Louis Armstrong
Kind of Blue
Maiden Voyage
Giant Steps

Jazz

Jazz has been called America's classical music, and for good reason. Along with the blues, its forefather, it is one of the first truly indigenous musics to develop in America, yet its unpredictable, risky ventures into improvisation gave it critical cache with scholars that the blues lacked. At the outset, jazz was dance music, performed by swinging big bands. Soon, the dance elements faded into the background and improvisation became the key element of the music. As the genre evolved, the music split into a number of different styles, from the speedy, hard-hitting rhythms of be-bop and the laid-back, mellow harmonies of cool jazz to the jittery, atonal forays of free jazz and the earthy grooves of soul jazz. What tied it all together was a foundation in the blues, a reliance on group interplay and unpredictable improvisation. Throughout the years, and in all the different styles, those are the qualities that defined jazz.

Jazz Album Highlights grid list

Kind of Blue
Miles Davis
Kind of Blue
10
Maiden Voyage
Herbie Hancock
Maiden Voyage
10
Giant Steps
John Coltrane
Giant Steps
10
Out to Lunch!
Eric Dolphy
Out to Lunch!
10
The Shape of Jazz to Come
Ornette Coleman
The Shape of Jazz to Come
10
Brilliant Corners
Thelonious Monk
Brilliant Corners
10
Ellington Uptown
Duke Ellington
Ellington Uptown
9
Black Codes (From the Underground)
Wynton Marsalis
Black Codes (From the ...
10
Swiss Movement
Les McCann / Eddie Harris
Swiss Movement
10
Nat King Cole [Capitol]
Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole [Capitol]
10
Bitches Brew
Miles Davis
Bitches Brew
10
Beyond the Blue Horizon
George Benson
Beyond the Blue Horizon
10
Sonny Rollins Plus 4
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins Plus 4
10
Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
Duke Ellington / Coleman ...
Duke Ellington Meets ...
10
Monk's Dream
Thelonious Monk Quartet / ...
Monk's Dream
10
Speak No Evil
Wayne Shorter
Speak No Evil
10
Afro-Classic
Hubert Laws
Afro-Classic
10
The Last Poets
The Last Poets
The Last Poets
10
Walking in Space
Quincy Jones
Walking in Space
10
Enchance
Billy Hart
Enchance
10
Native Dancer
Wayne Shorter
Native Dancer
8
Waltz for Debby [1962]
Bill Evans Trio / Bill ...
Waltz for Debby [1962]
10
To My Queen
Walt Dickerson
To My Queen
10
Autumn
Don Ellis / The Don Ellis ...
Autumn
10
Bunk's Brass Band and Dance Band 1945
Bunk Johnson
Bunk's Brass Band and ...
10
Sinatra: Best of the Best
Frank Sinatra
Sinatra: Best of the Best
10
Wave
Antônio Carlos Jobim
Wave
10
Birth of the Hot
Jelly Roll Morton
Birth of the Hot
10
Getz/Gilberto
Stan Getz / João Gilberto
Getz/Gilberto
10
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Vince Guaraldi Trio / ...
A Charlie Brown Christmas
10
Live at Carnegie Hall: 1938 Complete
Benny Goodman
Live at Carnegie Hall: ...
10
Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn
Joe Henderson
Lush Life: The Music of ...
10
Steppin' on the Blues
Lonnie Johnson
Steppin' on the Blues
10
The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
The Incredible Jazz Guitar ...
10
Mingus Ah Um
Charles Mingus
Mingus Ah Um
10
Saxophone Colossus
Sonny Rollins
Saxophone Colossus
10
The Inner Mounting Flame
Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Inner Mounting Flame
10
Yes, Indeed!
Tommy Dorsey
Yes, Indeed!
10
The World of Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
The World of Nat King Cole
10
Anthology
Nina Simone
Anthology
10
The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 1
Bud Powell
The Amazing Bud Powell, ...
10
Ken Burns Jazz
Lester Young
Ken Burns Jazz
10
Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster
