Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

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Jazz - Released March 10, 2017 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released September 1, 1986 | 143 - Warner Bros.

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Jazz - Released February 28, 2014 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released February 28, 2014 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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So dubbed because these three sessions -- two from early 1949, one from March 1950 -- are where the sound known as cool jazz essentially formed, Birth of the Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz. This is where the elasticity of bop was married with skillful, big-band arrangements and a relaxed, subdued mood that made it all seem easy, even at its most intricate. After all, there's a reason why this music was called cool; it has a hip, detached elegance, never getting too hot, even as the rhythms skip and jump. Indeed, the most remarkable thing about these sessions -- arranged by Gil Evans and featuring such heavy-hitters as Kai Winding, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, and Max Roach -- is that they sound intimate, as the nonet never pushes too hard, never sounds like the work of nine musicians. Furthermore, the group keeps things short and concise (probably the result of the running time of singles, but the results are the same), which keeps the focus on the tones and tunes. The virtuosity led to relaxing, stylish mood music as the end result -- the very thing that came to define West Coast or "cool" jazz -- but this music is so inventive, it remains alluring even after its influence has been thoroughly absorbed into the mainstream ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1985 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Miles Davis' recordings of 1951-1954 tend to be overlooked because of his erratic lifestyle at the time and because they pre-dated his first classic quintet. Although he rarely recorded during this era, what he did document was often quite classic. The two sessions here are among the earliest hard bop recordings and would indirectly influence the modern mainstream music of the '60s. The first session features Davis in a sextet with trombonist J.J. Johnson, altoist Jackie McLean, pianist Gil Coggins, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and drummer Kenny Clarke. Highlights include "Dear Old Stockholm," "Woody 'n You," and interpretations of "Yesterdays" and "How Deep Is the Ocean." The remaining numbers showcase Davis in a quartet with pianist Horace Silver, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Art Blakey, really stretching out on such numbers as "Take Off" and "Well, You Needn't." "It Never Entered My Mind," Davis' muted statement (his only one on this set), looks toward his treatments of ballads later in the decade. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Original Jazz Classics

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Jazz - Released May 21, 2009 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released January 15, 2009 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Fantasy Records

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At the Village Vanguard features the innovative Bill Evans Trio in peak form during a 1961 engagement at New York's Village Vanguard, just days before bassist Scott LaFaro's tragic death in a car accident. At the time, the Vanguard date yielded two separate live albums, Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby. This LP is a selection from the two previous releases which are also available as individual discs. The Trio had recorded only twice before: the studio sessions Portrait in Jazz in late December 1959, followed by Explorations more than a year after in February 1961. Six months later, these live recordings vividly captured a seminal moment in jazz only hinted at on their previous efforts. While Evans' extended solos on long tracks like "Solar" and "All of You" are lean and rhythmically incisive, the brilliant LaFaro is the real star here. His relentlessly upfront, guitar-like basslines and solos repeatedly challenge Evans and drummer Paul Motian to accompany him on a previously uncharted journey in pure improvisation. LaFaro's lyrical originals "Gloria's Step" and "Jade Visions" also revealed a fine jazz composer in the making. ~ Rovi Staff
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Riverside

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Concord Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Concord Records

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Jazz - Released February 2, 1981 | Warner Bros.

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This well-rounded set (released posthumously) features the highly influential pianist Bill Evans in a set of typically sensitive trio performances. With his longtime bassist Eddie Gomez and his drummer of the period, Eliot Zigmund, Evans explores such songs as "We Will Meet Again," Jimmy Rowles's classic "The Peacocks" and the "Theme from M*A*S*H." It's a solid example of the great pianist's artistry. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released March 25, 2003 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released October 1, 1999 | Columbia

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

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Throughout the '90s the smoky-voiced contralto Cassandra Wilson has shunned piano accompaniment in favor of close-miked acoustic guitars, evoking a moodily sensual atmosphere in which pop, blues, country and straight jazz vocals all merge together. It helps that Wilson has a distinctly Southern blues cast to her singing, a quality immediately apparent on "Run The Voodoo Down," the funky opener to TRAVELING MILES, her impeccably self-produced homage to Miles Davis. As is her wont, Wilson has chosen to mix it up on this tribute, setting lyrics to Davis compositions such as "Blue In Green," "Tutu" and "ESP" while reprising two favorite Miles covers, "Someday My Prince Will Come" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." The singer also contributes some of her own welcome originals such as the poppish "Right Here, Right Now," which itself sounds like a tribute to Joni Mitchell, another mentor-spirit hovering over the proceedings. The set closes with a playful reprise of "Voodoo," featuring a sisterly duet with African singer Angelique Kidjo, who sounds right at home.
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

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