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Customer Discussions > Jazz forum

Desert Island Albums

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Showing 1-25 of 727 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 7, 2009 7:03:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2016 9:38:45 AM PST
Spartacus says:
I had talked about this list a lot, and someone said they thought it might make a good kick off topic. My list was cumulatively built from over 10,000 albums. These are the ones that I feel make it in their entirety rather than just having a few great tracks. Every so often I'll add one-some times something new I've heard and sometimes something I've just revisited.

It would be nice if others would contribute their lists here-short or long-perhaps it would cross-fertilize our imaginations and give us something new to enjoy or a new opportunity to enjoy something old.

1. 8 Bold Souls (Featuring Edward Wilkerson Jr.) - Sideshow 1992
2. Aaly Trio With Ken Vandermark - Hidden In the Stomach 1998
3. Muhal Richard Abrams - Think All Focus One 1995
4. Cannonball Adderley - Fiddler On the Roof 1964
5. Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else 1958
6. Cannonball Adderley - The Cannonball Adderley Quintet In San Francisco 1959
7. Cannonball Adderley - The Best Of Cannonball Adderley-The Capital Years 1991
8. Ben Allison - Medicine Wheel 1998
9. Ben Allison & Medicine Wheel - Buzz 2004
10. Gene Ammons - Boss Tenor 1960
11. Billy Bang - Bang On! 1997
12. Billy Bang - Vietnam - The Aftermath 2001
13. Gato Barbieri - Last Tango in Paris (Deluxe Edition) 1972
14. Tim Berne & Bill Frisell - Theoretically 1884
15. Tim Berne, Marc Ducret, Herb Robertson, Copenhagen Art Ensemble - Open, comma 2001
16. Art Blakey - The Best Of Art Blakey 1989
17. Carla Bley & Andy Sheppard - The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu - New Conversations 2007
18. Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy - Avant Pop 1986
19. Lester Bowie - The Fire This Time 1992
20. Lester Bowie - The Great Pretender 1981
21. Lester Bowie Brass Fantasy - Live Genève 1986
22. Anthony Braxton & Dave Douglas Quintet - Six Standards 1996
23. Peter Brotzmann & Bill Laswell - Low Life 1987
24. Peter Brotzmann & Shoji Hano - Funny Rat 1982
25. Oscar Brown Jr. - Between Heaven and Hell 1962
26. Oscar Brown Jr. - Sin & Soul 1960
27. Marion Brown Quartet - Capricorn Moon 1965
28. Dave Brubeck - Time Out 1959
29. Dave Brubeck - Time Further Out 1961
30. Roy Campbell - La Tierra Del Fuego 1993
31. John Coltrane & Archie Shepp - New Thing at Newport 1965
32. John Coltrane - Ascension Edition II Impulse 1965
33. John Coltrane - The Complete Africa/Brass (2 CDs) Impulse (1961-1974) 1995
34. John Coltrane & Eric Dolphy - The Complete Copenhagen Concert 1961
35. Art Davis Quartet (With Pharoah Sanders, John Hicks & Idris Muhammad) - Life 1985
36. Miles Davis - Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (Jazz In Paris - Vol. 03) 1958
37. Miles Davis - In A Silent Way Sessions Disc 1 1969
38. Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue 1959
39. Miles Davis - Milestones 1958
40. Miles Davis - Seven Steps To Heaven 1963
41. Miles Davis - Sketches Of Spain 1960
42. Miles Davis & Gil Evans - The Complete Porgy and Bess1958
43. Elton Dean's Ninesense - Live At The BBC 1975-78
44. Bill Dixon - Live In Italy - Vol. 1 1980
45. Bill Dixon - Papyrus Vol. 1 & 2 1998-1999
46. Bill Dixon, Franz Koglmann & Steve Lacy - Opium 1976
47. Eric Dolphy - Out To Lunch 1964
48. Eric Dolphy - Last Date 1964
49. Hamid Drake, Albert Beger & William Parker - Evolving Silence 2005
50. Ellery Eskelin, Andrea Parkins & Jim Black - Five Other Pieces + 2 1999
51. Gil Evans Orchestra - Blues In Orbit 1969
52. Gil Evans Orchestra - Into The Hot 1961
