23 December 2010

2010 In Review

Tomorrow I'm off to Miami for the holiday, so I will leave you with my year-end roundup. As the usual disclaimer goes, since I am but an amateur critic, I only review a handful of albums released in a given year, so be sure to check out the best-of lists of the more than capable critics after the break. But before that, here are the albums which I enjoyed the most in 2010, in alphabetical order by artist:
Also, some of my favorite nonjazz of 2010:
And below the break, the compilation of critics' lists. [more]

Major thanks goes to Largehearted Boy and A Blog Supreme, whose compilations of year-end lists across all genres were very helpful. Also, thanks to the Jazz Journalists Association for archiving its members' lists in one place for easy reading. This year I tried something new, compiling as many top-ten lists as I can into this spreadsheet to calculate which albums showed up in the most lists. My criteria: I only included lists of 10 or fewer albums (with one exception: PopMatters, since it was written by two critics). Every entry received equal weighting, since some people did not rank their top ten. You can view my full spreadsheet here. Below are the leaders. Unsurprisingly, 2010 was Jason Moran's year.

1.        Jason Moran: TEN
2.        Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green: Apex
3.        Steve Coleman: Harvesting Semblances and Affinities
4. (tie) Charles Lloyd: Mirror
           Vijay Iyer: Solo
6. (tie) Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden: Jasmine
           Mary Halvorson: Saturn Sings
8. (tie) Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth: Deluxe
           Matthew Shipp: 4D
           Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Forty Fort

Finally, I bid one more farewell to Hank Jones, Gene Lees, Bill Dixon, Abbey Lincoln, Herman Leonard, James Moody, Herb Ellis, Dennis Hopper, Jose Lima, John Wooden, Mike Cuellar, Howard Zinn, JD Salinger, Manute Bol, Leslie Nielsen, and anyone else I forgot.

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