Friday, January 11, 2013

The 2012 Jazz Critics' Poll

The now Rhapsody hosted Jazz Critics' Poll results for 2012 were announced yesterday. My ballot can be found here (scroll down. More comments regarding my fave jazz albums of the year here, posted on these pages just before Christmas). Album of the year was won, not surprisingly, by Vijay Iyer Trio's offering Accelerando, while reissue of the year went to the Charles Mingus box set The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 on Mosaic.

I'll echo Tom Hull's comments regarding these reissues, 'though. I voted for the Mingus set, but were lucky to get a copy in the first place. Regular albums, even if you don't get copies from the record companies or their PR agents, are usually cheap enough or accessible via streaming services, meaning you'll be able to check out a whole lot of albums if you have the time and/or inclination to do so. Box sets, especially of the limited edition sets in the mold of the lovely Mosaic sets, are a different issue. I would in normal circumstances not be receiving one from Mosaic, as I'm not on their mailing list. And these sets are usually too expensive to buy. In this instance, I had to skip the Coleman Hawkins set, also on Mosaic, and hence I couldn't vote for it, even if I'm almost certain the music on there would more than deserved a place on my ballot too. I don't know how many voters got or bought both box sets, I'm guessing not too many, so it seems to me the reissue list is probably less reflective of the critical consensus than the regular album list.

Still, the main list in particular makes for an interesting read. My biggest disappointment is that my number two album of 2012, Grass Roots (AUM Fidelity), didn't make the top 50.

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