10 Best Acid Jazz CDs

Curious about the 10 best acid jazz CDs? This list covers ten of the best acid jazz albums to be released in the U.S. or abroad.

  1. Jamiroquai, "Emergency on Planet Earth" Among the 10 best acid jazz CDs is Jamiroquai’s "Emergency on Planet Earth." A vibrant mix of funky bass lines and soulful vocals, "Emergency on Planet Earth" addressed ecological issues such as global warming before it was fashionable to do so.
  2. Brand New Heavies, "Brother Sister" Released in 1994, "Brother Sister" by the Brand New Heavies featured the vocals of N’Dea Davenport and spawned several hit singles, including “Dream On Dreamer.”  Although not as commercial as their later release, “Shelter,” the smooth production and inspired cover of “Midnight at the Oasis” make this one of the 10 best acid jazz CDs.
  3. Galliano, "The Plot Thickens" "The Plot Thickens" by Galliano is a fusion of jazz, funk and house music. Tracks are layered with percussive sounds and laced with wah-wah drenched guitars while the raps of vocalist Rob Gallagher are juxtaposed with the gospel-inflected style of female singer Constantine Weir. One of the 10 best acid jazz CDs, the stand-out track on this album is “Rise and Fall.”
  4. Guru, "Jazzmatazz, Vol.1" Another of the 10 best acid jazz CDs is the album "Jazzmatazz Vol. 1" by Guru. A collaboration of artists such as Carleen Anderson, Courtney Pine and MC Solaar, "Jazzmatazz Vol.1" is a blend of soul, jazz and hip-hop. Key tracks are “No Time To Play” and “Loungin.”
  5. James Taylor Quartet, "In the Hand of the Inevitable" Considered to be the originators of the acid jazz movement after a journalist coined the term to describe the band, the James Taylor Quartet’s "In the Hand of the Inevitable" is one of the biggest selling acid jazz records and one of the 10 best acid jazz CDs. Featuring a brass-laden interpretation of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” this CD is a must-have for any acid jazz fan's collection.
  6. Incognito, "Tribes, Vibes + Scribes" Containing the hit “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,” "Tribes, Vibes + Scribes" by Incognito is considered one of the 10 best acid jazz CDs around. An early ‘90s album, it is packed with jazz-inspired songs such as “Closer to the Feeling” and “Colibri.” Upbeat and light, this is the perfect album for a chill summer’s night.
  7. Zero 7, "Simple Things" Zero 7’s 2001 release "Simple Things," although not strictly an acid jazz album in the purest sense, is awash with lush keyboards, smooth horn arrangements and ambiance that is pure jazz. Tracks such as “I Have Seen “ and “Destiny” were omnipresent upon their release and the entire CD has a timeless quality. "Simple Things" is simply one of the 10 best acid jazz CDs of its era.
  8. The Young Disciples, "Road to Freedom" The Young Disciples' "Road to Freedom" is one of the early releases in the acid jazz movement and spawned the hit “Apparently Nothin’” as well as launching vocalist Carleen Anderson’s solo career. Ten tracks rich in soul and funk, the album is a good introduction to acid jazz.
  9. Les Nubians, "Princess Nubiennes" Les Nubians African-inspired "Princess Nubiennes" has its roots steeped in jazz. Driven by syncopated bass lines and a multitude of percussion instruments, the French duo’s music owes much of its style to early Sade and Soul II Soul. A unique take on jazz, this is one of the 10 best acid jazz CDs around.
  10. Corduroy, "Out of Here" Another British band who were part of the UK acid jazz movement of the 1990s, Corduroy released the album "Out of Here" in 1994. With songs reminiscent in style of kitschy TV advertisements from the 1970s and '80s, Corduroy’s organ-fueled grooves paved the way for acts like Jamiroquai and Brand New Heavies. Standout tracks on the album include “Ayrton Senna” and “Practice What You Preach.”
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