53. Gil Evans Orchestra - Out Of The Cool 1960
54. Ingebrigt Håker Flaten Quintet - Quintet 2006
55. Fred Frith - Eye To Ear Vol. 1 1995
56. Garbarek, Jan - Wayfarer 1983
57. Stan Getz - Focus 1961
58. Paul Giger, Pierre Favre, Jan Garbarek - Alpstein 1991
59. Dexter Gordon - One Flight Up 1964, 2004 (Original recording remastered)
60. Guinea Pig (Rent Romus) - Out of Town (Live at The Hotel Utah) 2001
61. Herbie Hancock - Cantaloupe Island 1995
62. Craig Harris Ensemble - Live Banlieues Bleues 2004
63. Eddie Harris - Exodus To Jazz 1961
64. Julius Hemphill - Dogon A.D 1972
65. Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane - The Elements 1973
66. Andrew Hill & Eric Dolphy - Point of Departure 1964
67. Andrew Hill - Compulsion!!!!! 1965
68. Freddie Hubbard - The Night Of The Cookers Live At Club La Marchal 1965
69. Stan Kenton, Bob Graettinger - City of Glass 1951
69. Stan Kenton - West Side Story 1994
70. King Pleasure - The Source 1972
71. Krzysztof Komeda - Astigmatic 1965
72. Toshinori Kondo - Silent Melodies 2007
73. Steve Lacy & Bobby Few - Istanbul Resim Heykel Muzesi Konseri - 10-03-1992 (Bootleg)
74. Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks & Annie Ross - The Hottest New Group In Jazz (2 CDs) 1996
75. Yusef Lateef - Eastern Sounds - 1961
76. Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet - Now Jazz Ramwong 1964
77. Albert Mangelsdorff - Trombonliness MPS Records1976
78. Masqualero - Re-Enter 1991
79. Milosc & Lester Bowie - Not Two 1995
80. Milosc & Lester Bowie - Talkin' About Life And Death 1999
81. Charles Mingus - Mingus At Carnegie Hall 1974
82. Charles Mingus - Oh Yeah 1961
83. Charles Mingus - The Clown - 1957
84. Charles Mingus - The Very Best Of Charles Mingus 2001
85. Modern Jazz Quartet & Guests - Third Stream Music 1960
86. Oliver Nelson, Bill Evans, Roy Haynes, Eric Dolphy, Paul Chambers & Freddy Hubbard - The Blues And The Abstract Truth 1961
87. Stephan Oliva & Francois Raulin - Sept Variations sur Lennie Tristano 2002
88. Charlie Parker - Charlie Parker With Strings 1949
89. William Parker's In Order To Survive - The Peach Orchard 1997-1998
90. Dave Rempis Thread Quintet - Long Lines 2003
91. Max Roach - We Insist! Max Roach and Oscar Brown Jr.'s Freedom Now Suite With Coleman Hawkins And Abbey Lincoln 1960
92. Max Roach & Anthony Braxton - One In Two, Two In One 1979
93. Sonny Rollins & Oliver Nelson - Alfie 1973
94. George Russell - Outer Thoughts Milestone1962
95. George Russell Sextet - At Beethoven Hall 1965
96. Jenny Scheinman - The Rabbi's Lover 2002
97. Archie Shepp - Déjà Vu (AKA French Ballads) 2001
98. Archie Shepp - Montreux 1976
99. Archie Shepp - The Way Ahead 1970
100. Archie Shepp & Mal Waldron - Left Alone Revisited 2002
101. Archie Shepp & Siegfried Kessler - First Take 2005
102. Archie Shepp & Tchangodei - Duo - Eaglesflight 1986
103. Archie Shepp Quartet - True Ballads 1996
104. Archie Shepp Quartet - True Blue 1998
105. Sahib Shihab - Summer Dawn 1964
106. Horace Silver - Song For My Father 1964
107. Horace Silver Quintet Plus J. J. Johnson - The Cape Verdean Blues 1965
108. Tomasz Stanko - Freelectronic 1988
109. Cecil Taylor Unit & Roswell Rudd Sextet - Mixed 1998
110. Territory Band 2 - Atlas 2001
111. Transmission - Hollow Sea 2005
112. Ken Vandermark 5 - Single Piece Flow 1997
113. Ken Vandermark - Target Or Flag 1998
114. David S. Ware - Go See The World 1998
115. David S. Ware - Live Poitiers, France 1998
116. David S. Ware - Renunciation 2007
117. John Zorn, George Lewis & Bill Frisell - More News For Lulu 1988-1992

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 4:52:11 PM PST
Nitya says:
Give it some time and point some of the regular posters on the other threads to it. I completely missed. I'll do a list shortly. Dam, Dan you are just too organized, heh heh ;-)..........

