Tom Hull is an American music critic, web designer, and former software developer. Hull began writing criticism for The Village Voice in the mid 1970s under the mentorship of its music editor Robert Christgau, but left the field to pursue a career in software design and engineering during the 1980s and 1990s, which earned him the majority of his life's income. In the 2000s, he returned to music reviewing and wrote a jazz column for The Village Voice in the manner of Christgau's "Consumer Guide", alongside contributions to Seattle Weekly , The New Rolling Stone Album Guide , NPR Music, and the webzine Static Multimedia.
Hull's jazz-focused database and blog Tom Hull – on the Web hosts his reviews and information on albums he has surveyed, as well as writings on books, politics, and movies. It shares a functional, low-graphic design with Christgau's website, which Hull also created and maintains as its webmaster.
In the mid 1970s, Hull accepted a job offer from lead critic Robert Christgau at The Village Voice in New York.  His first assignment was to review the 1975 Bachman–Turner Overdrive album Four Wheel Drive . "Unfortunately, the [album] was their worst to date, but Christgau and I had sort of a working class bond over the band", he recalls. While he says Christgau had "welcomed me to New York, and further extended my ears … by 1979 or so my desire to write rock crit was flagging, and everyday life was moving on", citing in part the limited workload afforded to him by the Voice.  He left the newspaper around 1980, but would later serve as a resource for Christgau's decade-encompassing "Consumer Guide" collection Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s (1990).  Beginning in 1980, Hull worked in software engineering and design, which would earn him most of his life's income.  He also worked on free and open source software, such as Linux. 
In 2001, Hull created Christgau's website – robertchristgau.com – at the latter's apartment in New York, where Hull's trip from Wichita had been prolonged by the September 11 attacks and the death of his nephew's wife in the World Trade Center.  The website made the majority of Christgau's published writings and reviews freely available for public viewing.  The idea for the site was conceived by Hull and went into development after Christgau embraced it in mid 2001. Hull's background in software lent him the expertise to create the website, adhering to a minimalist aesthetic favoring text over graphics.  After robertchristgau.com went online, Christgau called Hull "a computer genius as well as an excellent and very knowledgeable music critic", and said that "the design of the website, especially its high searchability and small interest in graphics, are his idea of what a useful music site should be."  Hull remained involved with the site as webmaster, a role which author and Oxford Brookes University music lecturer Dai Griffiths later applauded. "Anyone who studies Christgau is indebted to Tom Hull for his magisterial work on Christgau's website", Griffiths wrote in 2019 in the academic journal Rock Music Studies. 
Hull also created his own online database tomhull.com with a similar design. The site has hosted his past and contemporaneous writings as well as a catalog of primarily jazz-based records and reviews, which adopt the grading schema from Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s (2000).  The jazz focus originates from Hull's personal collection, gradually built from reading jazz critics Gary Giddins and Francis Davis in the 1970s and 1980s, and from more thorough research of the jazz canon when Hull lost interest in rock during the 1990s, citing the period's domination by grunge and gangsta rap. 
In 2003, Hull was enlisted by Rolling Stone editor Christian Hoard to contribute entries for The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004). In February of that year, Hull also began writing "Recycled Goods" – a "Consumer Guide"-style column on archival music releases and reissues – for the Chicago-based webzine Static Multimedia at the behest of its editor Michael Tatum. In 2005, Christgau asked Hull to replace Giddins, who had been The Village Voice's longtime jazz columnist before quitting. Although Christgau was dismissed from the Voice by new ownership the following year, Hull's "Jazz Consumer Guide" continued to be published in the paper for the next several years.  During this period, he also contributed to Seattle Weekly . 
Hull's "Consumer Guide" reviews encouraged him to survey more jazz records for his own website, which was later expanded as Tom Hull – on the Web to include blog writings on movies, politics, and books. As he explains in 2014, "I've written several million words since 2003, expanded the ratings database from about 10,000 records to 23,000. I've tried to write a bit about everything I've listened to since 2006, so I have at least 10,000 notes on records – some can be called reviews, and some don't quite rise to that level."  Christgau, who finds it personally difficult to review jazz in his own writing aesthetic, has since recommended Hull's website for readers seeking advice on jazz albums.  In a commentary of Hull's jazz album reviews, Patrick Jarenwattananon of NPR writes:
His picks reflect a remarkably eclectic sensibility, where the mainstream players (Houston Person, Randy Sandke) swim freely among with the modern progressive cats (Kenny Garrett, Donny McCaslin) and the post-modern rearrangers (Rudresh Mahanthappa, Nik Bartsch, Mostly Other People Do the Killing). Seeing as how jazz criticism has historically been dominated by people pushing agendas – e.g. the DownBeat writer who called John Coltrane "anti-jazz" in 1961 – it's nice to see a professional listener with tastes across the spectrum. 
Hull has written for NPR Music and worked with Francis Davis in compiling ballots for the project's annual jazz critics poll.  He has also voted in DownBeat's annual international critics poll.  Information and data from these polls are hosted on his website. 
