Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert (ECM)
There will never be another solo piano album in the jazz canon as revered and celebrated as this one. This 1975 session established Jarrett as one of the biggest players of all time.
For lovers of: solo improvisation, peaceful piano, Glenn Gould’s Bach recordings
Wayne Shorter: Speak No Evil (Blue Note)
A stellar quintet session – hard-bop and modal jazz at its most influential, including some of the recently deceased Wayne Shorter’s most prominent compositions.
For lovers of: jazz classics, the mid-1960s, Nichiren Buddhism
John Coltrane: Crescent (Impulse!)
A definitive Trane mid-period gem from the Quartet period (which more traditional jazz lovers prefer). If you already own a handful of Coltrane albums, you need this one as well.
For lovers of: music that is ‘as serious as your life’
Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage (Blue Note)
One of the most beautiful, lyrical and romantic jazz albums ever recorded, “Maiden Voyage” showcases the immense talent of the 24-year old pianist. Three of the five songs have become standards. The perfect album to introduce a music lover to jazz.
For lovers of: nautical themes, candle-light dinners, jazz for dreamers
The Gil Evans Orchestra: Out Of The Cool (Impulse!)
An undisputed masterpiece from the legendary arranger and bandleader, released in 1961. Produced by Creed Taylor, orchestral jazz has rarely sounded this exciting.
For lovers of: big orchestras, big tunes, big feelings
McCoy Tyner: The Real McCoy (Blue Note)
One of the high points of the iconic pianists’ career and a no-gimmicks deep jazz session. This is classic Blue Note, as classic as it gets.
For lovers of: sunglasses at night, 1960s jazz clubs, pre-gentrification Manhattan
Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto: Getz/Gilberto (Verve)
The best-selling album that kicked off the bossa nova craze in the mid 1960s and the singing career of Joao Gilberto’s wife Astrud (“The Girl from Ipanema”). A foundational recording of Latin jazz in general and a must in every serious record collection.
For lovers of: Tropicália, Spanish guitar, sunsets at Café del Mar
Need more ideas?
What’s hot, now
Show your nearest and dearest that you’ve got your finger on the jazz pulse with our collection of current best sellers.
Building a highly diggable collection
Here’s where you’ll find the tracks that became a sampler’s delight, albums beloved by DJs and producers, and jazz funk gems that discerning tastemakers keep on repeat.
Header photo: Herbie Hancock. Francis Wolff/Courtesy of Blue Note Records.