Best Jazz Albums for your Cabin
One of the wonderful advantages of having a cabin is the peace and quiet that it affords. Nothing sets a mood like the great American art form, jazz. If you are a jazz aficionado, you surely own all of the albums that we suggest here, but if you are looking for a starter collection of jazz, here is what you need to own:
Kind Of Blue
Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. It is regarded by many critics as jazz’s greatest record, Davis’s masterpiece, and one of the best albums of all time. Its influence on music, including jazz, rock, and classical genres, has led writers to also deem it one of the most influential albums ever recorded.
Mingus Ah Um
Charles Mingus is the godfather of the upright bass, and in 1959, he put out Ah Um, which many consider to be a masterpiece and cemented his status as a legendary composer. He combined elements of gospel and blues.
Ella and Louis
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Take two of the greatest artists that music has ever known, pair them with a rhythm section of masters, and give them beloved standard fare from the songbook they helped to define and you’ve got one of the most magical albums of jazz. Relaxed, effortless, beautiful, swinging, and fun, this album will charm even the most resistant of listeners.
The Bridge is a studio album by jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins, recorded in 1962. It was Rollins’ first release following a three-year sabbatical and was his first recording for Bluebird/RCA Victor. The saxophonist was joined by the musicians with whom he recorded for the next segment of his career: Jim Hall on guitar, Bob Cranshaw on double bass and Ben Riley on drums.
The Thelonious Monk Quartet
Probably one of the hippest figures in jazz, Thelonious Monk was a genius who was able to see notes on the piano that didn’t even exist in Western music. When he would sit down on the piano, he would strike two half notes (notes next to each other that sound awful when played together) to simulate the imaginary notes between the two piano keys.
Hear the full range of Hank Mobley’s greatness: from his beautifully supple tenor saxophone tone, to his earthy bluesy wails, the range of his expressive capabilities make it onto this beautiful album. Recorded over several years and multiple sessions, this album also gives you a veritable who’s-who of great Jazz figures of the mid-1960s.
A Love Supreme
A Love Supreme is a 1965 studio album by American jazz saxophonist and bandleader John Coltrane. He recorded the album with his quartet—featuring pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones—in one session on December 9, 1964, at Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
A Love Supreme was released by Impulse! Records in January 1965 and became a top-selling album for Coltrane, as well as one of jazz’s most critically acclaimed recordings. Since then, it has often been viewed as one of the greatest albums of all time, a deeply spiritual work, and Coltrane’s masterpiece.
Sonny Rollins has the ability to take the listener right to the beach, even if you happen to be in the middle of Alaska during winter. It’s cool grooves are island infused and if you ask me, St. Thomas is one of the greatest jazz songs ever written.
Light As A Feather
Chick Corea and Return To Forever
Light as a Feather (1973) is the second studio album of fusion band Return to Forever, led by pianist Chick Corea. The second and last album by the first line-up of Return to Forever was recorded in the same year as their first album Return to Forever (1972) but eight months later. The style of the music remains mostly the same though vocal tracks have now a bit larger role than on the first album. This album has equal classic status among the listeners of electric jazz music as the first album.
Chet Baker Sings
Chet Baker Sings is the debut vocal album by jazz musician Chet Baker, released in 1954 by Pacific Jazz Records.
Ellington at Newport
Often ranked amongst the most famous albums in the history of jazz music, it was recorded live during a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956 and by all accounts was responsible for the revival of Ellington’s career, which most critics thought was over. The album is quintessential Ellington and Ellington is quintessential jazz.
Live at Mr. Kelly’s
This album is the essence of jazz vocals. The band is clearly under-rehearsed, searching for keys and lyrics, but they are also having a great time and have Roy Haynes holding down the drum chair. Vaughan is loose and at the top of her game.
Dave Brubeck Quartet
Time Out is a studio album by the American jazz group the Dave Brubeck Quartet, released in 1959 on Columbia Records. Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in New York City, it is based upon the use of time signatures that were unusual for jazz such as 9/8, 6/4, and 5/4.
Cannonball Adderley’s Somethin’ Else, one of the few albums featuring Davis as a sideman, is a monument to that type of discourse. Like Davis’ Kind of Blue, recorded with Adderley the following year, it is calm and uncluttered and direct, each line and phrase contributing something crucial to the whole.
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto
Getz/Gilberto is a 1964 jazz-bossa nova album by American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, featuring composer and pianist Antônio Carlos Jobim. Its release helped fuel the bossa nova craze in the United States and internationally, becoming the first Grammy Award-winning album from non-American artists.
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Also published on Medium.