88 Essential Jazz Albums for your Collection
Here’s a list of great music for the New or Casual Jazz Music listener. There are thousands of outstanding jazz albums by thousands of remarkable jazz musicians – and in no way, do we consider this to be the definitive ‘Best Of’ compilation. Listen for yourself…and take a leap into the amazing legacy of Jazz music.
Antonio Carlos Jobim Stone Flower 1970 CTI
Ahmad Jamal Live at the Pershing 1958 Argo
Art Blakey Moanin 1958 Blue Note
Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section 1957 Prestige
Bill Evans Waltz for Debby 1961 Riverside
Billie Holiday Lady in Satin 1958 Verve
Blue Mitchell Boss Horn 1967 Blue Note
Bobby Hutcherson / Harold Land San Francisco 1970 Blue Note
Buddy Rich The New One 1967 Pacific Jazz
Cal Tjader Soul Sauce 1964 Verve
Cannonball Adderly Somethin Else 1958 Prestige
Cassandra Wilson Traveling Miles 1999 Blue Note
Charles Earland Black Talk 1969 Prestige
Charles Lloyd Forest Flower 1967 Atlantic
Charlie Byrd Blues Sonata 1961 Riverside
Charlie Haden In Angel City 1988 Verve
Charlie Parker / Dizzy Gillespie Bird & Diz 1950 Verve
Chick Corea Return to Forever 1972 ECM
Clifford Brown Clifford Brown With Strings 1958 Emarcy
Count Basie April in Paris 1955 Verve
Crusaders Freedom Sound 1961 Pacific Jazz
Crusaders Streetlife 1979 MCA
Dave Brubeck Time Out 1959 Sony
Dee Dee Bridgewater Love and Peace 1995 Verve
Dexter Gordon One Flight Up 1963 Blue Note
Dizzy Gillespie Afro 1954 Verve
Donald Byrd A New Perspective 1963 Blue Note
Donald Harrison Nouveau Swing 1997 Impulse
Duke Ellington Ellington at Newport 1956 Sony
Duke Pearson Wahoo 1964 Blue Note
Eddie Harris The Electrifying Eddie Harris 1968 Atlantic
Eddie Palmieri Superimposition 1971 Fania
Ella Fitzgerald / Louis Armstrong A Classy Pair 1956 Verve
Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch 1964 Blue Note
Erroll Garner Concert By the Sea 1955 Columbia
Freddie Hubbard Red Clay 1970 CTI
Freddie Hubbard Blue Spirits 1965 Blue Note
Gato Barbieri Caliente 1976 A&M
Gene Ammons Boss Tenor 1957 Prestige
George Benson Breezin' 1976 Warner Bros.
Gerald Wilson The Golden Sword 1966 Pacific Jazz
Gil Evans Out of the Cool 1961 Impulse
Hank Mobley No Room for Squares 1963 Blue Note
Harold Land The Peacemaker 1967 Cadet
Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage 1965 Blue Note
Herbie Hancock Speak Like a Child 1968 Columbia
Herbie Mann Live at the Village gate 1962 Atlantic
Horace Silver Song For My Father 1964 Blue Note
Jimmy Heath On the Trail 1964 Prestige
Jimmy Smith Back at the Chicken Shack 1960 Blue Note
Joe Henderson Mode for Joe 1966 Blue Note
John Coltrane A Love Supreme 1964 Impulse
John Coltrane Giant Steps 1960 Atlantic
John Coltrane / Johnny Hartman John Coltrane / Johnny Hartman 1963 Impulse
Kenny Burrell Midnight Blue 1963 Blue Note
Lambert/Hendricks/Ross Sing a Song of Basie 1955 Verve
Lee Morgan The Sidewinder 1963 Blue Note
Les McCann/Eddie Harris Swiss Movement 1969 Atlantic
Lou Donaldson Blues Walk 1958 Prestige
Manhattan Transfer Vocalese 1985 Atlantic
McCoy Tyner The Real McCoy 1967 Blue Note
Michael Brecker Two Blocks From The Edge 1988 Impulse
Miles Davis Kind of Blue 1959 Sony
Miles Davis Sketches of Spain 1959 Sony
Miles Davis Miles Smiles 1966 Columbia
Mongo Santamaria Skins 1965 Milestone
Mose Allison Creek Bank 1958 Prestige
Oliver Nelson Blues and the Abstract Truth 1961 Impulse
Oscar Brown Jr. Sin and Soul 1961 Columbia
Oscar Peterson Night Train 1962 Verve
Pat Metheny Still Life Talking 1987 Warner Bros.
Paul Desmond Desmond Blue 1962 RCA
Pharaoh Sanders Karma 1969 Impulse
Quincy Jones Walking in Space 1969 A&M
Ray Charles Genius + Soul = Jazz 1961 Impulse
Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus 1956 Prestige
Stan Getz Getz/Gilberto 1963 Verve
Stan Getz Sweet Rain 1967 Verve
Stanley Turrentine Sugar 1971 CTI
Thelonious Monk Brilliant Corners 1956 Riverside
Tito Puente And His Concert Orchestra 1973 Fania
Vince Guaraldi Greatest Hits 1962 Verve
Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil 1965 Blue Note
Weather Report Heavy Weather 1977 Sony
Wes Montgomery Tequila 1966 Verve
Willie Bobo Hell of an Act to Follow 1978 Columbia
Wynton Marsalis Black Codes from the Underground 1985 Sony
Yusef Lateef Eastern Sounds 1961 Prestige
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1979   Sean Costello