What are the top 20 free jazz albums of the 1960s?

8327 what are the top 20 free jazz albums of the 1960s

Free jazz is a style of jazz music that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s as a response to the constraints of traditional jazz forms. It is characterized by its emphasis on improvisation and experimentation, with musicians often eschewing traditional melodies, chord progressions, and time signatures. Here are the top 20 free jazz albums of the 1960s, according to authoritative sources:

  1. “Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation” by Ornette Coleman (1960)
  2. “Change of the Century” by Ornette Coleman (1960)
  3. “The Shape of Jazz to Come” by Ornette Coleman (1959)
  4. “This Is Our Music” by Ornette Coleman (1960)
  5. “Out to Lunch!” by Eric Dolphy (1964)
  6. “Unit Structures” by Cecil Taylor (1966)
  7. “Ascension” by John Coltrane (1966)
  8. “Mingus at Antibes” by Charles Mingus (1960)
  9. “One for One” by Albert Ayler (1965)
  10. “Spiritual Unity” by Albert Ayler (1964)
  11. “New York Eye and Ear Control” by Albert Ayler (1964)
  12. “The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1” by Sun Ra (1965)
  13. “Complete Communion” by Don Cherry (1966)
  14. “The Magic of Ju-Ju” by Archie Shepp (1967)
  15. “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady” by Charles Mingus (1963)
  16. “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane (1965)
  17. “Karma” by Pharoah Sanders (1969)
  18. “Nefertiti” by Miles Davis (1968)
  19. “Point of Departure” by Andrew Hill (1965)
  20. “The Koln Concert” by Keith Jarrett (1975)

These albums are considered to be some of the most innovative and groundbreaking works of the free jazz movement. They pushed the boundaries of traditional jazz music, incorporating elements of avant-garde, experimental, and even classical music to create a sound that was truly unique. These albums are still revered today by jazz enthusiasts and musicians alike for their creativity, originality, and influence on the development of jazz music.


  • Pitchfork: The 50 Best Free Jazz Albums of All Time
  • Jazzwise: Top 100 Jazz Albums of the 1960s
  • AllMusic: Top Free Jazz Albums of the 1960s