Groove Notes: 1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die, by Kevin Kniestedt

Getz-Gilberto, 1963, one of my all-time favorite Jazz albums
Getz-Gilberto, 1963, one of my all-time favorite Jazz albums

I bopped across this website when someone Twittered it a few weeks ago. “Groove Notes” by Kevin Kniestedt proclaims itself as delving “into all things jazz, including the muscians’ personalities, trends, recordings, history, and news about live jazz events”. It’s a kool site with a lot of info on the jazz scene past and present.

The writer is the Grooveyard host on the NPR jazz station KPLU, and the host on Jazz24, their online only jazz stream. He decided to put together a list of 1,000 jazz albums, a Herculean task, for jazz buffs to consider. So far he’s up to 40, in no particular order. Some of them are great albums I am already hip to, some are albums I’ve never heard of but will certainly try to listen to.

Dig that: 1,000 albums to listen to. I have a pretty extensive collection of vinyl, CDs and MP3s, and I don’t come anywhere near that. I have about 400 vinyl albums and 45s, probably 50 78’s, around 200 CDs and 1200 songs in iTunes. (Yes, I know some people have a lot more than I, but I like to spend my money on Scotch and women, too). So that’s a couple of thousand songs I have. Now think about 1,000 albums…averaging 20 songs per album (some have only 4 songs, some are double and triple record sets with 40-50 songs) you’re talking 20,000 songs. At an average of 4 minutes each (taking into account standard 3 minute 78’s against 8 minute solo pieces and Coltrane all-nighters) that’s 80,000 minutes of music, or well over 1,300 hours. Laying your ears on one album a day could take over 3 years!

But it’s worth it. Music like this is to good to miss, kids. Check out the list. For a shorter list, check out my Jazz 101 tab at the top of the blog. And feel free to leave a comment or two with your favorite tracks.


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