51. Lester Young - With the Oscar Peterson Trio (1962)
Lester Young cut some of his greatest recordings in the 1950s that is, when he was reasonably healthy. On this wonderful effort with Oscar Peterson is Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and J.C. Heard, Young performs a definitive versions of many of the classics.
50. Vince Guaraldi - Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (1962)
Brilliant jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi embraces the equally brilliant music of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Henry Mancini, along with his own compositions, highlighted by his haunting classic "Caste Your Fate to the Wind." Every performance by the trio is exquisite. Supported by Monte Budwig and Colin Bailey.
49. Alice Coltrane - Journey in Satchidananda (1971)
This is a remarkable album, and necessary for anyone interested in the development of modal and experimental jazz. It's also remarkably accessible. The compositions here are wildly open and droning figures built on whole tones and minor modes. And while it's true that one can definitely hear her late husband's influence on this music, she wouldn't have had it any other way.
48. Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool (1950)
So dubbed because these three sessions -- two from early 1949, one from March 1950 -- are where the sound known as cool jazz essentially formed, Birth of the Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz. This is where the elasticity of bop was married with skillful, big-band arrangements and a relaxed, subdued mood that made it all seem easy, even at its most intricate.
47. Baby Face Willette - Face to Face (1961)
This debut album for Blue Note is often overlooked in preference for his later Stop and Listen, but Face to Face boasts a mighty meat and potatoes soul-jazz line-up: Grant Green, Fred Jackson and Ben Dixon. This is highly recommended.
46. Paul Chambers - Whims of Chambers
Of the seven songs on this Blue Note album, four contain solos by tenor saxophonist John Coltrane and have therefore been reissued more often. The album also features trumpeter Donald Byrd, guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Horace Silver, and drummer Philly Joe Jones.
45. Oscar Peterson Trio - Night Train (1962)
He was known as the "Maharaja of the keyboard" and was highly regarded amongst his peers. This album was one of his most commercially successful recordings and described as "one of the best long-players of the period". Although it mainly consists of covers there are six previously unavailable tracks included.
44. McCoy Tyner - The Real McCoy (1967)
This album was his first of seven recordings for Blue Note. Having left John Coltrane's Quartet in late 1965, Tyner was entering a period of adjustments. For this release, the pianist is teamed with tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Elvin Jones for five of his originals.
43. Billie Holiday - Lady in Satin (1958)
This was her final studio album released in her lifetime and for fans it's a difficult listen because by 1958 her voice was gone leaving a croaking voice that had become almost unbearable to hear, but full of emotion. This album consisted of tracks she had never recorded previously and featured arrangements by bandleader Ray Ellis which helped to lighten the mood. The track we'll play is a song co-written by Frank Sinatra.
42. Grant Green - Idle Moments (1963)
Some say that this album is one of his best. Idle Moments is immediately ingratiating and accessible, featuring some of Green's most stylish straight jazz playing. Musicians featured include the cool shimmer of Bobby Hutcherson's on Sax and Green Himself.