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January 10, 2013

Rhapsody Jazz Critics' Poll 2012: The Results

by  |  January 10, 2013

Welcome to Rhapsody's second annual Jazz Critics' Poll, wherein 119 national writers voted on their favorite albums of the year. Below are the full results and methodology; poll guru Francis Davis' full introductory explanation is here, joined by a complementary essay from fellow critic Tom Hull and a list of jazz notables who passed in 2011. Enjoy.

Album of the Year

1) Vijay Iyer Trio, Accelerando (ACT) 338.5 points (on 47 ballots)
2) Sam Rivers / Dave Holland / Barry Altschul, Reunion: Live in New York (Pi) 300.5 (44)
3) Wadada Leo Smith, Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform) 279 (37)
4) Ryan Truesdell, Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans (ArtistShare) 172 (23)
5) Ravi Coltrane, Spirit Fiction (Blue Note) 132 (26)
6) Henry Threadgill Zooid, Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp (Pi) 128.5 (23)
7) Branford Marsalis Quartet, Four MFs Playin' Tunes (Marsalis Music) 121 (20)
8) Tim Berne, Snakeoil (ECM) 110 (17)
9) Steve Lehman Trio, Dialect Fluorescent (Pi) 100 (14)
10) Billy Hart, All Our Reasons (ECM) 89.5 (17)

11) Brad Mehldau Trio, Ode (Nonesuch) 88.5 (15)
12) Fred Hersch Trio, Alive at the Vanguard (Palmetto) 83 (13)
13) Ahmad Jamal, Blue Moon (JazzVillage) 79 (13)
14) Keith Jarrett / Jan Garbarek / Palle Danielsson / Jon Christensen, Sleeper: Tokyo, April 16, 1979 (ECM) 74.5 (10)
15) Anat Cohen, Claroscuro (Anzic) 69.5 (11)
16) Gregory Porter, Be Good (Motéma) 59 (10)
17) William Parker Orchestra, Essence of Ellington (AUM Fidelity) 50.5 (8)
18) Chick Corea & Gary Burton, Hot House (Concord) 50 (8)
19) (tie) Jacob Garchik, The Heavens: The Athiest Gospel Trombone Album (Yestereve) 49.5 (9)
19) (tie) Lee Konitz / Bill Frisell / Gary Peacock / Joey Baron, Enfants Terribles (Half Note) 49.5 (9)

21) David Virelles, Continuum (Pi) 49.5 (8)
22) Dave Douglas Quintet, Be Still (Greenleaf) 49 (12)
23) Hafez Modirzadeh, Post-Chromodal Out! (Pi) 47 (10)
24) Bill Evans, Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate (Resonance) 48 (6)
25) Darius Jones Quartet, Book of Mae’Bul: Another Kind of Sunrise (AUM Fidelity) 47.5 (7)
26) Mary Halvorson Quintet, Bending Bridges (Firehouse) 12 46.5 (8)
27) Pat Metheny, Unity Band (Nonesuch) 46 (8)
28) John Abercrombie Quartet, Within a Song (ECM) 45 (11)
29) Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio (Blue Note) 45 (8)
30) Neneh Cherry & The Thing, The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Superjazz) 44.5 (7)

31) Kenny Garrett, Seeds from the Underground (Mack Avenue) 43.5 (8)
32) Living by Lanterns, New Myth/Old Science (Cuneiform) 43 (6)
33) Brad Mehldau, Where Do You Start (Nonesuch) 42.5 (10)
34) Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts, An Attitude for Gratitude (Palmetto) 42 (7)
35) Kurt Rosenwinkel, Star of Jupiter (Wommusic) 41 (6)
36) Omer Avital, Suite of the East (Anzic) 40 (6)
37) Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Live (ECM) 38.5 (7)
38) Ron Miles, Quiver (Enja/Yellowbird) 38 (8)
39) Jenny Scheinman, Mischief & Mayhem (Jenny Scheinman Music) 37 (6)
40) Jon Irabagon, Outright! Unhinged (Irabagast) 36.5 (7)

41) Hank Mobley, Newark 1953 (Uptown) 35 (4)
42) William Parker, Centering: Unreleased Early Recordings 1976-1987 (No Business) 34 (5)
43) Tom Harrell, Number Five (HighNote) 34 (4)
44) The Bad Plus, Made Possible (Entertainment One) 33 (9)
45) Chick Corea / Eddie Gomez / Paul Motian, Further Explorations (Concord Jazz) 33 (7)
46) Miguel Zenón & Laurent Coq, Rayuela (Sunnyside) 32.5 (7)
47) Jason Kao Hwang, Burning Bridge (Innova) 32.5 (4)
48) Matthew Shipp Trio, Elastic Aspects (Thirsty Ear) 32 (7)
49) Linda Oh, Initial Here (Greenleaf) 30.5 (7)
50) (tie) Josh Berman & His Gang, There Now (Delmark) 29 (7)
50) (tie) Orrin Evans, Flip the Script (Posi-Tone) 29 (7)

Critics were asked to list 10 albums in descending order, with 10 points awarded for their No. 1, 9 for No. 2, etc. (On ballots where choices were listed alphabetically, each received 5.5 points.) The first number after the label name indicates total points; the number in parentheses is the tally of ballots on which an album appeared, which was used as a tiebreaker.

