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Critics’ Lists 2011

To calculate our Top 50 Releases, we asked our contributors to submit ranked lists of 10 new releases and five historical/reissues. CDs and box sets released between Nov. 1, 2010 and Nov. 1, 2011 were eligible. Some albums may have slipped through the cracks, however, as official release dates shifted or weren’t available. Due to editorial deadlines, certain lists were submitted too late to be included in the calculations.

David R. Adler

New Releases:

1. Craig Taborn Avenging Angel (ECM)

2. Alexis Cuadrado Noneto Ibérico (BJU)

3. Ben Allison Action-Refraction (Palmetto)

4. Anthony Wilson Seasons: Live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Goat Hill)

5. Chris Dingman Waking Dreams (Between Worlds)

6. Tony Malaby Novela (Clean Feed)

7. Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra, Hothouse Stomp (Accurate)

8. Matana Roberts COIN COIN Chapter One: Gens de couleur libres (Constellation)

9. Pat Metheny What’s It All About (Nonesuch)

10. Ralph Peterson’s Unity Project Outer Reaches (Onyx)

Historical/Reissues:

1. The Bill Dixon Orchestra Intents and Purposes (Dynagroove)

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

3. Freddie Hubbard Pinnacle: Live and Unreleased from Keystone Korner (Resonance)

4. Jimmie Lunceford The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions (Mosaic)

5. Charlie Christian Electric (Uptown)

Larry Appelbaum

New Releases:

1. Terri Lyne Carrington The Mosaic Project (Concord)

2. Craig Taborn Avenging Angel (ECM)

3. Kenny Wheeler One of Many (CAM Jazz)

4. Roy Haynes Roy-Alty (Dreyfus)

5. Steve Coleman The Mancy of Sound (Pi)

6. Miguel Zenón Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

7. Brad Mehldau/Kevin Hays Modern Music (Nonesuch)

8. Ron Carter’s Great Big Band Ron Carter’s Great Big Band (Sunnyside)

9. Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri Athens Concert (ECM)

10. Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya: Sotho Blue (Sunnyside)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Freddie Hubbard Pinnacle: Live and Unreleased from Keystone Korner (Resonance)

2. Bill Evans The Sesjun Radio Shows (Out of the Blue)

3. Modern Jazz Quartet The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings of the Modern Jazz Quartet 1956-64 (Mosaic)

4. Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

5. Gigi Gryce Doin’ the Gigi (Uptown)

Bill Beuttler

New Releases:

1. Sonny Rollins Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy/Emarcy)

2. Rudresh Mahanthappa Samdhi (ACT)

3. Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri Athens Concert (ECM)

4. Charlie Haden Quartet West Sophisticated Ladies (Emarcy)

5. Konitz/Mehldau/Haden/Motian Live at Birdland (ECM)

6. Roy Haynes Roy-Alty (Dreyfus)

7. Ambrose Akinmusire When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

8. Miguel Zenón Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

9. Stefon Harris/David Sánchez/Christian Scott Ninety Miles (Concord Picante)

10. Gretchen Parlato The Lost and Found (ObliqSound)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Various Artists Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology (Smithsonian Folkways)

2. The Miles Davis Quintet Essential Albums (Prestige)

3. John Coltrane Essential Albums (Prestige)

4. Jim Hall Concierto (CTI Masterworks)

5. Thelonious Monk Thelonious Alone in San Francisco (Original Jazz Classics)

Philip Booth

New Releases:

1. 3 Cohens Family (Anzic)

2. Pilc Moutin Hoenig Threedom (Motema)

3. Joe Lovano Bird Songs (Blue Note)

4. Sonny Rollins Road Shows Vol. 2 (Emarcy)

5. Kenny Wheeler One of Many (CamJazz)

6. Sam Yahel From Sun to Sun (Origin)

7. Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra 40 Acres and a Burro (Zoho)

8. Tom Harrell Time of the Sun (HighNote)

9. John Scofield A Moment’s Peace (Emarcy)

10. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Race Riot Suite (The Royal Potato Family)

Brent Burton

New Releases:

1. Enrico Rava Quintet Tribe (ECM)

2. Kenny Wheeler One of Many (CAM Jazz)

3. Keith Jarrett Rio (ECM)

4. Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Heart’s Reflections (Cuneiform)

5. Chick Corea/Stefano Bollani Orvieto (ECM)

6. Raoul Bjorkenheim/Bill Laswell/Morgan Agren Blixt (Cuneiform)

7. Marcin Wasilewski Trio Faithful (ECM)

8. Cuong Vu 4-Tet Leaps of Faith (Origin)

9. Nils Petter Molvær Baboon Moon (Thirsty Ear)

10. Scorch Trio Melaza (Rune Grammofon)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Sony Legacy)

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

3. Roscoe Mitchell Before There Was Sound (Nessa)

4. Jim Hall & Pat Metheny Jim Hall & Pat Metheny (Nonesuch)

5. The Bill Dixon Orchestra Intents and Purposes (International Phonograph, Inc.)

Nate Chinen

New Releases:

