King Alcohol voted Best Reissue by Chicago Reader

Dec. 20, 2017

CHICAGO – Peter Margasak ranks his favorite jazz albums of 2017.

This morning NPR Music published the results of the annual Jazz Critics Poll organized by Francis Davis—it’s been hosted by NPR Music for the past five years, but it started in 2006 at the Village Voice. Though only one album from my personal top ten landed in the upper echelons of the poll, I can heartily recommend all of the consensus picks, especially the new albums by Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Nicole Mitchell, and Roscoe Mitchell. You can find the entire list here.

Below is the ballot I submitted, which was extremely difficult to finalize—it was a terrific year for improvised music all over the globe. We’re deep in year-end list season, and in the upcoming weeks I’ll count down my 40 favorite new albums of 2017 (in any genre) and discuss some of the best reissues of the year.

Top ten new albums:

1. JD Allen, Radio Flyer (Savant)
2. Chris Speed Trio, Platinum on Tap (Intakt)
3. Ikue Mori, Obelisk (Tzadik)
4. Tom Rainey Obbligato, Float Upstream (Intakt)
5. Kaja Draksler Octet, Gledalec (Clean Feed)
6. Alexander Hawkins, Unit[e] (AH)
7. Tyshawn Sorey, Verisimilitude (Pi)
8. Jaimie Branch, Fly or Die (International Anthem)
9. Han Bennink Trio, Adelante (ICP)
10. Kate Gentile, Mannequins (Skirl)

Best reissues:

1. Various artists, Classic Savoy Be-Bop Sessions 1945-49 (Mosaic)
2. Ornette Coleman, Ornette at 12/Crisis (Real Gone)
3. Rüdiger Carl Inc., King Alcohol (New Version) (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Best vocal album:

Cécile McLorin Salvant, Dreams and Daggers (Mack Avenue)

Best debut album:

Jaimie Branch, Fly or Die (International Anthem)

Best Latin album:

David Virelles, Gnosis (ECM)

Today’s playlist:

Miles Okazaki, Trickster (Pi)
Charles Lloyd New Quartet, Passin’ Thru (Blue Note)
Malija, Instinct (Edition)
Craig Taborn, Daylight Ghosts (ECM)
Jen Shyu, Song of Silver Geese (Pi)