Nextbop is a jazz music blog dedicated to highlighting and celebrating jazz music as a contemporary art form, noting its present moment in time as it relates to the vast possibilities within the genre over the past 100 years.
The philosophy of Nextbop isn’t just about promoting jazz music to jazz lovers. It’s not even mainly focused on such a vision. Nextbop is about appealing to everyone. It’s about promoting jazz to the world. It’s about showing the indie rock crowd, the punk rock crowd, the hip hop crowd, the R&B crowd, the bluegrass crowd, and so many other scenes that this kind of music is great and it’s not so far off from what you’re used to hearing.
We shan’t limit ourselves to just one ideology for the sake of appeasing one crowd when the whole world can appreciate jazz music for its complexities.
Best jazz albums of all time? Well, that’s a heated topic prone to much debate! Jazz is a culturally rich music that has evolved tremendously over the last century, from jazz big bands to bebop, from hard bop to free jazz and so much more!
So the best jazz albums of all time are largely dependent on personal preferences and this list aims in no way, shape or form to be definitive and all encompassing.
We do hope, however, that it will provide some avenues of exploration for you to fall in love with the immensely rich contemporary art form that is jazz music!
Discover the Best Jazz Albums of All Time featuring records by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck and more!
Making a list of the best rap songs that sample jazz is a near-impossible task and there’s probably not enough ink on the internet to shout out all the great music deserving of praise.
So what we did here is compile some of our recent favorites with a special emphasis on newer artists (because we all know that if we start getting into the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, and Digable Planets, we’ll be here for decades…)
We’ll keep adding new songs on a regular basis so make sure to come back once in a while, but really we just hope that you get to discover some new gems which you weren’t necessarily familiar with before!
Check out our list of best rap songs that sample jazz including music by Joey Badass, Westside Gunn, Talib Kweli, Mach-Hommy and more!
Popular Blog Posts
Read our 2012 interview with jazz pianist Robert Glasper discussing his then-upcoming album Black Radio, his musical influences, and the future of jazz music.
Read our 2015 interview with composer and jazz orchestra leader Maria Schneider discussing her album The Thompson Fields, her musical upbringing, the future of big bands, and her take on the advent of music streaming services.
Stream Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” plus four other notable jazz versions of the song by Sonny Rollins, Arturo Sandoval, Aaron Golberg and Jacky Terrasson!
Stream Roy Ayers’ “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” plus three cover versions by D’Angelo, The Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Stefon Harris & Bilal, and trumpeter Takuya Kuroda feat. José James.
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of Miles Davis’ “Nardis” composition, including notable versions by Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Haden, Joe Henderson and more!
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” composition, including notable versions by Branford Marsalis, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, and more!
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of John Coltrane’s “Syeeda’s Song Flute” composition, including notable versions by Tommy Flanagan, James Carter, Medeski Martin & Wood, Matt Wilson and more!
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of Joe Henderson’s “Black Narcissus” composition, including notable versions by Stanley Clarke, Renee Rosnes, Dayna Stephens, Helen Sung, Kevin Hays and more!
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma” composition, including notable versions by by Stan Getz, Gerald Clayton, Aaron Parks, Ben Wendel, and more!
Download Aaron Parks’s ‘Invisible Cinema’ sheet music free of charge in PDF format courtesy of Aaron Parks himself.
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of Thelonious Monk’s “Crepuscule with Nellie” composition, including notable versions by Jason Moran, Greg Lewis and more!
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of Wayne Shorter’s “Fall” composition, including notable versions by Miles Davis, Gilad Hekselman and Jesse Fischer!
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of Stanley Cowell’s “Equipoise” composition, including notable versions by Willie Jones III, Max Roach, Jack DeJohnette and more!
Read Ben Gray’s critical analysis of jazz covers of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” composition, including notable versions Robert Glasper, Norman Connors, Gretchen Parlato and more!
Blog Posts by Jazz Artist
Thundercat, aka Stephen Bruner, is an American bassist and multi-instrumentalist hell-bent on blurring the lines between funk, jazz, soul, and hip-hop. Widely regarded as one of the premier figures in modern music, Thundercat is a well-known acolyte of modern-day musical geniuses Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, and Kamasi Washington, just to name a few. To date, he has released four studio albums of his own in addition to collaborating with a slew of other artists, earning him three Grammy Awards, including Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for his 2019 album, Drunk.
[Check out Nextbop’s Thundercat content]
Pianist Robert Glasper has been pushing the boundaries of jazz music ever since his 2005 Blue Note debut Canvas. Melding jazz, hip-hop, rock, and R&B, Glasper splits his time between the more traditional jazz trio format and his R&B collective the Robert Glasper Experiment which won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album for the bands 2012’s inaugural Black Radio album. Glasper is also a regular co-conspirator with the likes of Erykah Badu, Maxwell, Q-Tip, and Mos Def.
[Check out Nextbop’s Robert Glasper content]
Brad Mehldau is one of the most prolific jazz pianists of this generation and a master of both the piano solo format and the jazz trio. Mehldau first made a name for himself with his Art of the Trio series, his trademark blend of jazz with rock and classical music elements as well as his penchant for covering famous bands the likes of Radiohead and The Beatles. Mehldau is a frequent collaborator of saxophonist Joshua Redman, drummer Mark Guiliana and bassist Pat Metheny to name a few.
[Check out Nextbop’s Brad Mehldau content]
Chicago-born jazz drummer and producer Makaya McCraven is one of the preeminent figures of the new wave of music coming out of the Windy City. His unique aesthetics combine jazz and hip-hop with soul and electronics in what amounts to a unique and innovative style. McCraven is most notable for being just as comfortable behind the kit as he is with Ableton and 808s and was awarded Nextbo’s Best Jazz Album of the Year in both 2018 for Universal Beings and 2015 for In the Moment.
[Check out Nextbop’s Makaya McCraven content]