Re: Beginner Jazz Standards
Superior advise!! Lots of great things to pick up on in there! I couldn't agree more with learning the blues as a major pivot into playing straight ahead jazz! You simply can't escape it. All of the greats were masters of the blues from Cannonball, Dex, Clifford Brown, etc.....to Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and the rest. Same is true of modern players from Jeff Coffin, Dick Oatts, Joshua Redman, and you name it.
Also, learning to play around the circle of fourths is one of the best introductions to learning the jazz language. Try patterns such as 1-2-3-5, 1-3-5-7-, 3-5-2-1, etc.....
To answer your original question, a few key tunes to learn include: All the Things You Are, Autumn Leaves, Four, Half Nelson/Lady Bird.
Best of Luck!!