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50 jazz records in context: The 50 Titles


Here’s the full list of the 50 titles I’m going to be using for this project. Are they the best or most important titles by all of these artists? No. Am I saying these are the 50 greatest jazz performers of all time? No. The most important? Also no. Should I have included Duke Ellington instead of Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard instead of Steve Lacy, ANYBODY instead of Patty Waters? Perhaps. But I wanted to include some surprises, exclude some obvious choices, look into some slightly-off-the-beaten-path recordings. I’m sure if I did this project 5 years ago it would have looked very different; 5 years from now it would also be different. This is a slice in time… It may have been done differently at a different time, but it’s accurate for what it is, and it’s set in stone. Honestly, I’ve already put over 100 hours into this project, and I haven’t even started writing or posting anything yet (nor, most importantly, LISTENING TO ANY MUSIC. duh).

So, yeah… Here’s the list I’m using (year is the year of the primary recording date… these ARE listed chronologically. Once they are each posted, you’ll be able to see the exact [when known] recording dates).

01. Charlie ParkerBroadcast Performances Vol. 2 (1948)
02. Bud Powell – The Amazing Bud Powell, Volume 2 (1953)
03. Miles Davis – ‘Round About Midnight (1955)
04. Mal Waldron Quintet – Mal-1 (1956)
05. Sonny Rollins – Volume 1 (1956)
06. Thelonious Monk And Gerry Mulligan – Mulligan Meets Monk (1957)
07. Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else (1958)
08. Lou Donaldson – Blues Walk (1958)
09. Thelonious Monk – Misterioso (1958)
10. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – At The Jazz Corner Of The World Vol. 1 (1959)
11. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (1959)
12. Ornette Coleman – The Shape Of Jazz To Come (1959)
13. Wes Montgomery – The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery (1960)
14. Sam Jones – The Soul Society (1960)
15. Philly Joe Jones – Philly Joe’s Beat (1960)
16. John Coltrane & Don Cherry – The Avant-Garde (1960)
17. Paul Chambers – 1st Bassman (1961)
18. Oscar Peterson Trio – Affinity (1962)
19. Charles Mingus – Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (1963)
20. Hank Mobley – The Turnaround! (1963)
21. Herbie Hancock – My Point Of View (1963)
22. Bill Evans Trio – At Shelly’s Manne-Hole (1963)
23. The Art Farmer Quartet Featuring Jim Hall – “Live” At The Half-Note (1963)
24. Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land (1964)
25. The New Stan Getz Quartet Featuring Astrud Gilberto – Getz Au Go Go (1964)
26. Sonny Stitt – Soul People (1964)
27. Pharoah Sanders Quintet – Pharoah Sanders Quintet (1964)
28. Grant Green – Talkin’ About (1964)
29. Shirley Scott – Everybody Loves A Lover (1964)
30. Sun Ra – The Heliocentric Worlds Of Sun Ra, Vol. 1 (1965)
31. Max Roach – Drums Unlimited (1965)
32. Patty Waters – Sings (1965)
33. Yusef Lateef – A flat, G Flat And C (1966)
34. Elvin Jones – Midnight Walk (1966)
35. Cecil Taylor – Unit Structures (1966)
36. Gabor Szabo – Jazz Raga (1966)
37. Marion Brown – Three For Shepp (1966)
38. Wayne Shorter – Schizophrenia (1967)
39. Archie Shepp – The Magic Of Ju-Ju (1967)
40. Charlie Haden – Liberation Music Orchestra (1969)
40. Sunny Murray – Hommage To Africa (1969)
42. Alice Coltrane – Journey In Satchidananda (1970)
43. Alphonse Mouzon – The Essence Of Mystery (1972)
44. Hampton Hawes – Playin’ In The Yard (1973)
45. Milt Jackson – Olinga (1974)
46. Phil Woods – Musique Du Bois (1974)
47. Ron Carter – Spanish Blue (1974)
48. Steve Lacy – Trickles (1976)
49. Old And New Dreams – Old And New Dreams (1979)
50. The Art Ensemble Of Chicago – Urban Bushmen (1980)