25. Count ‘Em 88
Artist: Ahmad Jamal Trio
A little-known yet highly influential genre innovator, Ahmad Jamal’s lengthy solo piano vamps were early progenitors of modal jazz. You might even call him a visionary. Count ‘Em 88 is his defining statement. This lo-fi recording finds the underrated songsmith at his absolute best — slightly left-of-center cocktail-jazz. He solos atop spare accompaniment and minimalist chord changes, which somehow combines for an extremely relaxing and comfortable listen.
24. Finger Style Guitar
Artist: Chet Atkins
“This collection of instrumental standards finds Tennessee-born guitarist Chet Atkins channeling the country-folk-Americana of Merle Travis. While not as brazen as his idol, nor as innovative as his lone contemporary, Atkins still delivers a clean-cut, technically-accomplished LP of classic country & western.” (<<<LINK>>>)
Artist: Dinah Washington
Genre: Vocal Jazz
After the intense hard bop of her Clifford Brown & Max Roach collaborations, Dinah! returns Washington to a more traditional vocal jazz setting. Likewise, her singing is slightly more subdued, though she can still erupt into fiery passion at any second. The best parts of the album are when she does just that.
22. Three Ragas
Artist: Ravi Shankar
Genre: Hindustani Classical
“On Three Ragas, you get all the best aspects of psychedelic music — drones, surrealism and trance-inducing atmospherics — bottled straight from the source…The music sounds both infinite and ancient.” (<<<LINK>>>)
Artist: The Modern Jazz Quartet
Genre: Cool Jazz
Milt Jackson and The Modern Jazz Quartet come together for a masterclass in restrained showmanship. Eerie, sophisticated and slightly pretentious, but in all the right places.