The genre of instrumental jazz has produced numerous iconic albums throughout its rich history. However, when it comes to albums that embody the qualities of light and cool jazz, there are a few that stand out. Here are a few highly regarded options that fit the criteria of having no vocals and being light, cool jazz.
- “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis
“Kind of Blue” is widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. Released in 1959, it features Davis on trumpet, along with some of the most influential jazz musicians of the time, including John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, and Bill Evans. This album is a quintessential example of cool jazz, characterized by its relaxed tempos, sophisticated harmonies, and blues-inspired melodies.
- “Time Out” by Dave Brubeck Quartet
“Time Out” is another seminal album in the cool jazz genre. Released in 1959, it features the legendary pianist Dave Brubeck, along with saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright, and drummer Joe Morello. The album is notable for its innovative use of odd time signatures, which give the music a distinctive and memorable quality.
- “Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster” by Gerry Mulligan and Ben Webster
This collaborative album, released in 1959, features two of the most influential saxophonists of the cool jazz era: Gerry Mulligan and Ben Webster. The album is a beautiful showcase of the lyrical and improvisational skills of these two masters, and is a must-listen for fans of cool jazz.
- “The Shape of Jazz to Come” by Ornette Coleman
“The Shape of Jazz to Come” is a groundbreaking album by saxophonist Ornette Coleman, released in 1959. It represents a departure from traditional jazz forms and harmonies, and is considered a seminal album in the free jazz movement. Despite its experimental nature, the album is also characterized by a light and airy quality that is reminiscent of cool jazz.
These are just a few of the many excellent albums in the light and cool jazz genre. It is important to note that the qualities that define cool jazz can be subjective, and different listeners may have different interpretations of what constitutes “light” and “cool.” However, these albums are all considered classics of the genre and are a great place to start for anyone looking to explore the world of cool jazz.