My Favorite Jazz Albums

I was delighted by all of the passionate responses to my last blog about albums.  I thank you all.  Somebody responded to the last blog by asking about my jazz record preferences.  Below you’ll find a list of the jazz records I spin most often, at home in my apartment.  I listen to nearly all of them on old records, but I’m pretty sure they’re all available online.

Once again, I try to be as honest with myself as possible.  Stan Getz may be most famous for his masterful Bossa Nova records.  I do love those records but I don’t spin them the most so I didn’t list them.  Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is undeniably one of the finest jazz records ever.  I own an old vinyl copy and I’m not sure if I’ve ever played it.  Coltrane’s album with Duke Ellington may be considered a “minor” album by aficionados.  Once again, I own Coltrane’s world famous A Love Supreme and in all honesty I never play it. I do play Duke Ellington and John Coltrane all the time and therefore it appears on this list.  There’s no Monk or Mingus or Charlie Parker or Django on this list.  There are many, many giants of jazz whose works I’ve really enjoyed over the years but if I find I never spin their records at home I didn’t list them.  And if fusion and contemporary jazz are unrepresented here, that’s because I don’t think I own any jazz records made after Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters (1973).  I have no rules about what I do or don’t listen to.  So if you’re passionate about a jazz record from the 70’s, 80’s 90’s or beyond, please recommend it to me and I’ll check it out.  It’s also extremely possible that I’m forgetting one or many of my own personal favorites.

Here are some great ones.  Once again I’m listing them in no particular order.  All of this music is very beautiful and I highly recommend it all.  Please drop me a line and tell me your favorite jazz albums ever.

Bob Brookmeyer and Friends – Columbia

Bob Brookmeyer and Stan Getz Recorded Fall 1961 – Verve

Miles Davis– In a Silent Way; Bitches Brew- Columbia ; Greatest Hits – Prestige

Benny Goodman’s Quintets featuring Charlie Christian and Lionel Hampton – Columbia

Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio– Verve

Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson Live at the Opera House – Verve

Wynton Kelly – Wynton Kelly! – Vee Jay

Herbie Hancock – The Prisoner – Blue Note

Modern Jazz Quartet- Blues at Carnegie Hall – Atlantic

Duke Ellington  and John Coltrane – Columbia

Ellington at Newport – Columbia

Cannonball Adderly- Somethin’ Else – Prestige; Things are Getting Better – Riverside

Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five – Columbia

Count Basie- Blues by Basie – Columbia

John Lewis- Improvised Meditations and Excursions – Atlantic

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers- Ugetsu – Riverside

Best of the Nat ‘King’ Cole Trio Volume 1– Capitol

Ahmad Jamal- At the Top; Poinciana Revisted – Impulse

Roland Kirk- Volunteered Slavery – Atlantic

Milt Jackson Quintet featuring Ray Brown – That’s the Way it is – Impulse

Billie Holiday – Volume III – Columbia

Nina Simone- Pastel Blue – Phillips

Ray Charles Live at Newport Jazz Festival – Atlantic

The Dorsey/Sinatra Years, Volume 1 – RCA

Moodsville Modern Moods Compilation – Prestige

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2 Responses to My Favorite Jazz Albums

  1. Julia Joseph says:

    I’m totally with you on Nina record, Getz & Peterson, Ellington & Coltrane. I have Yusef Lateef Eastern Sounds on my list. I’m inspired to go back and listen to Sony Rollins’ Saxophone Colossus and see how it stands up as an entire record, cause I know I’ve listened to St. Thomas far more than any of the other tracks…I want to hear all of these records. Considering the track record (!), I’m sure I’ll agree with you across the board. I’m inspired & intrigued!

  2. Milty Rose says:

    Happy listening! I will check out that Sonny Rollins record for sure. I love “Eastern Sounds” but I’ve only heard it one time (when you played it for me!) so I didn’t feel that putting it in my all time most frequent spins would be appropriate. I highly recommend that record too! I spent a lot of time with the Sonny Rollins music from the film Alfie. There’s also an early Miles Davis record called “Dig” with Sonny Rollins and Jackie McLean that I too really “dig”.

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