Ten Most Influential Jazz Albums

Jazz is music for the soul. It’s relaxing, soothing and entertaining. The genre has been constantly developing for the past millennium and it’s currently more vibrant than ever before. In order to fully enjoy Jazz music, it’s best to go to watch a live performance. On the other hand, there are still some recordings that will provide the same feeling. These are albums that were produced by some of the biggest names in Jazz. In addition, they also represent a historical timeline through which the genre evolved. The best thing about these classic albums is that they’re still relevant at the present moment. This is the list of the 10 most influential Jazz albums: 

1.Complete RCA Victor Recordings-Louis Armstrong

This album is an interesting piece of art that was released by RCA. Louis Armstrong is one of the founders of Jazz. His improvisations are quite radiant and they’re experienced through the entire album.

2. Charlie Parker With Strings: The Master Takes- Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker is a renowned figure in the Jazz scene for being among the pioneers of bebop. This is a hip style of music associated to the pop culture. Critics pointed out that his string style was meant to commercialize Jazz. However, the tracks in the album prove that quality of music/art was not compromised.

3. Subconscious-Lee- Lee Konitz

The style used here is quite different from bebop and generally involves swirling melodies. Lee Konitz developed his dry tone style in the 50s and was well known for brilliant rhythmic experimentation. The album features other saxophonists and pianists as well.

4. A Night at Birdland- Art Blakey Quintet

Blakey created a unique and funky style that shared several similarities to bebop but had a distinctive soulful melody nonetheless. This is what is known as hard-pop today. This album is a great live recording that features other legendary Jazz musicians. 

5. Blue Train- John Coltrane

Blue Train is a classic. John Coltrane was a very talented Jazz artist who was always experimenting on fresh improvisation techniques. This is how he managed to come up with a slightly different hard-pop style that was constantly evolving. 

6. Mingus Ah Um- Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus’ style is quite visual. All the bass guitar players in his songs deliver excellent play by incorporating specific characters into the arrangements. This in turn makes the music more vibrant because the sound gets more spirit. The album is still enjoyable, even with fewer improvisations.

7. Kind of Blue- Miles Davis

The mood created by this album is very artistic since it consists of special Japanese art form that is usually disciplined in nature. All the featured musicians in the album have played using simple techniques. Still, the touch given paints clear pictures that produce a meditative mood.

8. The Shape of Jazz to Come- Ornette Coleman

This album can be categorized under ‘Free Jazz’. This is a style of Jazz that does not conform to the normal song structures. Ornette Coleman was able to achieve this by simply playing gestures through beautiful melodies. This was in the 50s.

9. Open Sesame- Freddie Hubbard

Many new-age trumpet players have Freddie Hubbard to thank for the juggernaut sound. This is a groovy sound that is very soulful and thus relaxing to the listener. This album is a must have for any Jazz enthusiast who wants to listen to something different other than traditional Jazz.

10. Sunday at the Village vanguard- Bill Evans

Bill Evans is a contemporary Jazz artist that has successfully experimented on several moods in a single piece of work. This album features his famous trio who are also flexible and equal to the task. This makes the music sound fluid as each player is allowed to play freely.

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Ten Most Influential Jazz Albums