Building a Jazz Library

A complete list of essential jazz recordings.

Salt Lake City, UT – This is a listing of artists and recordings I believe are essential to building a basic jazz library. Some are simply a 'Best Of' recording, meant to introduce a collector to a composite of the artist's work and not necessarily the most historic recording. Numbers don't determine importance of one recording over the other.

 

Miles DavisKind of BlueColumbiaDave BrubeckTime OutColumbiaCount BasieApril in ParisVerveBill EvansPortrait of JazzFantasyStan Getz/JoaoGetz and GibertoVerveDuke EllingtonBlues in OrbitColumbiaOscar PetersonThe Lost TapesVerveElla FitzgeraldSings the BluesPabloSarah VaughnThe Best ofPabloNat King ColeAfter MidnightCapitolStan KentonRetrosepctive-4CapitolErroll GarnerMagician & Gersh.TelArciveHi-Lo'sColumbia YearsKochMose AllisonAllison WonderAtlanticLouis ArmstrongDecca HighlightDeccaBen WebsterJaz Round MidnightVerveJohn ColtraneGentle Side of...ImpulseClifford Brown/MaxAnd Max RoachEmArcyBillie HolidayBillie SongbookVerveBenny GoodmanSlipped Disc 1945ColumbiaGeorge ShearingBest of 1960-69CapitolCDModern Jazz QuartetDedicated to ConnieAtlanticGerry MulliganConcert Jazz BandVerveGill Evans/Miles DavisPorgy & BessColumbiaLester YoungBlue LesterSavoyJohnny HartmanWith ColtraneMCA/ImpulseNancy WilsonSwingin's MutualCapitolHerbie MannEvolution of MannAtlanticWoody HermanThundering HerdsColumbiaShirley HornHere's to LifeVerveLionel HamptonReunion NewportRCA/BlueBirdArt BlkeyBest of MessengersBlueNoteArt TatumBest of TatumPabloColeman HawkinsIn a Mello TonePrestigeElla & Duke EllingtonElla & DukeVerveMaynard FergusonChris Connor 2sCapitolKeith Jarrett TrioStandards LiveECMRed Garland TrioGroovyPrestigeArt PepperNo LimitContemporaryMilt JacksonReverence & CompassQwestCharlie ParkerBird-Origin RecsVerveChet BakerChetRiversideDizzy & BirdJazz at Massey HallFantasyThelonious MonkBest ofBlueNoteBud PowellBest ofBlueNoteHorace SilverSong for FatherBlueNoteWes MontgomeryPlays the BluesVerveJoe PassAppassionatoPabloBasie & WilliamsSwings/SingsVerveSonny RollinsBest of BlueNoteCapitolElla Fitzgerald/Louis ArmstrongVerve 

This list could easily have contained hundreds of recordings, but I've narrowed my favorites down to this group . . . recordings that give an enthusiast a basic introduction to the important movers and shakers of the jazz scene.