The 19th Annual
Francis Davis Jazz Critics Poll:
2024 Mid-Year

Ballot Invitation

Dear Colleague,

Given that we have a mailing list, a website, and a willing publisher in ArtsFuse, I thought this would be a good opportunity to run a Mid-Year straw poll, not unlike what dozens of popular music publications have already done, except on jazz, and polling real experts, like you.

So let's make this as simple as possible: Please fill this out and send it in to me, with Sunday, July 14 as the official deadline:

I think what you should focus on here coming up with a list of records that you most wish to recommend to your colleagues and readers. While the consensus rankings will be of interest to many, the Poll is at least that valuable as a prospecting tool.

If you prefer to submit an unranked list, please state so and/or alphabetize your list by artist (last name).

Unranked lists will receive one point per album. Albums in ranked lists will receive extra points, ranging from 3-to-1 for New, 2-to-1 for Rara Avis. Thus you have some incentive to rank, but not a lot.

The recommended divide between New Releases and Rara Avis is a recording date of Jan. 1, 2014. You may include older recordings under New Releases if that's what you prefer. You may include a record in both New Releases and Rara Avis to make sure it's counted both ways. (I may add points to Rara Avis for records eligible there that receive votes under New Releases.)

You may also include any 2023 releases that are new to you. Nobody gets to listen to everything within the calendar year, so we're all catching up. I may compile some data later, but we're not doing carryover votes, as we do for year-end polls.

I've set up a website to manage this poll. It is at:

This currently has some information of interest to voters, and will eventually include complete ballots and totals, as well as a nice way to explore by hopping from album to ballot to album again.

This Mid-Year Poll is something of an experiment. Rule changes here will not necessarily be applied for the End of Year Poll. I'm also only sending invites out using the Hullworks Mailman list, and I don't expect to follow it up with more than one pre-deadline reminder, and one publication notice. As Google seems to think that my server has "poor reputational quality," it is possible that these messages will not be delivered, or will shunted off into Spam directories. (I am particularly worried about gmail addresses.) Unfortunately, people who actually need this information (and invite) won't be able to receive it. Therefore, it would be helpful if those of you who do receive it make sure your colleagues are aware of it, either by forwarding it or linking to the website (which will have a copy of the invite on it).

As a further experiment, we're inviting non-invited, non-credential fans to also submit ballots. These will be counted separately, but they will be published (possibly at a slightly later date). There is a separate Non-Critic Ballot Invitation tailored to their needs.

Also as an experiment, if you know someone who you think is qualified and competent to vote in this Poll, please forward your invite or link to them, and ask them to send me a ballot. If they have credentials I can check, and seem credible, chances are good that I will accept their votes, and arrange for them to join us in future Polls. After all, you received this invite because we recognize your credentials and value your input.

Please respond with any questions you may have. A notice that you receive this and intend to vote is not necessary, but would be appreciated. I will post further news on this in my Music Week blog, and (more cryptically) on X.

You may contact me through my contact form, or by email: 24myvotes [at]

Your colleague,
Tom Hull