Again, this is me reporting what I think are the consensus picks, not my personal opinions:
1. Best jazz album of the year: Charles Mingus Sextet with the Eric Dolphy, Cornell 1964. Personally I like this CD very much, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t already know most of the essential Mingus. Dee Dee Bridgewater, who sings jazz over a kora background from Mali, was another popular selection. I often find jazz singing too facile but the African mix provides an appropriately meaty counterweight.
2. World music: Tinariwen, Aman Iman: Water Is Life. They’re the desert nomads who were described as the world’s greatest rock and roll band by Slate.com. Runner-up would be Segu Blue, by Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba. Acoustic string music from Mali is in this year, plus there is Bembeya Jazz National, from Guinea. Here is a very good NPR list of top world music picks.
3. Haitian CD: Erol Josue, Regleman. A clear winner in this category.
4. Lee Perry collection: Ape-ology. The best of the best. Again. It’s funny, but this category has a winner just about every year. In the Coasian durable goods monopoly game, price is falling rapidly…