I love this time of year when people run through their list of top ten whatevers-movies, shows, books, hair styles. I don’t care! It’s a Top Ten! I emailed a ton of various writers and jazz journalists in order to get their opinions as to their favorite discs of the year. I’m sorry the font doesn’t match evenly throughout the different entrees, but that just adds to the mood. If you see a disc or two on someone’s list that you have liked, try one of their other selections. This is how you grow as a listener. Hope you like it!


Pre-1) George W. Harris Jazz Messenger, www.jazzweekly.com

Beverly Kenny-The Complete Royal Roost Recordings (Fresh Sound)

Jazz Soul Seven-Impressions of Curtis Mayfield (BFM Records)

Marcus Miller-Renaissance (Concord)

Ahmad Jamal-Blue Moon (Jazz Village Music)

Gary Smulyan/Mark Masters Ensemble-Ellington Saxophone Encounters

Omer Avital-Suite of the East (Anzic)

Scott Robinson-Very Live in Boulder, Colorado (Hep Jazz)

Illinois Jacquet-Five Classic Albums  (Avid Jazz)

Dick Morgan-Dick Morgan Trio (Fresh Sound)

Gregory Porter-Be Good (Motema)

Bonus-Wes Montgomery-Echoes of Indiana Avenue (Resonance)


1) W. Royal Stokes is the author of Growing Up With Jazz: Twenty-Four Musicians Talk About Their Lives and Careers and other books on jazz and writes for Wroyalstokes.com, JJA News, and JazzHouse.org.




Dan Barrett’s International Swing Party: Tour 2010 — Live! Volume 2 (Echoes of Swing Productions)

Anat Cohen, Claroscuro (Anzic)

Ernest Dawkins, Afro Straight (Delmark)

Curtis Fuller, Down Home (Capri)

Keith Jarrett, Sleeper (ECM)

Brad Mehldau, Ode (Nonesuch)

Art Pepper, Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. VII: Sankei Hall — Osaka, Japan (Widow’s Taste)

Roberta Piket, Solo (Thirteenth Note)

Wadada Leo Smith, Ten Freedom Summers (CUNEIFORM)

Henry Threadgill, Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp (Pi)


2) Mark F. Turner  music journalist; allaboutjazz contributor.



Wadada Leo Smith: Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform Records)

Henry Cole and the Afro Beat Collective – Roots Before Branches (Self


Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio (Blue Note Records)

Jacob Garchik –  The Heavens (The Atheist Gospel Trombone Album)

(Yestereve Records)

Ron Miles – Quiver (Enja Records)

Lionel Loueke – Heritage (Blue Note Records)

Miguel Zenon / Laurent Coq – Rayuela (Sunnyside Records)

Dafnis Prieto – Proverb Trio (Dafnison Music)

Jazz Soul Seven – Impressions of Curtis Mayfield (BFM)

Charlie Haden / Hank Jones – Come Sunday (EmArcy)

Vijay Iyer Trio – Accelerando (ACT Music)


3) Scott Yanow, author of 10 books including Trumpet Kings, The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76


Jeff Barnhart – Reflections Of Fats (Lake)
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Rattle Them Bones (Savoy Jazz)
Tia Fuller – Angelic Warrior (Mack Avenue)
Kenny Garrett – Detroit (Mack Avenue)

Sara Gazarek – Blossom & Bee (Palmetto)
Charles Mingus – The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 (Mosaic)
Wes Montgomery – Echoes Of Indiana Avenue (Resonance)
James Morrison – Snappy Too (Morrison Records)
Ryan Truesdell – Centennial: Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans (ArtistShare)
Return To Forever – The Mothership Returns (Eagle Entertainment), MI., we

4) G. Nastos; Cadence & Hot House Magazines, WEMU, 89.1 FM, Ypsilanti. MI..wemu.ora

4)                                 Messenger Poll


Best Jazz CD’s Of 2012 (Top10)

ZZach Brock “Almost Never Was” (Criss Cross)

Chick Corea/Gary Burton “Hot House” (Concord)

