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Jazz Poll

2011 Jazz Critics' Poll Results

2011 Jazz Critics' Poll Results

About this playlist

Welcome to Napster's first-annual Jazz Critics' Poll, wherein 122 national writers voted on their favorite albums of the year in a tradition we're taking on from the Village Voice. 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.

Record of the Year

(1.) Sonny Rollins, Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy/Emarcy) 230.5 points (36 ballots)

(2.) Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note) 178 (28)

(3.) Joe Lovano Us Five, Bird Songs (Blue Note) 145 (22)

(4.) Miguel Zenón, Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music) 140.5 (24)

(5.) Craig Taborn, Avenging Angel (ECM) 128.5 (20)

(6) Matthew Shipp, Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear) 109 (17)

(7.) Lee Konitz-Brad Mehldau-Charlie Haden-Paul Motian, Live at Birdland (ECM) 103 (16)

(8.) Rudresh Mahanthappa, Samdhi (ACT) 97 (15)

(9.) JD Allen Trio, Victory! (Sunnyside) 90 (16)

(10.) (tie) Terri Lyne Carrington, The Mosaic Project (Concord Jazz) 82.5 (12)

(10.) (tie) Charles Lloyd & Maria Farantouri, Athens Concert (ECM) 82.5 (12)

(12.) Muhal Richard Abrams, SoundDance (Pi) 82 (14)

(13.) Wadada Leo Smith's Organic, Heart's Reflections (Cuneiform) 74.5 (16)

(14.) David Murray Cuban Ensemble, Plays Nat Cole en Español (Motéma) 74.5 (11)

(15.) Matana Roberts, Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres (Constellation) 73 (10)

(16.) Keith Jarrett, Rio (ECM) 69.5 (11)

(17.) Tyshawn Sorey, Oblique--I (Pi) 67.5 (12)

(18.) Roscoe Mitchell, Before There Was Sound (Nessa) 62.5 (9)

(19.) Darius Jones Trio, Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) (AUM Fidelity) 61 (10)

(20.) The Claudia Quintet + 1 featuring Kurt Elling & Theo Bleckmann, What Is the Beautiful? (Cuneiform) 59 (12)

(21.) Roy Haynes, Roy-Alty (Dreyfus) 59 (9)

(22.) Steve Coleman & Five Elements, The Mancy of Sound (Pi) 53 (11)

(23.) Gretchen Parlato, The Lost and Found (ObliqSound) 53 (9)

(24.) 3 Cohens, Family (Anzic) 52.5 (7)

(25.) FAB Trio (Joe Fonda- Barry Altschul- Billy Bang), History of Jazz in Reverse (TUM) 49 (6)

(26.) Amir ElSaffar, Inana (Pi) 48 (9)

(27.) Brad Mehldau, Live in Marciac (Nonesuch) 48 (7)

(28.) Ben Allison, Action-Refraction (Palmetto) 47 (9)

(29.) Aaron Goldberg & Guillermo Klein, Bienestan (Sunnyside) 45 (6)

(30.) Tony Malaby, Novela (Clean Feed) 44 (8)

(31.) (tie) Tom Harrell, The Time of the Sun (HighNote) 44 (7)

(31.) (tie) Vijay Iyer with Prasama & Nitin Mitta, Tirtha (ACT) 44 (7)

(33.) Joshua Redman-Aaron Parks-Matt Penman-Eric Harland, James Farm (Nonesuch) 43 (11)

(34.) David S. Ware-Cooper-Moore- William Parker-Muhammad Ali, Planetary Unknown (AUM Fidelity) 43 (8)

(35.) Branford Marsalis & Joey Calderazzo, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy (Marsalis Music) 43 (6)

(36.) Brian Lynch, Unsung Heroes (Holistic MusicWorks) 42 (6)

(37.) Stefon Harris- David Sánchez- Christian Scott, Ninety Miles (Concord Picanté) 41 (9)

(38.) Mostly Other People Do the Killing, The Coimbra Concert (Clean Feed) 41 (6)

(39.) Fred Hersch, Alone at the Vanguard (Palmetto) 40 (6)

