Sophie Haskins | personal essays

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Jazz Albums for the Socially Distanced
Mar 16, 2020
5 minutes read

I like jazz music - when I was a kid I was obsessed with Duke Ellington. Recently I’ve been thinking about trying to get back in to jazz. I recently picked up a headphone amp and DAC specifically for focused music listening, and jazz seems like an ideal genre to dive in to. I recently asked on Twitter for some recommendations for albums:

I got a tremendous response - at this time, I have 135 album recommendations! Since I suspect many of you are also cooped up to “socially distance” to combat COVID-19, I figured I’d format the recommendations and share them.

Top Artists

Artists for whom I got at least 5 recommendations were (in descending order):

  • John Coltrane
  • Miles Davis
  • Dave Brubeck
  • Charles Mingus
  • Thelonious Monk

Albums with multiple recommendations

Artist Album # Recs Wiki
Charles Mingus Mingus Ah Um 3 album
Charles Mingus The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady 2 album
Duke Ellington Far East Suite 2 album
John Coltrane A Love Supreme 7 album
John Coltrane Ascension 2 album
John Coltrane Blue Train 2 album
John Coltrane Giant Steps 2 album
Mary Lou Williams Zoning 2 album
Miles Davis Sketches of Spain 3 album
Stan Getz and João Gilberto Getz/Gilberto 2 album
The Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Out 7 album

Albums with one recommendation

Artist Album Wiki
Acoustic Ladyland Last Chance Disco album
Alice Coltrane A Monastic Trio album
Alice Coltrane Journey Through Satchidanda album
Ambrose Akinmusire The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint album
Andrew Hill Judgement! album
Antipop Consortium / Matthew Shipp Antipop vs. Matthew Shipp album
Archie Shepp The Cry of My People album
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Moanin’ album
Art Ensemble of Chicago A Jackson in Your House album
Avishai Cohen Continuou album
Becca Stevens Tea Bye Sea artist
Bill Evans Everybody Digs Bill Evans album
Billie Holiday Lady in Satin album
Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues album
Billy Cobham Crosswinds album
Billy Cobham Spectrum album
Billy Strayhorn Lush Life album
Blossom Dearie Blossom Dearie album
Brad Mehldau Art of the Trio 4: Back at the Vanguard album
Bud Powell The Amazing Bud Powell album
Cannonball Adderly Nippon Soul album
Carla Bley Big Band Theory album
Charles Mingus Blues & Roots album
Charles Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus album
Charlie Haden & Egberto Gismonti In Montreal album
Chet Baker Chet album
Dave Holland Prism album
Dayna Kurtz Beautiful Yesterday artist
Dizzy Gillespie Gillespiana album
Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, and Sonny Rollins Sonny Side Up album
Dollar Brand African Space Program artist
Don Cherry Symphony For Improvisers album
Dorothy Ashby Afro-Harping album
Duke Ellington Concert in the Virgin Islands album
Earl Klugh The Journey album
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Ella and Louis album
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Porgy and Bess album
Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch! album
Flying Lotus You’re Dead! album
Frank Zappa Waka/Jawaka album
Freddie Hubbard Ready for Freddie album
Freddie Hubbard Red Clay album
Grant Green Green Street album
Herbie Hancock Head Hunters album
Jimmy Smith Damn! album
John Coltrane Coltrane Jazz album
John Coltrane Om album
King Crimson Red album
Kurt Rosenwinkel The Next Step album
Larry Coryell Offering album
Luiz Bonfá Solo in Rio 1959 artist
Macy Gray Stripped album
Mahavishnu Orchestra Birds of Fire album
Makaya McCraven Universal Beings artist
Mathias Eick Skala album
Mehldau & Rossy Trio When I Fall in Love album
Michael Brecker Tales From the Hudson album
Miles Davis Bag’s Groove album
Miles Davis Birth of the Cool album
Miles Davis Get Up With It album
Miles Davis In a Silent Way album
Miles Davis Kind of Blue album
Miles Davis On the Corner album
Miles Davis Sorcerer album
Mouse on the Keys An Anxious Object artist
Mulatu Astatke Éthiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale artist
Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin Llyrìa album
Nina Simone Black Gold album
Norman Brown After the Storm album
Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come album
Pat Metheny Group First Circle album
Pat Metheny Group Travels album
Peter Brötzmann Machine Gun album
Return to Forever Romantic Warrior album
Sachal Studios Orchestra Jazz Interpretations (no article)
Shabaka and the Ancestors We Are Sent Here By History artist
Snarky Puppy We Like It Here album
Sonny Clark Cool Struttin’ album
Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus album
Sons of Kemet Your Queen is a Reptile album
Steely Dan Aja album
Sun Ra Outer Spaceways Incorporated artist
The Buddy Rich Big Band Big Swing Face album
The Comet is Coming Trust in the Life Force of the Deep Mystery album
The Dave Brubeck Quartet Jazz Impressions of Japan album
The Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Further Out album
The Horace Silver Quintet Song for My Father album
The Oscar Peterson Trio Oscar Peterson at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival album
The Oscar Peterson Trio West Side Story album
Thelonious Monk Brilliant Corners album
Thelonious Monk Thelonious Alone in San Francisco album
Thelonious Monk Thelonious Himself album
Thelonious Monk Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane album
Thelonious Monk Underground album
Ulver Perdition City album
Various Berlin Festival Guitar Workshop (no article)
Weather Report Black Market album
Wes Montgomery Full House album
Yusef Lateef Live at Pep’s album

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