5 for Friday: 5 Jazz Albums for People Who Hate Jazz

Obviously, most people who find this blog are probably already jazz fans. But what about those who randomly stumble into it? Especially the haters? Does the Jazzopath have anything for them?

This installment of 5 for Friday® is especially for people out there who claim to “hate” jazz. I offer you 5 titles that I believe are highly accessible albums by famous artists. Records that are remain highly listenable, yet offer a musical standard jazz aficionados would certainly approve of. Something to “tempt your ears with”, so to speak.

All titles should be readily available on Apple Music, Spotify, or wherever you normally stream. These are all famous, legitimate jazz records. Not just instrumental music masquerading as “jazz.” After listening to some of these, if you still “hate jazz”, I can only say that I’ve done my best to spread the word.

In no particular order…

1. Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” (1959)

Top selling jazz album in history. For people who own one jazz record, this is usually it. Music doesn’t get cooler than this. Features John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley.
Songs you might like: “So What”, “All Blues”

2. Dave Brubeck – “Time Out” (1959)

Another influential record from 1959. Title refers to the album’s focus on some unusual (for jazz, at the time) time signatures.
Songs you might like: “Take Five”, “Blue Rondo a la Turk”

3. Horace Silver – “Song for My Father” (1964)

While Beatlemania reigned stateside, jazz saw some popular records of its own. This is one of Silver’s best, featuring a variety of styles. My full review here.
Songs you might like: “Song for My Father”, “Calcutta Cutie”

4. Kenny Burrell – “Midnight Blue” (1963)

One of the all-time great jazz guitarists. This one has some really incredible blues playing. And the CD/streaming version has brilliant bonus tracks.
Songs you might like: “The Mule”, “Chitlins con Carne”, Bonus track: “K Twist”

5. Lou Donaldson – “The Natural Soul” (1963)

Lou Donaldson began his career as a bebopper and self-described Charlie Parker wannabe. By the early 1960s, he had found success playing funkier blues-based tunes and soul jazz. This is a fun record featuring some of the greatest “groove” musicians of the era. Great organ and guitar playing by Big John Patton and Grant Green, respectively.
Songs you might like: “Funky Mama”, “Nice ‘n’ Greasy”

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