(40.) Other Dimensions in Music featuring Fay Victor, Kaiso Stories (Silkheart) 40 (5)

(41.) Kenny Werner, Balloons (Half Note) 39 (4)

(42.) Joel Harrison String Choir, The Music of Paul Motian (Sunnyside) 38 (5)*

(43.) Terrell Stafford, This Side of Strayhorn (Max Jazz) 37 (6)

(44.) The New Gary Burton Quartet, Common Ground (Mack Avenue) 37 (5)

(45.) (tie) David Binney, Graylen Epicenter (Mythology) 36 (6)

(45.) (tie) Endangered Blood (Jim Black-Trevor Dunn-Oscar Noriega-Chris Speed), Endangered Blood (Skirl) 36 (6)

(47.) (tie) Chick Corea- Stanley Clarke- Lenny White, Forever Concord 36 (5)

(47.) (tie) World Saxophone Quartet, Yes We Can (Jazzwerkstatt) 36 (5)

(49.) Peter Evans Quintet, Ghosts (More Is More) 35 (5)

(50.) Various Artists, Miles Español: New Sketches of Spain (Entertainment One) 34 (6)

(51.) Allen Lowe, Blues and the Empirical Truth (Music & Arts) 33 (7)

(52.) The Cookers, Cast the First Stone Plus (Loin Music) 33 (6)

(53.) Noah Preminger, Before the Rain (Palmetto) 32 (7)

(54.) Dan Tepfer, Goldberg Variations/Variations (Sunnyside) 32 (4)

(55.) BB & C (Tim Berne- Jim Black- Nels Cline), The Veil (Cryptogramophone) 31.5 (5)

(56.) Dave Douglas, Three Views: Greenleaf Portable Series 1-3 (Greenleaf) 31 (6)**

(57.) Jean-Michel Pilc- François Moutin- Ari Hoenig, Threedom (Motema) 30 (7)

(58.) (tie) Captain Black Big Band (Orrin Evans), Captain Black Big Band (Posi-Tone) 30 (5)

(58.) (tie) Starlicker (Rob Mazurek-Jason  Adasiewicz-John Herndon), Double Demon (Delmark) 30 (5)

(60.) Jeff Gauthier Goaette, Open Source (Cryptogramophone) 27.5 (5)

Critics were asked to list 10 albums in descending order, with 10 points awarded for their #1, 9 for #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 a CD appeared, which was used as a tiebreaker.

* Totals include 17 (2) from 2010.

** Combined totals for Three Views (18 points, 2 ballots) and each of its three individual volumes: Rare Metals (7 points, 2 ballots); Orange Afternoons (5 points, I ballot); and Bad Mango (1 point, 1 ballot).

Best Reissue

(1.) Miles Davis Quintet, Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series, Volume 1 (Sony Legacy) 116 points (46 ballots)

(2.) Julius Hemphill, Dogon A.D. (International Phonograph) 97 (44)

(3.) Bill Dixon, Intents and Purposes (International Phonograph) 55 (27)

(4.) Duke Ellington, The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings (Mosaic) 31 (14)*

(5.) Modern Jazz Quartet, The Complete Atlantic Recordings 1956-64 (Mosaic) 20 (11)

(6.) Various Artists, FMP In Rückblick In Retrospect 1969-2010 (FMP) 20 (7)

(7.) Jimmie Lunceford, The Complete Decca Sessions (Mosaic) 17 (8)

(8.) Stan Getz Quartets, The Clef & Norgran Albums (Hip-o-Select) 12 (6)

(9.) Thelonious Monk, Monk's Music (Original Jazz Classics) 11 (7)

(10.) Various, First Impulse!: The Creed Taylor Collection 50th Anniversary (Hip-o-Select) 10 (6)

Critics were asked to list three reissues in descending order, with three points awarded for #1, 2 for #2, and 1 for #3. The first number after the label name indicates total points; the number in parentheses tallies ballots on which a CD appeared, which was used as a tiebreaker.