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 5:20:01 PM PST
These are only from the CDs. i don't have a DB for the LPs or tapes.
Art Blakey - A Night at Birdland Vol 1 & 2
Art Farmer - AF with G.G. Gryce
Art Pepper - AP Meets the Rhythm Section
Art Pepper - Laurie's Choice
Art Pepper - Smack Up
Bud Powell - T42
Cannonball Adderley - Bohemia After Dark
Cannon Ball Adderley - Something Else
Charles Mingus - Pithecantropus Erectus
Charles Mingus - Trio with Hampton Hawes
Charlie Rouse - Unsung Hero
Charlie Rouse - Takin' Care of Business
Chet Baker -CB Quartet with Russ Freeman
Chet Baker- CB Sextet
C. Baker/A. Pepper - Picture of Heath
Clifford Brown - CB and Max Roach at Basin Street
Clifford Brown - Study in Brown
Coleman Hawkins - Dali
Count Basie - The Kansas City Seven
Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker - Town Hall Concert 1945
Duke Ellington - Ellington at Newport
Duke Ellington - Solos, Duets, Trios
Eric Dolphy - Out To Lunch
Frank Rosolino - FR Quintet with Richie Kamuca
George Russell - Ezz-thetic
George Wallington - Jazz For The Carriage Trade
George Wallington - GW Live at the Cafe Bohemia
Hampton Hawes - HH Trio Vol 1
Hampton Hawes - This Is Hampton Hawes
Harold Land - The Fox
Harold Land - Eastward Ho- Harold Land in New York
Horace Silver - HS and the Jazz Messengers
Horace Silver - Doin' the Thing
Howard McGhee -The Complete Dial Recordings
Howard McGhee - Maggie's Back In Town
J & K - Complete Fifties Studio Recordings
Johnny Griffin - Introducing Johnny Griffin
Jackie McLean - Lights Out
Jackie McLean - Jackie's Pal
Jackie McLean - Antiquity
Jimmy Giuffre - The JG Three
Jimmy Giuffre - Tangents in Jazz
Ken McIntyre - Looking Ahead
Kenny Burrell - Midnight Blue
Kenny Dorham - Whistle Stop
Lennie Tristano - Tristano
Lucky Thompson - Lord, Lord, When Am I Gonna know
Miles Davis - Dig
Miles Davis - Vol 1 & 2 (BLue Note)
Miles Davis - The New Miles Davis Quintet
Nat Adderley - To the Ivy League From Nat Adderley
Phil Cohran - PC and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble
Phil Woods - Woodlore
Shorty Rogers - Five
Shorty Rogers - The Swinging Mr. Rogers
Sonny Rollins - Volume One
Sonny Rollins - Worktime
Sonny Rollins - Tenor Madness
Sonny Rollins - SR and The MJQ
Sonny Stitt - Sony Stitt Plays
Stan Getz - SG and Bob Brookmeyer At the Shrine
Stan Getz - At Storyville
Stan Getz - Poetry
Stan Kenton - City of Glass
Stan Kenton - Sketches on Standards
Sun Ra - Music From Tomorrow's World
Teddy Edwards and Howard McGhee - Together Again
The Art Ensemble of Chicago - Nice Guys
Thelonious Monk - Ruby My Dear
Thelonious Monk - TM with John Coltrain
Wardell Gray - WG Manorial Vol. 1 & 2
Zoot Sims - The Rare Dawn Sessions w/ Bob Brookmeyer

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 5:26:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2009 6:29:34 PM PST
Bryce Jerlow says:
Dan, To preclude this new Forum from remaining virginal, I briefly put the following, culled from yours only. I'll have to think about my separate ones.

01 Cannonball Adderley - Fiddler On the Roof 1964
02 Cannonball Adderley - The Cannonball Adderley Quintet In San Francisco
03 Cannonball Adderley - The Best Of Cannonball Adderley-The Capital Years
05 Gato Barbieri - Last Tango in Paris (Deluxe Edition)
06 Oscar Brown Jr. - Between Heaven and Hell
07 Oscar Brown Jr. - Sin & Soul
08 Dave Brubeck - Time Out
09 Dave Brubeck - Time Further Out
09 Miles Davis - In A Silent Way Sessions Disc 1
10 Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue
11 Miles Davis - Sketches Of Spain
12 Miles Davis & Gil Evans - The Complete Porgy and Bess
13 Gil Evans Orchestra - Into The Hot
14 Gil Evans Orchestra - Out Of The Cool
15 Freddie Hubbard - The Night Of The Cookers Live At Club La Marchal 1965
16 Stan Kenton - West Side Story
17 Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks & Annie Ross - The Hottest New Group In Jazz (2 CDs)
18 Charles Mingus - Oh Yeah
19 Charles Mingus - The Very Best Of Charles Mingus
20 Max Roach & Anthony Braxton - One In Two, Two In One 1979
21 Max Roach - We Insist! Roach & Oscar Brown Jr.'s Freedom Now Suite w Coleman Hawkins & Abbey Lincoln
22 Max Roach & Anthony Braxton - One In Two, Two In One 1979
23 Horace Silver - Song For My Father 1964
24 Horace Silver Quintet Plus J. J. Johnson - The Cape Verdean Blues 1965
25 Miles Davis - Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (Jazz In Paris - Vol. 03 ) (an afterthought - sorry)

OK. Not very creative on my part. Let me add a few now that I know I would include.

