A last offer on compilations which I usually am not a great fan of but are one way to find what you like. Try "The Best Blue Note Album in the World Ever!" It is really close to that. 2cd set and cd1 is an outstanding selection of classic jazz. Nothing inaccessable and great for someone new. CD1 includes tunes by Horace Silver, John Coltrne, Art Blakey, Lou Donaldson, Cannonball Adderly (with Miles Davis), Kenny Burrell, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd and Grant Green .. and all well produced. Try to beat that cast on one cd! I have never put this on without someone (usually a non jazz friend)asking "WHAT IS THAT?". (cd2 is ok too but can't compare with 1)
Thought on getting into Jazz ( or classical or whatever) as Chelillingworth noted, it takes some time and effort and it is easy to waste a lot of $$$$ on stuff you just don't like (even if the critics rave about it). Best long term solutions I have found:
1) Find the best Jazz programs on local Radio and listen up. Best free sampler around. Beats the snot out of Time-Life. If your computer is up to it there are great national and international stations available on line too.
2) You may not know it but odds are that you know or are acquainted with someone who has a great jazz collection. Make it a project to find em and shamelessly brownnose. There is nothing like borrowing from a great collection and believe me the collections are out there. I have found that the general rule is that jazz listeners love to share and talk about their music. You're doing them a favor borrowing their tunes! Good jazz deserves a few good listens before pronouncing judgment (it ain't am radio) and this is the best way to do it.
Ain't life Great!