The concept behind this week’s mixtape should be self-explanatory. This is a set of some of the best jazz music I’ve ever heard. The trouble with jazz, as most fans would agree, is that it’s really not something that should be experienced at home. Jazz is a living, breathing art and really should be heard live. That said, it’s a damn good thing that these recordings exist.

I’ve tried with this mixtape to be inclusive of different eras and different styles. Although I tend to gravitate toward hard bop from the ’50s and ’60s, I realize that every age has music of great value. I’ve also tried to include some lesser-known artists alongside the legends. Whether you’re a long-time jazz fan or you’ve been curious about jazz but intimidated by its sheer scope, I hope you’ll find at least one song here to enjoy.

“All the Things You Are” by the Dizzy Gillespie Sextet, from Groovin’ High (2000)

“Misirlou” by Vince Guaraldi, from In Person (1963)

“Rise and Shine” by Robert Glasper, from Canvas (2005)

“Blue in Green” by Miles Davis, from Kind of Blue (1959)

“San Lorenzo” by Pat Metheny Group, from Pat Metheny Group (1978)

“Swingmatism” by Jay McShann, from An Anthology of Big Band Swing 1930-1955 (1993)

“Interface” by Hank Jones, from Favors (1997)

“Love for Sale” by Stan Kenton, from Jazz Master Files (2002)

“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” by Charles Mingus, from Mingus Ah Um (1959)

“Bird Feathers” by Charlie Parker, from Jazz Master Files (2002)

“Three Mice Blind” by the Bob James Trio, from Straight Up (1996)

“Charity Rag” by Bud Shank, from Jazz Master Files (2002)

“The Young Rabbits” by the Jazz Crusaders, from Lookin’ Ahead (1962)

“Airegin” by Wes Montgomery, from The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (1960)

“Brilliant Corners” by Thelonious Monk, from Brilliant Corners (1956)

“Drethoven” by Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, from One Day in Brooklyn (2009)

“Rumpelstiltskin” by Andy Summers, from The Last Dance of Mr. X (1997)

“Haunted Heart” by the Bill Evans Trio, from Explorations (1961)

“Blue Rondo Á  la Turk” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, from Time Out (1959)

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About the Author

Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes joined the Popdose writing staff only after enduring a humiliating series of hazing rituals. One day he'll write a tell-all book, and then they'll all pay. Until then, you can also catch him at his regular home, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, or you can follow him on Twitter.

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