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Top 10 Albums Of 1961

Here we go again for 1961. This list is going to be a bit tougher because I have stuff from 1961 I haven't heard yet, which could probably easily crack the top 10. Either way, I'll give it a go.
10Freddie Hubbard
Ready for Freddie
9Sun Ra
The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra
8 Donald Byrd
Free Form
7Hank Mobley
6 Dave Brubeck
Time Further Out
5John Coltrane
Afro-Blue Impressions

Really solid collection here with songs such as Naima, My Favorite Things, and Impressions. Nothing is new, but the track list is good enough to rate it at number 5.
4 Thelonius Monk & John Coltrane
Thelonius Monk with John Coltrane

While this is a pretty straight forward piece of Hard Bop, Monk meets Trane, what's not to like? This is a fantastic collaboration between two jazz giants.
3Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
A Night in Tunisia

How can you not love Art Blakey? It baffles me. Anyway, this is one of my favourites by him. Great piece of that body crushing hard bop he was known for. Gotta love that title track.
2 Duke Ellington & Count Basie
First Time! Count Meets the Duke

I'm not a huge fan of Big Band jazz but this album is slick. The two (arguably) best names in Big Band coming together for an album? Sounds good to me. Unfortunately, I find that no track on the album beats the opener 'Battle Royale' which is probably my favourite big band song of all time. Other than that, this is a great collaboration.
1John Coltrane

You know I really can't believe how this man managed to put out so much great music. This is another one of my favourite Coltrane albums and probably in my top 5 jazz albums. The first track opens up with a driving rhythm that lasts throughout the entire 17 minute long epic, and I believe one of Elvin Jones' best drum solos ever recorded is found on this track. The second song is the standard Greensleeves, and this rendition is absolutely flawless. Album ends a bit weak on Blues Minor, but it's not enough to detract from the first 2 tracks. A true masterpiece.
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