Salvant Wins Four Categories in DownBeat Critics Poll
Posted 6/23/2014

Singer-songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant topped four categories in the 62nd Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll, including Jazz Album of the Year. Besides honoring her U.S. debut, WomanChild (Mack Avenue), as the year’s best jazz album, critics named her the top Female Vocalist, as well as the Rising Star–Jazz Artist and Rising Star–Female Vocalist.

“This is a remarkable year for jazz vocalists,” said Frank Alkyer, DownBeat publisher. “Gregory Porter earned Jazz Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist honors on the strength of Liquid Spirit, his Blue Note debut, and for being one of the best live shows touring today. And Cécile McLorin Salvant has just exploded onto the scene. We knew WomanChild was a great record, but had no idea it would be honored as Jazz Album of the Year. She’s going to be one of the most exciting acts on tour this year, too.

“The DownBeat Critics Poll once again demonstrates the beauty of this music and tremendous diversity on so many levels,” Alkyer added. “It’s not just about the winners. We’ve got 62 categories, with more than 1,200 artists listed in the complete results. This poll is the most in-depth snapshot of jazz you’ll see in 2014.”

The DownBeat Critics Poll is divided into categories for established artists and for Rising Stars. In addition to the categories for Jazz, the poll also includes categories for Blues and Beyond.

Another big winner in the poll is Maria Schneider, who had victories in three categories: Big Band, Composer and Arranger.

Buddy Guy was named the top Blues Artist or Group and his album Rhythm & Blues (RCA/Silvertone) was voted Blues Album of the Year.

The complete poll results will be published in the August issue of DownBeat, arriving on newsstands on July 15.

The critics elected influential guitarist Jim Hall (1930–2013) into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. The DownBeat Veterans Committee inducted singers Dinah Washington (1924–’63) and Bing Crosby (1903–’77) into the Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of inductees to 138.

Among the established artists in the Critics Poll, the winners include Ambrose Akinmusire (Trumpet), Kenny Garrett (Alto Saxophone), Jane Ira Bloom (Soprano Saxophone), Anat Cohen (Clarinet), Nicole Mitchell (Flute), Vijay Iyer (Piano), Bill Frisell (Guitar), Christian McBride (Bass), Jack DeJohnette (Drums) and Gary Burton (Vibraphone).

The Robert Glasper Experiment was named the top Beyond Artist or Group, and its album Black Radio 2 (Blue Note) was honored as the top Beyond Album. Additionally, Glasper won the Keyboard category.

Wycliffe Gordon won the Trombone category, and critics honored him for his tuba playing in the category Rising Star–Miscellaneous Instrument.

The top Historical Album is Miles Davis’ Miles At The Fillmore–Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (Columbia/Legacy).

Ryan Truesdell, who leads and conducts the Gil Evans Project, took honors for Rising Star–Big Band and Rising Star–Arranger.

Among the other Rising Star winners are Jonathan Finlayson (Rising Star–Trumpet), Colin Stetson (Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone), Holly Hofmann (Rising Star–Flute), Fabian Almazan (Rising Star–Piano), Marc Cary (Rising Star–Keyboard), Rudy Royston (Rising Star–Drums) and Terri Lyne Carrington (Rising Star–Producer).

The complete list of winners is below:

62nd ANNUAL DOWNBEAT CRITICS POLL WINNERS

Hall of Fame: Jim Hall
Veterans Committee Hall of Fame: Dinah Washington
Veterans Committee Hall of Fame: Bing Crosby
Jazz Artist: Gregory Porter
Jazz Album: Cécile McLorin Salvant, WomanChild (Mack Avenue)
Historical Album: Miles Davis, Miles At The Fillmore–Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (Columbia/Legacy)
Jazz Group: Wayne Shorter Quartet
Big Band: Maria Schneider Orchestra
Trumpet: Ambrose Akinmusire
Trombone: Wycliffe Gordon
Soprano Saxophone: Jane Ira Bloom
Alto Saxophone: Kenny Garrett
Tenor Saxophone: Joe Lovano
Baritone Saxophone: Gary Smulyan
Clarinet: Anat Cohen
Flute: Nicole Mitchell
Piano: Vijay Iyer
Keyboard: Robert Glasper
Organ: Dr. Lonnie Smith
Guitar: Bill Frisell
Bass: Christian McBride
Electric Bass: Stanley Clarke
Violin: Regina Carter
Drums: Jack DeJohnette
Vibraphone: Gary Burton
Percussion: Hamid Drake
Miscellaneous Instrument: Béla Fleck (banjo)
Male Vocalist: Gregory Porter
Female Vocalist: Cécile McLorin Salvant
Composer: Maria Schneider
Arranger: Maria Schneider
Record Label: ECM
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Blues Artist or Group: Buddy Guy
Blues Album: Buddy Guy, Rhythm & Blues (RCA/Silvertone)
Beyond Artist or Group: Robert Glasper Experiment
Beyond Album: Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio 2 (Blue Note)

RISING STAR WINNERS

Rising Star–Jazz Artist: Cécile McLorin Salvant
Rising Star–Jazz Group: 3 Cohens
Rising Star–Big Band: Ryan Truesdell Gil Evans Project
Rising Star–Trumpet: Jonathan Finlayson
Rising Star–Trombone: Vincent Gardner
Rising Star–Soprano Saxophone: Tia Fuller
Rising Star–Alto Saxophone: Jaleel Shaw
Rising Star–Tenor Saxophone: Wayne Escoffery
Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone: Colin Stetson
Rising Star–Clarinet: David Krakauer
Rising Star–Flute: Holly Hofmann
Rising Star–Piano: Fabian Almazan
Rising Star–Keyboard: Marc Cary
Rising Star–Organ: Brian Charette
Rising Star–Guitar: Peter Bernstein
Rising Star–Bass: Avishai Cohen
Rising Star–Electric Bass: Derrick Hodge
Rising Star–Violin: Eyvind Kang
Rising Star–Drums: Rudy Royston
Rising Star–Vibraphone: Matt Moran
Rising Star–Percussion: Pedrito Martinez
Rising Star–Miscellaneous Instrument: Wycliffe Gordon (tuba)
Rising Star–Male Vocalist: Ed Reed
Rising Star–Female Vocalist: Cécile McLorin Salvant
Rising Star–Composer: Ben Allison
Rising Star–Arranger: Ryan Truesdell
Rising Star–Producer: Terri Lyne Carrington


Cécile McLorin Salvant (Photo: John Abbott)

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