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The 2019 NPR Jazz Critics Poll

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Tuesday January 14, 2020

From NPR Music

The 2019 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll
By: FRANCIS DAVIS

Congrats to Joe Lovano (for Trio Tapestry and Roma), Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science (for Waiting Game), Anat Cohen (for Triple Helix), Etienne Charles (for Carnival: The Sound of a People Vol. 1), Jazzmeia Horn (for Love and Liberation & Number 1 in the Vocals section) who were included in NPR’s 7th annual Jazz Critics Poll!

“Below are the results of NPR Music’s 7th Annual Jazz Critics Poll (my 14th, going back to the poll’s beginnings in the Village Voice). 2019’s results provided surprise after surprise. The only predictable winner was in Latin Jazz: Miguel Zenon’s Sonero, the alto saxophonist’s fifth victory in this category. But Eric Dolphy’s Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions upset a “new” John Coltrane album in Reissue/Discovery. Relative newcomer Jazzmeia Horn’s Love and Liberation won in Vocal. The winner in Debut is annually a newcomer, of course, and in 2019 this was Joel Ross, for KingMaker. But the biggest surprises of all were in the voting for Album of the Year, with an unprecedented five women in the Top 10, all for the first time, and Kris Davis finishing on top, for her self-released Diatom Ribbons.

In The 2019 NPR Jazz Critics Poll, The Fringe Fills the Gap
We’re repeating an experiment we introduced last year. You’ll again find a capsule review of each album in the Top 10, but instead of me doing all the heavy lifting, we’ve asked a critic who voted for that album to weigh in. The same with the top finisher in Vocal, Debut, Latin and Rara Avis. And as a bonus, we’ve added a few capsules about solitary No. 1s: albums appearing only on a single ballot, but as that critic’s top pick.

Including my own choices and analysis, and the individual ballots of all 140 participants, there should be enough here to keep you reading ‘” and listening ‘” for the next 12 months. ‘“Francis Davis”

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