Jazz Records

NOTE: This site is currently under re-construction and is in need of some editing and additions. Nevertheless, I've decided to keep it online for reference purposes.

This is a list of jazz records. They are all garded with numbers 1-10 with the maximum score being 10. The criteria and the way I rate records is similar to the style of Robert Christgau and Tom Hull, even if I use numbers instead of letter grades. If I feel a more elaborate explanation of the grading system is needed, I'll add one later. For now, all you need to know is this:

Any record rated 7 or higher I feel is well worth owning; Any record rated 8 - 10 is strongly recommended.

(The grades are liable to change. Records marked n/a are records I for whatever reason have not given a grade yet). Records by groups without any clear leader may be listed twice. The dates and labels are taken from various sources. Compilations have recording dates, regular records have year of release. If you find any mistakes do not hesitate to let me know by sending me an e-mail at perfectsounds.chrismonsen@[REMOVETHIS]gmail.com.

Artists (leaders sorted by last name)

H - L

Haden, Charlie:
- Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse!, 1969) 7
- w/Don Cherry,Dewey Redman & Ed Blackwell: Old and New Dreams (Black Saint, 1977)* - 8
- Ballad of the Fallen (ECM, 1982) 8
- Quartet West (Polygram, 1986) n/a
- Dream Keeper (Blue Note, 1990) 8
- Beyond the Missouri Sky (Verve, 1996) 6
- Land of the Sun (Verve, 2004) 4

Halley, Rich
- Rich Halley Trio: Mountains and Plains (Louie, 2005) 7
- Rich Halley 4: Back From Beyond (2012) 7

Halvorson, Mary:
- Trio: Dragon's Head (Firehouse 12, 2008) 7
- Quintet: Saturn Sings (Firehouse 12) 7
- Quintet: Bending Bridges (Firehouse 12) 7
- Septet: Illusionary Sea (Firehouse 12, 2013) 7

Hamilton, Scott:
- Back in New York (Concord, 2004) 7

Hampton, Lionel:
- Hot Mallets Vol. 1 (RCA Bluebird,1937–39) n/a

Hancock, Herbie:
- Takin' Off (Blue Note, 1963) n/a
- Invetions and Dimensions (Blue Note, 1963) n/a
- Maiden Voyage (Blue Note, 1965) 8
- Head Hunters (Columbia, 1973) 7
- Future Shock (Columbia, 1983) 6
- Sound-System (Columbia, 1984) 7

Harding, Alex:
- Alex Harding & Blutopia: The Calling (Jazzaway, 2006) 7

Harris, Craig:
- Black Bone (Soul Note, 1983) 8
- Souls Within the Veil (Aquastra, 2003) n/a

Harris, Eddie:
- Exodus to Jazz (Vee Jay Records, 1961) n/a
- The In Sound (Atlantic) n/a
- w/ Les McCann: Swiss Movement (Atlantic, 1969) 7
- There Was a Time - Echo of Harlem (Enja, 1990) n/a

Hawes, Hampton:
- For Real (Contemporary/OJC, 1958) 7

Hawkins, Coleman:
- A Retrospective 1929-1963 (Bluebird, 1929-1963) 8
- The Hawk Flies High (Riverside/Fantasy/OJC, 1957) n/a
- Soul (Prestige, OJC, 1958) n/a
- Today and Now (Impulse!, 1963) n/a
- Ken Burns Jazz (Columbia/Legacy, 2000) n/a

Hersch, Fred:
- w/Marc Johnson & Joey Baron: Horizons (Concord Jazz, 1985) n/a
- w/Charlie Haden & Joey Baron: Sarabande (Sunnyside, 1987) n/a
- Heartsongs (Sunnyside, 1990) n/a
- Point in Time (Enja, 1995) 7
- Songs Without Words (3CD, Elektra, 2001) n/a
- Fred Hersch Ensemble: Leaves of Grass (Palmetto Records, 2005) n/a
- Fred Hersch Trio: Floating (Palmetto Records, 2014) 7

Henderson, Fletcher:
- A Study in Frustration: The Fletcher Henderson Story (Columbia, 1923-1938) 9

