Beliefnet
The Jazz Theologian

Building a jazz music library has to do with personal tastes while keeping an eye on history.  On the one hand, jazz is about tradition.  Being aware of who has done what and learning to appreciate the different eras of jazz is a worthwhile endeavor.  Understanding the stories behind certain key albums can give keen insight into our country and culture.  That being said, find out what you like and obtain a lot of it…ultimately it’s about enjoyment.  I’ll maintain this page with a bias toward the connoisseur, though I, at best need to be viewed as a novice who is learning as I go.  That is why I have left the comments section open for your suggestions as to what you like and what albums & artists you think need to be included.  (I’ll update this page periodically, so check back often)

It’s been said that when building a jazz music collection, start with Kind of Blue and then buy anything connected with the cats who play on the awesome album.  That’s some pretty good advice.  Here’s some more…

Click here for a basic summary of jazz styles.

1800’s-early 1900’s:  The Blues

1900-1920

1921-1940

Billy Holiday:  The Ultimate Collection

Louis Armstrong

Ella Fitzgerald

Duke Ellington–The Best of the Complete RCA Victor Mid-forties Recordings

Duke Ellington–16 Most Requested Songs

Jelly Roll Morton

King oliver

Bix Beiderbecke

Sidney Bichet

Count Basie

Benny Goodman

Lester Young

Chick Webb

1941-1960

Brother Jack McDuff–The Best of the Concord Years

Charles Mingus–Blues and Roots

Charles Mingus–Thirteen Pictures:  The Charles Mingus Anthology

Dizzy Gillespie

Charlie Parker

Nat King Cole

Dexter Gordon

Glenn Miller

Jimmy Smith–The Sermon

Max Roach

Sara Vaughn

Miles Davis

Dave Brubeck

Quincy Jones

Oscar peterson

Sonny Rollins

1961-1980

Thelonious Monk–Live at the IT Club

Ornette Coleman

John coltrane

Cannonball Adderly–The Definitive Cannonball Adderly Collection

Ron Carter

Stan Getz

Elvin Jones

Jaco Pastorious–Punk Jazz:  The Jaco Pastorious Anthology

Herbie Hancock

1980-1990:  Smooth Jazz & Neo-traditionalist

Wynton Marsalis

1991 to 2000

Christian McBride–Live at Tonic

Dizzy Gillespie–To Diz with Love

E. S. T.–Seven Days of Falling

Regina Carter

Cassandra Wilson–Blue Light ’til Dawn

Cassandra Wilson–New Moon Daughter

2000-present

Brian Bromberg:  Downright Upright

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