2. John Coltrane, Blue Train

John Coltrane is clearly one of the leaders of the jazz identity. If you think about the course of hip-hop, can you really imagine A Tribe Called Quest or even Tupac without a cultural and musical prophet like Coltrane? Of course, A Love Supreme is an incredible album, but Blue Train just has so much life and color that it's impossible to ignore. Recorded back in 1957 on Blue Note, Blue Train was Coltrane's favorite album.

1. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue

I can still remember the first time I heard this album. I was 17, and was driving my Subaru Legacy Wagon in the rain. I drove the car to my grandparents' house, and put on the album. It was only about a five-minute drive, but I ended parked outside their house, the windshield wipers swatting away rain, the album blaring. I sat in the driveway until the album ended, and music was never the same for me. It's a composition, released in 1959, that is often considered the definitive jazz album. Honestly, there are some jazz purists who probably would die if they found out our generation was unfamiliar with this album. Just listen to who was featured on this album: Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb. Kind of Blue is an album many critics try to define, but everything you need to know comes across when you hit play.

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