Top 20 Best Albums to Get to Know Jazz
Louis Armstrong once said, "If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know," and the man was right. Getting to know jazz is much more about listening and experiencing than defining the genre and all its subgenres. These 20 jazz albums were handpicked from only the very best to get you get acquainted to jazz. From classic to acid, and avant garde to Latin, it's all here!
Handful of Keys by Fats Waller
Complete Live at the Crescendo by Count Basie
Ella & Louis by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
Ellington at Newport by Duke Ellington
Brilliant Corners by Thelonious Monk
Getz / Gilberto by João Gilberto and Stan Getz
Sarah Vaughan Sings Mancini Songbook by Sarah Vaughan
The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini
Marsalis Standard Time - Volume I by Wynton Marsalis
Eleanora Fagan (1915–1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee Bridgewater
Grammy award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater is one of the very best contemporary jazz vocalists. With Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee Bridgewater, the songstress has created a truly riveting homage to Billie Holiday.
Vocabularies by Bobby McFerrin
Out to Lunch! By Eric Dolphy
Although avant garde or free jazz might not be for everyone, if you want a taste, try the best. Out to Lunch! by Eric Dolphy is widely acclaimed as the best in this subgenre. Included in all kinds of best of jazz lists, Out to Lunch! showcases great musical dexterity and unparalleled creative genius.
Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman
Dance Mania by Tito Puente
Soul Sauce by Cal Tjader
Below the Bassline by Ernest Ranglin
One Armed Bandit by Jaga Jazzist
Emergency on Planet Earth by Jamiroquai
Take Your Pick and Enjoy!
The jazz albums listed here offer a comprehensive journey from the beginnings of jazz to the most current exponents, with ample variety, and all top ranking among jazz enthusiasts. If you want to know more about jazz, take the time and offer them a listen. You might end up with a favorite album... or two!