Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, legendary UCLA and Lakers center, six-time NBA MVP and Bruce Lee foe, has had a passion for jazz his entire life. Raised in New York, Abdul-Jabbar had the opportunity to soak up the center of the jazz world at one of its most vital periods. He regularly crammed himself into the tiny tables at the Village Vanguard as a teenager and nowadays manages to take in shows at the equally tight quarters at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

See also: *Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Jazz. What Else Would We Talk With Him About?

*Top Ten Jazz Albums for People Who Don't Know Shit About Jazz

To supplement our recent interview, Abdul-Jabbar also offered up his list of essential jazz albums. It is a solid list of classics, in no particular order, that belong in anyone's collection.

Herbie Hancock

Empyrean Isles (1964)

Sam Rivers

Fuchsia Swing Song (1965)

Chick Corea

Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (1968)

Miles Davis

Kind of Blue (1959)

Miles Davis

Cookin' (1956)

Miles Davis

Birth of the Cool (1957)

Sonny Rollins

A Night at the Village Vanguard (1957)

John Coltrane

Live! At the Village Vanguard (1962)

John Coltrane

Coltrane Plays Blues (1962)

John Coltrane

Blue Train (1957)

Thelonious Monk

Monk's Music (1957)

Thelonious Monk

Monk's Dream (1963)

Thelonious Monk Orchestra

At Town Hall (1959)

Larry Young

Unity (1966)

Freddie Hubbard

Ready for Freddie (1961)

Wynton Marsalis

Black Codes From the Underground (1985)

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Thad Jones Legacy (1999)

Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins

Brilliant Corners (1957)

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