Miles Davis voted greatest jazz artist of all time
The top 10 jazz artists are the best of the best, across all styles and eras. They are crowned by three iconic immortals: Duke, the orchestral master, Louis, the father of us all, and Miles, the essence of the ever-changing contemporary spirit.Geoffrey Smith
The top 10 artists were announced today on BBC Music Jazz, a temporary pop-up radio station for jazz on DAB, bbc.co.uk/musicjazz and mobile, in collaboration with BBC Radio, Jazz FM and EFG London Jazz Festival from 12 to 15 November. Programmes include bespoke jazz content, live broadcasts from London Jazz Festival, unique one-off documentaries and archive recordings, expertly curated by BBC Radio in collaboration with Jazz FM for the very first time and available to catch up on BBC Radio iPlayer.
As part of the programming, BBC Radio and Jazz FM listeners were invited to vote for the Greatest Jazz Artist of all time from a list of 50 shortlisted musicians drawn up by a panel consisting of BBC jazz presenters, Jazz FM presenters, jazz musicians, critics, and journalists. The results are announced by BBC Radio 3’s Geoffrey Smith and Jazz FM’s Helen Mayhew over the four days of the broadcast.
Geoffrey Smith says: “The top 10 jazz artists are the best of the best, across all styles and eras. They are crowned by three iconic immortals: Duke, the orchestral master, Louis, the father of us all, and Miles, the essence of the ever-changing contemporary spirit.”
Helen Mayhew says: "Miles Davis is a very worthy musician to have been voted in at the very top of our 50 Greatest Jazz Artists chart. The epitome of cool and an iconic character, Miles was at the forefront of key developments in the sound of jazz through each decade of his long career. He's also responsible for recording the biggest-selling and most universally loved jazz album of them all, the 1959 album Kind Of Blue."
BBC Music Jazz aims to pull together the best of jazz content on the radio and provide programmes designed to appeal to newcomers and jazz aficionados alike, including documentaries examining Dudley Moore’s love of jazz, Jamie Cullum introducing some of his favourite live recordings, musical masterclasses, an exclusive live broadcast of Kamasi Washington’s London Jazz Festival performance from the Barbican and BBC Radio 3’s Jazz on 3 Ronnie Scott’s gig simulcast on the pop-up station.
The London Jazz Festival’s opening night gala will also be simulcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Music Jazz live from the Barbican on Friday 13 November at 7.30pm.
A full schedule for the pop-up station is available at bbc.co.uk/musicjazz
Greatest Jazz Artist of all time – Top 10
1. Miles Davis
2. Louis Armstrong
3. Duke Ellington
4. John Coltrane
5. Ella Fitzgerald
6. Charlie Parker
7. Billie Holiday
8. Thelonious Monk joint with Bill Evans
10. Oscar Peterson
Notes to Editors
BBC Music Jazz
- BBC Music Jazz is temporary digital radio service running between 12 November and 15 November inclusive and which enables the BBC to offer with Jazz FM and The EFG London Jazz Festival, access to continuous jazz content.
- The service will be available on digital radio platforms, online bbc.co.uk/musicjazz in the UK and globally and via the BBC iPlayer Radio app labelled as BBC Music Jazz. It will also be available on demand for 30 days. It will not be available on digital TV.
Greatest Jazz Artist of all time – Top 50 shortlist
Mary Lou Williams