2018 Expanded Critics’ Poll Results

JazzTimes’ critics pick their favorite artists, festivals, venues, etc. of the year

María Grand
María Grand (photo: Gilmatic)

For this annual companion poll to our January/February issue’s Top 50 Critics’ Picks, our regular contributors and critics participated in this survey based on our yearly Readers’ Poll. Voters in the Expanded Critics’ Poll were asked to focus on artists’ achievements during 2018 rather than assessing entire careers.

Winners are bolded; runners-up are listed below in order of number of votes. An asterisk* denotes a tie.  MAC RANDALL, EDITOR

BEST OF ALL
Artist of the Year
Wayne Shorter
Ambrose Akinmusire
Cécile McLorin Salvant
Bill Frisell

New Artist
María Grand
James Francies
John Medeski’s Mad Skillet*
Nubya Garcia*
Big Heart Machine

BEST GROUPS
Acoustic Small Group/Artist
The Bad Plus
Fred Hersch Trio
Charles Lloyd*
Bill Charlap Trio*
Brad Mehldau Trio

Electric/Jazz-Rock/Contemporary Group/Artist
Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Bill Frisell
Dan Weiss’ Starebaby*
Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl*

Big Band/Large Ensemble
Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Michael Leonhart Orchestra
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra*
Sun Ra Arkestra Under the Direction of Marshall Allen*

The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus

BEST OF THE INDUSTRY
Record Label
ECM
Blue Note*
Mack Avenue*
Pi
Resonance

Syndicated Radio Program
Jazz Night in America
Jazz After Hours with Jeff Hanley
Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey
Art Good’s JazzTrax

Podcast
The Checkout
The 5049 Podcast with Jeremiah Cymerman
We Insist! Jazz Speaks Out
Straight No Chaser

Festival
Montreal International Jazz Festival
Winter Jazzfest (NYC)
Detroit Jazz Festival*
DC Jazz Festival*
Newport Jazz Festival

Nightclub
Village Vanguard
Jazz Standard
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Smalls

Documentary
Quincy
We Knew What We Had
Milford Graves: Full Mantis
It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story

Book
Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century by Nate Chinen
Dexter Gordon: Sophisticated Giant by Maxine Gordon
Bing Crosby: Swinging on a Star (The War Years, 1940-1946) by Gary Giddins
Jazz in the 1970s: Diverging Streams by Bill Shoemaker

Nate Chinen's book "Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century"
Cover of Nate Chinen’s book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century

BEST MUSICIANS
Trumpeter
Ambrose Akinmusire
Roy Hargrove
Ingrid Jensen
Sean Jones*
Terence Blanchard*

Trombonist
Marshall Gilkes
Wycliffe Gordon
Steve Turre
Ryan Keberle*
Robin Eubanks*

Clarinetist
Anat Cohen
Don Byron
Eddie Daniels*
Ken Peplowski*
Paquito D’Rivera

Tenor Saxophonist
Wayne Shorter
Chris Potter
JD Allen
Charles Lloyd*
Joshua Redman*

Alto Saxophonist
Tia Fuller
Miguel Zenón
Rudresh Mahanthappa*
Steve Coleman*
Tim Berne

Soprano Saxophonist
Wayne Shorter
Dave Liebman
Jane Ira Bloom
Chris Potter*
Jane Bunnett*

Baritone Saxophonist
Gary Smulyan
Claire Daly
James Carter*
John Surman*
Lauren Sevian

Flutist
Nicole Mitchell
Charles Lloyd
Henry Threadgill
Hubert Laws*
Jamie Baum*

Violinist
Regina Carter
Jenny Scheinman
Mark Feldman
Sara Caswell

Pianist
Brad Mehldau
Herbie Hancock
Kenny Barron
Fred Hersch

Keyboardist
Herbie Hancock
John Medeski
Robert Glasper
Aaron Parks

Organist
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Joey DeFrancesco
Gary Versace
Larry Goldings

Dr. Lonnie Smith
Dr. Lonnie Smith (photo: Sharonne Cohen)

Guitarist
Bill Frisell
Mary Halvorson
Julian Lage
Lionel Loueke

Acoustic Bassist
Christian McBride
Linda May Han Oh*
William Parker*
Dave Holland
Ron Carter

Electric Bassist
Steve Swallow
Thundercat
Tarus Mateen*
Melvin Gibbs*
Marcus Miller

Vibraphonist
Stefon Harris*
Warren Wolf*
Joe Locke
Joel Ross
Roy Ayers

Percussionist
Pedrito Martinez
Tyshawn Sorey
Giovanni Hidalgo
Kahil El’Zabar

Drummer
Brian Blade
Jack DeJohnette
Terri Lyne Carrington
Nate Smith

Male Vocalist
Kurt Elling
Gregory Porter
Theo Bleckmann
Tony Bennett*
José James*

Female Vocalist
Cécile McLorin Salvant
Dee Dee Bridgewater*
Kate McGarry*
Catherine Russell
Dianne Reeves

Composer
Wayne Shorter
Henry Threadgill
Maria Schneider
Tyshawn Sorey

Arranger
Maria Schneider
Orrin Evans
Alan Broadbent
Miho Hazama*
Michael Leonhart*

Misc. Instrumentalist
Tomeka Reid (cello)
Béla Fleck (banjo)
Grégoire Maret (harmonica)
Scott Robinson (contrabass saxophone)*
Brandee Younger (harp)*

Vocal Group
Take 6
Duchess
New York Voices
The Manhattan Transfer

See the 2017 JazzTimes Expanded Critics’ Poll results.