Kind of knew: BBC's 50 best jazz albums

A poll conducted by the BBC Music Jazz pop-up digital radio station has voted Kind Of Blue the greatest jazz album of all time

Not for the first time Miles Davis's Kind Of Blue has been voted best jazz album of all time, according to a poll conducted by BBC Music Jazz, the pop-up digital radio station which has been broadcasting during the EFG London Jazz Festival. Davis's victory makes it two in a row for the trumpeter and composer: he was voted greatest jazz artist of all time in the corporation's 2015 poll.

According to BBC Music Jazz the "50 Greatest Jazz Albums" were voted for by unidentified members of the "Jazz Community". The voting process hasn't been revealed, but as with all the best polls the results are bound to please some, confuse others and perhaps even anger a few more.

The top three positions - Davis, Coltrane, Mingus - are fairly predictable given the legendary status of all three men. Further down the list are some surprises: Joseph Jarman's Song For at 6, Zara McFarlane's Until Tomorrow at 33 and Billy Jenkins's True Love Collection at 36 might catch fans unawares. Of course, many great jazz artists died before the LP monopolised the recording industry - which may explain the absence of some jazz legends from the list, although compilation albums were clearly eligible. It's a male-dominated selection, too.

On the announcement of the winning album, BBC Radio 3 presenter Geoffrey Smith said “Miles Davis rules the 50 Greatest Jazz Albums with three in the top 10, crowned at number one by Kind of Blue, the album for every mood and taste. And for every listener - the one jazz album you’re bound to have if you just love music and Miles at their best”. Jazz FM's Helen Mayhew added: “Kind of Blue is the ‘Greatest Album’ because it is the greatest album. It’s a landmark album and the best-selling jazz album of all time for a reason. It’s the album most people have in their music collection and if you haven’t got it, then you have to get it because it’s the best”.

BBC Music Editor James Stirling said “If there is one artist who looms large across the BBC Music Jazz schedule, it is Miles Davis. Kind of Blue is an obvious choice - but given its impact on the world of music, it deserves to sit at the top of this amazing list of albums”.

BBC Music Jazz announced the poll results as follows:

"Below is the list of Top 50 Jazz Albums as voted by the Jazz Community:

1 Miles Davies [sic]                              Kind of Blue
2 John Coltrane                                   A Love Supreme
3 Charles Mingus                                 Ah Um
4 Weather Report                                Black Market
5 Miles Davies [sic]                             On the Corner
6 Joseph Jarman                                 Song For     
7 Miles Davies [sic]                             In a Silent Way
8 Jamie Cullum                                   Pointless
9 Bill Evans                                        Sunday Night at the Village Vanguard
10 John Coltrane                                Crescent
11 Miles Davies [sic]                           Bitches Brew
12 Jarrett/Garbarek                            Belonging
13 Louis Armstrong                            King Louis
14 John Coltrane                                Blue Train
15 Art Blakey                                     Night in Tunisia
16 Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong    Ella & Louis
17 Duke Ellington                               Blanton/Webster Band
18 Kamasi Washington                       The Epic
19 Bill Evans                                      Waltz for Debby
20 Hermeto Pascoal                            Slaves Mass
21 Esbjörn Svensson Trio                    From Gagarin's Point of View
22 Ian Carr                                        Out of the Long Dark/Old Heartland
23 Herbie Hancock                              Headhunters
24 Thelonious Monk                            Solo Monk
25 Christian Scott                               Yesterday You Said Tomorrow
26 Eric Dolphy                                    Out to Lunch
27 Betty Carter                                  Inside Betty Carter
28 John Zorn                                     News for Lulu
29 Dave Brubeck                                Time Out
30 Abbey Lincoln                                A Turtle's Dream
31 Dexter Gordon                              Our Man In Paris
32 Lee Morgan                                   The Sidewinder
33 Zara McFarlane                              Until Tomorrow
34 Wayne Shorter                              Speak No Evil
35 Kenny Wheeler                              Music For Large & Small Ensembles
36 Billy Jenkins                                  True Love Collection
37 Brian Blade                                   Season of Change
38 Thelonious Monk                            Underground
39 Chick Corea                                   Return to Forever
40 Donald Byrd                                  A New Perspective
41 John Coltrane                                Ole [sic]
42 Sonny Rollins                                Saxophone Colossus
43 Chet Baker                                    It Could Happen to You
44 Miles Davies [sic]                           Sketches of Spain
45 Yusef Lateef                                  Three Faces of Yusef Lateef
46 Wynton Marsalis                            Black Codes
47 Oliver Nelson                                 Blues and the Abstract Truth
48 Duke Ellington                               New Orleans Suite
49 Benny Goodman                            Carnegie Hall Concert
50 Robert Glasper                              In My Element"

Bruce Lindsay

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