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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!).

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

At Antibes
Charles Mingus

At Birdland
John Coltrane

At Massey Hall
The Quintet

At The Village Vanguard
John Coltrane

At Newport 1956
Duke Ellington

At The Half Note
Wes Montgomery

At The Plugged Nickel
Miles Davis

At The Village Vanguard
Sonny Rollins

Concert By The Sea
Erroll Garner

#11 -The Best of the Rest...


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