What began as a routine recording session and off-the-cuff experiment in modal jazz resulted in a game-changing LP that redefined the art of improvisation with its emphasis on playing in set scales over minimal, open-ended chord changes. Though it quickly became jazz’s biggest-selling LP of all time, its introspective tone and cool, melancholic aura has had deeper cultural ramifications over the ensuing years, impacting on art and film as well as pop and rock music. The enduring appeal of this album is the timelessness of its performances. CW
Runners-up: Ornette Coleman The Shape Of Jazz To Come, Ray Charles The Genius Of Ray Charles, Howlin’ Wolf Moanin’ In The Moonlight, Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Is On Top.