20 Jazz Collaborations

Jazz has always been about collaboration. Even if the musicians have never played with each other before, they have to work together as a team to bring out the beauty and the liveliness of jazz. The most challenging aspect of jazz collaboration is not how well each individual play, but how well he plays with his partners despite stylistic differences. How did Ella Fitzgerald’s girlish voice and Louis Armstrong’s gruff voice worked out so marvelously? How did Thelonious Monk’s choppy piano style flow with John Coltrane’s fluid saxophone? How did Chick Corea’s virtuosic piano meet Bela Fleck’s virtuosic banjo? Here is a list of 20 collaborative albums I have enjoyed enormously. The albums are listed in alphabetical order instead of from top to bottom. I cannot put a ranking to these works because it would be like comparing apple to orange:

At Basin Street (Clifford Brown & Max Roach)
The Avant-Garde (John Coltrane & Don Cherry)
Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson (Ben Webster & Oscar Peterson)
Corea/Hancock (Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock)
Ella and Louis (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong)
The Enchantment (Chick Corea & Bela Fleck)
First Time! The Count Meets the Duke (Duke Ellington & Count Basie)
Getz Gilberto (Stan Getz & João Gilberto)
Immortal Concerts New York City, Birdland Club. 1954 (Art Blakey & Clifford Brown)
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman)
The Complete Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington Sessions (Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington)
Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson (Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson)
Metheny Mehldau Quartet (Pat Metheny & Brad Mehldau)
Side by Side (Itzhak Perlman & Oscar Peterson)
Sketches of Spain (Miles Davis & Gil Evans)
Skol (Oscar Peterson & Stephane Grapelli)
Somethin’ Else (Cannonball Adderley & Miles Davis)
Sonny Meets Hawk! (Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins)
Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall (Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane)
Two Men with the Blues (Wille Nelson & Wynton Marsalis)

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