1. Ambrose Akinmusire When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

2. Tyshawn Sorey Oblique – 1 (Pi)

3. Craig Taborn Avenging Angel (ECM)

4. Gilad Hekselman Hearts Wide Open (Le Chant du Monde)

5. Starlicker Double Demon (Delmark)

6. Lee Konitz/Brad Mehldau/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian Live at Birdland (ECM)

7. Miguel Zenón Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

8. Gretchen Parlato The Lost and Found (ObliqSound)

9. Chris Dingman Waking Dreams (Between Worlds)

10. The Claudia Quintet +1 Featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann What Is the Beautiful? (Cuneiform)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

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

3. Juma Sultan Juma Sultan’s Aboriginal Music Society: Father of Origin (Eremite)

4. Roscoe Mitchell Before There Was Sound (Nessa)

5. The Bill Dixon Orchestra Intents and Purposes (International Phonograph, Inc.)

Thomas Conrad

New Releases:

1. Sonny Rollins Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy/Emarcy)

2. Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri Athens Concert (ECM)

3. Various Artists Miles Español: New Sketches of Spain (eOne)

4. Joe Lovano Us Five Bird Songs (Blue Note)

5. Brad Mehldau Live in Marciac (Nonesuch)

6. Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner/Felix Saluzzi Navidad de los Andes (ECM)

7. Ambrose Akinmusire When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

8. Keith Jarrett Rio (ECM)

9. Chris Byars Lucky Strikes Again: Chris Byars and His Octet Plays the Music of Lucky Thompson (SteepleChase)

10. Colin Vallon Trio Rruga (ECM)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

2. Ahmad Jamal The Complete Ahmad Jamal Trio Argo Sessions 1956-62 (Mosaic)

3. Art Pepper Blues for the Fisherman (Unreleased Art, Volume VI) (Widow’s Taste)

4. Jaki Byard A Matter of Black and White: Live At The Keystone Korner, Vol. 2 (HighNote)

5. Bill Dixon Orchestra Intents and Purposes (International Phonograph, Inc.)

Owen Cordle

New Releases:

1. The Cookers Cast the First Stone (Plus Loin)

2. Frank Macchia Son of Folk Songs for Jazzers (Cacophony)

3. Tom Harrell The Time of the Sun (HighNote)

4. Lynne Arriale Convergence (Motema)

5. Deep Blue Organ Trio Wonderful! (Origin)

6. Mike LeDonne Keep the Faith (Savant)

7. Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo Songs of Mirth and Melancholy (Marsalis)

8. Nancy Marano Magic (Laughing Face)

9. Dr. Michael White Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1 (Basin Street)

10. Eric Alexander Don’t Follow the Crowd (High Note)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Freddie Hubbard Pinnacle: Live and Unreleased from Keystone Korner (Resonance)

Colin Fleming

New Releases:

1. Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri Athens Concert (ECM)

2. Paul Motian The Windmills of Your Mind (Winter & Winter)

3. The Cookers Cast the First Stone (Plus Loin)

4. Joe Lovano Us Five Bird Songs (Blue Note)

5. Matthew Shipp Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear)

6. The New Gary Burton Quartet Common Ground (Mack Avenue)

7. Kurt Elling The Gate (Concord)

8. Joshua Redman/Aaron Parks/Matt Penman/Eric Harland James Farm (Nonesuch)

9. Eric Reed The Dancing Monk (Savant)

10. Mike Garson The Bowie Variations (Reference)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

2. Duke Ellington The Complete 1930-1942 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra (Mosaic)

3. Modern Jazz Quartet The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings of the Modern Jazz Quartet 1956-64 (Mosaic)

4. John Coltrane Live at the Jazz Gallery 1960 (Rare Live Recordings

5. Miles Davis Bitches Brew Live (Sony Legacy)

Ken Franckling

New Releases:

1. Kenny Werner Balloons (Half Note)

2. Julian Lage Group Gladwell (Emarcy)

3. Bill O’Connell Rhapsody in Blue (Challenge)

4. Lynne Arriale Convergence (Motéma)

5. The Cookers Cast the First Stone (Plus Loin)

6. Brian Lynch Unsung Heroes (HollisticMusicWorks)

7. Gretchen Parlato The Lost and Found (ObliqSound)

8. Fred Hersch Alone at the Vanguard (Palmetto)

9. Roberto Magris Quintet Morgan Rewind: A Tribute to Lee Morgan, Vol. 1 (JMood)

10. Yellowjackets Timeline (Mack Avenue)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Quintet Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

