August 2020


Terri Lyne Carrington

‘The Determination To Be Fearless’

The drummer and bandleader, who topped three categories in the Critics Poll, discusses Waiting Game, the acclaimed album she recorded with her band Social Science. In addition, Carrington reflects on her role as an educator and activist for social justice.​

  • Jimmy Heath: Hall of Fame

    Keeper Of The Continuum

    Heath outlived most of his contemporaries during a career that saw the spirited saxophonist serve as a big-band specialist, a prolific composer, an astute arranger and an avid teacher who championed young musicians.

  • Carmen McRae: Hall Of Fame

    ‘You Have To Improvise’

    McRae’s chemistry with a lyric was not dissimilar to sodium pentothal’s effects on subjects of interrogation: The truth, for better or worse, would emerge.

  • Mildred Bailey: Hall Of Fame

    Belated Accolade

    Pianist Teddy Wilson, whose partnership with Billie Holiday in the 1930s bequeathed us one of the great collective canons of jazz history, once told me a surprising thing.

  • Ambrose Akinmusire: Trumpeter Of The Year

    Akinmusire’s Pure Pursuit Of Sound

    Hearing Akinmusire perform brings to mind Louis Armstrong’s description of first hearing Bix Beiderbecke: “Those pretty notes went right through me.”

  • Joey DeFrancesco: Organist Of The Year

    DeFrancesco Expands His Skill Set

    With touring on hold due to the pandemic, multi-instrumentalist and organ icon DeFrancesco has been staying put in his Arizona home.

  • Spotlight On Rising Stars

    Sparks Of Wonder, Discovery

    Shabaka and The Ancestors, vibraphonist Sasha Berliner, guitarist Lage Lund and violinist Sarah Bernstein all topped Rising Star categories in this year’s poll.

Blindfold Test

Kirk Whalum was tested on the following tracks for the “Blindfold Test”:

  • Booker T. Jones: “Rent Party” from The Road From Memphis (Anti-)
  • Keiko Matsui: “Light In The Rain” from No Borders (MCA)
  • Christian McBride’s New Jawn: “The Middle Man” from Christian McBride’s New Jawn (Mack Avenue)
  • Bill Charlap/Elvis Costello/Joe Lovano: “My Flame Burns Blue” from Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life (Blue Note)
  • Wayne Shorter: “Ponta De Areia” from Native Dancer (Columbia)
  • Cannonball Adderley Quintet: “You’re A Weaver Of Dreams” from Cannonball Adderley Quintet In Chicago (Mercury)
Also in this Issue
Full Critics Poll Results
  • Steve Swallow, and the year's best jazz, blues and beyond recordings.
  • Transcription of Sam Newsome’s soprano saxophone solo on ‘Sub Saharan Dialogue’
  • Reviews of the Eastman Romeo-SC and MusicMedic Wilmington Alto

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