41. Hank Mobley - Soul Station (1960)
An album that is often overlooked but recorded when Mobley was at the peak of his powers. Featuring a superstar quartet including Art Blakey, Paul Chambers and Wynton Kelly it captures a clean and uncomplicated sound. The solidness of Mobley technique means that he can handle material that is occasionally rhythmically intricate, while still maintaining the kind of easy roundness and warmth displayed by the best players of the bop era.
40. Kenny Burrell - Midnight Blue (1963)
This album is one of guitarist Kenny Burrell's best-known sessions for Blue Note. Burrell is matched with the likes of Stanley Turrentine, Major Holley, Bill English, and Ray Barretto. It's the perfect "late night, neon light flashing outside of the window, cigarette smoke swirling up into nothing" record "My goal is to play with good tone, good phrasing and to swing," says Burrell, "I strive for honesty in playing what I feel
38. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - Ella and Louis (1956)
By the mid 1950's both Ella and Louis were enjoying their popularity. Ella recorded this album whilst recording her American song book series during the mid-1950's which was hugely popular , whilst Armstrong was appearing in films and other recordings. The Ella and Louis album was the first of three records recordings they recorded accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Quartet.
37. Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain (1960)
This album is described as the most luxuriant and stridently romantic recording Davis ever made. He teams up with Gil Evans, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and Elvin Jones. Davis' control over his instrument is singular, and Evans' conducting is flawless.
36. Wes Montgomery - Incedable Jazz Guitar (1960)
This was his fourth album. Most of its tracks are considered to be the best examples of Wes Montgomery's two distinguishing techniques - "thumb picking" and the use of octaves. Accompanied by Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath and Albert Heath this recording shows Montgomery's talents.
35. Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity (1964)
This album pushed Ayler to the forefront of jazz's avant-garde. It was really the first examples of Ayler's music that matched him with a group of truly sympathetic musicians including Gary Peacock and Sunny Murray. To paraphrase one of Ayler's most famous quotes, this music was about feelings, not notes, and on Spiritual Unity that philosophy finds its most concise, concentrated expression.
34. Dexter Gordon - Go (1962)
This is one of those albums where everything seems to come together. With a stellar quartet including Sonny Clark, Billy Higgins and Butch Warren the group make it work. Dexter had many high points in his five decade-long career, but this is certainly the peak of it all.
33. Thelonious Monk Quartet - Monk's Dream (1962)
It features Monk's (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums). It was his first recording for Columbia and scholars and enthusiasts alike heralded this combo as the best Monk had been involved with for several years. Although he would perform and record supported by various other musicians, the tight -- almost telepathic -- dimensions that these four shared has rarely been equalled in any genre.
32. Freddie Hubbard - Open Sesame (1960)
Freddie Hubbard's first recording as a leader; Open Sesame features the 22-year-old trumpeter in a quintet with tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks, the up-and-coming pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Clifford Jarvis. This set shows that even at this early stage, Hubbard had the potential to be one of the greats.