2018 is a wrap, and we sold plenty of records in this wild and weird year. We’ll be spending the next few weeks reviewing our best sellers of the recently completed calendar year. Check out our best-selling jazz records of the past 12 months:
10. JOHN COLTRANE BLUE TRAIN
Now this top-ten is full of records that would qualify for an ideal starter set of the LPs you’d first want to hear to get to know the broad scope of Jazz music. One of the master’s most accessible and listenable LPs, this was before he stepped into the unknown of his later experiments.
9. CHARLES MINGUS MINGUS AH UM
See? This might be Mingus’s masterpiece. It’s a challenging record that was at the leading edge of the jazz of the time (1959) while also being reverent to its roots. That contradiction makes for precisely it’s strength.
8. SONS OF KEMET YOUR QUEEN IS A REPTILE
Don’t think jazz is a dead genre! This UK ensemble made one of the most widely liked records around our shop. It’s full of fresh sounds, incongruent influences, and firey spirit. It crackles with excitement of the the possible, like a great jazz record should.
7. HERBIE HANCOCK HEAD HUNTERS
If you like your jazz filthy as funk and filled with space age synths this is your jam. This is one from the 70s that aged exceptionally well. The concepts Herbie introduced here have been popping up in cutting edge music ever since.
6. CHET BAKER SINGS
This was the cool jazzist’s coming out as a vocalist. Released in the middle of the 1950’s, it’s reputation has only grown with time and it is a record that is the feather in the cap of a troubled and fascinating career. Chet Baker and chill anyone?
5. ELLA FITZGERALD S/T
Perhaps the finest of the jazz singers. There would be a lot of Ella records in this list if we expanded it to 50. Her voice always sounds good, with plenty of great music to explore.
4. KAMASI WASHINGTON HARMONY OF DIFFERENCE
A late 2017 EP that still had an excellent 2018. With it’s brief run-time and digestible compositions this is a great introduction to one of contemporary jazz’s brightest beacons.
3. MILES DAVIS KIND OF BLUE
A crown jewel in a jazz genius’s sprawling discography. Naturally this is the first jazz record purchased for many a new fan of the form, also one of the all-time steadiest sellers in the our record-shops time around. This is probably the sound in your head when you conceive of jazz.
2. KAMASI WASHINGTON HEAVEN & EARTH
Kamasi’s new full-length was the best selling newly recorded jazz record of our year. Forward thinking, accessible, adventurous, bold, this record is a testament to the health of a genre many have written off as past it’s useful age. The future looks bright.
1. JOHN COLTRANE BOTH DIRECTIONS AT ONCE
We were stoked to hear that such a miracle as unheard music from THE John Coltrane would be coming out in 2018, and what we heard didn’t disappoint! We weren’t the only ones to be excited. Recorded pretty near in time to his other record on this list, this was a rare top-notch “lost record.”