August 2017


Wadada Leo Smith

Rising Up In Purity

Wadada Leo Smith is enjoying one of the best years of his lengthy career. Smith, who is still youthful at age 75, topped three categories in the DownBeat Critics Poll: Jazz Artist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year (for America’s National

  • 65th Annual Critics Poll

    Complete Poll Results

    The complete poll results include more than 60 categories, both for established artists and Rising Stars. Plus, we’ve got brief descriptions of the year’s Top 10 Jazz Albums and Top 10 Historical Albums.

  • Don Cherry

    Organic Flow

    DownBeat examines the career of trumpeter Don Cherry (1936–’95), who had a long association with Ornette Coleman and later became a pioneer of world music.

  • Mary Halvorson

    More Than I Would've Hoped For

    Guitarist Mary Halvorson, who was profiled in our July 2014 cover story, “The 80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today,” continues to win accolades. She topped four categories in the Critics Poll: Guitar, Rising Star–Jazz Artist, Rising Star–Jazz Group and Rising Star–Composer.

  • Herbie Nichols, George Gershwin, Eubie Blake

    Veterans Committee Hall of Fame

    DownBeat profiles the three influential artists voted into the Hall of Fame by our Veterans Committee: pianist Herbie Nichols (1919–’63), composer George Gershwin (1898–1937) and pianist Eubie Blake (1887–1983).

  • Jane Ira Bloom

    Chasing a Mercurial Sound

    Veteran soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom impressed critics and won new fans with her 2016 album Early Americans.

  • Noah Preminger

    Distinctive Character

    Tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger released an instrumental album of protest music, Meditations On Freedom, in early 2017, and he released Some Other Time on vinyl LP for the Newvelle label last year.

Blindfold Test

Matthew Garrison

  • Marcus Miller: “Blast!” from Marcus (Concord)
  • Avishai Cohen: “Smash” from Continuo (Razdaz/Sunnyside)
  • Percy Heath: “A Love Song” from A Love Song (Daddy Jazz)
  • Ben Williams : “Little Susie ” from State Of Art (Concord)
  • Charnett Moffett: “Universal Beat and Scrambled Eggs” from Still Life (Evidence)
  • Cecil McBee Band: “Catfish” from Unspoken (Palmetto)
Also in this Issue
The Beat
  • Reedist Mike McGinnis discusses his trio album "Recurring Dreams"
  • Bassist Bryan Copeland talks Bryan and the Aardvarks
  • Saxophonist Nick Mazzarella talks about his new album with Meridian Trio

  • Master Class: Jared Sims
  • Pro Session: Jarrard Harris on "Listening to Learn the Language of Jazz"
  • Transcription: Howard Levy harmonica solo on "Seresta"

  • Blessing BFH-1541 flugelhorn
  • Fishman SA Performance Audio PA system
  • Eastman Custom Edition Guitar

PLUS: Dozens of album reviews, product reviews and much more!