*Includes 9 (4) from 2010

Best Vocal Album

(1.) Gretchen Parlato, The Lost and Found (ObliqSound) 16

(2.) Jen Shyu & Mark Dresser, Synastry (Pi) 10

(3.) (tie) Terri Lyne Carrington, The Mosaic Project (Concord) 8

(3.) (tie) Tierney Sutton Band, American Road (BFM Jazz) 8

(5.) The Claudia Quintet +1 featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann, What Is the Beautiful (Cuneiform) 7

(6.) Other Dimensions in Music featuring Fay Victor, Kaiso Stories (Silkheart) 6

(7.) Ran Blake & Dominique Eade, Whirlpool (Jazz Project) 5

Best Debut Album

(1.) Chris Dingman, Waking Dreams (Between Worlds) 12

(2.) Fabian Almazan Trio, Personalities (Palmetto) 8

(3.) Joseph Daley Earth Tones Ensemble, The Seven Deadly Sins (Jaro) 7*

(4.) (tie) Adam Cruz, Milestone (Sunnyside) 6

(4.) (tie) Ben Williams, State of Art (Concord Jazz) 6

* Includes 1 from 2010

Best Latin Album

(1.) Miguel Zenón, Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music) 28

(2.) David Murray Cuban Ensemble, Plays Nat Cole en Español (Motéma) 12

(3.) Stefon Harris- David Sánchez- Christian Scott, Ninety Miles (Concord Picanté) 7

(4.) São Paulo Underground, Trés Cabeças Loucuras (Cuneiform) 5

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

Here's the full list of participants; their individual ballots are available at here. Thanks to all the voters!

David R. Adler, Scott Albin, Clifford Allen, A.D. Amorosi, Larry Applebaum, Chris Barton, Nick Bewsey, Larry Birnbaum, Paul Blair, Larry Blumenfeld, Bob Blumenthal, Philip Booth, Michael Bourne, Shaun Brady, Marcela Breton, Christian Broecking, Stuart Broomer, Nate Cavalieri, John Chacona, Alan Chase, Nate Chinen, Fred Cisterna, Troy Collins, Thomas Conrad, J.D. Considine, Owen Cordle, Michael Coyle, Francis Davis, Steve Dollar, Laurence Donohue-Greene, Alain Drouot, Ken Dryden, Donald Elfman, Steve Feeney, Sean Fitzell, Colin Fleming, Ken Franckling, David Fricke, Will Friedwald, Richard Gehr, Andrew Gilbert, Ted Gioia, Steve Greenlee, George Grella, Laurel Gross, Evan Haga, James Hale, Ed Hazell, Don Heckman, Alex Henderson, Tad Hendrickson, Andrey Henkin, Geoffrey Himes, Eugene Holley Jr., Lyn Horton, Tom Hull, Peter Hum, Robert Iannopollo, Patrick Jarenwattananon, Willard Jenkins, Martin Johnson, Richard B. Kamins, George Kanzler, Fred Kaplan, Larry Kart, Mark Keresman, Elzy Kolb, Art Lange, Devin Leonard, Aidan Levy, Martin Longley, Suzanne Lorge, Kevin Lynch, John McDonough, Jim Macnie, Howard Mandel, Peter Margasak, Lee Mergner, Bill Milkowski, Christopher Monsen, Dan Morgenstern, John Murph, Russ Musto, Michael G. Nastos, Stuart Nicholson, Tim Niland, Dan Ouellette, Ted Panken, Thierry Peremarti, Bob Porter, Doug Ramsey, Derk Richardson, Jim Roberts, Chris Robinson, Britt Robson, Michael Rosenstein, Lloyd Sachs, Bret Saunders, Gene Seymour, Mike Shanley, John Sharpe, Hank Shteamer, Slim, Chip Stern, Jeff Stockton, W. Royal Stokes, Mark Stryker, John F. Szwed, Jeff Tamarkin, Derek Taylor, Neil Tesser, Greg Thomas, Ludwig Van Trikt, George Varga, Seth Colter Walls, Ken Waxman, Jason Weiss, Michael J. West, Kevin Whitehead, Josef Woodard, Ron Wynn, Scott Yanow.