Top 100 Jazz Albums

After doing a Jazz Guitar Albums Top 100, I thought it was a good idea to do a Top 100 of greatest jazz albums that don’t have a guitarist in the key position. I asked all forum members to post their favorite jazz albums and the result is this list.

The Top 100 is by no means an attempt to find out what the ‘best jazz albums of all time’ are, but it reflects which jazz recordings are popular with our forum members. Funny thing is that the results of the forum poll are nearly identical with other Top 100s found on the internet. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page you’ll find a Top 15 of jazz musicians (guitarists not included), sorted according to how many times they showed up in the Top 100 poll.  Again, I’m not trying to tell you that ‘Miles Davis is better than Charlie Parker’, it’s just a popularity list.

So, if you ever get the question “What are some good jazz albums?” again, just refer to this page…

The Top 100 Jazz Recordings, sorted according to popularity. Every album is linked to, where you can listen to samples of most songs (links open in a new window).


Kind of Blue - Miles Davis


  1. Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
  2. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
  3. Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else
  4. The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
  5. Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
  6. Ornette Coleman – Shape Of Jazz To Come
  7. Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um
  8. The Weather Report – Heavy Weather
  9. John Coltrane – Giant Steps
  10. John Coltrane – Blue Trane: John Coltrane Play the Blues
  11. Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage
  12. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
  13. Horace Silver – Song for My Father
  14. Bill Evans – Sunday at the Village Vanguard
  15. Miles Davis – Milestones
  16. Bill Evans – Waltz for Debby
  17. Miles Davis – Birth of the Cool
  18. Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Monk Quartet With John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
  19. Charlie Parker – The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948
  20. Keith Jarrett – The Köln Concert
  21. Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil
  22. Count Basie – Complete Atomic Basie
  23. Louis Armstrong – Complete Hot Fives and Hot Sevens
  24. Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain
  25. Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
  26. John Coltrane – My Favorite Things
  27. Joshua Redman – Wish
  28. Michael Brecker – Tales From The Hudson
  29. Charlie Parker – Yardbird Suite: The Ultimate Collection
  30. Bill Evans – Everybody Digs Bill Evans
  31. Bill Evans – Portrait in Jazz
  32. Dexter Gordon – Go
  33. Larry Young – Unity
  34. Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder
  35. Oliver Nelson – The Blues and the Abstract Truth
  36. Eric Dolphy – Out to Lunch!
  37. Clifford Brown and Max Roach – Study in Brown
  38. Jimy Smith – Back at the Chicken Shack
  39. Yusef Lateef – Eastern Sounds
  40. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’
  41. Return to Forever – Romantic Warrior
  42. Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners
  43. Charlie Parker – Charlie Parker with Strings
  44. Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters
  45. Count Basie – Straight Ahead
  46. Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay
  47. Sarah Vaughan – Sarah Vaughan w Clifford Brown
  48. Duke Ellington – Live at Newport ’56
  49. Weather Report – Mysterious Traveler
  50. Ella Fitzgerald – The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks
  51. Chick Corea – The Elektric Band
  52. Sonny Clark – Cool Struttin’
  53. McCoy Tyner – The Real McCoy
  54. Modern Jazz Quartet – Django
  55. Jean-Luc Ponty – Mystical Adventures
  56. Wynton Marsalis – Black Codes (From The Underground)
  57. Benny Goodman – Live At Carnegie Hall
  58. Chet Baker – The Best of Chet Baker Sings
  59. Andrew Hill – Point of Departure
  60. Stan Getz – Au Go Go
  61. Keith Jarrett – Standards, Vol. 1
  62. Ben Webster – Soulville
  63. Bill Evans – Conversations with Myself
  64. Erroll Garner – Concert by the Sea
  65. Sonny Rollins – Tenor Madness
  66. Art Pepper – Meets the Rhythm Section
  67. Ornette Coleman – Change of the Century
  68. Joe Henderson – Page One
  69. Hank Mobley – Soul Station
  70. Billie Holiday – Lady Day (2 CD)
  71. Roy Hargrove – Habana
  72. Herbie Mann – Memphis Underground
  73. The Gil Evans Orchestra – Out of the Cool
  74. Les McCann Trio – Swiss Movement
  75. Brad Mehldau – The Art of Trio
  76. Benny Carter – Jazz Giant
  77. Coleman Hawkins – Body & Soul
  78. Roy Haynes Quartet – When it’s Haynes it Roars
  79. Oscar Peterson Trio – Night train
  80. Dizzy Gillespie – Sonny Side Up
  81. Diana Krall – Live in Paris
  82. Cassandra Wilson – Blue Light ‘Til Dawn
  83. Jaco Pastorius – Jaco Pastorius
  84. Nat King Cole – Unforgettable (Best Of)
  85. Quincy Jones – Walkin’ in Space
  86. Dave Holland Quartet – Conference of the Birds
  87. Lambert, Hendricks and Ross – Everybody’s Boppin’
  88. Milt Jackson – Ain’t But a Few of Us Left
  89. Charles Lloyd – Voice in the Night
  90. Sidney Bechet – Legandary Sidney Bechet
  91. Lester Young – Complete Savoy Recordings
  92. Sun Ra – Lanquidity
  93. Grover Washington Jr. – All My Tomorrows
  94. Bud Powell Trio – Bouncing with Bud Powell
  95. Art Tatum – 20th Century Piano Genius
  96. Frank Sinatra – Sings for Only The Lonely
  97. Stephane Grappelli – Afternoon in Paris
  98. Toots Thielemans – East Coast/West Coast
  99. Jan Garbarek – Visible World
  100. Mahavishnu Orchestra – The Inner Mounting Flame


Here’s a Top 15 of jazz musicians, sorted according to how many times they were mentioned in the forum poll:


Miles Davis
  1. Miles Davis
  2. John Coltrane
  3. Bill Evans
  4. Herbie Hancock
  5. Stan Getz
  6. Cannonball Adderley
  7. Thelonious Monk
  8. Weather Report
  9. Sonny Rollins
  10. Ornette Coleman
  11. Charlie Parker
  12. Charles Mingus
  13. The Dave Brubeck Quartet
  14. Oscar Peterson Trio
  15. Duke Ellington



  1. MarioNov 10, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    I like the list for I am liking Jazz more and more, and want to browse (long live spotify for that).
    Only I think a longer list would be better. More difference in taste, and best in those personnal aereas would give (i think and hope) a so much wider source to taste from.
    Maybe you could put all of the input on line.. I love to browse

  2. JeffMar 24, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Going through all the recordings by Jimmy Smith and you get a great overview of great Jazz guitarist

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