10 Jazz Albums to Listen to Before You Die

Categories: all that jazz



2. John Coltrane, Blue Train

John Coltrane is clearly one of the leaders of the jazz identity.  If you think about the course of hip hop, then can you really imagine groups like Tribe Called Quest or even someone like Tupac without a cultural and musical prophet like Coltrane?  Of course, A Love Supreme is an incredible album, but Blue Train just has so much life and color that it's impossible to ignore  before you kick the bucket.  Recorded back in 1957 on Blue Note, Blue Train was Coltrane's favorite album.  And if you haven't heard it, then it will surely be one of yours soon, too. 


1. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue

I can still remember the first time I heard this album.  I was 17, and I was driving my Subaru Legacy Wagon in the rain.  I drove the car to my grandparent's house, and I put on the album.  It was only about a five-minute drive, but I ended parked outside of their house, the windshield wipers swatting away rain -- the album blaring.  I sat in the driveway until the album ended, and, well, music was never the same for me.  It's a composition, released in 1959, that is often considered the definitive jazz album.  Honestly, there are some jazz purists who probably would die if they found out our generation was unfamiliar with this album.  Just listen to who was featured on this album: Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb.  If you're about to go sky diving, and you're not sure if you're going to survive, then play this album on the car ride over to the airport. Kind of Blue is an album many critics try and define why it is so great, but everything you need to know comes across when you hit play.  Let's not try to put it into words.  It might be something unsayable.  

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62 comments
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.

CriscoMatt
CriscoMatt

@CataldoAndrew I think good! are you trying to get your hands on these albums?

donberryman
donberryman

Great albums. but if I were to pick only one Coltrane album. maybe go with "Coltrane s Sound",  "Ole", of "Giant Steps"

swenglishdrake
swenglishdrake

@Reklamaren Mate, I am no connoisseur. Thanks for tip will check them out. Im currently overhauling my Spotify account : )

rae_snakeeye
rae_snakeeye

@MagnieShearer too much to do before we die. Listen to records and expect scotland to win. #nochance

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.

MagnieShearer
MagnieShearer

@rae_snakeeye Yea! No chance of surviving long enough for Scotland to qualify for anything, so resorted to just 10 LP's instead ... :)

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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