John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman (1963)

Turning 60 this year, Coltrane and Hartman is essential listening not just for jazz aficionados, but hopeless romantics far and wide. The smokey mood of the record eclipses its genre, belonging more to an ethereal wavelength of nocturnal ambiance than musical categorization.

Ahmad Jamal’s Alhambra (1961)

What makes Ahmad Jamal’s Alhambra so salient – so casually charming and endearing – is that it belongs to a singular night. It’s not only a live performance, but a sonic documentation of an evening spent at the Alhambra in Chicago.