet solos

1). “The Sidewinder” by Lee Morgan

“The Sidewinder” By Lee Morgan is a world-renowned jazz tune, often called the best trumpet solo of all time. The song starts out with an upbeat riff and progresses into swinging music before concluding in one of the most exciting ways possible powerful ending!

This famous piece was written to represent what it’s like for someone living on their own terms without regret; how they feel when they have to answer for choices that he’s made but knows there are opinions being thrown his way as well.

It discusses who we really are inside and why people can’t help us find ourselves if we don’t take some risks on our own accord.

2). “Con Alma” by Dizzy Gillespie

A Latin Jazz standard with an infectious beat, full of the great trumpet player’s impressive solo.

The piece opens with a long introduction before kicking into high gear for about four minutes of rousing music that will leave you feeling exhilarated and satisfied!

A jazz musician at heart, Dizzy has roots in blues but he does not lean heavily on its expression – there are some tunes that do depict sex or love to express those emotions through his own style and vernacular, yet it appears as if his main goal was simply just to hone craftsmanship while also adding meaning beyond what notes can communicate.

3). “Love Walked In” by Miles Davis

Miles Davis’ trumpet work is the best example of how to combine lyricism and virtuosity in order to create something that will be remembered.

His version includes a fantastic trumpet solo, which listeners can enjoy for everything from delicate passages all the way up wide-ranging runs while maintaining his trademark sound throughout.

This song has deep meaning because it talks about both outer changes as well as inner ones-how love affects people by changing them on either level depending on if they let themselves be impacted or not affected at all by their significant other’s actions.

4). “A Child is Born” by Duke Ellington

This jazz classic features a trumpet solo that has been called the best ever recorded-and many listeners would probably agree!

It begins with a long introduction before launching into an up-tempo section marked by virtuosity and precision, eventually resolving to a peaceful conclusion. The piece offers everything from subtle background accompaniment all the way up to powerful brass solos, making it one of America’s most beloved jazz recordings in history.

“A Child is Born” is about someone being born or having some kind of effect on something else when they are born; this person changes things for themself and others around them as soon as they come out into existence.

5). “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra’s famous rendition of Fly Me To The Moon includes not only his iconic voice but also some great trumpet work throughout as well. The trumpets play a subdued background role to Sinatra’s vocals for much of the song before taking over in an impressive finale—a perfect example of how musicality and showmanship can work together harmoniously!

“Fly Me To The Moon” was released on November 17. 1962. It has been covered by many artists and is often called “the standards” because it is played so often. It is mostly about facing fear, finding hope in an impossible situation, and looking on the brighter side of life.

The main theme of this song is hope. You can look at this as a story or just as lyrics, but the message remains the same. The lyrics don’t really have much to do with each other, it’s more of an impressionist poem.

6). “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by Louis Armstrong

This is one of the oldest recordings on this list, but it still ranks as one of America’s most beloved patriotic songs ever written. This version features some great trumpet solos that help make this piece truly memorable especially with their energetic finish at the end! It might be old-fashioned now, but there are few more stirring or inspiring pieces out there than Lift Every Voice And Sing.

‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ is a song about unity among all people despite their differences. It is designed to celebrate the beauty of diversity and its potential for creating a more equitable world.

The text was written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900 with music composed by his brother Charles.

7). “One O’clock Jump” by Count Basie

A jazz standard that is a lively and energetic tune, One O’Clock Jump features some great trumpet solos throughout.

It opens with a long introduction before launching into an up-tempo section where the trumpets take over in one of their most impressive moments-a perfect example of how to use this instrument effectively!

Count Basie’s ‘One O’Clock Jump’ was the first jazz piece to make it in the upper reaches of the pop charts. In fact, this recording is a Gold Standard for sales and performance longevity. The song has been recorded by many musicians, but most people associate it with Count Basie.

8). “Oleo” by Sonny Rollins

An iconic bebop recording from 1957. Oleo showcases the virtuosity of its instrumentalists at every turn. This includes excellent work on the part of both saxophonists John Coltrane as well as trumpeter Clifford Brown.

The composition also includes many different sections for each soloist-trumpet or otherwise-to-shine. It’s a great example of how to know when not the play and just let the music speak for itself!

