The DNA of jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan’s Portrait of Sheila can be heard in so much popular music of the intimate, dreamlike, and nocturnal kind across genres.
Jungle Brothers’ 35-year-old Straight Out the Jungle shows cerebral rapping, experimentation, and African rhythms. It was the first Native Tongues hip-hop LP.
No British album better synthesized the warmth, energy, and funkiness of New Orleans R&B, Southern soul, and rock better than Traffic’s 1968 self-titled LP.
The fundamental building blocks of Soundgarden and Nirvana’s sounds could be found in their debut LPs, which foreshadowed alternative rock’s commercial breakthrough.