1. Lush Life - John Coltrane
This is one of my favorite Coltrane albums. I love Coltrane for his emotional rawness and the honesty that emanates from each and every note he plays. Honesty is a quality that brings me closer to Coltrane and it makes me feel as if I am not alone when I listen to him.
2. Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
"In a Sentimental Mood" from Duke Ellington & John Coltrane is one of my favorite jazz recordings. The track is contemplative, calm and sad. When I am feeling down, this song helps express emotions that aren't always verbally ready to come out.
3. John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman is currently my favorite vocal album. Johnny Hartman has a deep, rich and tender voice that perfectly compliments Coltrane's lush tone. The tracks are reserved without too much improvisation, yet each track emanates with passion and love that makes this album great to listen to when you need something to express yourself.
4. Sonny Stitt Sits in with the Oscar Peterson Trio
This album is one of my all time favorite albums as well. Sonny Stitt brings so much energy and charisma to each track. This album is explosively full of happiness that helps reverse a bad day and take my mind off of dwelling negative feelings.
5. The Ellington Suites
"Sunset And The Mocking Bird" from The Ellington Suites is my favorite Duke Ellington recording. The track has a searching, high spirited quality that connects me to feelings of being sentimental and longing. These feelings help me destress and pursue my day in a positive manner by expressing what I feel on the inside.
6. Charlie Parker with Strings
When I was in the hospital, I found myself singing "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" in my head every day. The expressive, sweet tone of Charlie Parker along with the powerful, lush strings makes this album one of my favorite albums of all time as well. Songs from this album have become a chant for me to use whenever I am at my worst.
7. Kind of Blue -Miles Davis
"Blue in Green" from Kind of Blue is my other favorite jazz recording of all time. This song has gotten me through some of the worst times of my life. When I was in the hospital this song got me through panic attacks and moments that I felt the world was crumbling beneath me. The song shows me what is beautiful in the world, and I relate to the level of detachment and loneliness the track emotes.
Even at the worst moments of my life, I have found that jazz is my saving grace. I am so grateful to have found this music that helps with any problem that comes across my path. From having severe depression, I know in my heart it will get better over time as long as I keep singing on cloudy days. And to anyone else going through similar struggles, I hope you know you are not alone.