Over 1000 jazz artists were identified using various respected jazz music guides. Only the artists who appeared in all of the guides were retained and only artists whose main body of work is jazz -- not pop artists who have dabbled in jazz. This restriction reduced the number of artists to 700. Next, all of the currently available CDs by the 700 artists were identified. Hundreds of thousands of tracks were then tabulated and sorted using extensive rules-based algorithms to normalize the names for programmatic matching purposes. For example, “little” may also be spelled several ways including “li’l” and “lil’”. And “in” “in’” and “ing” may be equivalent as long as “in’” isn’t part of “ain’t”. “Old” may be spelled “Ol’” or “Ol” or “Ole”. “Ghost of a Chance” may be titled “(I Don’t Stand) A Ghost of a Chance (With You)” with or without the parenthesis and with or without either of the parenthetical phrases. Many compositions have two seemingly unrelated titles and different compositions may share the same title. The list of rules goes on and on.
Out-of-print media (CDs, sheet music, and vinyl records) were not included and are not of concern as they are inconsistent with our definition’s phrase “held in continuing esteem.”