January 2017


Dizzy, Ella, Buddy & Monk

The Year that Changed the Course of Jazz History

The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recording. It also marks the centennial of an amazing group of jazz legends: pianist Thelonious Monk, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, vocalist Ella Fitzgerald and drummer Buddy Rich.

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    Dizzy, Ella, Buddy & Monk

    1917: The Year that Changed Jazz

    DownBeat celebrates the centennial of these influential artists (and other jazz pioneers born in 1917), plus we celebrate the 100th “birthday” for jazz itself.

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    Jonathan Finlayson

    Strategic Moves

    Jonathan Finlayson is an exciting artist who topped the category Rising Star–Trumpet in the 2014 DownBeat Critics Poll. He has won acclaim as a sideman and now he has a new album as a leader, Moving Still.

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    Best Albums of 2016

    The Year in Album Reviews

    DownBeat presents a recap of the 5-, 4½- and 4-star album reviews from the past year. We also include one page devoted to descriptions of the 5-star masterpieces of 2016, including albums by Lucian Ban, Carla Bley, Bill Charlap, Eli Degibri, David Krakauer and Matt Wilson.

Blindfold Test

Christian McBride was tested for the “Blindfold Test.”

  • Dave Holland/Kenny Barron : “Segment” from The Art Of Conversation (Impulse!)
  • Ron Carter: “Blues Farm” from Blues Farm (Sony)
  • Stanley Clarke: “"Come On"” from The Toys Of Men (Heads Up)
  • Victor Wooten: “Medley” from A Show Of Hands (Vix Records)
  • Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: “Feathers And Earth, Pt. II” from Celestial Weather (TUM)
  • Thundercat: “Oh Sheit, It's X” from Apocalypse (Brainfeeder)
  • Derrick Hodge: “Don Blue” from The Second (Blue Note)
Also in this Issue
Jazz School
  • DownBeat examines a wide spectrum of topics in this section designed for students and professional players alike.
  • “Career Opportunities in Jazz Education” by JB Dyas of the Monk Institute
  • Revitalizing the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho
  • A conversation with Herb Alpert on the importance of music education


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