Jack DeJohnette “Sound Travels” (E1)

Daniel Freedman “Bamako By Bus” (Anzic)

Grant Geissman “Bop! Bang! Boom” (Futurism)

Lee Konitz/Bill Frisell/Gary Peacock/Joey Baron

“Enfants Terrible – Live At The Blue Note” (Half Note)

Lionel Loueke “Heritage” (Blue Note)

Donny McCaslin “Casting For Gravity” (Greenleaf)

Brad Mehldau “Ode” (Nonesuch)

BBobby Sanabria Big Band “Multiverse” (Jazzheads)


5) Alain Drouot

Downbeat, WNUR-FM

Weasel Walter/Mary Halvorson/Peter Evans – Mechanical Malfunction (Thirsty Ear)

Connie Crothers/David Arner – Spontaneous Suites for Two Pianos (Rogue Art)

Eivind Opsvik – Overseas IV (Loyal Label)

Benoît Delbecq – Crescendo in Duke (Nato)

Ballister – Mechanisms (Clean Feed)

Angles 8 – By Way of Deception (Clean Feed)

David S. Ware/Planetary Unknown – Live at Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2011 (AUM Fidelity)

Peter Brötzmann – Solo + Trio Roma (Victo)

Aych – As The Crow Flies (Relative Pitch)

The Clarinet Trio – 4 (Leo)


6) Duck Baker   www.duckbaker.comBest records, 2012


Charles Mingus

The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65

Mosaic (7-CD box)


Wes Montgomery

Echoes of Indiana Avenue

Resonance 2011 (2-LP set or CD)


Bill Evans

Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of The Gate

Resonance (3-LP set)


Joe Harriott Quintet

Movement/High Spirits

Dutton Vocalian (2 CD’s)


Coleman Hawkins

Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions

Mosaic (8-CD box)


Frank Frost

Hey, Boss Man

Bear Family (LP)


Ran Blake with David Fabris

Vilnius Noir

NoBusiness Records (LP)


The Jazz Couriers

Live in Morecambe 1959 – Tippin’

Gearbox (LP)


Pharoah Sanders

In the Beginning, 1963-1964

ESP-Disk (4-CD set)


Jason Robinson

Tiresian Symmetry

Cuneiform (CD)






7) David Kunian: Offbeat, downbeat, Beat street, gambit weekly

1) Accerlerando – Vijay Iyer Trio
2)Old and New Science – Living By Lanterns
3)Wadada Leo Smith – Ten Freedom Summers – Wadada Leo Smith
4) Branford Marsalis – 4 MFs Playing Tunes
5) Dr. Michael White – Adventures in New Orleans Jazz Part 2
6) There Now – Josh Berman and His Gang
7) Christian Scott – Christian Atunde Adjuah
8) Billy Hart – All Our Reasons
9) Meschiya Lake and Tom McDermott – Live at Chickie Wa Wa
10) John Boutte – All About Everything



8) >Ron Sweetman, host of IN A MELLOW TONE at CKCU-FM, Ottawa, Canada.



Artist               Album Title                     Record Label


Ray Anderson         Sweet Chicago Suite             Intuition

Pocket Brass Band


Louis Armstrong      The Armstrong Box               Storyville


Elton Dean’s Ninesense     The 100 Club Concert            Reel


Duke Ellington       My People                  Storyville


Bill Evans      Top of the Gate                 Resonance


Tia Fuller      Angelic Warrior                 Mack Avenue


Joe Harriott         The Joe Harriott Story               Proper


Chris McGregor       In His Good Time                Ogun


Dom Minasi/Karl Berger     Synchronicity                   Nacht


Wes Montgomery Indiana Avenue                  Resonance


Mike Osborne         Birmingham Concert              Cadillac


Pharoah Sanders In the Beginning                ESP


Wadada Leo Smith     Ten Freedom Summers             Cuneiform


John Surman          Flashpoint: NDR Jazz Workshop        Cuneiform


9) David Adler


New Releases:

Tim Berne, Snakeoil (ECM)

Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts, An Attitude for Gratitude (Palmetto)

Darius Jones, Book of Mae’bul: Another Kind of Sunrise (Aum Fidelity)

Fly, Year of the Snake (ECM)

Orrin Evans, Flip the Script (Posi-Tone)

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Live (ECM)

Hafez Modirzadeh, Post-Chromodal Out! (Pi)

Linda Oh, Initial Here (Greenleaf)

Gregory Porter, Be Good (Motéma)

Josh Ginsburg, Zembla Variations (BJU)

10) Lyn Horton
The Paradigm For Beauty (blog)
1. Wadada Leo Smith, Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform);

2. Burton Greene, Live At Kerrytown (NoBusiness);
3. Darius Jones Quartet, The Book of Maebul: Another Kind of Sunrise (AUMFidelity);
4. Jason Stein Quartet, The Story This Time (Delmark);
5. Joe McPhee and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Brooklyn DNA (CleanFeed);
6. Wadada Leo Smith’s Mbira, Dark Lady of the Sonnets (TUM Records Oy);

7. Frank Rosaly, Centering And Displacement (Utech Records);
8. John Butcher and Matthew Shipp,  At Oto (Fataka 2);
9. Peter Brötzmann and Jason Adasciewicz, Going All Fancy (Eremite);
10. Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Fast Citizens, Gather (Delmark).



11) Thomas Conrad

JazzTimes, Stereophile, New York City Jazz Record, AllAboutJazz.com


Ryan Truesdell: Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans (ArtistShare)

Keith Jarrett/Jan Garbarek/Palle Danielsson/Jon Christensen: Sleeper (ECM)

Bill Evans: Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate (Resonance)

Sam Rivers/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul: Reunion: Live in New York (Pi)

Animation: Transparent Heart (RareNoise)

Bobo Stenson Trio: Indicum (ECM)

Dave Douglas Quintet: Be Still (Greenleaf)

Vijay Iyer Trio: Accelerando (ACT)

Arild Andersen/Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Celebration (ECM)

Amina Figarova: Twelve (In+Out)


12) Larry Appelbaum

2012 Favorites

1. Luciana Souza The Book of Chet (Sunnyside)
2. Billy Hart-All Our Reasons (ECM)
3. David Virelles-Continuum (Pi)
4. Branford Marsalis 4 MF’s Playin’ Tunes (Marsalis)
5. Esperanza Spalding-Radio Music Society (Heads Up)
6. Brad Mehldau-Where Do You Start (Nonesuch)
7. Gerald Wilson Legacy (Mack Avenue)
8. Keith Jarrett-Sleeper (ECM)
9. Wadada Leo Smith-Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform)
10. Sara Serpa/Ran Blake-Aurora (Clean Feed)


