1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The Complete List

Wynton Marsalis plays trumpet in 2003. Photograph: Rafa Rivas/AFP/GETTYIMAGES

Written by Kevin Kniestedt
This list, which took the better part of four years, was inspired by those who said that jazz was limited to a certain style or type of performer. The idea behind this list was not to create a “best” albums list, but rather a extensive list of albums that covered as much of jazz history as possible.

Even after posting 1,000 albums, this list is really only a sample of the history of this great art form.

Hopefully you will find some great music you have never heard before and add to your collection.

Here are the first 5 albums.  View the entire list here!


1. standard time vol. 1Standard Time Volume 1 – Wynton Marsalis (Columbia, 1986)

2. moaninMoanin’ – Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (Blue Note, 1958)

3. live in parisLive in Paris – Diana Krall (Verve, 2002)

4. heavy weatherHeavy Weather – Weather Report (Columbia/Legacy, 1977)

5. prime timePrime Time – Count Basie and His Orchestra (Pablo, 1977)

View the list in its entirety here!


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