2. Duke Ellington The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra (Mosaic)

3. Bill Evans The Sesjun Radio Shows (Out of the Blue)

Andrew Gilbert

New Releases:

1. Joan Stiles Three Musicians (Oo-Bla-Dee)

2. Kenny Werner Balloons (Half Note)

3. Fab Trio History of Jazz in Reverse (TUM)

4. JD Allen Trio Victory! (Sunnyside)

5. Aaron Goldberg and Guillermo Klein Bienestan (Sunnyside)

6. Miguel Zenón Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

7. Andrew Cyrille & Haitian Fascination Route de Freres (TUM)

8. Tyshawn Sorey Oblique – 1 (Pi)

9. Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra Hothouse Stomp (Accurate)

10. Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures Both/And (Meta)

Historical/Reissues:

1. John Carter & Bobby Bradford Mosaic Select: John Carter & Bobby Bradford (Mosaic Select)

2. Charlie Christian Electric (Uptown)

3) Art Pepper Blues for the Fisherman: (Unreleased Art, Volume VI) (Widow’s Taste)


4) Gigi Gryce Doin’ the Gigi (Uptown)

Steve Greenlee

New Releases:

1. Jacques Coursil Trail of Tears (Sunnyside)

2. Matana Roberts COIN COIN Chapter One: Gens de couleur libres (Constellation)

3. Matana Roberts Live in London (Central Control)

4. Lee Konitz/Brad Mehldau/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian Live at Birdland (ECM)

5. Jamaaladeen Tacuma For the Love of Ornette (Jazzwerkstatt)

6. Donny McCaslin Perpetual Motion (Greenleaf)

7. The Four Bags Forth (NCM)

8. The Landrus Kaleidoscope Capsule (BlueLand)

9. JD Allen Trio Victory! (Sunnyside)

10. Cinque Catch a Corner (Alma)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

2. Miles Davis Bitches Brew Live (Columbia/Legacy)

3. Freddie Hubbard Pinnacle (Resonance)

4. Bill Evans The Sesjun Radio Shows (Out of the Blue)

5. Charlie Christian Electric (Uptown)

Laurel Gross

New releases:

1. Sonny Rollins Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy/Emarcy)

2. Lee Konitz/Brad Mehldau/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian Live at Birdland (ECM)

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

4. Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy United Front at Newport (Greenleaf)

5. Brad Mehldau Live in Marciac (Nonesuch)

6. Enrico Pieranunzi 1685: Enrico Pieranunzi Plays Bach Handel Scarlatti, Works and Improvisations (CAM Jazz)

7. Tom Harrrell The Time of the Sun (High Note)

8. Eric Reed Something Beautiful (WJ3)

9. Russell Malone Triple Play (MaxJazz)

10. JD Allen Trio Victory! (Sunnyside)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Duke Ellington The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra (Mosaic)

2. Jim Hall Concierto (CTI Masterworks)

3. Thelonious Monk Monk’s Music (Original Jazz Classics)

4. Mary Lou Williams At Rick’s Café Americain (Storyville)

5. Sir Roland Hanna Colors From a Giant’s Kit (IPO)

Evan Haga

New Releases:

1. Lee Konitz/Brad Mehldau/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian Live at Birdland (ECM)

2. Sonny Rollins Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy/Emarcy)

3. Charles Lloyd Quartet/Maria Farantouri Athens Concert (ECM)

4. Ambrose Akinmusire When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

5. Joshua Redman/Aaron Parks/Matt Penman/Eric Harland James Farm (Nonesuch)

6. Pilc Moutin Hoenig Threedom (Motéma)

7. Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues: Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center (Reprise/JALC)

8. Ben Allison Action-Refraction (Palmetto)

9. BB&C The Veil (Cryptogramophone)

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

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

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

3. Freddie Hubbard Pinnacle: Live and Unreleased from Keystone Korner (Resonance)

4. Miles Davis Bitches Brew Live (Columbia/Legacy)

5. Roscoe Mitchell Complete Old/Quartet Sessions (Nessa)

Don Heckman

New Releases:

1. Corea, Clarke & White Forever (Concord)

2. Terell Stafford Quintet This Side of Strayhorn (MaxJazz)

3. SFJazz Collective Music of Stevie Wonder and New Compositions

(SFJazz)

4. Konitz/Mehldau/Haden/Motian Live at Birdland (ECM)

5. Stefon Harris, David Sánchez & Christian Scott Ninety Miles (Concord Picante)

6. Giacomo Gates The Revolution Will Be Jazz: The Songs of Gil Scott-Heron (Savant)

7. Gerald Clayton Bond: The Paris Sessions (Emarcy)

8. Anthony Wilson Campo Belo (Goat Hill)

9. 3 Cohens Family (Anzic)

