11.24.2004

I Read Downbeat But I Didn't Vote

My ballot.


Well, there's a new Downbeat Reader's Poll out and McCoy Tyner has finally been inducted into the Hall of Fame. If I hadn't been too lazy, here's how I would have cast my votes:

Hall of Fame: McCoy Tyner. The one, the only.

Jazz Artist of the Year: Joe Lovano. He has participated in so many good recordings this year. You can't help but love his quirky, but fiery playing.

Jazz Album of the Year: Joel Frahm's Don't Explain. (Look two posts down to see my review.)

Acoustic Group: Dave Holland Quintet. Everyone in this group is great and together they're even better. The group has really developed its own sound - partly because of the unorthodox instrumentation (vibes, tenor, trombone, bass, drums) and partly because the arrangements are so unique that the musicians are forced to find new ways of expressing themselves.

Jazz Reissue: You know, I don't really care. I guess I'd go with Monk In Paris: Live At The Olympia, but I don't spend a whole lot of time listening to reissues.

Record Label: Marsalis Music. This label is just getting started, yet it has already produced a big percentage of my favorite recent CDs. Oh my god, I'm still trying to get over how good Branford’s Footsteps of Our Fathers is.

Electric Group: Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor. This music is funky as hell. I haven't gotten the new CD yet (part re-mix, part new material), but am looking forward to it.

Soprano Saxophone: Dave Liebman. This guy is a monster. His playing is passionate and original. He's also one of the funniest people I've ever met.

Alto Saxophone: Kenny Garrett. Part Coltrane, part gospel singer, part... himself. He is unlike any other musician around today. Like I said before, Kenny Garrett is my god.

Tenor Saxophone: I'm going to give it to Branford Marsalis. His playing reflects the immense knowledge he has of jazz history. Seeing him live is inspiring. I don't know how he manages to keep up his playing when he also runs a record label and a steady band.

Baritone Saxophone: Hamiet Bluiett. He is one of the most creative musicians I've ever seen. Bluiett never repeats himself and his charismatic personality on the horn is captivating.

Clarinet: Don Byron. The only jazz clarinetist I listen to and look forward to hearing. Seeing him play at the Monterey Jazz Festival two summers ago was mind-blowing, like experiencing nirvana. Read his "Blindfold Test" at the back of the new (December 2004) Downbeat. Do it.

Flute: No idea.

Trumpet: Roy Hargrove. His warm, brassy sound and imaginitive... I really need to get Roy Haynes's Birds of a Feather CD.

Trombone: I will abstain from voting on this.

Acoustic Piano: Uri Cane.

Electric Keyboard/Synthesizer: I don't know.

Organ: Sam Yahel. I don't like Bill Frisell but I sure do dig Sam Yahel.

Guitar: Anybody, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Peter Bernstein. Just NOT Bill Frisell.

Acoustic Bass: Dave Holland.

Electric Bass: Christian McBride.

Drums: Elvin Jones. He lives.

Percussion: Kahil El Zabar.

Vibraphone: Stefon Harris. (Kindred Spirits, anybody? Anybody, Kindred Spirits?)

Miscellaneous Instrument: David Murray, bass clarinet. What exactly is a miscellaneous instrument? Aren't all instruments equal in the eyes of god (Kenny Garrett)?

Male Vocalist: No idea.

Female Vocalist: DENA DEROSE! She is so good, if you don't have any of her records go out an buy them. She's an equally talented pianist.

Vocal Group: I don't know.

Arranger: Dave Holland! YES! His next big band album is coming out early next year on his new label Dare2.

Composer: Once again, Dave Holland.

Well there you go, folks... my winners. Next year, I will vote, and hopefully they will be THE winners.

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