I don't know why I find this kind of thing compelling, but I do. Those of us trained in traditional literary criticism, as I was long years ago, usually get "topicality" or "popular fashion" pounded out of our brainpans, but here I am in advanced middle age throwing off another ball and chain o' my youth.
I love this poll. It "rawks" my world, as the kids say. I always learn about everything I missed in the last year, which is usually "just about everything."
Actually, this year, in the spirit of self-grading modeled by your president, I got about a B- in keeping up. Which is better than usual. I even bought the complete Bill Evans Tony Bennett reissue, so I'm that little bit more hip this year for having enjoyed a reissue on the list.
I did buy and did not like Gretchen Parlato's new CD, and I missed Nellie McKay's tribute to Doris Day. I've just discovered Kitty Margolis, who does not appear on the list, but she's now on my list....
Where things get really interesting, IMHO, is the lists and lists and lists of the individual voters.
James Hale tunes me into Michael Musallami Trio, +3. Man, where have I been with this guy. Ralph Alessi is in the band! So is Joe Fonda. I love Joe Fonda!