GOJR 100

31. Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961)

Oliver TruthKnown chiefly as a bandleader, this album gave Oliver Nelson the opportunity to show off the musician in him. He assembled one of the most potent modern jazz sextets ever. Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes bring indisputable beauty through a three-part horn harmony fronting Hubbard's lead melody.

30. Pharoah Sanders - Karma (1969)

karmaThis was his third album as leader. After John Coltrane's death, while there were many seeking to make a spiritual music that encompassed his ideas and yearnings while moving forward, no one came up with the goods until Sanders produced this album.

29. Frank Sinatra - Wee Small Hours (1956)

Wee Small HoursThis album is a collection of ballads arranged by Nelson Riddle, and finds Sinatra in melancholy mood following his doomed love affair with actress Ava Gardner, and the standards that he sings form their own story when gathered together. Sinatra's voice had deepened and worn to the point where his delivery seems ravished and heartfelt, as if he were living the songs.

28. John Zorn - Naked City (1990)

naked cityZorn was described by DownBeat magazine as "one of our most important composers". An American avant-garde composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, he has hundreds of album credits as performer, composer and producer across a variety of genres, including jazz. On this album he teams up with Bill Frisell on guitar, Wayne Horvitz on keyboards, Fred Frith on bass and Joey Baron on drums.

27. Archie Shepp - Attica Blues (1972)

Archie Shepp - Attica BluesRefining his large-ensemble experiments of 1971, this album was one of Shepp's most significant post-'60s statements, recorded just several months after authorities ended the uprising in Attica prison in New York state by massacring 43 inmates and hostages. This is one of his most successful large-group projects, because his skilful handling of so many different styles of black music produced such tremendously groovy results.

26. Ahmad Jamal - The Essence Part One (1995)

Ahmad JamalRecorded in Paris and New York, this album provides an absorbing collection of standards and Jamal compositions, some of which move through several contrasting sections. Musicians featured include James Cammack, Jamil Nasser, Manolo Badrena and George Coleman. These sessions were so fruitful that Verve Records were able to serve up a tasty second helping a year later.

25. John Coltrane - My Favourite Things (1960)

John Coltrane 1961 My Favorite ThingsA landmark album, recorded in less than three days. It signalled the move towards the more avant-guarde, with Coltrane playing with ease, supported by McCoy Tyner, Steve Davis and Elvin Jones. A joy to listen to.

24. The Horace Silver Quintet - Song for my Father (1964)

Song for My Father (Horace Silver album - cover art)This is a classic Blue Note album, with Horace Silver the master at balancing the jumping rhythms and complex harmonies, providing a unique blend of earthiness and sophistication. Recorded at a time when Bossa nova was still popular, it added a degree of the exotic, mixed with rhythms and modes from overseas.

23. Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder (1963)

morganThis was a hugely popular album with the title track reaching the pop charts. The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection", calling the title track "a glorious 24-bar theme as sinuous and stinging as the beast of the title." Morgan's compositions are forward-thinking and universally solid.

22. Mary Lou Williams - Zoning (1974)

Mary Lou WilliamsAfter a long period working in the Catholic church, Mary Lou Williams re-emerged in the early '70s resume her ever stimulating career as a jazz pianist. Zoning is one of her finest, with performances by Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker and Zita Carno. Rather than sounding like a veteran of the 1920s, Mary Lou Williams sounds 40 years younger on this recording, showing the influence of McCoy Tyner, and in places hints at free jazz.

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