Re: A good Jazz CD?
If you want what is (in my opinion) the definitive guide to jazz music, pick up the Penguin Guide to Jazz.
I thought about starting a thread about that book, but I'll just post it here instead since I see someone has asked a question about it.
The best book of jazz writing I've ever read. The authors, Cook and Morton, have a splended writing style and there are no holes in their listening repertoire. In fact, they are particularly well-versed in European jazz. They rate every single recording according to a star system, from 1 to 4 stars, with a "crown" being awarded to a select group of really special recordings. But they write descriptive text about each one as well, so you can choose to pay attention to the ratings or not and just get a description of the tunes.
There are countless editions of the book that have been printed. My buddy and I used to wait anxiously for each new edition. Since one of the authors is now deceased, I don't think they're writing new editions any longer.
But get one of the editions, used or whatever you have to do. It's a fantastic book that will reward you for many years to come.