Oleo is a famous Sonny Rollins solo piece that he played as a dancer in the Broadway show ‘King Of Swing.’ The song was so popular with audiences that he incorporated it into some of his European performances, like the Festival Mondial du Jazz de Montreux.

His rendition of Oleo contains a powerful one-chord vamp that he plays throughout the song in addition to his improvisations on the tune.

9). “Blue Bossa” by Miles Davis

This jazz standard has long been considered one of the best recordings ever made-and this version also features some amazing trumpet work throughout. The piece begins with an introduction featuring muted trumpets before launching into its working section, where they come out in full force as both accompaniment and soloist at various points.

There are few more exciting moments on record than Blue Bossa with Miles Davis blowing his horn like crazy while still maintaining perfect control over what he was playing.

The “Blue Bossa” is a type of jazz that is also referred to as Bossa Nova. The “Bossa Nova” was created in the late 1950s. The genre became popular in Brazil and then spread to Europe. It was not until 1962 that it came to the attention of Americans. After its exposure in America, it became a worldwide phenomenon.

10). “In A Silent Way” by Miles Davis

The third recording on our list from Miles Davis, In A Silent Way has some of his most iconic trumpet playing on record.

The opening section features an arrangement that is sparse and textured while the trumpets play a role as accompaniment rather than soloist—a great example of how to do things at just the right volume!

It’s not until around two minutes in that we hear these instruments take over with their virtuosity, making this recording truly memorable for all the right reasons.

In A Silent Way is a 1969 album by Miles Davis, The album was revolutionary due to the lack of a drum kit and other percussion instruments; instead, there is an emphasis on electronic effects which were created using an analog synthesizer.

11). “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” by Frank Sinatra

This classic song offers up both excellent vocals from Sinatra and superb trumpet work throughout the entire version-including background parts where he doubles on harmonica too! This is one of those recordings where it’s easy to see how much Sinatra loved the trumpet as it’s featured prominently throughout and even in a solo during its second-to-last verse.

”A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” is a World War II song by British composer Eric Maschwitz that was popularized as the theme to the 1943 movie “The London Particular.”

12). “Giant Steps” by John Coltrane

John Coltrane is one of the best jazz trumpeters and saxophonists of all time, so it only seems natural that he would have made this list sooner or later!

This composition features some excellent work on both instruments; however, there are also many moments where we hear just his virtuosity on the trumpet. One such moment can be found at around two minutes into the song (just after drummer Elvin Jones takes over) when Coltrane launches into an exciting series of high notes before playing an even more energetic solo.

This music tells an epic story through its lyrics and musical style It is told from the perspective of a little African American boy who learns to overcome his fear of death by accepting doubt and the spiritual truth that he will die someday.

13). “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington

A classic jazz standard. Mood Indigo features some excellent work on the trumpet throughout-including a beautiful and melodic introduction that serves as a perfect lead-in to this piece!

This recording also includes one of the most famous solos in all of music; it’s easy to see why anyone who has heard this composition will never forget those high notes played with amazing virtuosity by trumpeter Conte Candoli (who would later go on to become part of Frank Sinatra’s orchestra).

Mood Indigo is a song written by Duke Ellington. It was performed by his orchestra (led by trumpeter Bubber Miley) with vocals by Irving Mills. The song was released in 1930 and became a hit for the Mills Blue Rhythm Band who recorded it on February 12. 1931.

14). “Goody Bye Dolly Gray” by Sonny Rollins

This is another iconic bebop recording from 1957 featuring the virtuosity of its instrumentalists at every turn. The composition features a great deal of improvisation and has it all-from background vocals to excellent trumpet work including an intricate solo from Coltrane towards the end that just leaves you wanting more!

The song is about a relationship between a man and a woman. The relationship starts out fine but soon goes bad. Sonny Rollins is telling the woman to ‘say goodbye” to their relationship.

15). “Naima” by John Coltrane

This rendition is one of the last recordings on our list featuring trumpeter Miles Davis before he passed away in 1975. However, this piece also includes some incredible playing throughout as well as what might be his best-ever performance on both instruments (trumpet or saxophone).

This arrangement begins with muted horns for around two minutes before launching into another exciting section where we hear them come out strong again—both accompaniment and soloist at once.

