Is Kind of Blue the Best Jazz Album Ever

Let me begin by qualifying "best", in this case I use the word best to mean the most representative or widely accepted.

Kind of Blue is not my favorite album, but whenever I listen to it I feel that if someone were to ask me what is Jazz I would be compelled to play it, more specifically "So What".

Maybe it is the star studded cast, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderly. On their own these guys are legends. Together?

So the question can be twisted, are they any other jazz albums that could represent what Jazz so perfectly?

Just like "Dark Side of the Moon", by Pink Floyd, is the best Rock album, and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is Classical's best piece.

Any other questions?


IMHO, There can be no "Best" when it comes to 'Works of Art', as it is all just a matter of opinion.

I do agree with you that if 100 jazz lovers were to put together a list of their top 10 albums, KOB would probably be on more lists than any other album. (It would be on mine quite probably, even though it is not my favorite either.)
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Why bother with a term in superlative? Even more when it comes to music or art?!
It's a great album, and I listen to frequently, but I have to admit it's not my favorite. For many reasons it could by described as "The Best" when considering reasons brought up on this thread, but I listen to Chet Baker and Dave Brubek albums quite a bit more.
Certainly a great album and a gateway for many listeners. The same could be said of Brubeck's "Time Out" or Mingus' "Ah Um," Oliver Nelson's "Blues and the Abstract Truth" and a whole bunch of other great albums.

In 1959, the same year "Kind of Blue" was issued, Ornette Coleman put out "The Shape of Jazz to Come." This probably is NOT a gateway album, but, arguably, it is more influential than "Kind of Blue."

The problem with a label like "the greatest" is that, for a lot of listeners the album becomes not the gateway, but the endpoint. Why go any further if I've heard the "greatest" (particularly if I didn't like it all that much)?