01 Dave Brubeck - Jazz Goes to College of Pacific (2 Vol)
02 Dave Brubeck - Jazz Goes to Oberlin
03 Dave Brubeck - Jazz Sonatas w/ Dick Hyman & Roland Hannah
04 Dave Brubeck - Brubeck Time
05 Dave Brubeck - On Time
06 Dave Brubeck - Time Changes
06 Dave Brubeck - Time In
07 Dave Brubeck - Double Live, US / UK
08 Dave Brubeck - The Crossing
09 Dave Brubeck - Jazz, Red, Hot & Cool
10 Dave Brubeck - Gone With The Wind
11 Dave Brubeck - Brandenberg Gate - Revisited
12 Dave Brubeck - '75, The Duets
13 Dave Brubeck - Brubeck Plays Brubeck
14 Stan Kenton - At Butler w/ The Four Freshmen
15 Stan Kenton - At Carnegie, 1951
16 Stan Kenton - Cuban Fire
17 Stan Kenton - Autumn Leaves
18 Stan Kenton - 7.5 on Richter
19 Stan Kenton - Viva Kenton
20 Stan Kenton - Sketches In Standards
21 Stan Kenton - Portraits In Standards
22 Stan Kenton - Innovation Orcherstra
23 Stan Kenton - Mellophonium Moods
24 Shorty Rogers - Popo
25 Shorty Rogers - Shorty Rogers (4 Vols)
26 Shorty Rogers - Complete Atlantic / EMI Jazz Recordings (4 Vols)
27 Shorty Rogers - Contours
28 Shorty Rogers - Chances Are It Swings
29 Shorty Rogers - Sweetheart of Sigmund Freud

Bryce Jerlow - he who cracked this first after te door was open ...
- he who would add many more ENTIRE CD's, but is working too hard at this.
PS - OK. I started to respond, but did some editing and others got in here, which is cool. Looks like NITYA 'cracked' this first, followed by Tom Sorenson.

Dan - YES, I noticed the common ground here. Good percentage, eh?

My listings are NOT placed as a competition. I surely put thought to this, but surely not as thoroughly as Dan.

No, the Brubeck & Kenton listings are simply among my favorites and are only a smattering of my inventory of them.

PS AGAIN - LOOKED AT THE DETAILS OF THOSE NAMED BY TOM S. Dan, he and I have MANY common fav artists and CD's. I just don't want to work so hard on this, but it may well give clues to you and others, proving the merit of the Forum. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 5:51:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2009 6:02:06 PM PST
Spartacus says:
Damn, Tom,

That Dali album by Hawkins would have been on my list if I had it. You do have range don't you - all the way from Lucky Thompson to the AEOC!


25 out of 86? I didn't know we had THAT much in common. Is that Dave Brubeck and Stan Kenton list going to include everything they did? I don't know as much about Kenton as I'd like to: I've learned a bit here though.


PS I hope people take their time with this thread. I spent years building that list of mine. I hope others won't just throw stuff up off the tops of their heads just to make the numbers. This wasn't meant to be a competition. If it becomes that, it will ruin the whole idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 6:53:27 PM PST

Here is at least a start for me:

