71. Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures (1966)
Taylor's high-energy stream fits in well with the free jazz of the period but he was actually leading the way rather than being part of a movement. In fact, this septet outing with Eddie Gale, Jimmy Lyons, Ken McIntyre, Henry Grimes and others is quite stunning and very intense. In fact, it could be safely argued that no jazz music of the era approached the ferocity and intensity of Cecil Taylor's work.
70. Yusef Lateef -Eastern Sounds (1961)
The album celebrated the music of the East long before it had become fashionable to do so. It was Lateef's most enduring recording. The quartet featured the inimitable Lex Humphries, Ernie Farrow, Barry Harris and Lateef on just about everything else. This album is pleasing to the ear and offers new potential.
69. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers / Thelonious Monk (1958)
This album contains examples of Blakey and Monk at their respective peak of their powers with insightful interpretations of nearly half a dozen inspired performances from this incarnation of the Blakey-led Jazz Messengers. This combo features Art Blakey, Johnny Griffin, Bill Hardman and Jimmy DeBrest.
68. Kenny Dorham – Un Mas (1963)
He never really got the recognition he deserved during his lifetime and considering the line-up of musicians playing on this album including; Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Butch Warren and Tony Williams it is amazing it didn't do better at the time. He produced over thirty albums, supported young musicians and yet was forgotten by the mid 1960's.
67. Art Pepper - Meets the Rhythm Section (1957)
It was a surprise this album ever got made considering the catalogue of problems he faced including; never meeting the other musicians before the recording, the lack of practice, his instruments lack of repair all this whilst suffering from a drug problem. Considering all that the album is considered a milestone in Pepper's career.
66. Idris Muhammad – Power of Soul (1974)
This album is one of the reasons that Idris Muhammad is regarded as the drumming king of groove. Featuring the talents of Bob James, Grover Washington, Jr, Joe Beck, Randy Brecker, and Ralph MacDonald, and the knife-edge slick production of Creed Taylor, this 1974 issue is a burning piece of deep, jazzy soul and grooved-out bliss.
65. Pharoah Sanders – Thembi (1970)
Recorded with two different groups of musicians in Los Angeles and New York Thembi was a departure from previous styles and sounds with shorter tracks, often with a more light and breezy feel. Musicians included Michael White, Cecil McBee, Clifford Jarvis, James Jordan and Lonnie Liston Smith who played a fender Rhodes electric piano for the first time
64. Sun Ra & His Arkestra -Jazz In Silhouette (1958)
The album was recorded in March 1959 and released a couple of months later and is considered to be one of Ra's best from his Chicago period before veering off into 'their full-fledged explorations into the avant-garde. This album simply inspires, no matter what perspective you adopt: rhythm, melody, ensemble or mood.
63. Freddie Hubbard – Here to Stay (1962)
This album has certainly had a sad history. It was left in the Blue note vaults for fourteen years. Then it was reissued in a double-vinyl set with Hub Cap, a coupling that doesn't reveal either session in the best light. Then a decade later, it finally was released as a single album. "Here to Stay," perhaps one of Hubbard's finest ever, and surely misunderstood as well as undervalued.
62. Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Study in Brown (1955)
This album features the 1955 version of the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet, a group also includes; Harold Land, Richie Powell and George Morrow. One of the premiere early hard bop units, this band had unlimited potential.