December 2018


Medeski Martin & Wood

Thriving in the ‘Omnisphere’

DownBeat catches up with keyboardist John Medeski, bassist Chris Wood and drummer Billy Martin to discuss Omnisphere, the band’s latest album, which was recorded with the new-music ensemble Alarm Will Sound.

  • Ralph Peterson

    ‘The Music Is Why I’m Here’

    The drummer and educator has two new albums on his Onyx label.

  • Ray Charles

    DownBeat Hall of Fame

    A monumental artist whose music melded elements from numerous genres—including jazz and blues—Ray Charles (1930–2004) is a singular figure in music history.

  • Chick Corea

    Jazz Artist of the Year/Jazz Album of the Year

    For the fourth time in the past five years, Chick Corea has been voted Jazz Artist of the Year in the Readers Poll.

  • Lizz Wright

    Beyond Album of the Year

    Lizz Wright is not one to call undue attention to herself. She talks in the same way that she sings—with an engaging openness and warmth.

  • Stanley Clarke

    Electric Bassist of the Year

    A master of his instrument, Stanley Clarke’s new album reminds his audience that, though he might be most famous for his distinctive, funk-influenced technique on electric bass, his talents run far deeper than that.

Blindfold Test

Marcus Miller was tested on the following tracks for the “Blindfold Test”:

  • Wynton Kelly: “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me” from Kelly Blue (Riverside)
  • Art Farmer: “Work Of Art” from The Art Farmer Septet (Prestige)
  • Graham Central Station: “The Jam” from Ain’t No ’Bout-A-Doubt-It (Warner/Reprise)
  • Steve Swallow: “Item 4, D.I.T.” from Damaged In Transit (Xtra Watt)
  • Oscar Pettiford: “But Not For Me” from Oscar Pettiford: Germany 1958/1959 (Jazzhaus)
  • Derrick Hodge: “Message Of Hope” from Live Today (Blue Note)
  • Aretha Franklin: “Precious Lord” from Aretha Gospel (Checker)
Also in this Issue
Holiday Gift Guide
  • Album reviews
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Veryl Oakland
  • Bruce Iglauer
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Blue Note Review
  • Frank Kimbrough
  • Art Kane
  • Frank Zappa
  • Master Class by Geof Bradfield
  • Pro Session by Bill Warfield
  • Michael Dease Trombone Solo Transcription
  • Toolshed

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