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Building a Jazz Library

By Steve Williams

Salt Lake City, UT – This is intended to be a listing of artists and recordings deemed to be essential in building a basic jazz library. Some of the recordings are simply a best of recording, so as to introduce a collector to an overall composite of the artist's work, not necessarily the most historic recording. Numbers don't determine importance of one recording over the other.

Miles Davis Kind of Blue Columbia
Dave Brubeck Time Out Columbia
Count Basie April in Paris Verve
Bill Evans Portrait of Jazz Fantasy
Stan Getz/Joao Getz and Giberto Verve
Duke Ellington Blues in Orbit Columbia
Oscar Peterson The Lost Tapes Verve
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Blues Pablo
Sarah Vaughn The Best of Pablo
Nat King Cole After Midnight Capitol
Stan Kenton Retrosepctive-4 Capitol
Erroll Garner Magician & Gersh. TelArcive
Hi-Lo's Columbia Years Koch
Mose Allison Allison Wonder Atlantic
Louis Armstrong Decca Highlight Decca
Ben Webster Jaz Round Midnight Verve
John Coltrane Gentle Side of... Impulse
Clifford Brown/Max And Max Roach EmArcy
Billie Holiday Billie Songbook Verve
Benny Goodman Slipped Disc 1945 Columbia
George Shearing Best of 1960-69 CapitolCD
Modern Jazz Quartet Dedicated to Connie Atlantic
Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band Verve
Gill Evans/Miles Davis Porgy & Bess Columbia
Lester Young Blue Lester Savoy
Johnny Hartman With Coltrane MCA/Impulse
Nancy Wilson Swingin's Mutual Capitol
Herbie Mann Evolution of Mann Atlantic
Woody Herman Thundering Herds Columbia
Shirley Horn Here's to Life Verve
Lionel Hampton Reunion Newport RCA/BlueBird
Art Blkey Best of Messengers BlueNote
Art Tatum Best of Tatum Pablo
Coleman Hawkins In a Mello Tone Prestige
Ella & Duke Ellington Ella & Duke Verve
Maynard Ferguson Chris Connor 2s Capitol
Keith Jarrett Trio Standards Live ECM
Red Garland Trio Groovy Prestige
Art Pepper No Limit Contemporary
Milt Jackson Reverence & Compass Qwest
Charlie Parker Bird-Origin Recs Verve
Chet Baker Chet Riverside
Dizzy & Bird Jazz at Massey Hall Fantasy
Thelonious Monk Best of BlueNote
Bud Powell Best of BlueNote
Horace Silver Song for Father BlueNote
Wes Montgomery Plays the Blues Verve
Joe Pass Appassionato Pablo
Basie & Williams Swings/Sings Verve
Sonny Rollins Best of BlueNote Capitol
Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong Verve

This listing could easily have numbered in the hundreds, but this grouping gives an enthusiast a basic introduction into some of the important movers and shakers of the jazz scene.

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