I'm going to take a different approach on this one and list the CDs that were the most influential to me when I was young, rather than what I think are the 5 very best today. In many cases, it was just that these were the CDs that local record stores stocked or that I was given as gifts along the way. . .
Kevin Morgan - Virtuoso Tuba - my very first tuba solo CD, given to me in high school by my parents. It was one of the first CDs of any kind that I owned and I listened countless times. . .
The Essential Canadian Brass - that one, I think, had both "Tuba Tiger Rag" and "Flight of the Tuba Bee" - one of the very first tuba sounds I tried to model.
Besses o' th' Barn - Concertos for Brass (Fletcher doing the Gregson) - played a movement from the Gregson for High School solo and ensemble contest and Mike Thornton pointed me toward this recording. This was my first exposure to Fletcher, who is now one of my very favorites.
Harvey Phillips - In Recital for Family and Friends (loaned to me by my very first private teacher, Gary Langhorst, an Indiana grad). I remember him telling me he would listen to it and get depressed because he couldn't play like that. . . I was definitely impressed, but not depressed!
Patrick Sheridan - Lollipops! I was a little bit older when I found this one, but I ended up performing several of the works on recitals and still think of this as my model for the use of tuba vibrato and expression.
Don't know if that is of any value to anyone, but I enjoyed thinking on those recordings. . . now if I can only find my record collection. . .