Best of 1957: #10 – 1

10. Close to You

Close to You

Artist: Frank Sinatra

Genre: Traditional Pop

“Musically, Close to You is Frank Sinatra’s most interesting LP, a somber orchestral affair that harkens back to the magical, late-night qualities of Songs for Young Lovers. Lyrically, it’s Sinatra’s funniest, full of self-deprecating humor that paints himself as a romantic failure and a sucker for love.” (<<<LINK>>>)

9. Way Out West


Artist: Sonny Rollins

Genre: Hard Bop

“Perhaps Rollins’ most unique album of 1957 is Way Out West, which finds the tenor saxophonist completing his manifest destiny and proving that he is truly the master of his domain. The album finds the ever-consistent Sonny at the top of his game, soloing over the spare accompaniment of cowbell drums and pulsating bass.” (<<<LINK>>>)

8. Monk’s Music

Monk's Music (Remastered)

Artist: Thelonious Monk

Genre: Hard Bop

“Even though the album’s best track is only 53 seconds long, the rest of Monk’s Music still holds tremendous value. In fact, this actually may be Monk’s most essential recording — the most talented band he ever played with playing some of his most confident arrangements.” (<<<LINK>>>)

7. Here’s Little Richard

Here's Little Richard

Artist: Little Richard

Genre: Rhythm and Blues

“My favorite moments from Little Richard’s energetic debut tend to be the saxophone rave-ups, but the hip-hopping beat is nothing to scoff at either. Likewise, the singer’s gritty voice brings R&B electricity to an unsuspecting, white audience. Here’s Little Richard is everything a rock & roll album should be.” (<<<LINK>>>)

6. Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2 

Vol. 2

Artist: Sonny Rollins

Genre: Hard Bop

“Vol. 2 features one of my all-time favorite Sonny moments — the opening stanza of Thelonious Monk’s “Misterioso,” featuring dizzying interplay between Rollins, Blakey, Monk and Johnson.” (<<<LINK>>>)

5. Super Sonic Jazz


Artist: Sun Ra

Genre: Avant-Garde Jazz

“Even though Super Sonic Jazz is one of Ra’s more “conventional” LPs, this is still some of the weirdest jazz out there.” (<<<LINK>>>)

4. After School Session

After School Session

Artist: Chuck Berry

Genre: Rock and Roll

“It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry shaped the course of rock and roll far more than Elvis Presley. Of them all, Berry was the best and rocked the hardest. He is one of my favorite guitarists to ever walk this Earth.” (<<<LINK>>>)

3. Miles Ahead


ArtistMiles Davis

Genre: Third Stream

“A seamless combination of cool jazz and classical, Miles Ahead is one of Davis’ greatest achievements. It’s a quiet masterpiece; one that requires close concentration and patient attention, not the type of album to grab you by the balls. Davis’ flugelhorn is softer and subtler than his occasionally piercing trumpet, and it perfectly complements the peaceful and undisturbed nature of the music.

“It’s amazing that such a hushed sound could come from such a large ensemble.” (<<<LINK>>>)

2. Saxophone Colossus


Artist: Sonny Rollins

Genre: Hard Bop

“There’s no shame in saying that Saxophone Colossus is head and shoulders the best album that Rollins ever made. His technical and melodic proficiency was at an all-time high — the solos must be heard to be believed.” (<<<LINK>>>)

1. Brilliant Corners

Brilliant Corners

Artist: Thelonious Monk

Genre: Hard Bop

“I’ve listened to Brilliant Corners a lot. It grows on me each time, but forever remains elusive. And that’s the beauty of it. Something new reveals itself only to leave me in awe of something else that I had never noticed. It’s both Thelonious Monk’s most accessible album and his most ambiguous.

It’s no question that this is Monk’s greatest album, which therefore makes it one of jazz music’s most profound musical statements.” (<<<LINK>>>)

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