Thursday, January 12, 2012

2011 Critics Poll + An Addition

Cue the fireworks - the Rhapsody Jazz Poll 2011, based on ballots from 122 critics and reviewers, is now online for you to view.  You can do so by going to  Formerly hosted by the Village Voice, the new home gives readers the opportunity to sample the winners in the various categories. 

On a personal note, this was the first time I took part in the voting. For those of you who read this blog's Top CDs, you know it's tough to get to 10 never mind keeping the list under 30.  It's fun (for me) to see how my colleagues voted and, as it turned out, 6 of my selections made the Top 60 (my entire list is below.)  2011 really was a banner year for jazz, creative music, Black American Music....what have you - some of the disks others rated highly showed up in my complete list.  Take your time to wander through the voters' lists.

Here's mine:
Marcus Shelby Orchestra - Soul of the Movement (Porto Franco Records)
Ernesto Cervini Quartet - There (Anzic Records)
Dan Tepfer - Goldberg Variations/Variations (Sunnyside Records)
Alexis Cuadrado - Noneto Iberico (BJU)
Miguel Zenon - Alma Aldentro (Marsalis Music)
David Binney - Barefooted Town (Criss Cross)
Fred Hersch - Alone at the Vanguard (Palmetto Records)
Ben Kono - Crossing (1918 Records)
Captain Black Big Band - self-titled (Posi-Tone Records)
Noah Preminger - Before the Rain (Palmetto Records)

Best New Artist:
Ben Kono - Crossing (1918 Records)

Best Vocal CD:
Sara Serpa - Mobile (Inner Circle Music)

Best Latin Jazz:
Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra - 40 Acres and a Burro (ZOHO)

Julius Hemphill - Dogon A.D. (International Phonograph)
Charles Tolliver - Mosaic Select: Charles Tolliver Big Band (Mosaic Records)
Gerry Mulligan - The Complete Verve Concert Jazz Band Sessions (Verve)

 In an effort to "class up the joint", I have added a link to "The Jazz Session", Jason Crane's excellent podcasts featuring his interviews with many of the finest musicians form around the world (who just happen to be in New York City so he can talk with them.)  In the right hand corner of the blog, you'll see links to the most recent 3 shows.  Just click and listen!  One of these days, I'll post links to my interviews but you should hear how a "pro" does it.  Enjoy!