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The 2011 Expanded Critics’ Poll

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

After the encouraging response we received to last year’s inaugural full-length Critics’ Poll, we decided to make it an annual tradition. Our regular contributors were asked to vote in the same categories that make up our yearly Readers’ Poll, ranking their top five choices in each. The poll focuses on artists’ achievements during 2011, as opposed to their careers in whole.

Winners below are bolded; runners-up are listed in order of number of points. THE EDITORS

BEST OF ALL

Artist of the Year
∙ Sonny Rollins

∙ Jason Moran

∙ Joe Lovano

∙ Esperanza Spalding

∙ Rudresh Mahanthappa

New Artist
∙ Ambrose Akinmusire

∙ Ben Williams

∙ Warren Wolf

BEST GROUPS

Acoustic Group
∙ Charles Lloyd New Quartet

∙ Joe Lovano Us Five

∙ James Farm

∙ Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette

∙ Jason Moran & the Bandwagon

Contemporary/Electric Group
∙ Return to Forever IV

∙ Medeski, Martin & Wood/Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood*

∙ The Robert Glasper Experiment

∙ Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Samdhi

∙ Yellowjackets

[*MMW and MSMW tied for second place. Combined, they would have won the category.]

Big Band
∙ Maria Schneider Orchestra

∙ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

∙ Mingus Big Band

∙ Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band

∙ Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

Vocal Group
∙ The Manhattan Transfer

∙ Afro Blue (Howard University)

∙ Take 6

Blues Artist
∙ Buddy Guy

∙ Tedeschi Trucks Band

∙ Eric Clapton

∙ North Mississippi All-Stars

BEST OF THE JAZZ INDUSTRY

Record Label
∙ ECM

∙ Sunnyside

∙ Blue Note

∙ Concord Music Group

∙ Pi Recordings

Festival
∙ Montreal International Jazz Festival

∙ Newport Jazz Festival

∙ Monterey Jazz Festival

∙ New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

∙ Undead Jazzfest

Nightclub
∙ Village Vanguard

∙ Jazz Standard

∙ Birdland

∙ Yoshi’s (Oakland & San Francisco)

∙ Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

BEST OF MEDIA

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Originally Published