Gerry Mulligan / Ben ...
Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben ...
10
Oscar Peterson Trio + One
Oscar Peterson / Oscar ...
Oscar Peterson Trio + One
10
Further Definitions
Benny Carter & His ...
Further Definitions
10
The Definitive Collection
Louis Armstrong
The Definitive Collection
10
The Circle Maker
John Zorn
The Circle Maker
10
Black Byrd
Donald Byrd
Black Byrd
10
Ken Burns Jazz
Ella Fitzgerald
Ken Burns Jazz
10
The Ultimate Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
The Ultimate Tony Bennett
10
Mongo's Greatest Hits
Mongo Santamaría
Mongo's Greatest Hits
10
The Best of the Duke Ellington Centennial Edition
Duke Ellington
The Best of the Duke ...
10
Adam's Apple
Wayne Shorter
Adam's Apple
10
Blowin' Up a Storm: The Columbia Years, 1945-1947
Woody Herman
Blowin' Up a Storm: The ...
10
The Ultimate Collection
Billie Holiday
The Ultimate Collection
10
Master Takes: Victor Sessions (1932-1943)
Sidney Bechet
Master Takes: Victor ...
10
Afro-Cuban
Kenny Dorham
Afro-Cuban
10
We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite
Max Roach
We Insist! Max Roach's ...
10
Carolina Shout [ASV/Living Era]
James P. Johnson
Carolina Shout [ASV/Living ...
10
Spectrum
Billy Cobham
Spectrum
10
Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature - 1968
George Russell
Electronic Sonata for ...
10
Blackstone Legacy
Woody Shaw
Blackstone Legacy
10
The Beginning and the End
Clifford Brown
The Beginning and the End
10
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1943-1950)
Jimmy Yancey
Complete Recorded Works, ...
10
Quartet (Dortmund) 1976
Anthony Braxton
Quartet (Dortmund) 1976
10
Unit Structures
Cecil Taylor
Unit Structures
10
Bap-Tizum
The Art Ensemble of Chicago
Bap-Tizum
10
House of David: The David "Fathead" Newman Anthology
David "Fathead" Newman
House of David: The David ...
10
The Complete Last Concert
The Modern Jazz Quartet
The Complete Last Concert
10
Bags & Trane
Milt Jackson / John ...
Bags & Trane
10
Tango: Zero Hour
Astor Piazzolla
Tango: Zero Hour
10
Jazz at Massey Hall
Charlie Parker / Dizzy ...
Jazz at Massey Hall
10
The 'Spoon Concerts
Jimmy Witherspoon
The 'Spoon Concerts
10
Miles Ahead
Miles Davis
Miles Ahead
10
'Round About Midnight
Miles Davis
'Round About Midnight
10
Head Hunters
Herbie Hancock
Head Hunters
10
Way Out West
Sonny Rollins
Way Out West
10
The Duke Elington Carnegie Hall Concerts, January 1943
Duke Ellington / Duke ...
The Duke Elington Carnegie ...
10
The Essential Miles Davis [Columbia/Legacy]
Miles Davis
The Essential Miles Davis ...
9
The Duke's Men: Small Groups, Vol. 1
Duke Ellington
The Duke's Men: Small ...
10
Jump, Jive An' Wail: The Essential
Sam Butera / Louis Prima / ...
Jump, Jive An' Wail: The ...
10
A New Perspective
Donald Byrd
A New Perspective
10
Golden Girl: Columbia Recordings 1944-1966
Doris Day
Golden Girl: Columbia ...
10
Something to Live For
Ella Fitzgerald
Something to Live For
10
Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings
Count Basie / Joe Williams
Count Basie Swings, Joe ...
10
Naked City
John Zorn
Naked City
10
The Cats
Tommy Flanagan / John ...
The Cats
10
The Best of Chet Baker Sings
Chet Baker
The Best of Chet Baker ...
9
Cositas Buenas
Paco de Lucía
Cositas Buenas
9
Lady Day: The Master Takes and Singles
Billie Holiday
Lady Day: The Master Takes ...
10
Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Bill Evans Trio / Bill ...
Sunday at the Village ...
10
The Best of Grover Washington, Jr.
Grover Washington, Jr.
The Best of Grover ...
10
Siroco
Paco de Lucía
Siroco
10
Telephone
Ron Carter / Jim Hall
Telephone
10
Blue Train
John Coltrane
Blue Train
10

Jazz subgenres and styles [+]