Henderson, Joe:
- Page One (Blue Note, 1963) 7
- Inner Urge (Blue Note, 1964) 8

Hill, Andrew:
- Black Fire (Blue Note, 1963) 7
- Smoke Stack (Blue Note, 1963) n/a
- Point of Departure (Blue Note, 1964) 8
- Andrew!!! (Blue Note, 1964) n/a
- Pax (Blue Note, 1965) n/a
- Lift Every Voice (Blue Note, 1969) 7
- Dusk (Palmetto, 2000) 7
- Time Lines (Blue Note, 2006) 6


Hines, Earl:
- Piano Man! (ASV, 1928–41) n/a
- Tour De Force (Black Lion, 1972) 7

Hodges, Johnny:
- Passion Flower 1940-46 (Bluebird, 1940-1946) 8
- Everybody Knows Johnny Hodges (Impulse!, 1964–65) n/a
- Triple Play (RCA, 1967) n/a

Holiday, Billie:
- The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Vol. 1 (Columbia, 1933-1935) n/a
- The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Vol. 2 (Columbia, 1936-1937) n/a
- The Commodore Master Takes (GRP, 1939-1944) 10
- The Complete Billie Holiday on Verve (Verve, 1945-1959) n/a
- Lady in Autumn: The Best of the Verve Years (1946-1959) n/a
- First Issue: Great American Songbook (Polygram, 1952-1959) n/a
- w/Lester Young: A Musical Romance (Columbia/Legacy, 1937-1958, rel. 2002) 9

Holland, Dave:
- Conference of the Birds (ECM, 1972) 9
- Jumbin' In (ECM, 1984) 7

Hope, Elmo:
- Trio and Quintet (Blue Note, 1953-57) n/a

Howard, Noah:
- Noah Howard Quartet (ESP, 1966) n/a
- At Judson Hall (ESP Disk, 1967) n/a
- The Black Ark (Freedom, 1969) 8

Hubbard, Freddie:
- Hub-Tones (Blue Note, 1962) 7

Hutcherson, Bobby:
- Components (Blue Note, 1965) 7
- Stick-Up! (Blue Note, 1966) 7

Ibrahim, Abdullah:
- Voice of Africa (Kaz, 1976) 8
- Senzo (Phantom, 2008) 7

Irabagon, Jon:
- Foxy (Hot Cup!, 2010) 7

Iyer, Vijay:
- Fieldwork (w/Steve Lehman & Tyshawn Sorey): Door (Pi Recordings, 2008) 9
- Tragicomic (Sunnyside, 2008) 8
- Historicity (ACT Music, 2009) 7
- Solo (ACT Music, 2010) 6
- Accelerando (ACT, 2012) 8
- Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) 7

Jacquet, Illinois:
- Jumpin' at Apollo (Delmark, 1945-47) n/a
- The Illinois Jacquet Story (4 CD, Porper, 1944-51) n/a

Jarman, Joseph:

- Song For (Delmark, 1966) n/a
- Inheritance (Baybridge (Japan), 1984) 7

Jarrett, Keith:
- Life Between Exit Signs (Atlantic, 1967) n/a
- Fort Yawuh (Impulse!, 1973) n/a
- Treasure Island (Impulse, 1974) n/a
- Belonging (ECM, 1974) n/a
- The Köln Concert (ECM, 1975) n/a
- Bop-Be (Impulse!, 1976) n/a
- My Song (ECM, 1977) n/a

Johnson, J.J.:
- J.J. Johnson's Jazz Quintets (Savoy, 1946) n/a
- The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Volume 1 (Blue Note, 1953) 8
- The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Volume 2 (Blue Note, 1955) 7

Johnson, James P.:
- Snowy Morning Blues (Decca, 1930–44) 7

Johnson, Max:

Quartet (Not Two, 2012) 7
- Trio (FMR, 2012) n/a
- Trio: The Invisible Trio (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2014) 8
- The Prisoner (No Business, 2014) 7
- Trio: Something Familiar (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2015)

Jones, Darius:
- w/Cooper-Moore & Rakalam Bob Moses: Man'Ish Boy (a Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM Fidelity, 2009) 10
- w/Adam Lane & Jason Nazary: Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) (AUM Fidelity, 2011) 9
- Quartet: Book of Mæ'Bul (Another Kind of Sunris) (AUM Fidelity, 2012) 7

Jones, Hank:
- Hank Jones Quartet - Quintet (Savoy/Columbia, 1955) 7

Jones, Sam:
- The Soul Society (Original Jazz Classics, 1960) n/a
- The Chant (Riverside OJC, 1961) n/a

