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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Building a Jazz Library

Best Live Jazz Recordings (1953-65)

By Published: August 10, 2005
Having recently completed a survey of the Best Live Rock Albums, I have learned a couple of valuable things. One is a list of this sort should be presented in descending order starting with number 10 and descending to number 1. Second, it is better to poll a group for their opinions and develop the list from an analytical (or pseudoanalytical) evaluation of the results. This is how the Top Ten Best Live Jazz Recordings (1953-65) were selected. I polled the writership of All About Jazz, combined the results and ranked the recordings. For recordings that tied in number of votes, I arbitrarily selected the order (I had to exert editorial control somewhere!).

Live Jazz is perhaps the most natural creative state in music. Performing jazz means a musician must create a work of art on the spot, composition in real time. In this series, I hope to highlight historic events where this invention has not been merely successful, but transcendent.

At The Village Vanguard Bill Evans (1961)

At Antibes Charles Mingus (1960)

At Birdland John Coltrane (1963)

At Massey Hall The Quintet (1953)

At The Village Vanguard John Coltrane (1961)

At Newport 1956 Duke Ellington (1956)

At The Half Note Wes Montgomery (1965)

At The Plugged Nickel Miles Davis (1965)

At The Village Vanguard Sonny Rollins (1957)

Concert By The Sea Erroll Garner (1955)

#11 - The Best of the Rest ...

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