Whether you’re doing your chores or hosting a party—listening to funky, jazzy soul makes it better. I’ve provided a list of ten albums from my collection that I love to play. Some are solely instrumentals, while others have a mix of vocals and instrumental grooves. Some are great for dancing, others for chilling out. These versatile records represent the warm sounds of blues, disco, funk, jazz, and soul. I hope you enjoy.

1. Hip Hug-Her — Booker T. & The MG’s

booker t

Besides having a great cover, this album, released in 1967 by Stax, features the Hammond B-3 organ, guitar, bass, and drums on every track. It has a mix of originals and covers, including Smokey Robinson’s Get Ready and The Rascals’ Groovin’.

Hip Hug-Her

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This list does not have Handel’s Messiah. Not because it’s not great. It is, of course, better than great. It’s THE classic Christmas album. I regret not including so many other records that I think are great, but that’s how it goes.

What is here is a good balance of Christmas albums, consisting of four compilations, three instrumental offerings, and four genres (country, jazz, rock, and soul). I hope these selections are useful and enjoyable.

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas — Vince Guaraldi Trio


If it’s good enough for Charles Schulz, it’s good enough for me. Originally released in 1965 and since reissued on Fantasy Records in 1988, Guaraldi’s Christmas album has maintained its popularity and is still regarded as one of the best ever.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (full album)

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