10 Jazz Albums to Listen to Before You Die

Categories: all that jazz




6. Miles Davis, Bitches Brew

Now, I'm not saying that you have to like this album.  But it's an album you just have to listen to before you die; it's kind of like looking at Abstract Expressionism or listening to Morton Feldman -- it just might not jive with you.  Bitches Brew was released in 1970.  The first time I heard this album, I thought it was a joke.  In fact, I was kind of pissed.  Where was the melody?  Where was the catchy rhythm?  Well, it's so shocking the first time you hear the album, even today, that it forces you to question what jazz and music can be.  It makes you think about structure and limitations of our current music.  The prison of the human ear.  Ah, enough of that.  Just listen to the album.  Chaos and cacophony defined. 




5. The Thelonious Monk Quartet, Monk's Dream

Probably one of the hippest figures in jazz, Thelonious Monk was a genius who was able to see notes on the piano that didn't even exist in Western music.  Here's what I mean: when he would sit down on the piano, he would strike two half notes (notes next to each other that sound awful when played together) to simulate the imaginary notes between the two piano keys.  He was so out there and amazing, and Monk's Dream (1963) is just an example, an imprint of strange and beautiful blaps and boops that were being electrified in his mind.  Monk's Dream was about color; it's a visual experience as much as an auditory one.  Listen to the album and just let it take over. 


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72 comments
Doug Elliott
Doug Elliott

Charlie Parker is a notable omission, but a good list overall.

Ryan Bartholemy
Ryan Bartholemy

You mean the white power post written by the black dude?

Brandon D. Revis
Brandon D. Revis

Sweet attempt to not look racist after your last racist ass post. What the kkk doesn't have ur back now?

Craig Duffy
Craig Duffy

Hopefully my copy of John Coltrane's Offering: Live at Temple University is waiting for me when I get home!

Candy Romero
Candy Romero

Apparently not really because the post is still up. Such bullshit on their part.

Marion Sistrunk
Marion Sistrunk

Trying to save some readers after the white power music post huh? Lol

brianhickam
brianhickam

Sonny Sharrock "ASK THE AGES" is also a gem.

bdennis2756
bdennis2756

"Headhunters" should not be on this list.  There are much better albums (Like "Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section."  It is light years beyond Headhunters).  Don't get me wrong, Herbie is one of the best and one of few masters who are still breathing, but this is not a great album.

 

fighto
fighto

@recborg I like the social playlists that you collaborate on with friends.

paulnshapiro
paulnshapiro

Slowly making my way through all of these albums at work and loving them!

schneiderdavid73
schneiderdavid73

It'd be silly to fault the choices here but I'd take "Thelonius Monk – Live at the Five Spot" over anything the man ever recorded in the studio.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Adam: Actually, web editor Taylor Hamby runs this, and she does a GREAT job!

Steve Ramirez
Steve Ramirez

I'm not defending Skrillex. I don't listen to his stuff, but really?

Adam Kreutzer
Adam Kreutzer

My post was in no way an endorsement of Skrillex. It just seems like the person running OC Weekly's FB account barely graduated high school.

Adam Kreutzer
Adam Kreutzer

Can you guys get a new Social Networking Intern? This person is terrible.

semaj_leinad
semaj_leinad

Hello people, there is no right or wrong here. Just one person's opinion.

OCWeekly
OCWeekly

@caleb_lund Gracias for RT!

CulturaFonds
CulturaFonds

@SweetCharlie tough one. Blue note doet compilaties met de tien beste van beroemdheden zoals Carice van Houten, zag je dit? #jazz

henrycherry
henrycherry

Who doesn't love a list that includes Armstrong and Ornette Coleman? I mean whatever your different choices may be, this list has legs, man. Mingus, Davis, Coltrane. All here. Sure Duke and Prez and Hawkins and the Yardbird miss out, but the important thing is their influence is felt. 

anahatamusic
anahatamusic

As I said these are all good albums but not necessarily the 10 best. They are what are popular all time faves. peyoteplayer, if you have hate in mind  it's all yours. Quite a few of the comments below also expressed differences. ie; 'why no Charlie Parker. Still, this is a great listening opportunity. Is Haterade your organization? Why would you venture to say my message is sponsered by Haterade?. I've never heard of it. Personally I love Jazz, play jazz piano in the clubs for the last 40 years. No Keith Jarret, no Bill Evans, no Chick Corea but what is there is excellent.

anahatamusic
anahatamusic

good albums but not the 10 best by any means. Only one white guy. No Bill Evans. Kind of a band wagon popular collection no contemporaries Short sighted and all oldies.

NoamSane
NoamSane

Interesting read, thank you. I would add Grant Green's "Quartets" released just a few years back, but dating from around 1960, as a primer on jazz guitar.

 

...but please get out your dictionary and note the difference between the words "Jive" and "Jibe."

seulbzzaj
seulbzzaj

No Charlie Parker, Lester Young, or any of Louis Armstrong's major recordings? Crazy.

elliottsharp
elliottsharp

@ArsNovaWorkshop BLACK ARK, UNIT STRUCTURES, OM, LOVE IS EVERYWHERE, NATION TIME, ECHO, LIVE AT PANAFRICAN FEST, MACHINE GUN, LIVE EVIL, etc

shit_thunder
shit_thunder

@nicklucchesi @OCWeeklyMusic The writer did a good job connecting the albums to atmosphere. Good read.

SweetCharlie
SweetCharlie

@CulturaFonds Nog niet gezien maar nu je het zegt zal ik het zeker doen :)

nicklucchesi
nicklucchesi

@shit_thunder are you going to Gateway to the West fest? i'll be back there for a few days this weekend.

anahatamusic
anahatamusic

 @peyoteplayers Saying that they are the ten albums you have to hear before you die is kinda like saying they are the 10 best. Probably few can agree on a 10 best. What you have done is misquoted me and attempted to put words in my mouth. Shoot first, aim later. You must be a Republican.

shit_thunder
shit_thunder

@nicklucchesi No. I don't think I know any of the bands playing. I don't think I've been to a hardcore show in well over a year.

nicklucchesi
nicklucchesi

@shit_thunder it's an addiction for me. I will be there

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