Voting Often

If not early enough for some editors … One of the polls I take part in an annual one for the Spanish site El Intruso, and since it covers a cross-genre range of creative music it’s one of my favorites (and also since it is made up of a pretty tiny pool of critics, my oddball choices have greater weight). The poll will be published early next month, but here’s the ballot I sent in, with brief annotations. Everything on here is highly recommended for your listening and collecting pleasure:

Musician of the year – Elliott Sharp; Aggregat, Sky Road Songs, Cut With Occam’s Razor, and the publication of Foliage speak for themselves, with distinction.

Newcomer MusicianMariel Roberts; her excellent and excitingly varied debut recording puts her in the ‘cello goddess’ club.

Group of the yearTin Hat; their disc of e.e. cummings songs was the finest release of any kind in 2012.

Newcomer group – Maya Dunietz/John Edwards/Steve Noble trio; their Cousin It is outstanding improvisational music.

Album of the year – Tin Hat; the rain is a handsome animal

Composer – Elliott Sharp

Drums – Mike Reed; two superb recordings under his leadership in 2012

BassJohn Hebert, the finest and most consistent ensemble partner I heard all year

Guitar – Shane Perlowin, of Ahleuchatistas

Piano – Kris Davis, in a way, a legacy pick, since her recent series of recordings make a far-reaching and beautiful body of work

Keyboards/synthesizer/organ – Sean Wayland; just listen to this

Saxophone – Hafezh Modirzadeh, breaking new ground with Post-Chromodal Out

Trumpet/CornetNate Wooley; seemingly on every creative recording of 2012

ClarinetBen Goldberg, great playing with Tin Hat, looking forward to his upcoming releases

TromboneJacob Garchik
Violin/Viola – Carla Khilstedt

Cello – Mariel Roberts

VibraphoneJason Adasiewicz; the Nate Wooley of the vibes

Female vocalsChristine Correa

Male Vocals – Kurt Elling, this holds true pretty much every year he puts out a record, and 1619 Broadway is one of his best.

Best live band – Henry Threadgill’s Zooid

Record LabelClean Feed, unsurpassed quality, unbelievable quantity


Author: gtra1n

I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.