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7 Essential Jazz Albums For Beginners

If you are new to jazz music, or are rekindling your love for what many call the truest form of music in today’s modern world, keep reading as we are going to share some of our favourite jazz albums of all time. These include timeless classics from some of the biggest names in jazz. For some, it can be considered an essential introduction to jazz, while, for others, it might be more of a refresher and a way to build one of the most thorough collections of jazz music. Whatever it is to you, let’s get started:

7 Essential Jazz Albums For Beginners

Louis Armstrong: Satchmo At Symphony Hall (Decca, 1951)- what essential collection of jazz music would be complete without one of jazz’s founding fathers? Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong is one of the most recognised voices in the industry and this album showcases some of his best music including ‘Royal Garden Blues’.

Count Basie And His Orchestra: April In Paris (Verve, 1957)- Red Bank, New Jersey’s Bill Basie was a driving force in the rise of the swing big bands of the 30s. April In Paris is regarded as his finest moment in the recording studio as it features the powerful talent of Basie and his ensemble. Listen to ‘Shiny Stockings’ and ‘Corner Pocket’ over and over and you will get the true meaning of this talented performer’s vision.

Thelonious Monk: Genius Of Modern Music Volume 2 (Blue Note, 1952)- featuring angular melodies and unusual dissonances, Thelonious Monk’s music was deemed controversial during the late 40s. songs such as ‘Straight, No Chaser’ and ‘Monk’s Mood’ earned him the recognition he so well deserved as the jazz scene evolved.

Ella Fitzgerald: Ella In Berlin: Mack The Knife (Verve, 1960)- featuring her famous flub of ‘Mack The Knife’, which won her a Grammy, by the way, jazz’s “First Lady Of Song” recorded one of jazz’s best live performances.

Wes Montgomery: The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery (Riverside, 1960)- his distinctive and dexterous style of jazz guitar made Wes Montgomery one of the most influential jazz musicians of his time. The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery features hits such as ‘Airegin’, ‘Four On Six’ and ‘West Coast Blues’.

Duke Ellington And Coleman Hawkins: Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins (Impulse!, 1963)-  this collaboration of two jazz greats features some of their best works including ‘Mood Indigo’, ‘Solitude’ and ‘Limbo Jazz’.

Stan Getz And João Gilberto: Getz/Gilberto (Verve, 1963)- this album launched the solo career of singer Astrud Gilberto and put Brazilian bossa nova on the map. This album’s key track is: ‘The Girl From Ipanema’.

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     Wondering how to get into the music industry? Wish you could get advice from the experts? See a preview of the upcoming documentary, How to Make a Living in Jazz here.

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