The 2012 Expanded Critics’ Poll

JT's critics choose their favorite musicians, books, DVDs and more

Ryan Truesdell
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Luciana Souza
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Robert Glasper Experiment: Casey Benjamin, Derrick Hodge, Chris Dave, Glasper
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For this latest edition of JazzTimes‘ annual expanded critics’ poll, more than 30 of our regular contributors were asked to rank their top three choices in the same categories that make up our yearly readers’ poll. This critics’ poll focuses on artists’ achievements during 2012, as opposed to their careers in full.

Winners are bolded below; runners-up are listed by number of calculated points. THE EDITORS

BEST OF ALL

Artist of the Year
Vijay Iyer

Brad Mehldau

Wadada Leo Smith

Robert Glasper

Best New Artist
Ryan Truesdell

Matt Mitchell

Linda Oh

[three artists below tied]

Rafiq Bhatia

Caroline Davis

Scott Tixier

BEST GROUPS

Acoustic/Mainstream Group
Vijay Iyer Trio

Joe Lovano Us Five

Branford Marsalis Quartet

Brad Mehldau Trio

Contemporary/Electric Group
Robert Glasper Experiment

Medeski Martin & Wood

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension

Pat Metheny Unity Band

Big Band/Large Ensemble
Maria Schneider Orchestra

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

Mingus Big Band

Blues Artist/Group
Tedeschi Trucks Band

Gary Clark Jr.

Dr. John

Buddy Guy

BEST OF THE JAZZ

INDUSTRY

Record Label
ECM

Pi Recordings

Sunnyside Records

Blue Note Records

Book
The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire By Ted Gioia (Oxford University Press)

Shall We Play That One Together?: The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland By Paul de Barros (St. Martin’s Press)

Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times By Robin D.G. Kelley (Harvard University Press)

Wail: The Life of Bud Powell By Peter Pullman (Peter Pullman)

Film/Video/TV Series
Treme (HBO)

Chico & Rita (New Video)

Woody Herman: Blue Flame: Portrait of a Jazz Legend (Jazzed Media)

Syndicated Radio Program
Jazz After Hours with Jim Wilke (PRI)

The Checkout with Josh Jackson (WBGO/NPR)

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

(WBGO/NPR)

Jazz with Bob Parlocha (WFMT)

Festival
Montreal International Jazz Festival

Newport Jazz Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival

Winter Jazzfest

Nightclub
Village Vanguard

Jazz Standard

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

Bohemian Caverns

BEST MUSICIANS

Trumpet
Ambrose Akinmusire

Dave Douglas

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Tom Harrell

Trombone
Wycliffe Gordon

Steve Turre

Robin Eubanks

Jacob Garchik

Tenor Saxophone
Joe Lovano

Branford Marsalis

Sonny Rollins

Chris Potter

Alto Saxophone
Miguel Zenón

Kenny Garrett

Rudresh Mahanthappa

Tim Berne

Soprano Saxophone
Branford Marsalis

Wayne Shorter

Dave Liebman

Sam Newsome

Baritone Saxophone
Gary Smulyan

James Carter

Ronnie Cuber

Claire Daley

Clarinet
Anat Cohen

Don Byron

Ken Peplowski

Paquito D’Rivera

Flute
Nicole Mitchell

Henry Threadgill

Charles Lloyd

James Newton

Piano
Vijay Iyer

Brad Mehldau

Jason Moran

Keith Jarrett

Electric Keyboards
Chick Corea

Robert Glasper

Jason Lindner

Herbie Hancock

Organ
Dr. Lonnie Smith

Joey DeFrancesco

Gary Versace

Larry Goldings

Guitar
Pat Metheny

Bill Frisell

Kurt Rosenwinkel

Mary Halvorson

Violin
Jenny Scheinman

Regina Carter

Christian Howes

Mark Feldman

Acoustic Bass
Christian McBride

Dave Holland

Ron Carter

Larry Grenadier

Electric Bass
Marcus Miller

Christian McBride

Stanley Clarke

Steve Swallow

Drums
Jack DeJohnette

Billy Hart

Roy Haynes

Jeff “Tain” Watts

Vibes
Gary Burton

Stefon Harris

Bobby Hutcherson

Joe Locke

Percussion
Poncho Sanchez

Zakir Hussain

Pedrito Martinez

Airto Moreira

Male Vocalist
Kurt Elling

Gregory Porter

Theo Bleckmann

Tony Bennett

Female Vocalist
Luciana Souza

Cassandra Wilson

Kate McGarry

Diana Krall

Miscellaneous

Instruments

[four winners]
Béla Fleck (banjo)

Gregoire Maret

(harmonica)

Toots Thielemans

(harmonica)

Richard Galliano

(accordion)


Composer
Vijay Iyer

Henry Threadgill

Darcy James Argue

Wayne Shorter

Arranger
Maria Schneider

Ryan Truesdell

Guillermo Klein

Vince Mendoza