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
George Benson - Breezin'
George benson - Tenderly
John Coltrane - Afro-Blue Impressions
John Coltrane - My Favorite Things
John Coltrane - Impressions
John Coltrane - Blue Train
John Coltrane - Newport '63
Duke Ellington - Line at Newport
Stan Kenton - Cuban Fire
Stan Kenton - Standards in Silhouette
Stan Kenton - Plays Chicago
Oliver Nelson - Blues and the Abstract Truth
Oliver Nelson Verve Compilation
Quincy Jones - The Quintessence
Pat Metheny Group
Pat Metheny Group - Offramp
Pat Metheny Group - We Live Here
Mel Lewis and Friends
Thad Jones and Mel Lewis - Swiss Radio Days
Woody Shaw - Stepping Stones
Herbie Hancock - Complete Blue Note box set
Herbie Hancock - Headhunters
Chick Corea - Three Quartets
McCoy Tyner - Reflections
McCoy Tyner - Inception
McCoy Tyner - The Real McCoy
MyCoy Tyner - Song for the New World
McCoy Tyner - Song for My Lady
McCoy Tyner - Fly Like the Wind
McCoy Tyner - Soliloquy
McCoy Tyner - Things Ain't What They Used to Be
Freddie Hubbard - High Blues Pressure
Freddie Hubbard - Going Up
Freddie Hubbard - Born to be Blue
Freddie Hubbard - First Light
Freddie Hubbard - Red Clay
Freddie Hubbard - Sky Dive
James Williams - Alter Ego
Roy Hargrove (everything)
Nicholas Payton (anything except the CD he did with Doc Cheatham)
Joe Henderson (everything)
Woody Herman (all of his OJC and Concord recordings)
Frank Sinatra - LA is My Lady

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 7:14:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Aug 20, 2009 11:31:37 AM PDT
Spartacus says:
I'm getting a feeling I am much more picky than most people. Lester Bowie and Archie Shepp made it to my list six times each. Not even Miles, Dolphy or Trane matched that. I know a lot of albums with two or three great tracks, but if the album had five or more total tracks and the rest struck me as dispensable, then that album couldn't make my list. I also excluded albums with overlapping selections. That really set the albums I listed apart for me-especially since a couple of them had double disks. If an album had some really good tracks, I added those to my Desert Island Tracks list, but the album didn't make it to this list. That's why I wound up with only 89 out of over eight thousand.


PS Please note that I never use the word "best" to describe either the albums or the tracks. I feel that word is an extremely inappropriate descriptor.

PPS The way this has started out, it could turn into a really great reference resource for people who want to add depth and range to their listening experience. (G.......d do I sound incredibly stuffy and dull sometimes!)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 7:48:53 PM PST
Tom, I would be satified with your entire list. But ,given the chance, I would make some substituions..james

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 7:58:18 PM PST
To All, To get me started I would bring the collected works of Boxcar Willie and 4 cases of Glenlivet scotch..james

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 7:58:38 PM PST
Bryce Jerlow says:

RE YOUR: ... given the chance, I would make some substituions.

Don't be bashful, James. EMBELLISH! EMBELLISH!


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 7:59:35 PM PST
Dan, If you are blessed by the gods, you should share it with us mere mortals. james

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 8:03:30 PM PST
Bryce I did. Item: As you know John Updyke died last week. If you havent already done so google up: John Updyke, NewYorker and Ted Williams and you will read the piece he wrote as he attended Teds last game in 1960. Its worth it. To all you sportsphobes I apologize...james

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 8:06:00 PM PST
Bryce Jerlow says:

RE:I would bring the collected works of Boxcar Willie and 4 cases of Glenlivet scotch.



In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 8:07:30 PM PST
Tom, I would be satified with your entire list. But ,given the chance, I would make some substituions..james

James I'll add a few more later. What would you substitute or add?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 8:10:51 PM PST
Bryce, Darn tooten. Its my last stop on planet earth. Though I might want to bring actress Diane Lane to change cds..james

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 8:12:53 PM PST
Tom, Ill come up with some manana, but organization is not my strong suit. Im amazed that you guys have all this so handy. Ive got crap everywhere...james

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 8:35:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2009 8:46:00 PM PST
Spartacus says:

What, no Monk? I thought my list was really pretty short, considering. And you know why.... You can always offer a really short list. That is more respectable than just throwing anything up against the wall. I really think that in the end it is better to have someone spoil the rest of the music for you. Then you know that you haven't missed out on much...and what you found was the real thing.

If I was blessed, which is probably true, it was not by the gods but by mere mortals like myself who had something to give me and did. As Tom can tell you, I love to give it away, and do. What do you think this thread is about, if not that?


PS A rule: You can borrow or steal from someone else's list, but you can not change their list...because it's theirs.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 8:57:16 PM PST
Oh yeah Monk..more Monk. "It's Monk's Time" . I have to take that one. Oh and food, water, and strong drink. I'd hate to have to eat these records.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009 9:13:20 PM PST
Bryce Jerlow says:
RE: .... organization is not my strong suit.
RE: Im amazed that you guys have all this so handy.
RE: Ive got crap everywhere ....
Lawyers HAVE to be organized.
The stuff was not handy, We had to WORK for this ....
Most people use the BATHROOM for their crap.

James - sit, stay, WRITE!!

