2012 Jazz cd compilation: Down Beat magazine

The annual Down Beat magazine "best cds of 2012" issue is now on the stands. I enjoy reading it to see what I might have missed (and buy them!). For the Jazz music lovers!
Thanks, I'm on it.
A sincere question, out of curiosity: do people use these lists that appear at the end of each year to make purchasing decisions? I ask since I often am swayed by something I read and make a purchase; I also like to listen to the radio in the car and make purchasing decisions based on that also. I am usually more satisfied with the discs I buy based on a radio play rather than a written word. I think this means, for me, that I know my tastes, and they often differ from music critics, etc. Do others see something here they can identify with, or am I out of touch? This has nothing, specifically, to do with jazz, or any other art form, or downbeat, etc.
I would personally use a list like that to not only see if artists I enjoy (but don't keep up on) came out with new material but more importantly to discover new artists. I then use sites like Amazon to listen to tracks to see if I like them. However NPR has been my greatest source of new (to me) music.
I use a list like this as well as mentions in equipment reviews to look into new music ideas. I then will listen to them on my small system, (Dynaudio Xeo 3, Arcam rDACkw and online sources like spotify) to make purchase decisions. I am at a point where I only buy new LP's or SACD's of special material I really want to hear at their best on my main system.
Mags like DownBeat are good to become aware of new releases or reissues. Then I go to Amazon. I trust the reviews on amazon the most. Pay close attention to the negative reviews and comments. Some are silly, but they will most likely be the deal breakers. A lot of the favorable reviews are from loyal fans and cheerleaders. But numbers count. One or two reviews, positive or negative, mean little. If I can't listen to a snippet on Amazon, it goes on the 'Save for later' list.
Without the luxury of being able to hear snippets, a few years back after reading a full page review of the Eric Whitacre release “Cloudburst”, I plunked down $30.00 and bought it. I remember the review going on and on and on about how magnificent and brilliant the composer was (Eric Whitacre). The liner notes say “Magical new sounds, singability and a special atmosphere, simple and resourcefully achieved – considerable achievements from a composer twenty-two at the time, whose exposure to classical music and its notation was non-existent just a few years previously”.

I’m here to tell you that was and is the last CD I’ll ever purchase without being able to listen to snippets.
They got me on 'Cloudbrust' also. It sounds like a choir singing notes to 'warm up' before a performance. It also changed the way I buy CDs.
I get the impression that a lot of positive reviews are given as favors to the artist. This is rampant in so-called 'world' music. Sort of like a 'helping hand'.
Rpeluso, most of the CD's I detest were recommended by Stereophile, and they had the most glowing reviews. We bought when we didn't have the option of hearing the music first. I have other CD's I don't like by my favorite artists. The only way "you", can make the right decision for you, is to hear the music first.
Anyone care to actually post the list here?
Raks: You might want to check out bandcamp. They have a fair amount of jazz on their site and you can listen to a full album (if you have the patience). Snippets are better than nothing but sometimes leave something to be desired (IMO).

Also, you can download in FLAC format (added benefit).