Jazz Greats You Must Listen To

Miles-Davis1You like the music, want to hear some more of it, but don’t know where to start? Should you go chronologically, or google the name of stalwarts or just go by a certain decade? Jazz music is diverse and one style of jazz can be very different from the other. We give you some essential jazz albums to start your collection.

Louis Armstrong- The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings Volume 1
Twenty selections of Armstrong’s recordings with his Hot Five and Hot Seven groups between 1925-26 have a historical value and it also changed the perception of jazz among audiences.  There was the introduction of scat singing in tracks like “Heebie Jeebies,” improvisational solo on tracks like “Potato Head Blues,” that had the introduction of the “stop-time” technique (used frequently in ragtime jazz).
Recommended Tracks:
Oriental Strut
Muskrat Rumble
Skid-Dat-De-Dat

Charlie Parker With Strings
A compilation album by jazz musician Charlie Parker, released by Verve Records in January 1995. The sessions place Parker in the context of a small classical string section and a jazz rhythm section, rather than his standard bebop quintet.
Recommended Tracks:
Just Friends
What Is This Thing Called Love
Summertime

Groovin’ High     – Dizzy Gillespie
A compilation of live sessions by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Gillespie brought a band (C.1945) that included Charlie Parker with songs like “Groovin’ High,” “Salt Peanuts,” “Hot House,” and “Dizzy Atmosphere” that was a landmark in the bebop movement.
Recommended Tracks:
Groovin High
All The Things You Are
Salt Peanuts

A Love Supreme
A 1965 studio album recorded by John Coltrane’s quartet. The album’s generally considered to be a great work of the legend that’s blended with bop sensibilities and free jazz style. Coltrane’s home in Dix Hills, Long Island, has been suggested as the site of inspiration for A Love Supreme.
Recommended Tracks:
Resolution
Acknowledgement
Pursuance.

Miles Davis- Kind Of Blue  
If you had to take one jazz album with yourself and leave the rest, this 1959 album can be the one. Known for compositions, production and performance this album is often the favourite.  This one has a grim appeal that leaves many listeners asking for more.
Recommended Tracks:
So What
All Blues
Flamenco Sketches

Dave Brubeck- Time Out
Only those who have heard the album will know the genius of Dave Brubeck who passed away last fall.  It is considered as foundational work for bebop with famed tracks like Paul Desmond’s Take Five and also Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo a la Turk”. In terms of time signatures there’s a mixture of 9/8 and 4/4 and the progression’s addictive so do not miss out on this album.
Recommended Tracks:
Blue Rondo A La Turk
Take Five
Three To Get Ready

The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
This is the fourth album by American jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. The tracks are considered to be examples of Wes Montgomery’s signature techniques – thumb picking – and the use of octaves. Montgomery didn’t use a pick, but rather the fleshy part of his right thumb to achieve his warm, slightly muted sound.The album opens with a fiery rendition of Sonny Rollins’s outstanding tune, “Airegin,” before moving into the sizzling, sauntering “D-Natural Blues.”
Recommended Tracks:
D- Natural Blues
Four On Six
Mr. Walker

Mingus Ah Hum – Charlie Mingus
This is a fun album worth cherishing from the Mingus discography.   The album contains jazz ballads like  “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” a tribute to the late, great saxophonist Lester Young.  This album however is best enjoyed after you have a hang of other albums as a listener who is starting a collection.
Recommended Tracks:
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Fables of Faubus
Boogie Stop Shuffle

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

scroll to top