Wednesday, August 05, 2020

2020 Downbeat Readers Poll

I cast a vote in the most recent Downbeat Readers Poll. These are difficult to complete in good times when recording and performing opportunities are flush, but in times of illness, race hatred and economic failure where musicians are just trying to stay alive to fight another day, these polls are thrown into deeper shade. Take them with a grain of salt, there are dozens of musicians playing at a super human level on any particular instrument, picking one is a personal preference that does nothing to denigrate the talent of the remaining artists. Finally, I had to cast a lot of write-in votes as Downbeat's suggested musicians in each category skewed toward the mainstream.

Hall of Fame: Sam Rivers (write-in)
Jazz Artist: Tim Berne (write-in)
Jazz Group: Broken Shadows (Berne/Speed/Anderson/King) (write-in)
Big Band: Large Unit (Paal Nilssen-Love) (write-in)
Jazz Album (Released June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020): Anna Hogberg Attack - Lena (Omlott, 2020) (write-in)
Historical Album (Released June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020): Sun Ra Arkestra - Heliocentric Worlds 1 and 2 Revisited (ezz-thetics, 2020) (write-in)
Trumpet: Nate Wooley
Trombone: Jeb Bishop
Soprano Saxophone: Sam Newsome
Alto Saxophone: Rob Brown (write-in)
Tenor Saxophone: James Brandon Lewis (write-in)
Baritone Saxophone: Gary Smulyan
Clarinet: Oscar Noriega
Flute: Nicole Mitchell
Piano: Matthew Shipp
Keyboard: Jamie Saft
Organ: Brian Charette
Guitar: Hedvig Mollestad (write-in)
Bass: Brandon Lopez (write-in)
Electric Bass: Jasper Stadhouders (write-in)
Violin: Mark Feldman
Drums: Whit Dickey (write-in)
Vibes: Jason Adasiewicz
Percussion: Hamid Drake
Miscellaneous Instrument: David Murray (bass clarinet)
Male Vocalist: Dwight Trible
Female Vocalist: Moor Mother (write-in)
Composer: John Zorn
Arranger: Makaya McCraven
Record Label: Pi Recordings
Blues Artist or Group: Joe Louis Walker
Blues Album (Released June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020) (blank)
Beyond Artist Or Group: Khruangbin
Beyond Album (Released June 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020) The Black Keys - Let's Rock

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