As always, this list is not comprehensive—I could probably make fifty of these without repeating myself and have them all be great.
You may notice all of these are old, from the 50’s and 60’s. Consider that a form of encouragement to go out and find newer (and older) stuff that’s great too.
- Ella Fitzgerald - Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife
- John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
- Cannonball Adderley - The Cannonball Adderley Sextet in New York
- Oscar Peterson - Trio Live in Chicago
- Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil
- Ahmad Jamal - Cross-Country Tour
- Bill Evans - Explorations
- Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um
- Wes Montgomery & Wynton Kelly Trio - Smokin’ at the Half Note
- Duke Ellington - …And His Mother Called Him Bill