Tuesday, December 14, 2010

El Intruso Poll

The Argentinian jazz website El Intruso asked me to participate in their year end poll. Much like the polls in Downbeat or Jazz Times, the poll was broken down by instrument. Here were my submissions with a few comments:

Musician of the year - Mary Halvorson (MH has seemingly been everywhere this year, releasing a great album as a leader, and participating in a number of forward thinking groups.)
Newcomer Musician - Darius Jones (He's actually been on the scene for a while, but his playing in the collective Little Women and his solo performances have been thrilling.)
Group of the year - Vandermark 5 (Saxophonist and Clarinetist Ken Vandermark's signature ensemble just keeps getting better and better)
Newcomer group - Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet (Wonderful use of vibes and acoustic guitar made their album a winner. Download a free set from NPR.)
Album of the Year - Vandermark 5 - The Horse Jumps and the Ship is Gone (Great two-CD set of thrilling music.)
Composer - Henry Threadgill (His knotty and fascinating tunes were on display with a new CD and epic Mosaic reissue.)
Drums - Hamid Drake
Bass - William Parker (Parker and Drake make up one of the most fascinating rhythm teams in jazzz.)
Guitar - Nels Cline (Cline had a fantastic year, releasing two double disc sets and a fascinating live DVD.)
Piano - Vijay Iyer
Keyboards/synthesizer/organ - Craig Taborn (Taborn had a couple of excellent performances as a sideman for ECM, perhaps they will give him his own date soon.)
Saxophone - Rudresh Mahanthappa (Wonderful albums this year, sharing the limelight with colleagues Steve Lehman and Bunky Green)
Trumpet/Cornet - Charles Tolliver
Clarinet - Anat Cohen (Breathing new life into the swing clarinet tradition, as proved by an infectious live album.)
Trombone - Steve Swell
Violin/Viola - Billy Bang
Cello - Fred Lonberg-Holm
Others instruments - Vibes - Jason Adasiewicz
Female vocals - Leena Conquest (She reminds me of the late June Tyson, whether singing R&B influenced material or more traditional jazz.)
Male Vocals - Mose Allison
Best live band - Dave Holland Quintet (The most consistently excellent live band of the past decade just gets beetter with time.
Record Label - Hot Cup Records (Released a wide rage of exciting and progressive jazz albums this year.)

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