Oh Jazz, is there any genre that’s more beautiful and magnificent? And it’s awesome to know that Jazz is making comeback of sorts, with all these hip-hop cats messing with Jazz sounds and traditions.
If you’re a Jazz lover or an enthusiast, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve compiled a list of 8 timeless Jazz albums. If you want to truly enjoy Jazz music, you got to listen it on vinyl. While digital formats are easy-to-grab, they just can’t match the encompassing, rich sound quality of vinyl.
1. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Miles Davis is a name that needs no introduction, even to Gen Z. People of all ages and appreciator of all kinds of music enjoy listening to this absolute master of Jazz genre.
While each album of Miles Davis is worth listening to a thousand times, if not more, Kind of Blue stands out from all his brilliant compositions. Another thing is that this album is just about perfect for someone who’s new to Jazz.
And did you know that Kind of Blue is one the most famous album of this genre ever?
Want to find out why? Just listen to it once and you’ll know why.
2. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
A Love Supreme is up there among the very best Jazz albums ever. Also it’s the first of one-its-kind albums. John Coltrane with this amazing album ushered in the entry of subgenre within Jazz—spiritual Jazz.
If you’re thinking that this album is preachy or overtly religious, you couldn’t be more wrong. This album is just about one talented man expressing his undying faith through fluid music, which just flows into your heart.
Listening to this album, one can’t help but feel blessed, lucky enough to have got a chance to listen and enjoy this mesmerizing music.
3. Chick Corea – Return to Forever
The music of Chick Corea is fully enveloping and in no album this is more evident than Return to Forever. The moment the title track opens, you instantly realize that this album will be one hell of a musical ride. The album is calm, soothing and gorgeous to start with and then it slowly makes way for rich and textured layers of sound.
4. Eric Dolphy – Out to Lunch!
Much like some other albums featuring in this list, Out of Lunch! effortlessly combine complex with simple. That’s why it is a perfect choice for people who are relatively new to Jazz. It allows everyone to take in, digest, and appreciate the music they’re listening. There’s something magical about Eric Dolphy’s music which make it so endearing and soul-touching.
5. Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil
Mid-1960s was the golden era of Jazz, with albums like Speak No Evil. It has the great Wayne Shorter absolutely killing it on sax and giving him a wonderful company is names like Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, Herbie Hancock, and Freddie Hubbard.
The sounds are so natural, another reason we’ve included it in this list. Newcomers don’t feel weighed down by experimentation or abstract ideas.
However, it doesn’t mean that this album doesn’t push boundaries of Jazz. But it does so not with fluff or pretensions but rather with stunningly beautiful compositions and heart-rending playing (especially “Infant Eyes” which is one of the best ballads you’ll ever hear).
6. Anthony Braxton – The Montreaux/Berlin Concerts
If you’re in mood to listen some great squawking sax, don’t look further than this album from Braxton.
A disclaimer: This album might not be ideal for fainthearted. Braxton is one of those musicians that are best enjoyed live. These recordings have so much going on that you would find it difficult to develop an understanding of exactly what’s happening after 5 listens, let alone the first.
But this is a special album, particularly if you’re a game for diving into avant-grade Jazz category.
7. Bill Evans – The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961
In this album, Bill Evans was joined by Scott LaFaro (bassist) and Paul Motian (drummist). One thing that clearly stands out in this album is how drums and bass effortlessly combine with piano (played by Bill Evans) and play as a single instrument. Seamlessly gelling of Bill Evans, LaFaro, and Motian is felt in each track of this 3-disc live collection.
8. Ornette Coleman – The Shape of Jazz to Come
This album has a deceptive name. Hearing it you might think, “Oh, this one might be a little difficult to listen and enjoy for newcomers like me.” But that’s not the case, particularly if you are open to hearing songs which truly changed the way jazz music was composed. Ornette Coleman was a pioneer. It’s as simple as that. Every jazz lover will enjoy listening to The Shape of Jazz to Come, as well as other albums from this maestro.
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