Jordan, Kidd:
- w/Hamid Drake, William Parker: Palm of Soul (AUM Fidelity, 2006) 7
- w/Harrison Bankhead & Warren Smith: On Fire (Engine, 2011) 7

Keppard, Freddie:
- New Orleans Giant: 1923-1928 (Epm Musique, 1923-1928) n/a

Kirk, Rahsaan Roland:
- Kirk's Work (Prestige, 1961) n/a
- We Free Kings (Mercury, 1961) 8
- Domino (Verve, 1962) n/a
- I Talk to the Spirits (Verve, 1964) n/a
- Rip, Rig, and Panic (Limelight, 1965) 8
- Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith (Verve, 1967) 6
- The Inflated Tear (Atlantic, 1967) n/a
- Voulenteered Slavery (Rhino, 1968) n/a

Komeda, Krzysztof:
- Astigmatic (Muza, 1966) 8

Konitz, Lee:
- Motion (Verve, 1961) 8

Lacy, Steve:
- Reflections: Steve Lacy Plays Thelonious Monk (New Jazz/OJC, 1958) 7
- The Straight Horn of Steve Lacy (Candid, 1960) n/a
- Evidence (New Jazz/OJC, 1961) n/a
- School Days (hatOlogy, 1963) 8
- The Forest and the Zoo (ESP Disk, 1966) n/a
- Weal & Woe (Emanem, 1972) n/a
- Steve Lacy Two, Five, Six: Blinks (hat Art, 1984) n/a
- The Window (Soul Note, 1987) 8

Lake, Oliver:
- Heavy Spirits (Arista Freedom, 1975) 8
- Holding Together (Black Saint) 7
- Expandable Language (Black Saint, 1984) 7
- Again & Again (Gramavision, 1991) 6

Land, Harlod:
- The Fox (Contemporary/OJC, 1959) n/a

Lane, Adam:
- Adam Lane Trio: Zero Degree Music (CIMP Records, 2005) 8
- Adam Lane Trio: Music Degree Zero (CIMP REcords, 2006) 7
- Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra: New Magical Kingdom (Clean Feed, 2006) 8
- w/Markus Broo, Paal Nilssen-Love, Ken Vandermark: 4 Corners (Clean Feed) 7
- w/Lou Grassi, Mark Whitecage: Drunk Butterfly (Clean Feed, 2008) 6
- Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra: Ashcan Rantings (Clean Feed, 2010) 10

- Oh Freedom (CIMP Records, 2013) 7
- Adam Lane Trio:  Absolute Horizon (NoBusiness, 2013) 8

Lewis, George:
- Homage to Charlie Parker (Black Saint, 1979) 8

Lehman, Steve:
- Camouflage Trio: Interface (Clean Feed, 2003) n/a
- Octet: Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi recordings, 2009) 7
- w/Rudresh Mahanthappa: Dual Identity: Dual Identity (Clean Feed, 2010) 8
- Trio: Dialect Fluorescent (Pi Recordings, 2012) 9
- Octet: Mise en Abîme (Pi Recordings, 2014) 8

Little, Booker:
- Out Front (Candid, 1961) 7

Lomax, Mark:
- Trio: The State Of Black America (Inarhyme, 2010) 9

Lowe, Frank:
- Black Beings (ESP, 1973) 7
- The Flam (Black Lion, 1975) 9
- w/ The Jazz Doctors: Intesive Care (Cadillac, 1984) 8

Lunceford, Jimmie:
- Stomp it Off (Decca, 1934) n/a
- For Dancers Only (1935-1937) n/a

Lundbom, Jon:
- Big Five Chord: Accomplish Jazz (Hot Cup, 2009) n/a
- Big Five Chord: Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! (Hot Cup, 2011) 7

Lyons, Jimmy:
- Other Afternoons (Byg Actuel, 1969) 8
- Push, Pull (Hat Hut Records, 1979) n/a
- Jimmy Lyons & Sunny Murray Trio: Jump Up (hatArt, 1980/2012) n/a
- Quintet: Wee Sneezawee (Black Saint, 1984) 9
- Quintet: Give It Up (Black Saint, 1985) 7
- The Box Set (Ayler Rec., '72-85, 2003) 7