10. Eliane Elias Light My Fire (Concord Picante)

Historical Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

2. Art Pepper Blues for the Fisherman: Unreleased Art Pepper, Vol. VI, Pt. 4 (Widow’s Taste)

3. Thelonious Monk Monk’s Music (Fantasy)

4. Various Artists Impulse! @50 – First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection (Hip-O)

5. Ornette Coleman Something Else!!!! (Concord/OJC)

Chris Heim

New Releases:

1. Various Artists Miles Español: New Sketches of Spain (eOne)

2. Fred Hersch Alone at the Vanguard (Palmetto)

3. John Scofield A Moment’s Peace (Emarcy)

4. The New Gary Burton Quartet Common Ground (Mack Avenue)

5. Miguel Zenón Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

6. Vijay Iyer With Prasanna & Nitin Mitta Tirtha (ACT)

7. Joshua Redman/Aaron Parks/Matt Penman/Eric Harland James Farm (Nonesuch)

8. Burgstaller Martignon 4 Bach’s Secret Files and More Crossover Fantasies (Summit)

9. Karl Seglem Ossicles (Ozella)

10. Jessica Williams Trio Freedom Trane (Origin)

Geoffrey Himes

New Releases:

1. Bill Frisell Sign of Life: Music for 858 Quartet (Savoy Jazz)

2. Vijay Iyer With Prasanna & Nitin Mitta Tirtha (ACT)

3. Rudresh Mahanthappa Samdhi (ACT)

4. David Binney Graylen Epicenter (Mythology)

5. Captain Black Big Band Captain Black Big Band (Posi-Tone)

6. Dave Douglas Brass Fantasy Rare Metals (Greenleaf)

7. Pilc Moutin Hoenig Threedom (Motéma)

8. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Race Riot Suite (Kinnara/Royal Potato Family)

9. SFJAZZ Collective Music of Stevie Wonder and New Compositions-Live in New York · Season 8 (SFJazz)

10. Lee Konitz/Brad Mehldau/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian Live at Birdland (ECM)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Bitches Brew Live (Columbia/Legacy)

2. Miles Davis Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1

(Columbia/Legacy)

3. Julius Hemphill Dogon A.D. (International Phonograph)

Lyn Horton

New Releases:

1. Joe McPhee and Michael Zerang Creole Gardens: A New Orleans Suite (NoBusiness)

2. Matthew Shipp Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear)

3. Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Heart’s Reflections (Cuneiform)

4. William Parker Crumbling In the Shadows Is Fraulein Miller’s Stale Cake (Centering)

5. Daniel Levin Quartet Organic Modernism (Clean Feed)

6. Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone Departure of Reason (Thirsty Ear)

7. Darius Jones Trio Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) (AUM Fidelity)

8. The Rempis Percussion Quartet Montreal Parade (482 Music)

9. Spanish Donkey XYX (Northern Spy)

10. Klang Other Doors (Allos Documents)

Willard Jenkins

New Releases:

1. Randy Weston The Storyteller (Motéma)

2. Terri Lyne Carrington The Mosaic Project (Concord)

3. Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues: Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center (Reprise/JALC)

4. Terell Stafford This Side of Strayhorn (MaxJazz)

5. JD Allen Trio Victory! (Sunnyside)

6. Roy Haynes Roy-Alty (Dreyfus)

7. David Murray Cuban Ensemble Plays Nat King Cole En Español (Motéma)

8. Muhal Richard Abrams SoundDance (Pi)

9. Joe Lovano Us Five Bird Songs (Blue Note)

10. Jerry Gonzalez Y El Comando de la Clave (Sunnyside)

Historical/Reissues:

1. Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

2. Ahmad Jamal The Complete Ahmad Jamal Trio Argo Sessions 1956-62 (Mosaic)

3. Gigi Gryce Doin’ The Gigi (Uptown Jazz)

4. Freddie Hubbard Pinnacle: Live and Unreleased From Keystone Korner (Resonance)

5. Charlie Christian Electric (Uptown)

Mike Joyce

New Releases:

1. David Murray David Murray Cuban Ensemble Plays Nat King Cole (Motema)

2. Joe Lovano & US Five Bird Songs (Blue Note)

3. The Claudia Quintet, featuring Kurt Elling and Theo Bleckmann What Is the Beautiful? (Cuneiform)

4. Miguel Zenon Alma Adentro (Marsalis Music)

5. Bill Frisell All We Are Saying (Savoy)

6. Keith Jarrett Rio (ECM)

7. Jeremy Pelt The Talented Mr. Pelt (HighNote)

8. Pat Martino Undeniable-Live at Blues Alley (HighNote)

9. Ben Williams State of Art (Concord)

10. René Marie Black Lace Freudian Slip (Motéma)

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