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Ted Poor - You Already Know makes 'Seattle Times: Best Seattle albums of 2020: the critics ballots'

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Seattle Times music critic; Michael Rietmulder asked local music journalists, radio hosts and scene-watchers to help them choose the best Washington state albums of the year, the results of which you can read here. These are the critics' individual ballots. Making the list is Ted Poor's album 'You Already Know.'

The New Deal/Impulse! debut from the acclaimed drummer isn't your typical jazz drummer's recording, almost defiantly so. But if you're at all familiar with Poor's explorative career-or the wide-ranging work, then you realize that whether he's on a club bandstand alongside a generation-defining improviser like the guitarist Ben Monder, or onstage at New York's historic Town Hall, backing Paul Simon as part of Chris Thile's trusted Live From Here band, Poor is a music-first drummer. His tremendous technical abilities behind the kit are inarguable-and no doubt serve him well as the Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle-but he places color, texture, sound and especially melody atop chops. "The songs that I write, and certainly the songs that appear on this record, are songs you can sing," Poor says, explaining how his time in the employ of renowned singer-songwriters has informed his own composing. "These are the songs I sing to myself as well."

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