August 2021


Carla Bley

Enters the Hall of Fame

Carla Bley’s extraordinary career was a longshot, but it happened. What were the chances in the 1950s that a teenaged girl from Oakland, California, would land smack in the middle of New York’s vibrant jazz scene, much less emerge as one of its most lasting compositional voices? Bley, who turned 85 this year, enters the DownBeat Hall of Fame after more than six decades of writing, recording and performing important music with the biggest stars in jazz.

  • Booker Little

    Hall of Fame

    The Veterans Committee voted in trumpeter Booker Little in this year’s poll.

  • Yusef Lateef

    Hall of Fame

    The Veterans Committee voted in the great Yusef Lateef in this year’s poll.

  • Chick Corea

    Artist of the Year

    The critics bid a fond farewell to the legendary Chick Corea, naming him Artist, Pianist and Keyboardist of the year

  • Maria Schneider

    Album of the Year

    Schneider’s Data Lords was the runaway favorite for Album of the Year. Schneider also garnered accolades for Big Band, Composer and Arranger of the year.

  • Michael Dease

    Trombonist of the Year

    Dease wins his first Critics Poll honor for Trombonist of the Year!

  • The Rising Stars

    Rising Stars

    Gerald Clayton, Angel Bat Dawit, Nubya Garcia, Immanuel Wilkins and more!

Blindfold Test

Bassist Brian Bromberg takes the test with insight and awe! Here are the tracks he checked out!

  • The Brecker Brothers: “"Slang"” from Out Of The Loop (GRP)
  • John Scofield: “"Radio"” from Swallow Tales (ECM)
  • Chris Potter Circuit Trio: “"Serpentine"” from Sunrise Reprise (Edition)
  • Super Bass: “"Mack The Knife"” from SuperBass (Telarc)
  • Weather Report: “"Punk Jazz"” from Mr. gone (Columbia)
  • Thundercat: “"Inferno"” from Drunk (Brainfeeder)
  • Marc Johnson: “"For A Thousand Years"” from The Sound Of Summer Running (Verve)
  • Marcus Miller: “"Keep 'em Runnin'"” from Laid Back (Blue Note)
Also in this Issue
Woodshed — Master Class
  • Big Band vs. Small Group Drumming, by Jeff Hamilton
Woodshed — Solo
  • Marty Ehrlich's Solo on "Dance No. 5"
Toolshed — Reviews
  • P. Mauriat Grand dreams 285 Saxophone
  • IK Multimedia Uno Synth Pro
Toolshed — Gear Box
  • Godin Fairmount CH Composer QIT Acoustic Guitar
  • Ampeg Rocket Bass Combo Amps
  • LP Barriles De Bomba
  • Korg MS-20 FS Monophonic Synth
  • Optimum Clarinet Ligatures
  • ProMark Carter McLean Signature Drumstick

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