Naima is a standalone song in six-eight time that was composed by John Coltrane for his 1964 album “A Love Supreme.” The song’s melody and chord progression are quite simple, with the saxophone melody and bass monotonously repeating throughout the song.

16). “I’m Beginning To See The Light” by Harry James

This version of I’m Beginning to See the Light includes some excellent trumpet work on both background parts as well as an exciting high-energy section where trumpeter Henry Coker really lets loose for a few minutes!

This isn’t one of those recordings from back in the day when they just played too loud; it’s more about how much virtuosity is packed into every measure.

I’m Beginning To See The Light is a jazz song composed by Harry James. It was first recorded in 1939 with Bobby Black on vocals. Frank Teschemacher on clarinet and Red Norvo on vibraphone. It has been since covered by many other artists including Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, and Louis Armstrong.

17). “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was probably best known for his incredible vocal skills-though he also had some amazing talent on that horn!

One such example can be found towards the end of this song, which features an excellent solo from Armstrong; it’s exquisitely done and sounds like a perfect ending or conclusion to the piece.

‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ is a song from the 1939 movie ‘The Wizard of Oz”. The song was written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg.

18). “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” by Frank Sinatra

The first version of this iconic ballad on our list—and still one of the best!

This rendition is actually relatively subdued for most of its duration (featuring only some background vocals) until around two minutes in when we hear trumpeter Dominic Mancuso take over. The rest is history as he launches into a high-energy section with plenty of virtuosity that leaves you wanting more.

The song is talking about the “lights of London’ and how you have to go “a hundred miles” to find a “nightingale.” London is huge and there are many small villages surrounding London that have beautiful birds just like the nightingale.

19). “Blue Bossa” by Miles Davis/Joe Henderson

This bluesy composition features some excellent work on the trumpet throughout-including a beautiful and melodic introduction that serves as a perfect lead-in to this piece!

This recording also includes one of the most famous solos in all of music; it’s easy to see why anyone who has heard this composition will never forget those high notes played with amazing virtuosity by trumpeter Conte Candoli (who would later go on to become part of Frank Sinatra’s orchestra).

Blue Bossa is a jazz ballad by Miles Davis and Joe Henderson. The song is a staple of the catalog of both musicians and has been considered to be one of the most recorded jazz standards ever.

20). “Toot, Toot, Tootsie” by Glenn Miller

The last entry for our list is an iconic big band standard from 1940. It features plenty of great playing throughout including orchestration and soloist work alike from its leader; Glenn Miller is best known for his skills on the trombone-though he was also an excellent trumpeter in this recording.

The solo section includes some great improvisation at first before launching into a high-energy, virtuosic part that sounds like it’s coming from one of those movies where everyone has to play their instruments perfectly!

“Toot, Toot, Tootsie” is a song written for the 1938 film ’Thank Your Lucky Stars.’ The lyrics of the song are about a woman who is seeking an amorous encounter with a man she has noticed. The singer chases her and finally, she agrees to meet him later that night.

What Song Has a Trumpet Solo?

The curtain opens. There on the stage, the keyboardist is in the spotlight as the preshow tune-up begins. The electric guitar player begins plucking at the strings of his coveted instrument. A friendly sound battle ensues between the keyboardist and the guitarist.

Suddenly, the drums begin to play breaking up the battle. The lullaby from the voices of “Earth, Wind, and Fire” scatting their “Bah-de-ah’s” ring out and the maracas begin to shake as they usher in the long-awaited sound of the trumpeter. The tambourine, bongos, and voices slowly fade as the tones of the trumpet echo throughout the arena.

The trumpet’s solo lasts just under two and a half minutes. For the rest of the 13-minute song, it’s hopeful that the trumpet plays again. Surprisingly, just before the song ends not 1 but 2 trumpeters hit the stage and battle to the end of the song.


There are a lot of excellent trumpet solos out there, but that doesn’t mean you can just pick any old one and expect it to be great.

The top 20 best trumpets on our list were carefully curated for their quality—so if you find yourself in need of some inspiration or instruction, we hope this list will give you plenty!

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About Jayden Buckley

Hi, my name is Jayden and I am author/editor for PlayTheTunes. I remember the first time I hopped on the drums, I was hooked. Music has played an enormous part of my life, and I'm honored I get to share my experiences with you!