Every list like this is incomplete and controversial as everyone has his own preferences and undoubtedly Jazz lovers will miss some of their favorite recordings here, but if so, simply make your own list. These are what I think are essential recordings in every jazz library.
Sax player Charlie Parker was a Genius who with trompeter Dizzy Gillespie revolutionized Jazz in the 40´s and created the Bebop style. On this collection one can hear Parker or Bird as he was called, with Dizzy create some of their most memorable compositions.
The Modern jazz Quartet has a Cool and Beautiful style. They play on Piano, Vibraphone, Drums and Bass and this great album includes one of their most famous song Django, an homage to the Great Gypsy Guitarist Django.
Miles Davis is one of the Giants of jazz and on this album with the help of arranger Gil Evans they create a marvelous fusion of Big Band Jazz and Spanish Music. Evans manages to get so many new colours from the band with his arrangements.
A Jazz masterpiece and one of the most Famous recordings of Jazz. Great compositions by the Trumpeter Miles Davis and fantastically played by the band. The Jazz Gods were obviously present when this was recorded.
Sarah or Sassy as she was called, is my favorite jazz singer. Smooth and creamy voice and she had a thorough knowledge of jazz harmony and knew how to phrase intelligently and improvise beautifully. These were her favorite recordings.
One of the most famous Jazz Recordings ever made, it includes the song Take Five which is a song that people unfamiliar with Jazz know very well. The Brubeck quartet is experimenting with different time signatures like 9/8 and 5/4 and the album also has so many beautiful melodies and fantastic performances by the band.
Peterson recorded many albums in Germany for MPS label and they are among his Best recordings. This is a Fantastic album, full af flowing swing played with fire and his mastery of the keyboard is phenomenal.
Sax Player Stan Getz with an album that became hugely popular and started the Bossa Nova craze in the 60's. This is a warm and wonderufl blend of jazz and Bossa Nova and even if you don't like Jazz you have heard Desafinado.
Bitches Brew was one of the most influential recording in the start of the Fusion movement. Miles was experimenting with blending or fusing other types of music with jazz. This is a recording that still divides people, many who prefer traditional Jazz find fusion not to be jazz at all while other, (including me) find this to be the logical next step in Jazz evolution.
John Mclaughlin who played with Miles created the Super Fusion band Mahavishnu and it became a huge hit and influenced many, this album is one of their best and is full of power and bliss. They play with tremendous energy and Passion.
Pianist Keith Jarrett stayed away from the Fusion movement and electronics but created a style of his own, a blend of Jazz, gospel and modern classical. A unique and Brilliant artist. Köln Concert is one of his best improvised Solo piano recordings.
Return to Forever was Brilliant Band, every member is a virtuoso and a Great composer. This album is a Fantastic Masterpiece and the Album I would take to the desert island. Chick Corea on Keyboards, Stanley Clarke on Bass, Al Di Meola Guitar and Lenny White Drums.
Corea is a Brilliant pianist and composer who with his band Return to Forever created some of the greatest fusion masterpieces. His solo albums are brilliant and on this Fantastic Recording he blends jazz with Spanish and Classical music.
Weather Report was one of the Supergroups af the Fusion movement led by keyboardist Zawinul and Sax player Shorter and on this album Bass master Pastorius had joined them and this album is full of Great melodies, inspiring use of Synthesizers. Bass. Sax and Drums which creates a cosmopolitan Fusion full of Fun.
Allan Holdsworth is an amazing Guitarist with incredibly sophisticated sense of harmony and a brilliant way of improvising over complex harmonic changes, those long fluid melodic lines of his are so inventive and interesting.