Best Reissue

1) Charles Mingus, The Jazz Workshop Concerts: 1964-65 (Mosaic) 90 (34)
2) Coleman Hawkins, Classic Sessions 1922-1947 (Mosaic) 47 (19)
3) Charles Mingus, The Complete Columbia and RCA Albums Collection (Sony Legacy) 26 (12)
4) Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 50th Anniversary Collection (Legacy) 19 (8)
5) Paul Winter Sextet, Count Me In 1962-1963 (Living Music) 16 (6)
6) Pharoah Sanders, In the Beginning 1963-64 (ESP Disk) 15 (8)
7) Hal Russell, NRG Ensemble (Nessa) 15 (7)
8) The Quintet (Charlie Parker / Dizzy Gillespie / Bud Powell / Max Roach / Charles Mingus), Jazz at Massey Hall (Original Jazz Classics) 15 (6)
9) Clare Fischer, Orchestra Extension (International Phonograph) 13 (9)
10) Duke Ellington, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1951-58 (Sony Legacy) 13 (6)

Critics were asked to list three reissues in descending order, with three points awarded for No. 1, 2 for No. 2, and 1 for No. 3. The first number after the label name indicates total points; the number in parentheses tallies ballots on which a release appeared, which was used as a tiebreaker.

Best Vocal Album

1) Neneh Cherry & The Thing, The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Supersound) (15)
2) Gregory Porter, Be Good (Motéma) 11
3) (tie) Theo Bleckmann, Hello Earth!: The Music of Kate Bush (Winter & Winter) (7)
3) (tie) Kate McGarry, Girl Talk (Palmetto) (7)
5) (tie) Kurt Elling, 1619 Broadway (Concord) (4)
5) (tie) Sheila Jordan & Harvie S, Yesterdays (High Note) (4)
5) (tie) Luciana Souza, The Book of Chet (Sunnyside) (4)
5) (tie) Luciana Souza, Duos III (Sunnyside) (4)
5) (tie) Esperanza Spalding, Radio Music Society (Heads Up) (4)

Best Debut Album

1) Ryan Truesdell, Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans (ArtistShare) (36)
2) Johnathan Blake, The Eleventh Hour (Sunnyside) (5)
3) Devin Gray, Dirigo Rataplan Skirl (4)

Best Latin Album

1) Bobby Sanabria Big Band, Multiverse (Jazzheads) (11)
2) David Virelles, Continuum (Pi) (9)
3) Alfredo Rodriguez, Sounds of Space (Mack Avenue) (6)
4) (tie) Edmar Castaneda, Double Portion (Arpa y Voz) (4)
4) (tie) Chano Dominguez, Flamenco Sketches (Blue Note) (4)

For Best Vocal, Best Debut, and Best Latin albums, critics were asked to name one album apiece, with no point system.

A complete database of voter ballots can be found here. Special thanks to all the voters: David R. Adler, Scott Albin, Clifford Allen, A.D. Amorosi, Larry Appelbaum, Hrayr Attarian, Chris Barton, Angelika Beener, Bill Beuttler, Nick Bewesy, Larry Birnbaum, Larry Blumenfeld, Bob Blumenthal, Philip Booth, Michael Bourne, Shaun Brady, Marcela Breton, Stuart Broomer, John Chacona, Allan Chase, Nate Chinen, Troy Collins, Thomas Conrad, J.D. Considine, Michael Coyle, Francis Davis, Steve Dollar, Laurence Donohue-Greene, Alain Drout, Ken Dryden, Steve Feeney, Sean Fitzell, Ken Franckling, David Fricke, Richard Gehr, Andrew Gilbert, Ted Gioia, George Grella, Steve Greenlee, Laurel Gross, Evan Haga, James Hale, Ed Hazell, Don Heckman, Alex Henderson, Tad Hendrickson, Andrey Henkin, Geoffrey Himes, Eugene Holley, Mark Holston, Lyn Horton, Tom Hull, Peter Hum, Robert Iannapollo, Patrick Jarenwattananon, Willard Jenkins, Rob Johnson, Richard B. Kamins, George Kanzler, Fred Kaplan, Matthew Kassel, Elzy Kolb, David Kunian, Joe Lang, Art Lange, Josh Langhoff, John Litweiler, Martin Longley, Kevin Lynch, Jim Macnie, Howard Mandel, Peter Margasak, Bill Milkowski, Chris Monsen, John Frederick Moore, Dan Morgenstern, Russ Musto, Marc Myers, Michael G. Nastos, Stuart Nicholson, Tim Niland, Dan Ouellette, Thierry Peremarti, Bob Porter, Derk Richardson, Joel Roberts, Chris Robinson, Britt Robson, Michael Rosenstein, Giovanni Russonello, Lloyd Sachs, Bret Saunders, Gene Seymour, Mike Shanley, John Sharpe, Hank Shteamer, Karl Stark, Chip Stern, Zan Stewart, Jeff Stockton, W. Royal Stokes, Mark Stryker, John F. Szwed, Jeff Tamarkin, Derek Taylor, Neil Tesser, Michael Ullman, Ludwig Van Trikt, George Varga, Seth Colter Walls, Ken Waxman, Jon Wertheim, Jason Weiss, Ken Weiss, Michael J. West, Kevin Whitehead, Carlo Wolff, Josef Woodard, Scott Yanow.

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