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HomeBlog44 Essential Jazz Recordings-Guest Post by Brent Jensen

44 Essential Jazz Recordings-Guest Post by Brent Jensen

Brent Jensen is the Director of Jazz Studies at the College of Southern Idaho.  He is also an amazing saxophonist and recording artist for Origin Records.  Here is his first of several upcoming guest posts by Prof. Jensen on our site.

Brent has websites you can go check out! I’ve included the links right under his post.


By Brent Jensen


The recordings listed here are taken from a comprehensive statistical survey of jazz critics, record stores and popular polls.

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (Legacy 64935)
John Coltrane Blue Train (Blue Note 95326)
Duke Ellington Never No Lament: Blanton/Webster Band (RCA 50857)
Charles Mingus Mingus Ah Um (Legacy 65512)
Thelonious Monk Brilliant Corners (OJC 261)
Miles Davis Bags’ Groove (OJC 245)
Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus (OJC 291)
Louis Armstrong Complete Hot 5 & Hot 7 Recordings (Legacy 63527)
Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard (OJC 140)
Charlie Parker Best of the Complete Savoy & Dial Recordings (Savoy 17120)
Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz To Come (Rhino 1317)
Count Basie Orchestra The Complete Atomic Basie (Blue Note 28635)
Miles Davis Sketches of Spain (Legacy 65142)
Clifford Brown/Max Roach Study in Brown (Emarcy 814 646)
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Moanin’ (Blue Note 95324)
Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage (Blue Note 95331)
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto Getz/Gilberto (Verve 314521414)
Ella Fitzgerald Ella in Berlin (Verve 519 564)
Eric Dolphy Out To Lunch (Blue Note 98793)
John Coltrane A Love Supreme (Impulse! 314589945)
Horace Silver Song For My Father (Blue Note 99002)
Gerry Mulligan The Best of Gerry Mulligan with Chet Baker (Blue Note 95481)
Billie Holiday & Lester Young A Musical Romance (Legacy 86635)
Chick Corea Light As A Feather (Verve 827 148)
Cannonball Adderley Somethin’ Else (Blue Note 95329)
Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Out (Columbia 65122)
Bud Powell The Definitive Bud Powell (Blue Note 40042)
Keith Jarrett Standards, Vol. 1 (ECM 811966)
Dexter Gordon Go (Blue Note 98794)
Coleman Hawkins Ken Burns JAZZ Collection (Verve 549 085)
Art Pepper Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section ((OJC 338)
Wes Montgomery Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (Riverside 36)
Joe Henderson Page One (Blue Note 98795)
Lester Young Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio (Verve 521 451)
Modern Jazz Quartet Django (Prestige 7057)
McCoy Tyner The Real McCoy (Blue Note 97807)
Oliver Nelson Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse! 154)
Weather Report Heavy Weather (Legacy 65108)
Lee Konitz Konitz Meets Mulligan (Blue Note 46847)
Lennie Tristano Intuition (Blue Note 52771)
J. J. Johnson The Eminent J.J. Johnson (Vol. 1) (Blue Note 32143)
The Quintet w/Charlie Parker Jazz At Massey Hall (OJC 44)
Miles Davis Bitches Brew (Legacy 65774)
John Coltrane Giant Steps (Atlantic 1311)

You can learn more about Brent Jensen at:

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Camden Hughes
Camden is a working jazz pianist, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator currently living near Boise, ID. He teaches music at the Idaho Arts Charter School, and is the jazz adjunct professor at Northwest Nazarene University. Check out his music at


  1. My $0.02 additions:
    Bill Evans – Everybody Digs Bill Evans
    Bill Evans – Portrait In Jazz
    Bill Evans – The Paris Concert (I & II)
    – yes I like Evans 🙂
    Coleman Hawkins – Body and Soul
    Ellington at Newport 1956
    Duke Ellington and John Coltrane (Impulse, 1963)
    Ella Fitzgerald – Ella for Lovers
    Eva Cassidy closing the set with “What a Wonderful World” at The Bayou – last live performance.
    Lenny Tristano – The New Tristano
    Miles Davis – -58 Sessions (Jazz Track)

    and a reach…
    The David Grisman Quintet (1977 release)


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