10 Jazz Albums to Listen to Before You Die

Categories: all that jazz

8. Herbie Hancock, Head Hunters

Herbie Hancock helped bring the synthesizer and the Fender Rhodes Electric Piano to mass appeal.  And this 1973 album was influenced by Curtis Mayfield and Sly Stone.  Even if you don't like jazz but you love funk and soul, then this album is for you.  At one point, Head Hunters was the best selling jazz album of all time.  Be warned though, there is experimentation happening here, but the funky drums will keep you driving forward throughout the whole album.  

7. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Ella and Louis

Imagine it's a Friday morning, and you have the day off.  It's you and your significant other. You have no where to go, and it's raining (such a rare oddity here).  Well, this is the album you need to be playing to create that perfect atmosphere -- an album with so much space, soaring trumpet solos, and a duet so unique and soulful even a jazz newbie can't ignore it's grip on their heartstrings.  you'll swear that you were just baptized.  It's a 1956 album dripping with nostalgia.  Plus, the band features Oscar Peterson (piano) and Buddy "Freaking" Rich (drums). Before you bite the bullet, well, you need to listen to an album with such a dreamy atmosphere to ensure, at least once, you feel romantic and drenched in "Moonlight in Vermont."  

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