Note: stay tuned over the coming months each of these “plain” lists is replaced with a full blog post with commentary on the items on the list (and, in some cases, the items that didn’t make the cut).
These should all be classics, but they are relatively unknown, and many are out of print. Hunt them down, you’ll be glad you did.
- Piano Portraits by Phineas Newborn, Jr. with John Simmons and Roy Haynes
- Blues in Five Dimensions by Mickey Tucker, with Ted Dunbar, Rufus Reid and David Jones
- New Orleans Suite by Duke Ellington with his Orchestra (featuring Johnny Hodges and others)
- Inside Track by Out of the Blue, featuring Michael Mossman, Ralph Bowen, Kenny Garrett, Harry Pickens, Robert Hurst and Ralph Peterson, Jr.
- Spanish Steps (reissued as Blues for Bud) by Hampton Hawes with Jimmy Woode and Arthur Taylor
- Album of the Year by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Bill Pierce, James Williams and Charles Fambrough
- Machaca by Clare Fischer with Rick Zunigar, Alex Acuna, Poncho Sanchez and others
- Moon Alley by Tom Harrell with Kenny Garrett, Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond and Ralph Peterson, Jr.
- Jaki Byard With Strings (reissued as a two-fer along with Solo Piano called Solo/Strings) with Alan Dawson and a string section comprised of George Benson, Ray Nance, Ron Carter and Richard Davis
- Magical Trio 2 by James Williams with Ray Brown and Elvin Jones