Not just another “greatest jazz albums” list of favourite recordings and biggest sellers but a fully annotated look at the albums that actually changed jazz, changed lives and brought the music kicking and screaming into the 21st century
The quantity and diversity of great jazz albums recorded in the 1960s means that any list of great albums that claims to be in any way 'definitive' is on very shaky ground.
Eric Dolphy's death, aged 36 on 29 June 1964, cut short a rare and highly original talent that, in less than four years, had seen him record a number of definitive jazz albums.
From Bud Powell in the early 1950s to Michael Wollny in 2013, via Ahmad Jamal, Duke Ellington, Brad Mehldau and The Bad Plus, these are all outstanding jazz piano trio recordings, a perfect selection for someone discovering jazz for the first time or for the collector looking for something fresh.
Jack McDuff among others dubbed ‘the Coltrane of the Hammond organ’ – and he remains one of the all-time heavyweight players of this majestic instrument – expanding its language from his roots in Bartók and the blues, to McCoy Tyner, Trane and blazing jazz-rock.
Spiritual Unity Get Back/Esp-Disk (1964)Ayler's 1964 studio debut for Bernard Stollman's ESP-Disk label is a bench mark free jazz recording that still has the power to shock and awe those who confront it for the first time.
Ella Fitzgerald, whose centenary is being widely celebrated this year, left a huge legacy of classic recordings. Here's just a small sample of some of the finest currently available, complete with full reviews of each