Bulletin Board Members' Picks

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Since we started the Building a Jazz Library (BAJL) series, we've assembled more than sixty collections, and that number continues to grow. We thought it might be interesting to see what readers would recommend, so we asked AAJ Bulletin Board members to provide a short list of recordings they considered essential, and the 159 different lists that came in over a six-month period added up to a tremendously diverse collection of music.

The following thirteen recordings (listed in rank order) were most frequently mentioned by readers in their BAJL lists. Most of them were released over the ten-year period from 1956-65, which appears to be the concensus Golden Age of jazz among those who voted. Curiously, this list closely resembles a collection of Masterpieces selected by the AAJ editorial staff, and you can read more about each individual record there.

Click to view the complete results and all individual lists.

1. Miles Davis Kind of Blue Columbia 1959

2. John Coltrane A Love Supreme Impulse! 1964

3. John Coltrane Giant Steps Atlantic 1959

4. Charles Mingus Mingus Ah Um Columbia 1959

5. Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus Prestige 1956

6. Louis Armstrong Complete Hot Fives and Sevens Columbia / Legacy 2000

7. Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch Blue Note 1964

8. Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come Atlantic 1959

8. Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage Blue Note 1965

10. Bill Evans Sunday at the Village Vanguard Riverside 1961

11. John Coltrane Blue Train Blue Note 1957

11. Oliver Nelson Blues and the Abstract Truth Impulse!


11. Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil Blue Note 1964
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