PS, JEV - RED SMITH; BILL STERN. Thanks for Updike. I knew of his passing.


Posted on Feb 8, 2009 4:44:02 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2009 4:50:38 AM PST
Bryce Jerlow says:
Dan, Not an island thing here

I just a bit ago put a 1 TB in my wish list. NTFS already. Cavalry, made by Western Dig, lists $200. Sell at 155+5=160. A better is 130+5=135, but not a high profile seller. I believe the specs are OK, but take a look see and help me find a basis to fly with one (prefer the 135) unless you feel WD is really the way to go. New Egg either doesn't have the 119 or I am missing something.

Thanks, Bryce
- What does the 'NT' of (Windows) 'NTbackup' program mean? It would take me a long time to back up my stuff too.
PS - 10 MIN LATER: Should I also get any ancillary stuff?

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 5:12:52 AM PST
Leo Scanlon says:
I've participated in threads like this in the past, and usually a desert island list is limited to some small amount, typically 10 or 20 items. So, the following are albums that have given me many hours of pleasure over the 50 years I've been listening to jazz.

1. Count Basie: The Complete Atomic Basie. The all-time best Basie album.

2. Dave Brubeck: Jazz Goes to College. Definitive Desmond throughout.

3. Miles Davis: Kind of Blue. The best jazz album ever. Period.

4. John Coltrane: A Love Supreme.

5. Louis Armstrong: Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, a 4-CD set. Absolutely magnificent.

6. Duke Ellington: The Blanton-Webster Years

7. Art Tatum: Standard Transcriptions (Music & Arts). Art Tatum is one of the few jazz musicians who came onto the scene in full blossom. Right from the beginning, he was head-and-shoulders above any other pianist before or since. (For evidence, hear his "1932-1934" album on the Classics label.) It's almost impossible to recommend any *one* Tatum album (they're all excellent), but this 2-CD set contains the jaw-dropping "I Wish I Were Twins."

8. Thelonious Monk: Orchestra at Town Hall. Great all-star band, with amazing work from Phil Woods, Donald Byrd, and Pepper Adams.

9. Charlie Parker: Yardbird Suite. A 2-CD Rhino set with his best work from six different labels.

10. Jack Teagarden: The Indispensable Jack Teagarden. A 2-CD set with many of Teagarden's most memorable tracks.


1. Art Blakey: Night At Birdland, Vol. 1. Includes Clifford Brown's fabulous feature, "Once In a While."

2. Errol Garner: Concert By the Sea

3. John Coltrane: Giant Steps.

4. Oliver Nelson: Blues and the Abstract Truth. Includes "Stolen Moments," one of the greatest jazz tracks ever.

5. Eddie Condon: 1938-1940 (Chronological Classics). Many, many good tracks by legendary jazzmen, including Fats Waller, Lionel Hampton, Bud Freeman, Bobby Hackett, and Jack Teagarden. But I included this album specifically for its four versions of "A Good Man Is Hard T\to Find." They're absolutely magnificent.

6. Duke Ellington: Newport `56. Everyone talks about Paul Gonsalves's marathon solo on "Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue"--and it's indeed a classic--but there's plenty more good music on this album. The band was *pumped*!

7. Duke Ellington: Live At the Blue Note. Fantastic Johnny Hodges throughout. His "Passion Flower" will bring tears to your eyes.

8. Benny Goodman: 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert.

9. Coleman Hawkins: A Retrospective (1929-1963). Besides two versions of "Body & Soul," it includes a wonderful "Say It Isn't So."

10. Art Tatum/Ben Webster: Pablo Group Masterpieces, Vol. 8. Just wonderful! After that, try Volume 7, with Buddy DeFranco.

11. Gerry Mulligan: Meets Ben Webster. A perfect match of two huge talents.

12. Oscar Peterson Trio: West Side Story, any of the "At the Blue Note" albums, or any of a half-dozen other Peterson albums. It's hard to go wrong with OP.

13. Jimmy Witherspoon: The `Spoon Sessions. 1959 live sessions with Mulligan and Webster; same personnel as "Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster."

I had to stop somewhere, and I restrained myself when it came to vocalists. I could have included lots of Ella, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Diana Krall, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, and Frank Sinatra -- for starters.

