1955 and 57: with Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, Art Blakey — and Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdes on the first four.
With the almightily beloved jazz standard. Stevie nicked the horn riff for Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing (and Steely Dan helped themselves of course… and Madlib). The great pianist in between bands in 1963-4, with Joe Henderson and Carmell Jones. Monumental hard bop; a key Blue Note.
Three unmissable Shorters: Speak No Evil, Schizophrenia (for Tom Thumb)... and this, Adam’s Apple, with Herbie Hancock, Reggie Workman and Joe Chambers in 1966. A rocking title track, a hard blues, some tasty bossa, and the first time out for Footprints.
With Freddie Hubbard, Sam Rivers, Andrew Hill, Richard Davis and Joe Chambers.
With Joe Henderson, Duke Pearson, Bobby Hutcherson. The title-track is lengthily, meltingly gorgeous.
From 1963: Jimmy Smith (organ), Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Donald Bailey (drums).
1964 masterwork with Freddie Hubbard, Herbie, Elvin Jones and Ron Carter, tersely melding avant, modal and bop. ‘Wild flowers and strange, dimly-seen shapes… I was thinking of things like witch burnings, too.’
Hard-blowing bop classic from 1958, when Trane was with Monk. A crack sextet rounded out by the richly soulful trombone of youngster Curtis Fuller. Next up, Giant Steps.
Another five-star, stone classic. Check his bass clarinet scorching into the Monk tribute, to start. Fire! The rhythm section — Anthony Williams and Richard Davis, Stravinsky’s favourite bassist — is stupendous.
Steeped in the new thing — especially JC — but pulsating, intent and sparking with a restless, propulsive creativity bound for Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Bitches-Brew Miles and co, in just a few years time.
Banging, key Messengers. Blakey is a polyrhythmic blaze; Shorter is vicious. Hubbard bows out of the line-up with a passionate tribute to the Congress of Racial Equality.