KUDOS: Cécile McLorin Salvant and Charles Lloyd make The 2017 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

Francis Davis for NPR – This is what consensus in jazz looks like now: In winning the vote for 2017’s best new recording in NPR’s Fifth Annual Jazz Critics Poll, Vijay Iyer’s Far from Over was named on 53 of 137 ballots — almost twice as many as either Steve Coleman’s Morphogenesis or Tyshawn Sorey’s Verisimilitude, which finished second and third, respectively. (Thelonious Monk’s music for the 1960 French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses, unused by the director Roger Vadim and released only this year, made a whopping 66 ballots to finish first in Rara Avis, a category reserved for reissues and vault discoveries. Then, Monk is settled law.)

Iyer was one of three musicians to notch a third victory in this year’s poll (his Historicity won in 2009, the poll’s 4th year, when I was conducting it for the Village Voice, and Accelerando won in 2012, when the poll’s sponsor was the music-streaming service Rhapsody). Cecile McLorin Salvant again won in Vocal, as she did in 2013 and ’15, and Miguel Zenón won in Latin, as he did in 2009 and ’11. The winner in Debut, where there can be no repeaters, was Jaimie Branch, a fiery trumpeter recently transplanted from Chicago to Brooklyn. (And that the top three finishers in this category are women is cause for cheer.)

On Cécile McLorin Salvant’s Dreams and Daggers: Recording live at the Village Vanguard has become a rite of passage for performers on their way up. A program ranging from ’20s black vaudeville to feminist-themed originals shows off everything this talented singer can do, which is plenty — even if I’m not sure it had to be a double album. (Mack Avenue)

On Charles Lloyd Quartet’s Passin’ Thru: In his late 70s, Lloyd has become as unlikely a critics favorite as Ahmad Jamal. As one of his longtime detractors, even I have to admit this latest live album is terrific — and not entirely owing to Jason Moran’s spry piano. Has Lloyd ever sounded as energetic as he does on a remake of 1967’s “Dream Weaver,” the gospel segue especially? (Blue Note)

Read the full list on NPR

Cécile McLorin Salvant on TKA

Charles Lloyd on TKA