Jazz began as a purely acoustic music, just like all other music of its time. But, as electronic instruments became cheaper and more widely available, some, like the Hammond B-3 Organ, the Fender Rhodes electronic piano, and the electric guitar, have been widely incorporated into jazz. As electronic instruments have developed, so has their range of use, and today many jazz musicians have incorporated new sounds inspired by electronic music. The following list of albums, a sampling of some highlights of the category, provide a starting point for fans of jazz looking for a taste of electronic music. There are many more artists making contributions in this vein, but this list will get you started.
- Aura, Miles Davis, Columbia 1989: Miles Davis’ 1989 album Aura, a collaboration with Danish trumpeter and composer Palle Mikkelborg, is a fascinating album that puts jazz improvisation, more or less traditional big band playing and electronic instruments and studio techniques on equal footing. Some of the synthesizer sounds are very dated compared to the types of sounds most musicians use today, but the album still stands as a testament to the worthy musical possibilities of jazz’s adaptability to new settings, technologies and techniques.