For as long as there has been the technology to make recording, there have been great trumpet recordings. Over the years I have accumulated a bunch of them and never tire of listening to them. I feel like I notice and learn something new every time!

Here, categorized by genre, are some of my favorites:


ANYTHING BY MAURICE ANDRE. Andre has compiled a huge collection of nearly flawless recordings. His recording of “Trumpet Voluntary” is the gold standard, in my opinion. A few examples:

Trumpet Concertos

Baroque Trumpet Concertos

The Ultimate Trumpet Collection

A couple of other noteworthy recordings:

Famous Classical Trumpet Concertos
Considered by many to be the greatest player currently performing.

Masters of the Trumpet
An all-around great recording featuring many of the finest classical trumpeters.

Another of my favorite classical trumpet recordings is called A FESTIVAL OF TRUMPETS: THE NEW YORK TRUMPET ENSEMBLE. Sadly, this seems to be out of print, but if you can find a copy on LP, it is worth it. This was recorded in the early 1970s with a group of up to 8 trumpets, led by Gerard Schwartz, before he went into conducting. Simply a gorgeous recording of renaissance-era pieces.


As a serious jazz player, I could go on forever here. The following recordings are my personal favorites - I'll apologize in advance for all of the omissions. I've also singled these out for their significance in the evolution of jazz trumpet playing.

The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings
Armstrong really put the trumpet on the map when it comes to jazz. These recordings from the late 1920’s have influenced all trumpeters who came afterwards, either directly or indirectly.

Great Original Performances 1924-1930
This is my recommendation for a single, affordable and representative collection from this amazing contemporary of Louis Armstrong. Bix had a beautiful sound and conception but lived tragically short due to alcoholism. If you can afford it, I also recommend the BIX RESTORED series, which is an exhaustive and beautifully remastered collection of his work.

Little Jazz: Trumpet Giant
Roy Eldridge was an outstanding player who emerged during the 1930's and is considered the link between Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie. This is a wonderful and thorough collection of his best work.

Odyssey: 1945-1952
Gillespie, like Armstrong, took the trumpet to another level in jazz. His name has become synonymous with bebop, and his recordings with Charlie Parker have become classics.

The Complete Birth of the Cool
Throughout his career, Davis was known for constantly seeking a new sound. These recordings represent his early experiments and they are also required listening for any developing jazz trumpeter.

Clifford Brown & Max Roach
Brown only lived 25 years but astounded everyone who heard him during his short life. His quintet recordings with legendary drummer Max Roach during the mid 1950’s are an essential part of anyone’s collection

Clifford Brown with Strings
Another Clifford Brown recording, this masterpiece consists of about 12 ballads with orchestral accompaniment. It is ballad playing at its best.

Hubbard was another trumpeter who turned many heads – he took bebop to another level, sometimes referred to as hard bop. There are many Hubbard recordings worth having. Hub Tones is a personal favorite.

Free for All
In this Hubbard recording, he performs as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Again, there are many recordings with Blakey I can recommend. This is one of my favorites.
Another of my favorites with Freddie is Ugetsu

Woody Shaw: Rosewood
Woody Shaw was another hard bop player who was a bit overshadowed by Hubbard, but who created a harmonically advanced improv style that set him apart from everyone else. Rosewood showcases him at his best.

Wynton Marsalis: Standard Time, Vol.3: The Resolution Of Romance
What list would be complete without mentioning this astoundingly talented trumpeter. Wynton Marsalis is another player who took the trumpet to a new level, equally adept at both jazz and classical. There are many choices here, but this CD showcases his ability to cover a range of emotions.

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