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Ten Favorite Jazz Albums
1Charles Mingus
Cornell 1964 with Eric Dolphy

My favorite jazz composer (Mingus) together with my favorite soloist (Dolphy). Mingus has a talent for kicking his players into high gear. His yelling, screaming and prodding in the background becomes integral to the performance. Dolphy is doing the best work of his life here, which is one of the last recordings he made before tragically dying. This is not a good entry to jazz but nevertheless is essential to any serious collection.
2Miles Davis
In A Silent Way

Miles changed music 3 or 4 times but he never did it as well as with this album. In A Silent Way is the most funky, laid back in your face shit that you will ever hear. The arrangements Miles gave the songs is perfect, especially with the title section which is stripped down to McLaughlin's guitar backing his trumpet, even though the songwriter was Zawinul. Any music fan would love this album.
3 Joe Pass with Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen
Northsea Nights

Do you think you have seen an incredible bass player? I posit that if you have never heard NHOP then you don't know what great bass is. www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI-1sq5dFD4 That performance, incredible as it is, did not make the album. Enough said.
4John Coltrane
A Love Supreme

Often named as one of the greatest, if not the greatest jazz albums of all time, Coltrane unloads his soul on A Love Supreme, making his sax scream, cry, shout in jubilation, whither in agony and most importantly glorify God. A stunning achievement that will not be matched soon.
5Grant Green
Idle Moments

The title track is the best slow, laid back, dark mood jazz song I've ever heard. You want a song to play while throwing back whiskey trying to forget? This is it.
6Charles Mingus
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

Mingus's greatest compositional achievement. In four parts Mingus tells the story of African Americans in a way no one else could hope to match.
7Eric Dolphy
Out to Lunch

Dolphy is my favorite free jazz writer and player. Even when he launches off the planet with his playing he always keeps part of himself grounded, even if it is just his big toe. He never lets go of the songs on this album which is why it is so good and stands the test of time.
8Freddie Hubbard
Red Clay

The live performance of Red Clay bonus track on the cd re-release is incredible.
9Oliver Nelson
The Blues and the Abstract Truth

With a lineup like this it's no surprise the album is a classic.
10Miles Davis
Kind Of Blue

Perhaps the most accessible jazz album of all time, it is no surprise it is the best selling. Even if you have never listened to it before I guarantee you would recognize at least half the songs. Often called the best jazz album ever alongside A Love Supreme and rightly so.
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