Stranded on a desert island what five albums would you bring with you? I do a lot of listening to music and approach music from so many different angles, but the idea of what would make a good desert island album never crossed my mind. It would have to be an album that I could listen to forever without getting sick of, it would have to have a diverse set of tunes, and do something the other 4 selections don’t. I didn’t really put any restrictions on myself when thinking of a desert Island album other than no cheating with box sets and things of that nature. So without further ado here is my list of Desert Island Albums in no particular order

John Coltrane- Giant Steps 


I knew Coltrane would be on this list I just wasn’t sure which album. I picked Giant Steps because it has so many classic tunes on it; the title track, “Naima”, “Countdown”, “Mr P.C” and one of my personal favorites, “Syeeda’s Song Flute”. Not even my favorite Coltrane album, but more on that later.

Charles Mingus – Ah Um 


I chose this album primarily because of its variety of music. With tributes to Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington, ballads like “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”, and the soulful opener “Better Git In Your Soul”, this album is a brief history of Jazz music. On a desert island this album would feed that desire of hearing different types of jazz music while still being able to listen to a cohesive record.


John Coltrane- A Love Supreme 


This album changed my life. I wouldn’t be a jazz musician if it wasn’t for this album. The minute I heard “Resolution” was the first time I heard real jazz. It left me speechless, and opened up a whole new world to me. On a desert island this seminal album would remind me of why I love jazz in the first place.


Miles Davis – Kind of Blue


Another classic and one of the first jazz albums I loved. This album has been a constant in my life. I go through good stretches where I’m either listening to it on a daily basis or I end up having to play or teach tunes from this album. Can’t imagine not having this in my life or on an island.


Robert Glasper- In My Element 


This isn’t even my favorite Glasper album, but I feel like I would need to have some Glasper in my life. I love the progress Glasper represents for Jazz and music in general. My favorite album from Glasper is either Black Radio 1 or 2, but I love his Trio work so I’d take In My Element on the desert island and be just fine.

What albums would you take with you on a desert island? Would love to hear which albums you’d take that I didn’t and why. Leave a comment below or message me your desert island albums.



7 thoughts on “Desert Island Albums 

  1. That’s always a tough question to ask yourself, but those are some truly great choices. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to choose my own five.

    Overall, what would you say are your favorite songs of all time?

    1. Songs are even tougher! Off the top of my head I’ll go with “Resolution” from A Love Supreme and “Blue in Green” from Kind of Blue since they also relate back to my desert island albums.

  2. A fine quintet of albums. The Robert Glasper choice surprised me but it is an excellent LP.

    Here’s my list:
    Miles Davis – Miles Smiles
    Bill Evans – Portrait In Jazz
    John Coltrane – Coltrane’s Sound
    Wes Montgomery – Full House
    Jackie McLean – Destination Out

    I will miss Roland Kirk and Frank Zappa on this desert island but these five will sustain me.

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