December 24: Top Ten Jazz Albums

Top Ten Jazz Albums:

December 24

  1. “The Inner Mounting Flame” by The Mahavishnu Orchestra

Jazz fusion at its finest.  The opening first second is enough to give me goosebumps.

  1. “Sketches of Spain” by Miles Davis

The beauty of “Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)” is one of my all-time favorite tunes – it’s perfect for relaxation.

  1. “In A Silent Way” by Miles Davis

Most consider this his step into electric/fusion territory, I consider it again, a peaceful album.

  1. “At the “Golden Circle” Stockholm Volume Two” by Ornette Coleman

Ornette’s ability to “free jazz” via saxaphone and violin is showcased nicely here.

  1. “Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation” by Ornette Coleman

I was searching for weirder, more unstructured, and new sounds, then heard about Free Jazz (as a genre and as an album title).  This long performance propelled me to the next level.

  1. “Prime” by Dead Neanderthals

The only “modern” album on this list, Dead Neanderthals prove that weird jazz is not dead.  This album is brutal and fuses together free jazz and metal.

  1. “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis

For a while (until I fell in love with Sketches of Spain) this was the go-to jazz record.  Like so many before me, this was my gateway album into the world of jazz.  Thank you, Miles.

  1. “Bitches Brew” by Miles Davis

The last LP by Miles to make the list and a release that features the leader of the #1 LP (John McLaughlin is Mahavishnu).  The long fusion jams are perfected summed up as the title track on this LP.  So many genres melting into one 26 minute jazz jam.

  1. “Time Out” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

West Coast cool and time signature lover, Dave Brubeck!  “Blue Rondo a la Turk” is an ear-worm of a track; that beat gets stuck in your head without even needing to hear the original track.

  1. “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane

Admittedly, I am still only scratching the surface of this album and John’s discography.  I also love his Ascension album, but A Love Supreme edged that out due to the perfect control between his epiphany of free-form (Ornette-inspired free jazz) and his previously harnessed skills in various bop-type jazz.


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