The Music of 1959

1959 was a turning point in jazz music. Icons like Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and Dave Brubeck all released career-defining statements that forever changed the history of the genre. In many ways, 1959 marked an artistic peak — a culmination of an entire era of popular music.

  • Top 25 Albums of 1959


  • Moanin’ (Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers) A
  • Time Out (Dave Brubeck Quartet) A
  • The Shape of Jazz to Come (Ornette Coleman)
  • Tomorrow Is the Question! (Ornette Coleman)
  • Porgy and Bess (Miles Davis)
  • Kind of Blue (Miles Davis)
  • Jazz Party (Duke Ellington) A-
  • Back to Back (Duke Ellington & Johnny Hodges)
  • Side by Side (Duke Ellington & Johnny Hodges)
  • Anatomy of a Murder (Duke Ellington)
  • Live at the Blue Note (Duke Ellington)
  • Festival Session (Duke Ellington)
  • Everybody Digs Bill Evans (Bill Evans) A
  • Sonny Side Up (Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt & Sonny Rollins)
  • Kelly Blue (Wynton Kelly) B+
  • Kelly Great (Wynton Kelly) B+
  • Mingus Ah Um (Charles Mingus)
  • The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall (Thelonious Monk)
  • 5 by Monk by 5 (Thelonious Monk)
  • Thelonious Alone in San Francisco (Thelonious Monk)
  • Newk’s Time (Sonny Rollins) B+
  • New York, N.Y. (George Russell) A-
  • The Sermon (Jimmy Smith) A-
  • Liturgical Jazz (Ed Summerlin)
  • Jazz in Silhouette (Sun Ra)
  • Looking Ahead! (Cecil Taylor) A-
  • Coltrane Time (Cecil Taylor) B+
  • Love for Sale (Cecil Taylor)
  • Pres and Teddy (Lester Young & Teddy Wilson)

Rock and Roll


  • Once Upon a Summertime (Blossom Dearie)
  • Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook (Ella Fitzgerald)
  • Last Recording (Billie Holiday)
  • Little Girl Blue (Nina Simone) A
  • Come Dance with Me! (Frank Sinatra)
  • No One Cares (Frank Sinatra)
  • Vaughan and Violins (Sarah Vaughan)
  • What a Diff’rence a Day Makes! (Dinah Washington)

Rhythm & Blues


  • Greatest! (Johnny Cash) B+
  • Hymns by Johnny Cash (Johnny Cash)
  • Songs of Our Soil (Johnny Cash)
  • Blind Joe Death (John Fahey) A
  • Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (Marty Robbins)


  • Chega de Saudade (João Gilberto)


  • Classical Check-Up
    • Luciano Berio
    • Karlheinz Stockhausen

1958     |     1959     |     1960