Coltrane/Prestige 7105

Albums By The Year: 1957

Welcome back to this special retrospective music-posting feature. The gimmick is simple — each week, you post a list (ranked or unranked) of your favourite 25 (or however many) albums of a given year (or, occasionally decade). We are now moving backwards through the early days of the LP era. The video below, originally posted by Eexalien in the Weekly Music Thread provides valuable context about the early days of the LP.

[spoiler title=Video_Cliff_Notes]

  • Following the Edison cylinder, the first agreed upon recording format was the 78 rpm record which became the standard around 1910. These records were made of a very fragile material called shellac (a resin secreted by the lac bug). A 10″ 78 rpm record held about 3 minutes per side and a 12″ one between 4 and 5 minutes but the 10″ was the more popular format
  • The concept of the music album originated when 78 rpm records were issued in multi-disc packages similar to books. In terms of packaging, these aren’t dissimilar from what we now think of as box sets but in terms of length, most could easily fit on a single 12 inch or even 10 inch LP hence the persistence of the album misnomer in the LP era (the fact that LP was Columbia’s proprietary term contributed greatly to this phenomenon as well).
  • By the 1930s, the industry was well aware of the limitations of the 78 rpm record and wanted to use microgroove technology (224 to 300 grooves per inch rather than the previous 90) to replace it. The first 33 1/3 rpm records were issued by RCA Victor in 1931 . Their records held 15 minutes per side but the records were too fragile to support multiple playbacks and the format was abandoned by 1933. WWII got in the way of further developments.
  • In 1948, Columbia records launched a superior version of the 33 1/3 rpm record which they dubbed the LP (for long player). In a display or remarkable foresight, they actually began mastering records for the new format as early as 1939 giving them access to a considerable back catalogue right at launch. The 12 inch version of LP is essentially the 45 minute album as we know it now but the 12 inch was initially mostly reserved for classical music. Nearly everything else was issued on 10 inch LPs because of the popularity of 10 inch record players with backwards compatibility with 10 inch 78 rpm records. The 10 inch LP was only phased out around the mid-fifties.
  • RCA responded to Columbia’s 33 1/3 rpm format by launching the competing 45rpm format on 7 inch records, a format which they had started developing before the war. The only problem was the 45 rpm record had been initially designed as a less ambitious improvement over the 78 rpm record than their own abandoned 33 1/3 format not as a direct competitor to Columbia’s LP. It had the very glaring limitation of being quite short. This meant that RCA was trying to compete with single disc releases by issuing multi disc sets not dissimilar to those previously issued on 78 rpm. These sets proved to be unpopular and as we now know, the 7 inch 45 rpm format nonetheless found it’s calling as the preferred format for single song releases while the term album became synonymous with the 12 inch 33 1/3 rpm record.


My personal list is alphabetical Asterisks (*) indicate post publication edits or additions.

[spoiler title=1957]

Cannonball Adderley: Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Drum Suite

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Hard Drive

Art Blakey: Orgy in Rhythm

Jacques Brel: Quand on a que l’amour

Prestige All Stars: All Day Long (a.k.a. Kenny Burrell: All Day Long)

Prestige All Stars: All Night Long (a.k.a. Kenny Burrell: All Night Long)

John Coltrane: Prestige 7105

Tadd Dameron: Mating Call

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

Miles Davis: Cookin’ with The Miles Davis Quintet

Miles Davis: Miles Ahead

Miles Davis: Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet

Miles Davis: ‘Round About Midnight

Miles Davis: Walkin’

Kenny Dorham: Jazz Contrasts

Ray Draper: A Tuba Jazz

Duke Ellington: Such Sweet Thunder

Bill Evans: New Jazz Conceptions

Frederick Fennell: Symphony in B-Flat (Hindemith); Theme and Variations (Schoenberg); Symphonies of Wind Instruments (Stravinsky)

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Ella and Louis Again

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Porgy and Bess

Russ Freeman and André Previn: Double Play!

Johnny Griffin: A Blowin’ Session

Julie London: About The Blues

Julie London: Julie

Julie London: Make Love to Me

Herbie Mann / Bobby Jaspar: Flute Soufflé

Charles Mingus: The Clown

Charles Mingus: Mingus Three

Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners

Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Music

Thelonious Monk: The Unique Thelonious Monk

Lee Morgan: Dizzy Atmosphere

Herbie Nichols: The Prophetic Herbie Nichols Vol. 1 *

Herbie Nichols: The Prophetic Herbie Nichols Vol. 2 *

Art Pepper: Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section

Oscar Pettiford: Winner’s Circle

Elvis Presley: Elvis’ Christmas Album

Prestige All Stars: Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors

Prestige All Stars: Modern Jazz Survey – Baritones and French Horns (a.k.a. Dakar)

Prestige All Stars: Tenor Conclave

André Previn: Pal Joey

Sonny Rollins: A Night at the Village Vanguard *

Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus

Sonny Rollins: Volume One *

Sonny Rollins: Volume Two *

Sonny Rollins: Way Out West

Sonny Stitt: Kaleidoscope *

Igor Stravinsky: Agon / Canticum Sacrum

Igor Stravinsky: Perséphone

Various Artists: Tenor Conclave

Various Artists: Winner’s Circle

Sarah Vaughan : At Mister Kelly’s

Mal Waldon: Mal/2