This is the second post in a series on jazz albums. You can check out the previous post previous post for saxophone albums, including some thoughts on shopping for vinyl.

I've included both traditional and electronic albums on this list, with a range of 50 years between the oldest and most recent album. And since these posts are more of an entry-level introduction, I like to include a quick overview of the styles mentioned:

Swing Simple, clear melodies with a strong, danceable beat
Big Band Large ensembles with an emphasis on arrangement
Bebop/Bop Fast and complex with lots of improvisation
Hard Bop An extension of bebop with a rhythm and blues influence
West Coast/Cool Jazz A calmer, more formal response to bebop and hardbop
Post-bop Mixes elements of bop and hard bop with free jazz
Fusion Extensive use of electronic instruments and technology

As always, hit me up and let me know about your favorites or any that I might have missed.


Piano Starts Here

Art Tatum


Handful of Keys

Fats Waller & His Rhythm


The Amazing Bud Powell

Bud Powell

  • Year Released

    1952

  • Label

    Blue Note

  • Style

    Bebop

  • Collaborators

    Fats Navarro
    Sonny Rollins
    Tommy Potter
    Roy Haynes
    Curly Russell
    Max Roach

  • Listening

    Listen on Spotify
    Buy vinyl on Discogs


Ellington at Newport

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

  • Year Released

    1956

  • Label

    Columbia

  • Style

    Big Band

  • Collaborators

    Cat Anderson
    Quentin Jackson
    Johnny Hodges
    Jimmy Hamilton
    Jimmy Woode
    Sam Woodyard

  • Listening

    Listen on Spotify
    Buy vinyl on Discogs


Brilliant Corners

Thelonious Monk

  • Year Released

    1957

  • Label

    Riverside

  • Style

    Hard Bop

  • Collaborators

    Ernie Henry
    Sonny Rollins
    Oscar Pettiford
    Max Roach
    Clark Terry
    Paul Chambers

  • Listening

    Listen on Spotify
    Buy vinyl on Discogs


The Atomic Mr. Basie

Count Basie

  • Year Released

    1958

  • Label

    Roulette

  • Style

    Big Band

  • Collaborators

    Thad Jones
    Al Grey
    Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
    Eddie Jones
    Freddie Green
    Sonny Payne
    Joe Williams

  • Listening

    Listen on Spotify
    Buy vinyl on Discogs


Time Out

Dave Brubeck Quartet


Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Bill Evans Trio


Night Train

Oscar Peterson Trio


The Real McCoy

McCoy Tyner


Return to Forever

Chick Corea


Head Hunters

Herbie Hancock