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The Ten Best Live Jazz Recordings (1953-65)

C. Michael Bailey By

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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!).

1.

At The Village Vanguard
Bill Evans
(1961)

2.

At The Village Vanguard
John Coltrane
(1961)

3.

At The Plugged Nickel
Miles Davis
(1965)

4.

At Antibes
Charles Mingus
(1960)

5.

At Newport 1956
Duke Ellington
(1956)

6.

At The Village Vanguard
Sonny Rollins
(1957)

7.

At Birdland
John Coltrane
(1963)

8.

At The Half Note
Wes Montgomery
(1965)

9.

Concert By The Sea
Erroll Garner
(1955)

10.

At Massey Hall
The Quintet
(1953)

#11... The Best of the Rest
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