My 5 Favorite Jazz Records in Case You Find Them on Record Store Day from Sean McPherson


In honor of Record Store Day coming up on Saturday I’d like to list to you five records that you will not regret owning on vinyl because they are amazing. Do I own them all? Not on vinyl. Do I love them all? Absolutely. Will I one day own them all on vinyl? Probably.

  1. Hank Mobley/Soul Station – This is a perfect record. This also might be Art Blakey’s best recording. His high water mark is almost definitely the Jazz Messengers’ version of “A Night in Tunisia,” but I do think this recording session as a whole is an even better outing.

  2. Cassandra Wilson/New Moon Daughter – If you own one Cassandra Wilson record, it’s this one. In fact. . .if you can only own one jazz album from the 90s, this would be in the discussion. Weaving a record through with covers and originals is a near impossible feat. One set is almost pre-destined to feel out of place. But on this one, Wilson’s deep personalization of other writer’s material, combined with her soulful and powerful pen, result in one of the most impressive albums from any genre. The Grammys also got it right on this one, it won the Grammy for the “Best Jazz Vocal Performance.”

  3. Alice Coltrane/Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana – I’m lukewarm on side B, not gonna lie to you. I’ve listened through all the way once, and from time to time I’ll give it a flip. But, side one…side one is some of the most breathtaking, inspired, and uplifting music I have ever brought into my ears. It is such a joy.

  4. Stanley Turrentine and the Three Sounds/The Blue Hour – At some point, you will need a record to put on for a quiet moment in your life. You will need a record to soothe your nerves rather than to excite your senses. This is that record.

  5. Brian Blade Fellowship/Perceptual – So much praise is rightfully heaped onto Brian Blade as a drummer that it can obscure his accomplishments as a writer and bandleader. To me, the sophomore album of the Brian Blade Fellowship is the high water mark for Blade as a writer and for the Fellowship as a group. The instrumentation, collaborative spirit, and emotional content of this record makes it a joy to listen to with the patience and attention that vinyl often inspires.




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