Pretzel Logic is the third studio album by American rock band Steely Dan, released on February 20, 1974, by ABC Records. It was written by principal band members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, and recorded at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles with producer Gary Katz. It was the final album to feature the full quintet lineup of Becker, Fagen, Denny Dias, Jim Hodder, and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and also featured significant contributions from many prominent Los Angeles-based studio musicians and the last to be made and released while Steely Dan was still an active touring band.
Robert Thomas Christgau is an American music journalist and essayist. Among the most well-known, revered, and influential music critics, he began his career in the late 1960s as one of the earliest professional rock critics and later became an early proponent of musical movements such as hip hop, riot grrrl, and the import of African popular music in the West. Christgau spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior editor for The Village Voice, during which time he created and oversaw the annual Pazz & Jop critics poll. He has also covered popular music for Esquire, Creem, Newsday, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, Blender, and MSN Music, and was a visiting arts teacher at New York University. CNN senior writer Jamie Allen has called Christgau "the E. F. Hutton of the music world – when he talks, people listen."
Katy Lied is the fourth studio album by American rock band Steely Dan, released in 1975 by ABC Records. It was certified gold and peaked at No. 13 on the US charts. The single "Black Friday" charted at No. 37.
Comes a Time is the ninth studio album by Canadian-American singer-songwriter Neil Young, released by Reprise Records in October 1978. Its songs are written as moralizing discourses on love's failures and recovering from worldly troubles. They are largely performed in a quiet folk and country mode, featuring backing harmonies sung by Nicolette Larson and additional accompaniment on some songs by Crazy Horse.
Pazz & Jop was an annual poll of top musical releases, compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice and created by music critic Robert Christgau. It published lists of the year's top releases for 1971 and, after Christgau's two-year absence from the Voice, each year from 1974 onward. The polls are tabulated from the submitted year-end top 10 lists of hundreds of music critics. It was named in acknowledgement of the defunct magazine Jazz & Pop, and adopted the ratings system used in that publication's annual critics poll.
Jack Johnson is a studio album and soundtrack by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. It was released on February 24, 1971, by Columbia Records.
Get Up with It is a compilation album by American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Miles Davis. Released by Columbia Records on November 22, 1974, it compiled songs Davis had recorded in sessions between 1970 and 1974, including those for the studio albums Jack Johnson (1971) and On the Corner (1972). In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), J. D. Considine described the compilation's music as "worldbeat fusion".
Curtis is the debut album by American soul musician Curtis Mayfield, released in September 1970. Produced by Mayfield, it was released on his own label Curtom Records. The musical styles of Curtis moved further away from the pop-soul sounds of Mayfield's previous group The Impressions and featured more of a funk and psychedelic-influenced sound. The album's subject matter incorporates political and social concerns of the time.
Aura is a concept album by Miles Davis, produced by Danish composer/trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, released in 1989. All compositions and arrangements are by Mikkelborg, who created the suite in tribute when Davis received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in December 1984, the year Decoy was released. This was Miles Davis' final album released in his lifetime.
Ask the Ages (1991) was the last album released by jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock before his death in 1994. It was produced by Bill Laswell and Sharrock, who performed with saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, bassist Charnett Moffett, and drummer Elvin Jones.
Dancing in Your Head is a studio album by jazz artist Ornette Coleman, released in 1977 by Horizon Records.
Weather Report is the debut studio album by American jazz fusion band Weather Report, released on May 12, 1971 by Columbia Records. The album was reissued by Sony and digitally remastered by Vic Anesini in November 1991 at Sony Music Studios in New York City.
Mr. Gone is the eighth studio album by jazz fusion band Weather Report released in 1978 by ARC/Columbia Records. The album rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.
Pangaea is a live album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. It was originally released as a double album in 1976 by CBS Sony in Japan.
The Insect Trust was an American jazz-based rock band that formed in New York, United States, in 1967.
In Concert is a live double album by American jazz musician Miles Davis. It was recorded in 1972 at the Philharmonic Hall in New York City. Columbia Records' original release did not credit any personnel, recording date, or track listing, apart from the inner liner listing the two titles "Foot Fooler" and "Slickaphonics".
Shakill's Warrior is an album by David Murray released on the DIW/Columbia label in 1991. It features eight quartet performances by Murray with Stanley Franks, Don Pullen, and Andrew Cyrille.
Gabriel Johnson is an American trumpeter whose music combines aspects of electronica and jazz.
Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was published in October 1990 by Pantheon Books as a follow-up to Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).
Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was published in October 2000 by St. Martin's Press's Griffin imprint and collects approximately 3,800 capsule album reviews, originally written by Christgau during the 1990s for his "Consumer Guide" column in The Village Voice. Text from his other writings for the Voice, Rolling Stone, Spin, and Playboy from this period is also featured. The book is the third in a series of influential "Consumer Guide" collections, following Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981) and Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s (1990).