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Bebop Spoken There

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Monday November 23

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RON AINSBOROUGH & JORDAN ALFONSO.

Postage

12,116 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1256 of them this year alone and, so far, 98 this month (Nov. 22).

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Down Beat Hereby Declares…

(Report by Returning Officer Russell)
Down Beat magazine’s annual critics’ poll results are in. Inevitably American musicians dominated, although some British names garnered a healthy number of votes. Vijay Iyer bagged both the ‘Jazz Artist’ and ‘Jazz Group’ awards in the 63rd annual critics’ poll.
A host of other category winners would be ‘dream ticket’ gigs should they ever get as far as Tyneside. ‘Jazz Album’ winner Rudresh Mahanthappa (for Bird Calls) would do good business at Gateshead International Jazz Festival, as would Darcy James Argue. Topping the ‘Big Band’ poll, just ahead of Maria Schneider, imagine either (both!) of these bands at Sage Gateshead! The Cookers were the hit of this year’s festival and their album Time and Time Again placed well, and, no doubt to their amusement, won the Rising Star Jazz Group category. Aye, these young ‘uns will go far!
The saxophone section winners would be welcome guests in the north east. Best soprano – Wayne Shorter, best alto – Rudresh Mahanthappa, best tenor – Joe Lovano and finally, best baritone – Gary Smulyan. Making the top ten in the clarinet poll is Evan Christopher and the good news is that you can hear the man in Hall Two at Sage Gateshead, Tuesday 6th October. The runaway winner in the clarinet category was Anat Cohen. Two British pianists made the top twenty – Gary Husband and Django Bates – won by Robert Glasper
Two Bebop Spoken Here favourites won their respective categories by a street. Gregory Porter, Male Vocalist (Kurt Elling second) and Cécile McLorin Salvant, Female Vocalist.
Maria Schneider won both ‘Composer’ and ‘Arranger’ awards (Darcy James Argue took third place in both polls). Schneider will be touring Britain later this year. A concert date on Tyneside would be something else! Several Brits made their mark in various ‘Rising Star’ polls; Nathaniel Facey made the top twenty in the soprano sax category (topped by Ingrid Laubrock, a regular visitor to Tyneside), Shabaka Hutchings entered the clarinet top ten, flautist Gareth Lockrane scored well, Kit Downes featured in ‘Keyboard’ and ‘Organ’ lists (Alexander Hawkins the top Brit in the latter category) and Chris Garrick made the top twenty violinists. ‘Rising Star’ Vibraphone makes interesting reading. A trio of British stars – Jim Hart, Corey Mwamba and Lewis Wright – have played great gigs in the north east and are highly regarded by American critics. Ian Shaw will have a chuckle that he is considered a ‘Rising Star Vocalist’. Shaw is a star!
Of the above names, Gregory Porter is a confirmed starter at next year’s Sage Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Will any of the others make the cut?   
Russell.

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