This LPwas hugely influential in terms of helping to establish the themed concept album as a viable artistic statement. It also transformed a former big band singer from North Dakota, born Norma Dolores Egstrom, into a seductive, torch-song vamp. With its noir vibe and aura of smouldering eroticism, Lee perfected an intimate, caressing vocal style that was understated but instantly recognisable and much imitated. The album’s influence can be detected in the music of many subsequent female singers, from Joni Mitchell and Madonna to Amy Winehouse and Lana Del Rey. CW
Runners-up: Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins With The Modern Jazz Quartet, Moondog Moondog And His Friends.