Thursday, December 21, 2006

Back when there was some jazz in the Pazz and Jop poll

The Behearer nugget of the week comes from user WebsterHodges, who posted a summary of the 1990 Village Voice "Best of Decade Poll": I defer:

"The Jazz Critics’ Poll in the August 28, 1990 edition of the Village Voice was a wealth of information about jazz recordings of the 1980’s. Each of 33 critics was asked to name the ten best jazz albums recorded between 1/1/1980 and 12/31/1989.
It’s an indication of the diversity and richness of the jazz of the 80’s that only one recording appeared on as many as nine of the 33 lists: Revue by the World Saxophone Quartet."

read the rest here. It's a great post, and worthy of some more digging. Does some packrat still have a copy of the poll?

I know for me, in high school my bible for jazz was a list of the "great saxophonists" given by Steve Massey at a summer music camp. For that time (1991) it was remarkably thorough and diverse, including Bird, Ornette, Dolphy and Sanborn on alto, Bechet and Lacy on soprano, etc. (I'm pretty sure I would never have found the "Free Jazz" double quartet album otherwise.) In college I found a lot of "out" music through the Rochester Public Library, whose collection was nothing short of remarkable. The ways we find into our interests always fascinate me.


Tim Niland said...

It's interesting that the Library was instrumental in building your love of jazz. Growing up in Schenectady (another crumbling industrial town) the depth of their record collection led me to jazz, blues and different ethnic musics that truly changed my life. It's one of the reasons I would up becoming a librarian myself.

Prof. Drew LeDrew said...

Hey, Pat. Nice post. I have the clipping you write about, and at the time it was a huge impetus for me to expand my listening. I used it as a buyers guide. REVUE was one of the first disks I picked up. I have plans to post most of the interesting critics' lists from that poll over at Dest:OUT, though it hasn't been a priority. Happy new year.