13)     John McDonough Downbeat
   George… Here are mine, with a few added in case anything else is ineligible.
     cheers… john mcd
   1. Louis Armstrong: The Okeh & RCA recordings 1925-33
   2. Bill Evans: Top of there Gate
   3. Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-47 [Mosaic]
    4. Anat Cohen: Charoscuro
 5. Ravi Coltrane: Spirit Fiction
  6. Konitz, Frisell, Peacock: Live at the Blue Note
 7. Michael Benedict/Gary Smylyan: Bobtitude
 8. Anat Cohen/Charoscuro
  9. Ahmad Jamal: Blue Moon
 10. Definitive Miles Davis At Montreux 1973-91
 11. Hot Club of San Francisco: Live at Yoshi’s
  12. Dexter Gordon: Night Ballads  (Uptown)
13. Echoes of Swing: Message from Mars
14. Harry Allen-Scott Hamilton: Round Midnight
14) Mark Corroto
Thanks for asking, got me to relisten to a few great discs
OK, here we go with my TEN BEST of 2012
1. Angles 8 – By Way Of Deception/ Live In Ljubljana (Clean Feed)
2. Steve Lehman Trio – Dialect Fluorescent (Pi Recordings)
3. Myra Melford/ Mark Dresser/ Mat Wilson/ Trio M – The Guest House (Enja)
4. The Thing/ Neneh Cherry – The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Supersound)
5. Jason Stein Quartet – The Story This Time (Delmark Records)
6. New Zion Trio – Fight Against Babylon (Veal Records)
7. Elliot Sharp Trio – Aggregat (Clean Feed)
8. Rodrigo Amado/Motion Trio – Burning Live At Jazz AO Centro (JACC)
9. Sam Rivers/ Dave Holland/ Barry Altschul – Reumion: Live In New York     (Pi
10. Wadada Leo Smith/Moholo-Moholo – Ancestors (TUM Records)
( I could have sent you 10 more!)
Mark Corroto
155 N Washington St
Delaware, Ohio 43015-1609
15) Bob Putignano
Here you go George, I hope they use my list this year, please let me know. Thanks- Bob
1. Enrico Crivellaro “Freewhellin'” Electro-Fi  www.ElectroFi.comwww.EnricoCrivellaro.com
2. Raphael Wressnig “Soul Gift”  www.RaphaelWressnig.com
3. Albert King “I’ll Play the Blues For You” w/bonus tracks Stax Remasters – Concord
4.  Warren Haynes “Live at the Moody Theater”  Stax – Concord
5. Booker T. & the MG’s “Green Onions – 50th Anniversary Edition” w/bonus tracks Stax Remasters – Concord
6. Lloyd Jones “Doin’ What It Takes”  Reference Recordings – www.LloydJonesMusic.com
7. Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia “Keystone Companions” 4 CD box set Fantasy – Concord
8. Danny Caron “Jazz + Blues” www.DannyCaron.com
9  Lisa Mann “Satisfied” www.LisaMannMusic.com
10. Bruce Kaphan “Bruce Kaphan Quartet” www.BruceKaphan.com
Bob Putignano www.SoundsofBlue.com
16)Don Albert
Here’s Top 10.
Bill Evans – Live At Art D’Lugoff’s Top Of The Gate (Resonance)
Ryan Truesdell Presents – Centennial Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans (artistShare)
Virginia Mayhew – Mary Lou Williams – The Next 100 Years (RenmaRecordings)
Mark Masters Ensemble featuring Gary Smulyan – Ellington Saxophone Encounters (Capri)
Gary Smulyan – Smul’s Paradise (Capri)
Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet – Hustlin’ for a Gig (HouseKat Records)
Dan Block – Duality (Miles High Records)
Branford Marsalis – Four MFs Playin’ Tunes – (Marsalis Music)
Wallace Roney – Home – (HighNote)
Al Jarreau and The Metropole Orkest – Live (Concord)
17) Ollie Bivens
Subject: Ollie Bivins, “The Jazz Messenger,” writer, Top Ten
My Top Ten (in alphabetical order):
1. John Abercrombie, “Within A Song,” ECM
2. Zach Brock, “Almost Never Was,” Criss Cross
3. Ravi Coltrane, “Spirit Fiction,” Savoy Jazz
4. Fly, “Year of the Snake,” ECM
5. Fred Hersch Trio, “Alive At the Village Vanguard,”
6. Keith Jarrett, “Sleeper,” ECM
7. Jazz Soul Seven, “Impressions of Curtis Mayfield”, BFM Jazz
8. Branford Marsalis Quartet, “Four MF’s Playin’ Tunes,” Marsalis Music
9. Gregory Porter, “Be Good,” Motema
10. The Pyramids, “Otherworldly,” Bureau B
18)Ronald Netsky
Chick Corea and Gary Burton “Hot House”
Roni Ben-Hur, Santi Debriano “Our Thing”
Anat Cohen “Claroscuro”
Charles Mingus “The Complete Columbia & RCA Albums Collection”
Grant Geissman “Bop! Bang! Boom!”
Manuel Valera “New Cuban Express”
Duke Ellington “The Complete Columbia Albums Collection”
Sara Elgeti Quintet“Into The Open”
Luis Perdomo  “Universal Mind”
Ryan Truesdell “Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans”


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