The ten artists cited below are musicians who stand atop jazz music’s figurative Mt. Olympus as towering figures who blazed positive trails for all who followed them, either instrumentally, vocally, compositionally, or stylistically. With each of these grandmasters it is extremely difficult to cite only one recommended recording, which is why most are best represented here by box sets which offer either a career retrospective or survey one or more particularly potent period in his/her career.

Louis Armstrong  (Satchmo / Satch / Pops)
Ornette Coleman
John Coltrane  (Trane)
Miles Davis
Duke Ellington
Dizzy Gillespie
Coleman Hawkins  (Hawk / Bean)
Billie Holiday  (Lady Day)
Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker  (Bird / Yardbird)
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