Chris Robinson @crmusicwriter

mostly music, sometimes books


My 2010 Village Voice Critics Poll Ballot

Well, every December/January you start seeing best of the year lists and polls and whatnot.  And while they are pretty arbitrary I guess there is some value to doing them.  I had the pleasure of submitting my top ten jazz CDs of 2010 for the Village Voice’s annual poll for the first time this year.  The link to the winners, complete ballots, etc., can be found here.  My ballot, which I’ve pasted below, doesn’t really have much in common with those of the other 119 critics,

btw, less than 10 critics – unless I’m mistaken – are women, still showing that jazz criticism – for the most part, and with a few very notable exceptions – is still a boys only club; I’m not sure how that can change

but according to another of this year’s voters it means I have a “valuable alternative viewpoint,” or something.  Maybe he was just being snarky – hard to tell over email.  

I heard five of the ten albums which won – and although they were mostly pretty slamming – none of them appeared on my top ten list.  See what I mean about the complete arbitrary nature of the top ten genre?  You can’t vote for what you don’t hear, and by my rough estimate I heard less than 20% of the 500 or so albums that got votes.  Had I heard what some of my fellow voters heard perhaps my list would have been different, but it is what it is.  Here’s hoping that 2011 will yield just as many forward looking, innovative records that 2010 did.  So check my list, check out the entire poll results, suggest recordings that I should have put on the list, etc etc etc.  Happy new year.

  1. Liam Sillery: Phenomenology (OA2)
  2. Rudresh Mahanthappa & Steve Lehman: Dual Identity (Clean Feed)
  3. Roscoe Mitchell: Far Side (ECM)
  4. Dave Douglas: Spark of Being: Burst (Greenleaf)
  5. Alaturka: Tamam Abi (Tzigane)
  6. Ray Anderson & Marty Ehrlich: Hear You Say: Live in Willisau (Intuition)
  7. Sarah Wilson: Trapeze Project (Brass Tonic)
  8. Ken Thomson & Slow/Fast: It Would Be Easier If (Intuition)
  9. Dan Gailey: What Did You Dream? (OA2)
  10. John Scofeld-Vince Mendoza-Metropole Orkest: 54 (Emarcy)

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