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DownBeat Announces Winners of 2019 Critics Poll

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    Posted: 28 Jun 2019 at 3:06am

Singer-songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Sullivan Fortner are among the dozens of winners in the 67th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll.

Salvant topped two categories: Jazz Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. She generated tremendous acclaim for her 2018 duo album, The Window (Mack Avenue), which she recorded with Sullivan Fortner, who is the winner in two Critics Poll categories: Rising Star–Jazz Artist and Rising Star–Piano.

Topping the Jazz Album of the Year category is Wayne Shorter with Emanon (Blue Note), the ambitious project the saxophonist recorded with his namesake quartet and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

DownBeat critics apparently were in accord with The Recording Academy, which in February presented Salvant with a Grammy in the category Best Jazz Vocal Album (for The Window) and gave Shorter a Grammy in the category Best Jazz Instrumental Album (for Emanon).

“Cécile McLorin Salvant continues to delight critics and fans alike,” said Bobby Reed, DownBeat editor. “As a recording artist, composer and performer, she is one of the most intriguing musicians on the jazz scene today. These two Critics Poll wins are well deserved.”

Other winners in the Critics Poll include Kurt Elling (Male Vocalist), Kenny Barron (Piano), Mary Halvorson (Guitar), Jane Ira Bloom (Soprano Saxophone), Miguel Zenón (Alto Saxophone), Miles Okazaki (Rising Star–Guitar), Allison Miller (Rising Star–Drums) and Joel Ross (Rising Star–Vibraphone).

Jazz icon Joey DeFrancesco topped the Organ category, and his collaboration with rock legend Van Morrison, You’re Driving Me Crazy (Legacy), was voted the Beyond Album of the Year.

Anat Cohen topped the Clarinet category, and her namesake tentet was voted the winner of the category Rising Star–Big Band.

The Historical Album of the Year is John Coltrane’s Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!), which the saxophonist recorded with his quartet on March 6, 1963, in the studio of famed recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Topping the Blues Album of the Year category is The Blues Is Alive And Well (RCA), by Buddy Guy, who was voted the winner in the Blues Artist or Group category.

The Critics Poll also resulted in three inductions into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. Joining the elite club are pianist-vocalist-composer Nina Simone (1933–2003), and two artists who were voted in via the DownBeat Veterans Committee. Innovative bassist Scott LaFaro (1936–’61) made a big impact in the jazz world during his far-too-brief career. In contrast, blues-influenced jazz vocalist Joe Williams (1918–’99) enjoyed a lengthy career that included a famous stint with the Count Basie Orchestra.

The August issue of DownBeat has features on numerous winning artists, as well the complete results for each category, listing more than 1,200 artists who received votes in the Critics Poll. (To subscribe to DownBeat, visit the website.) The complete list of winners is below. DB

2019 DownBeat Critics Poll

Hall of Fame: Scott LaFaro

Hall of Fame: Nina Simone

Hall of Fame: Joe Williams

Jazz Artist: Cécile McLorin Salvant

Jazz Album: Wayne Shorter, Emanon (Blue Note)

Historical Album: John Coltrane, Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!)

Jazz Group: Fred Hersch Trio

Big Band: Maria Schneider Orchestra

Trumpet: Ambrose Akinmusire

Trombone: Steve Turre

Soprano Saxophone: Jane Ira Bloom

Alto Saxophone: Miguel Zenón

Tenor Saxophone: Joe Lovano

Baritone Saxophone: Gary Smulyan

Clarinet: Anat Cohen

Flute: Nicole Mitchell

Piano: Kenny Barron

Keyboard: Robert Glasper

Organ: Joey DeFrancesco

Guitar: Mary Halvorson

Bass: Christian McBride

Electric Bass: Steve Swallow

Violin: Regina Carter

Drums: Brian Blade

Percussion: Hamid Drake

Vibraphone: Stefon Harris

Miscellaneous Instrument: Tomeka Reid (cello)

Female Vocalist: Cécile McLorin Salvant

Male Vocalist: Kurt Elling

Composer: Maria Schneider

Arranger: Maria Schneider

Record Label: ECM

Producer: Manfred Eicher

Blues Artist or Group: Buddy Guy

Blues Album: Buddy Guy, The Blues Is Alive And Well (RCA)

Beyond Artist or Group: Rhiannon Giddens

Beyond Album: Van Morrison & Joey DeFrancesco, You’re Driving Me Crazy (Legacy)

Rising Star Categories

Rising Star–Jazz Artist: Sullivan Fortner

Rising Star–Jazz Group: Sons of Kemet

Rising Star–Big Band: Anat Cohen Tentet

Rising Star–Trumpet: Adam O’Farrill

Rising Star–Trombone: Natalie Cressman

Rising Star–Soprano Saxophone: Tineke Postma

Rising Star–Alto Saxophone: Darius Jones

Rising Star–Tenor Saxophone: Dayna Stephens

Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone: Lauren Sevian

Rising Star–Clarinet: Shabaka Hutchings

Rising Star–Flute: Orlando “Maraca” Valle

Rising Star–Piano: Sullivan Fortner

Rising Star–Keyboard: Kit Downes

Rising Star–Organ: Kit Downes

Rising Star–Guitar: Miles Okazaki

Rising Star–Bass: Dezron Douglas

Rising Star–Electric Bass: Felix Pastorius

Rising Star–Violin: Aaron Weinstein

Rising Star–Drums: Allison Miller

Rising Star–Percussion: Warren Smith

Rising Star–Vibraphone: Joel Ross

Rising Star–Miscellaneous Instrument: Theon Cross (tuba)

Rising Star–Female Vocalist: Sara Serpa

Rising Star–Male Vocalist: Jacob Collier

Rising Star–Composer: Kamasi Washington

Rising Star–Arranger: Kamasi Washington

Rising Star–Producer: Ambrose Akinmusire

from http://downbeat.com

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