21. Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil (1965)
Always looking at innovation this album has a collection of highly original and unusual compositions., Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter play leading roles on board. The swing is gentle but pronounced and full of Shorter's singular lyricism as a player and composer.
20. Herbie Hancock - Headhunters (1973)
Head Hunters was a pivotal point in Herbie Hancock's career, bringing him into the vanguard of jazz fusion. Hancock had pushed avant-garde boundaries on earlier albums and with the Headhunters he developed a deeply funky album with all the sensibilities of jazz. Although he experienced the usual scorn from the purists he produced an album that sounded fresh and vibrant. Musicians featured included; Bennie Maupin, Paul Jackson, Bill Summers and Harvey Mason.
19. Miles Davis - Miles Smiles (1967)
With this album the second Miles Davis Quintet really began to hit their stride, delving deeper into the more adventurous, exploratory side of their signature sound. This is music that demands attention, never taking predictable paths or easy choices. It's a great triumph that shows adventurousness within the music that is warm and accessible.
18. Bill Evans Trio - Waltz for Debbie
This album consisting of Evans, Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian and is one of the few live recording included in the 100. Recorded at the Village Vanguard in 1961, shortly before Scott LaFaro's death, Waltz for Debby is the second album issued from that historic session. Of the many recordings Evans issued, this is one of the best recorded.
17. Frank Sinatra - Songs for Swinging Lovers (1956)
This album captures Sinatra at his very best. Arranged by Nelson Riddle it consists of reinterpreted pop standards of the time. It is consider it to be the greatest vocal albums of all time and the first album to be number one in the UK following the start of charts in 1956.
16. Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners (1956)
The most important musicians are the ones who are successful in creating their own original world of music with its own rules, logic and surprises. Thelonious Monk is one of those people. This was Monk's third album for Riverside and what sets it apart is the heavy original material featured. There's an inescapable freshness and vitality into every track on the album helped in some way by the support Monk receives from the likes of Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Oscar Pettiford and Ernie Henry.
15. John Coltrane - Blue Train (1957)
This was Coltrane only recording for Blue Note as a lead. He not only addresses the tunes at hand, but also simultaneously reinvents himself as a multifaceted interpreter of both hard bop as well as sensitive balladry -- touching upon all forms in between. Blue Train can easily be considered in and among the most important and influential entries not only of John Coltrane's career, but of the entire genre of jazz music as well.
14. Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage (1965)
This album finds Herbie Hancock at a creative peak. In fact, some would say it's arguably his finest record of the '60s, reaching a perfect balance between accessible, lyrical jazz and chance-taking hard bop. Herbie Hancock is joined by Freddie Hubbard George Coleman, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. The quintet plays a selection of five Hancock originals, many of which are simply superb showcases for the group's provocative, unpredictable solos, tonal textures, and harmonies.
13. Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
This album was a watershed in the genesis of avant-garde jazz, profoundly steering its future course and throwing down a gauntlet that some still haven't come to grips with. The record shattered traditional concepts of harmony in jazz, getting rid of not only the piano player but the whole idea of concretely outlined chord changes. The pieces here follow almost no predetermined harmonic structure, which allows Coleman and partner Don Cherry an unprecedented freedom to take the melodies of their solo lines wherever they felt like going in the moment, regardless of what the piece's tonal center had seemed to be.
12. Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto - Getz and Gilberto (1963)
One of the biggest-selling jazz albums of all time, not to mention Bossa nova's finest moment, Getz/Gilberto were one of the greatest innovators of the Bossa nova. The results were magic Bossa nova a permanent part of the jazz landscape not just with its unassailable beauty, but with one of the biggest smash hit singles in jazz history -- "The Girl from Ipanema," with part of the vocal featuring Gilberto's wife, Astrud.