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    Posted: 28 Jun 2017 at 12:24pm

Wadada Leo Smith, Mary Halvorson Among Winners in DownBeat Critics Poll

Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and guitarist Mary Halvorson are among the artists who topped multiple categories in the 65th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll.

Smith topped the Trumpet category, he was voted Jazz Artist of the Year, and his Cuneiform release America’s National Parks was voted Jazz Album of the Year.

“Decades into his remarkable career, Wadada Leo Smith continues to reach new peaks,” said Bobby Reed, DownBeat editor. “America’s National Parks is an engaging, important work of art—one that illustrates not only that Wadada is a great musician but also an intriguing, ambitious conceptualist.”

Halvorson topped four categories: Guitar, Rising Star–Jazz Artist, Rising Star–Jazz Group (for her namesake trio) and Rising Star–Composer. Halvorson, who has become an in-demand collaborator as well as a revered bandleader, will headline a residency at New York’s Village Vanguard on July 18–23.

Other artists with multiple wins in the poll include Christian McBride, who topped the categories Bass and Rising Star–Producer, and Charles Lloyd, who won for Tenor Saxophone and Jazz Group (for Charles Lloyd & The Marvels). Maria Schneider takes home honors in three categories: Composer, Arranger and Big Band (for the Maria Schneider Orchestra).

The Historical Album winner is the Bill Evans two-disc set Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest (Resonance), which was recorded in 1968. The Blues Album winner is David Bromberg Band, The Blues, The Whole Blues And Nothing But The Blues, released by Red House Records.

There was a rare tie in the category Rising Star–Female Vocalist, with Jen Shyu and Becca Stevens receiving the same number of votes.

Trumpeter and world-music pioneer Don Cherry (1936–’95) was elected into the DownBeat Hall of Fame via the Critics Poll, and the DownBeat Veterans Committee voted to induct three artists: pianist Herbie Nichols (1919–’63), composer George Gershwin (1898–1937) and pianist Eubie Blake (1887–1983).

Other winners in the poll include Anat Cohen (Clarinet), Steve Turre (Trombone), Jane Ira Bloom (Soprano Saxophone), Kenny Barron (Piano), Nicole Mitchell (Flute), Matana Roberts (Rising Star–Alto Saxophone), Thundercat (Rising Star–Electric Bass), Sara Caswell (Rising Star–Violin) and Cecilia Smith (Rising Star–Vibraphone).

The August issue of DownBeat has features on numerous Critics Poll winners, along with the complete results for each category, listing more than 1,200 artists who received votes. DB

The complete list of winners is below:


Hall of Fame: Don Cherry, Herbie Nichols, George Gershwin and Eubie Blake 
Jazz Artist: Wadada Leo Smith 
Jazz Album: Wadada Leo Smith, America’s National Parks (Cuneiform)
Historical Album: Bill Evans, Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest (Resonance)
Jazz Group: Charles Lloyd & The Marvels 
Big Band: Maria Schneider Orchestra 
Trumpet: Wadada Leo Smith 
Trombone: Steve Turre 
Soprano Saxophone: Jane Ira Bloom 
Alto Saxophone: Rudresh Mahanthappa 
Tenor Saxophone: Charles Lloyd 
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: Stanley Clarke 
Violin: Regina Carter
Drums: Jack DeJohnette 
Percussion: Hamid Drake 
Vibraphone: Stefon Harris 
Miscellaneous Instrument: Béla Fleck (banjo)
Female Vocalist: Cécile McLorin Salvant 
Male Vocalist: Gregory Porter
Composer: Maria Schneider 
Arranger: Maria Schneider 
Record Label: ECM
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Blues Artist or Group: Buddy Guy
Blues Album: David Bromberg Band, The Blues, The Whole Blues And Nothing But The Blues (Red House Records)
Beyond Artist or Group: Leonard Cohen 
Beyond Album: Allen Toussaint, American Tunes (Nonesuch)


Rising Star–Jazz Artist: Mary Halvorson 
Rising Star–Jazz Group: Mary Halvorson Trio 
Rising Star–Big Band: Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus 
Rising Star–Trumpet: Taylor Ho Bynum 
Rising Star–Trombone: Marshall Gilkes 
Rising Star–Soprano Saxophone: Christine Jensen 
Rising Star–Alto Saxophone: Matana Roberts 
Rising Star–Tenor Saxophone: Noah Preminger 
Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone: Dave Rempis 
Rising Star–Clarinet: Oscar Noriega 
Rising Star–Flute: Kali. Z. Fasteau 
Rising Star–Piano: Kris Davis 
Rising Star–Keyboard: Kris Bowers 
Rising Star–Organ: Wil Blades 
Rising Star–Guitar: Gilad Hekselman 
Rising Star–Bass: Eric Revis 
Rising Star–Electric Bass: Thundercat 
Rising Star–Violin: Sara Caswell 
Rising Star–Drums: Jeff Ballard 
Rising Star–Percussion: Sunny Jain 
Rising Star–Vibraphone: Cecilia Smith 
Rising Star–Miscellaneous Instrument: Akua Dixon (cello) 
Rising Star–Female Vocalist (tie): Jen Shyu and Becca Stevens 
Rising Star–Male Vocalist: John Boutté 
Rising Star–Composer: Mary Halvorson 
Rising Star–Arranger: Esperanza Spalding 
Rising Star–Producer: Christian McBride 

from http://downbeat.com

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