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 9:53:17 AM PST
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
John Coltrane - Giant Steps
John McLaughlin - My Goals Beyond
Pat Metheny - Still Life Talking
Freddie Hubbard - Red Clay
Weather Report - Mysterious Traveler
Donald Fagen - The Nightfly (I'll get flak for that one!)
Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All (or maybe "Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life" - I'll get even more flack for either one of these)
Getz/Gilberto (or the Verve collection called "Red Hot and Rio")
Santana - Caravanserai

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2009 12:52:09 PM PST
ToAll, Im olny listing the cds that have not yet been listed. I suspect that when I arrive on the Island there will only one of you left (Lord of the Flies) whom I will quickly dispatch with an ancient Oriental martial art trick (too much msg). Then I will have access to your cds, the Scotch and Diane Lane; MY list :Bach, Goldberg Variations by Glen Gould 2 Bach, The Well Tempered Clavichord, Gould 3Mose Allison'Ramblin with Mose4Dorothy Ashby, In a minor Groove5 Kenny Barron, Green Chimneys 6 Bix BEIderbeck, Vol. 1 Singing the Blues. 7 Bunny Berigan, 1936-1937, 8 Carla Bley, The LOst Chords; Lookin for America 9 Paul Bley, With Gary Peacock. 10 Stfano Bollani, Les Fleurs Bleues; Piano Dolo. 11 Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Brookmeyer and his friends; Traditionalism Revisited 12Clifford Brown, Study in Brown, Alone Togeter. 13Dave Brubeck, Time OUT; Indian Summer, Private Brubeck Remembers, West Side Story; 14 Charlie Byrd, Solo Flight. 15Serge Chaloff, THE fABLE OF mABLE 16 aL cOHN, tHE aL cOHEN qUINTET...MORE LATER IM TIRED AND MY BACK HURTS JAMES

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2009 1:45:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2009 2:38:41 PM PST

This thread seems to be generating quite a bit of interest, and may broaden a few musical horizons. I think that an individual's choices are governed by several factors: (1) the size of one's collection, (2) a desire to select a broad cross section of artists, rather than concentrate on a favored few, (3) opinions about different artists, e.g., is every Oscar Peterson record better than any Bill Evans record, or vice versa.

In 1980, Len Lyons published a book titled "The 101 Best Jazz Albums - A History of Jazz on Records." It was pretty much panned by several critics for three reasons. First, it sold fairly well and other critics were upset that they hadn't done something similar. Second, critics said "how can you possibly confine the history of jazz on record to only 101 albums," not acknowledging that Lyons had included many more alternate choices. Third, much criticism about "how can you leave off such albums as "Live At The Barnyard" by the Mud Puppies?, etc., etc., etc.

At the time I bought the book our collection was much smaller than it is now. Currently we have about 4,600 LPs and CDs. In addition, we have several tapes of unissued material, but can't really consider that for purposes of this list. I thought it would be fun to pick out 101 favorites, which I did. As new albums were purchased, we considered them for updating the list. However, the problem was that for every album we added, we had to delete one, leaving the list at a constant number of 101. I find that most of the list is made up of our original selections.

For your edification and/or derision, as the case may be, here is our list of 101 favorite (not best) jazz albums:

