Thursday, January 01, 2015

"best of 2014" lists from around the web

Over the last week or so I have been checking out the various Best Of 2014 lists. I can't say I'm familiar with all the albums mentioned so I've been listening to the sound samples on the posts below as well as streaming them when available. It made me consider having a year in which I only buy new releases..... anyway here's a bunch of links in no particular order.

Francis Davis and the NPR Jazz Critics Poll: Each year Davis polls 140 critics for their top picks of the year. He then collects the results and creates a Top 50. Included are his notes on the top 10 along with sound samples. More from Davis on the results can be found here. And here are the full listings from each critic.

Jazz Journalists Association - No reviews just lists from the members of the JJA.

Lyn Horton keeps things simple.

S. Victor Aaron's picks for Something Else (in three parts).
Modern/Mainstream
Avant Garde
Jazz Fusion

Denver Post (includes some notes on the recordings).
The Big City Blog (includes sound samples).

The Wondering Sound (with short notes).

Stereophile -  I like that the author picks his favourite albums from the year and then re-orders them in accordance with their "sonic merits" (I would be keen to he see what his favourite sounding albums are from 2014). He elaborates on the albums here (with sound samples). 

Gapplegate Music Review - it's a short list but great to see Connie Crothers made the cut. Gapplegate's review of her latest release Concert In Paris is here.

The New Yorker – best reissues of 2014.
Howard Reich’s picks for The Chicago Tribune and his top live performances.

Here are a few lists from All About Jazz.
Kurt Gottschalk
Troy Collins 
John Sharpe
Phil Barnes
Jakob Baekgaard
Dan Bilawsky
John Kelman (Best Live Concerts) (Best Albums)
Bruce Lindsay
C. Michael Bailey
Dan McClenaghan

Tom Hull - It's a long list (the only top 66 I've come across so far!) includes new releases, reissues and honorable mentions.

Free Jazz Collective  - top picks from 16 writers on the blog and an overall Top 10.

Chris Barton's picks in the LA Times.

Chicago Reader - scroll down to read Bill Meyer's favourites of Chicago Contemporary Jazz.

A five-part countdown of their top 25 from 2014. Includes notes and lots of audio.

Bird Is The Worm Also used the countdown approach

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