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Bulletin Board Members' Picks

AAJ Staff By

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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

9.
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

12.
Oliver Nelson
Blues and the Abstract Truth
Impulse!
1961

13.
Wayne Shorter
Speak No Evil
Blue Note
1964

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