Jazz Music

by Karen Walch | Nov 25, 2021

These are four of the greatest jazz albums ever made and make for excellent listening whether you're looking to cheer up, set a late night bluesy atmosphere, or set the mood for reading.

Kind of Blue
by Miles Davis

Kind of Blue is the best selling jazz album of all time and certified quadruple platinum. It is also much more than that. It is the essence of cool. It is 46 minutes of laid-back, late-night moody blues. Putting all the talent contained in Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans (my personal favorites of the bunch) into a recording studio together made an album this good all but an inevitability. Put on this album, sink into a seat next to the fireplace late one night, and take a ride back in time to 1959.

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The Best of Herbie Hancock
by Herbie Hancock

Watermelon Man. Cantaloupe Island. The best songs of Herbie Hancock sound just how you would imagine from their titles. They are sweet, summery, and filled with vibrant life. This is the perfect antidote to the waning sunlight hours and tree branches becoming bare. Best enjoyed while dancing around your living room with drink in hand; the little umbrella is optional but encouraged.

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Time Out
by Dave Brubeck

The album starts with “Blue Rondo a La Turk”, a lilting, energetic song in a 9/8 time signature. 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2-3. It’s not something you hear every day, but with how well Brubeck uses it in homage to traditional Turkish rhythms, you’ll wonder why not. Also on this album is the coolest of cool “Take Five” in 5/4 time. Brubeck’s experimentation in time signatures is proven successful in every instance and you won’t regret listening to this truly lovely album.

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Giant Steps
by John Coltrane

Where Miles Davis has long, long notes with ponderous vibrato, Coltrane’s titular “Giant Steps” starts flying out of the gate and doesn’t stop. 10 key changes and 26 different chords make up this five minute track in a display of improvisation that is still inspiring and challenging saxophone players 60 years later. While the album is a marvel from the technical standpoint of music theory, it is no less beautiful to listen to whether or not you’re counting the key changes.

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