Akiyoshi, Toshiko, CARNEGIE HALL CONCERT (1991)
*Akiyoshi, Toshiko, FAREWELL TO MINGUS (1980)
Akiyoshi, Toshiko, TALES OF A COURTESAN (1975)
Allred, John/Gordon, Wycliffe, HEAD TO HEAD (2001)
Armstrong, Louis, AND EARL HINES (1928)
Barron, Kenny, NEW YORK ATTITUDE (1984)
Basie, Count, THE BEST OF (1937-39)
Basie, Count, ECHOES OF AN ERA (1957-62)
Basie, Count, JAM #3 (1976)
Basie, Count/Peterson, Oscar, SATCH AND JOSH (1974)
Braff, Ruby/Barnes, George, LIVE AT THE NEW SCHOOL (1974)
Brookmeyer, Bobby/Evans, Bill, THE IVORY HUNTERS (1959)
Brown, Clifford/Roach, Max (1955)
Bryant, Ray, POTPOURRI (1980)
Burrell, Kenny, GUITAR FORMS (1964-65)
Byard, Jaki, TO THEM - TO US (1981)
Carter, Benny, FURTHER DEFINITIONS (1961)
Cohn, Al/Sims, Zoot, BODY AND SOUL (1973)
Coltrane, John, GIANT STEPS (1959)
Davern, Kenny/Phillips, Flip, JOHN & JOE (1977)
Davis, Miles, THE COMPLETE BIRTH OF THE COOL (1948-1950)
*Davis, Miles, KIND OF BLUE (1959)
Davis, Miles, MILES AHEAD (1957)
Davis, Miles, PORGY AND BESS (1958)
Davis, Miles, WORKIN' AND STEAMIN' (1956)
Desmond, Paul, QUARTET LIVE (1975)
Dickenson, Vic, THE ESSENTIAL (1953-54)
Dolphy, Eric, LAST DATE (1964)
Edison, Harry, BLUES FOR BASIE (1957)
Ellington, Duke, AND HIS MOTHER CALLED HIM BILL (1967)
Ellington, Duke, AT NEWPORT (1956)
Ellington, Duke/Hodges, Johnny, BLUES SUMMIT (1958-59)
*Ellington, Duke, FAR EAST SUITE - THE SPECIAL MIX (1966)
Ellington, Duke/Basie, Count, FIRST TIME (1961)
*Ellington, Duke, THE GREAT PARIS CONCERT (1963)
Ellington, Duke, HISTORICALLY SPEAKING (1956)
Evans, Bill, SPRING LEAVES (1959-61)
Evans, Gil, OUT OF THE COOL (1961)
Flanagan, Tommy, LADY BE GOOD ... FOR ELLA (1994)
Fontana, Carl, THE GREAT FONTANA (1985)
Getz, Stan, ANNIVERSARY (1987)
Getz, Stan, BIG BAND BOSSA NOVA (1962)
Getz, Stan/Johnson, J.J., LIVE (1957-60)
*Getz, Stan/Bill Evans, BUT BEAUTIFUL (1974)
Gibbs, Terry, THE EXCITING BIG BAND (1961)
Gillespie, Dizzy/Getz, Stan, DIZ AND GETZ (1953-56)
Grappelli, Stephanie/Pass, Joe/Pedersen, N., TIVOLI GARDENS (1979)
Hanna, Jake/Fontana, Carl, LIVE AT CONCORD (1975)
Herman, Woody, 1964 (1963)
Hodges, Johnny, THE COMPLETE SESSIONS (1951-1955)
Israels, Chuck, NATIONAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE, VOL. 2 (1976)
Jones, Thad/Lewis, Mel, LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD (1967)
Jones, Thad/Lewis, Mel, MONDAY NIGHT (1968)
Jordan, Sheila, BODY AND SOUL (1986)
Kirk, Roland, RIP, RIG AND PANIC (1965)
Knepper, Jimmy, IN L.A. (1977)
*Knight, Bobby, THE G.A.T.C., CREAM OF THE CROP (1978)
Mingus, Charles, NEW TIJUANA MOODS (1957)
*Mingus, Charles, THE COMPLETE 1959 CBS SESSIONS (1959)
Modern Jazz Quartet, THE LAST CONCERT (1974)
Monk, Thelonious, MONK & COLTRANE (1957)
Mulligan, Gerry, MEETS BEN WEBSTER (1959)
Mulligan, Gerry, REVELATION (1953, 1957)
Park, John, IF WINTER COMES (1975, 1979)
Parker, Charlie, BIRD SYMBOLS (1946-47)
Parker, Charlie/Gillespie, Dizzy, GREATEST JAZZ CONCERT EVER (1953)
Peterson, Oscar/Pass, Joe, A SALLE PLEYEL (1975)
Potts, Bill, THE JAZZ SOUL OF PORGY & BESS (1959)
Rodney, Red, THE RED TORNADO (1975)
Russell, George, EZZ-THETICS (1961)
Sandke, Randy, UPTOWN LOWDOWN (1999)
Scott, Tony, A DAY IN NEW YORK (1957)
Sims, Zoot, PASSION FLOWER (1979-80)
Sims, Zoot, WARM TENOR (1978)
Stitt, Sonny, SONNY, SWEETS & JAWS (1982)
Sutton, Ralph, THE JAZZBAND (1980)
Tabackin, Lew, MY OLD FLAME (1982)
Tabackin, Lew, TENORITY (1996)
Terry, Clark/Brookmeyer, Bobby, TONIGHT (1964)
Trombones, Inc., POWER PACKED TROMBONES (1958)
Vaughn, Sarah, HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON? (1978)
Watrous, Bill, & CARL FONTANA (1984)
Webster, Ben, SOULVILLE (1953-59)
Webster, Ben/Hawkins, Coleman, TENOR GIANTS (1957-59)
Wilson, Gerald, MOMENT OF TRUTH (1963)
Wilson, Phil/Matteson, Rich, SOUND OF THE WASP (1975)
Woods, Phil/Tabackin, Lew (1980)
Woods, Phil, An Affair To Remember (1993)

*- Top Ten

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2009 2:14:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2010 8:55:39 AM PDT
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Initial post:  Feb 7, 2009
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