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What's Your Top 10 Jazz Albums?

Discussion in 'Music Forums' started by celt_rock, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. celt_rock

    celt_rock Member

    We're talking desert island type records here, not what you think should be your favorite but actually are. Obviously this is for the jazz fans, if you're not a fan, maybe skip this one!

    I was going to ask what your single favorite jazz album is but that's too hard and easy all in one. I think you get a much more comprehensive look at a person with 10. Here are mine (in no particular order) with a highlight or two mentioned;

    Someone gave me this record, after years of having to sing Ease On Down the Road and On Broadway in school chorus I was not a Benson fan. Then I heard Clockwise. Bam. This is his best album, first time I heard Stormy Weather uptempo and the guy does have a pretty good voice. Guitar, organ and Bari Sax. Great combo!

    Holy cow, Birth of a Band is a great tune but there's also a great rendition of Moanin' and my favorite version of I Remember Clifford. Phil Woods, Benny Golson, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry all in this band, how could it not rip?

    Two words... 27 Choruses.

    I don't know what it is about trumpet players who died too young, this album is pure classic. The title track alone is enough to sell this one. The new Blue Note 75 pressing of this is fine, just make sure you get a good copy, there are some bad ones out there.

    I first picked this up on CD about 15 years ago when I started playing with a jazz band that wanted to play Joy Spring. If I had to take only one album on that island with me, this would probably be it. I love using Blues Walk as a model for my students on trading fours and then watch their minds get blown as Brown and Lands start trading twos, then ones, then halves... love it!

    First got this one for free in a batch of records one of my college professors gave me when the music department was relieving itself of vinyl. At that time I wasn't a fan of Miles' sound, that thin, tinny, piercing horn. Then it grew on me. A lot. I could talk about why I love this album but I think it's all been said plenty of times before and I don't feel like I have any unique insights to offer. I'll just say So What, Freddie Freeloader and All Blues are staples of my HS Jazz Ensemble

    This album was my first jazz love and continues to inspire my music even though I don't play in a jazz group at this time. Aside from the big two on this one, my favorite is Three To Get Ready. It's amazing how effortlessly the band grooves on two bars of 3 and two bars of 4. And that Desmond sound? NOBODY sounds like Desmond.

    Up until a couple of months ago I would have had a Grappelli/Reinhardt album here but when I found this in a $1 bin it uprooted the old Hot Club of France recordings. I'm actually pretty disappointed that I don't have a Django album here, I feel like I've failed as a guitarist, but this album is SO good and I don't even file it away anymore because it fits just about any mood and I'm always willing to play it. This is a must for me.

    Isn't this on everyone's list? Back when I bought the Clifford Brown on CD I also picked up this one as the band was going to play Moanin' and I needed to learn it. This album is like Catcher in the Rye in that I have 3 or 4 different copies of it. Lee Morgan and Benny Golson together? Yup.

    I know, right? A group made the list twice? This was the only time I brought home an album, sat down to listen to it and after finishing side 1 immediately went and started writing a tune. Again, I love Desmond's sound and I love the way the band plays together. I'm not ashamed to say I'm a huge Brubeck Quartet fan.

    This list by no means exhausts my favorite jazz albums but man, it's hard to just pick 10! I just purchased a whole bunch of the Blue Note 75th Anniversary albums on vinyl; Blue Train by Coltrane, Song For My Father by Horace Silver, Blue Midnight by Kenny Burrell, Something Else by Cannonball Adderley. They're all great and keep making the rotations and I may listen to them enough where they'll start to supplant what I have here but until that day comes, this is my list! What's yours?


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  2. red 111

    red 111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    some of my favs
    Chico Hamilton...Passin Thru
    Charles Lloyd...Forest Flower
    John Coltrane...Africa Brass
    Chet Baker...In Bologna
    Freddie Hubbard...Red Clay
    Bill Evans...Live At The Village Vanguard
    Chales Mingus...Mingus Ah Um
    Chet Baker...Lets Get Lost...Movie Score
    Miles Davis...Kind Of Blue
    Stan Getz...Anniversary
    celt_rock likes this.
  3. jnicholson14

    jnicholson14 Wasted Years Subscriber

    Quick list:

    Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz
    John Coltrane - Ascension
    John Coltrane - Giant Steps
    Miles Davis Allstars - Walkin'
    Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch!
    Cecil Davis - Unit Structures
    Bill Evans - Sunday at the Village Vanguard
    Hank Mobley - Soul Station
    Pharaoh Sanders - Thembi
    Jaco Pastorius - s/t
    red 111 likes this.
  4. celt_rock

    celt_rock Member

    There's a bunch in there I haven't heard, I'll have to check them out! Only ever heard Pastorius' The Chicken, would like to hear a full album
  5. kdooley

    kdooley AK Member Subscriber

    Athens, GA
    Wow, that's tough. This is a list that will probably change tomorrow.

    Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
    Coltrane - A Love Supreme
    Night of the Cookers - Volumes 1 & 2
    Max Roach - Deeds, Not Words
    Max Roach and Clifford Brown - S/T
    Gerry Mulligan Quartet - S/T
    Lee Morgan - Sidewinder
    Harold Land - West Coast Blues
    Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else
    The Jazztet - Meet the Jazztet

    I tried to keep this to one album per artist.
    red 111 likes this.
  6. gmann77

    gmann77 Active Member

    Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
    Stan Getz - Getz/Gilberto
    John Coltrane - Blue Train
    Gerry Mulligan - What Is There to Say?
    Ahmad Jamal - At the Pershing: But Not For Me
    Chuck Mangione - Fun and Games
    Dave Brubeck Quartet - Gone With the Wind
    Bill Evans - The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album
    Paul Desmond - Pure Desmond
    Barney Kessel - Kessel Plays Standards
    red 111 and celt_rock like this.


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  7. Guest126

    Guest126 Well-Known Member

    Jimmy and Wes- Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery
    In the Land of HiFi- Sarah Vaughan
    I Remember- Dianne Reeves
    New Moon Daughter- Cassandra Wilson
    My Favorite Things- John Coltrane
    Giant Steps- John Coltrane
    Kind of Blue- Miles Davis
    Straight Ahead- Abbey Lincoln
    Billie Holiday- Billie Holiday
    Straight Life- Freddie Hubbard
    red 111 and celt_rock like this.
  8. celt_rock

    celt_rock Member

    The Adderley almost made my list as well. You're right, subject to change!
  9. flyz51

    flyz51 dipolar since 1990

    Moline, IL
    Too tough of a task for me, my Miles Davis desert island set would run at least a dozen titles or more, and then people would yell at me about those I left off the list. :dunno:
    celt_rock and KrisM like this.
  10. KrisM

    KrisM Lunatic Member

    Tell me about it.

    I started off with Blue Train(no brainer for me), and then moved on to Armstrong. Plays WC Handy seemed like the easy pick for me, then I thought about the Hot 5s/7s stuff.
    No matter, move on to Curtis Fuller. The Blue Note stuff, or Blues-ette? Fine, Bluesette. But wait, what about Meet The Jazztet? Or, do I just get my Fuller fix with Blue Train?

    Great batch of lists here, though.
    Anyone coming up empty on what to play next could do well going with any of the above.:thumbsup:
    red 111 and celt_rock like this.
  11. jgannon

    jgannon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    NY, NY
    I can never answer these questions. I can name favorite artists or recordings, but I could never definitively rate any of them as being "better" than the other, or as being my "favorite".
    red 111, celt_rock and KrisM like this.


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  12. OldPolishGuy

    OldPolishGuy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    SoCal, Los Angeles region.
    Along with Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and the Dave Brubeck Quartet's Take Five, I would add: Wes Montgomery's Smokin' at the Half Note, The Wayne Johnson Trio's Grasshopper album, Billy Cobham's Crosswinds, Alice Coltrane's Journey In Satchidananda, Gabor Szabo's Sorcerer, Sandy Owen/Iliad's Distances album, and just about any recording of Tal Farlow and Joe Pass. OPG.
    red 111 and celt_rock like this.
  13. red 111

    red 111 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    True. It's hard to pick top 10 when I listed some of my favorites. It's just a small sample of nice stuff. My list & Any other Jazz Fan could probably list scores. I know I could. I just preordered the Charles Lloyd & the Marvels featuring L.Williams unheard but I'm willing to take a chance & I've enjoyed his work for years & Bill Frisell is in the group ... I got to hear it. LP arrives June 29 2018..
    celt_rock likes this.
  14. celt_rock

    celt_rock Member

    I had the pleasure of working with Chris Vadala from Mangione's band back in the day. It was awesome to talk to him and hear stories of those guys in the studio and on the road together. He conducted Children of Sanchez with the students we were working with. How cool was that?!
    gmann77, KrisM and red 111 like this.
  15. Worried Man

    Worried Man Super Member

    Off the top of the noggin...

    Vijay Iver Far From Over
    Keith Jarrett The Survivors' Suite
    Miles Davis On the Corner
    Miles Davis Bitches Brew
    Wayne Shorter JuJu
    Wayne Shorter Night Dreamer
    Tina Brooks True Blue
    Hank Mobley & Lee Morgan Peckin' Time
    Herbie Hancock Head Hunters
    Nina Simone Pastel Blues
    jnicholson14 and red 111 like this.

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