18 December 2012
(6) LA Times
Love the subterfuge in having eleven entries on the list and two turning out to be ads, including one from Bon Jovi plugging MasterCard. I guess we should be happy that an outlet like the LA Times bothers, even online and even in such glib fashion, to take note of new jazz releases. And I suspect that's all they're going for.
(5) Philadelphia citypaper
There are more recognizable names and more of them on this list than any others I've seen, and not that I've heard any of these records or anything, but isn't that exactly what you'd expect from something called "citypaper?"
(4) Larry Reni Thomas for JazzCorner
Gotta love it when all you've got for a list is...a list. No hipstering or qualification, just the facts, ma'am. Of course, it's always nice to be able to listen to the work in question, but this one scores points anyway for its unusually direct and unfettered presentation. Tell 'em what you're gonna do, do it, tell 'em what ya did. And done.
(3) NextBop Best Jazz Albums
If NextBop really is a movement, I'm not part of it, but I have to say, it's awfully valuable to have a site like this where you can hear more than just 30 second snippets of the latest stuff, and which casts, in this case at least, an admirably wide net. If a slight downgrade is in order, it is on account of the massive size of their list, which if it got much bigger would actually defeat the point of making one in the first place. Even so, I look forward to checking out as much of this music as I can and am grateful for someone else having taken the time to assemble it in one place. Really.
(2) NPR A Blog Supreme
Hard to hate on these cats, since it seems they're being reblogged by the hour: three of the top dozen lists I found Googling "Top Ten Jazz Albums 2012" were actually just this one in disguise. To their credit, though, the layout is nice, the commentary a bit more than cursory, and you can listen. Could be a lot worse.
(1) Nextbop Best Non-Jazz Albums
I can think of at least three levels of irony here, which is more than enough to earn this one the crown. Til next year listmakers.