August 2022


Jon Batiste

The Critics Choice for…

Jazz Artist of the Year

Beyond Artist of the Year

& Beyond Album of the Year

On the surface of things, it seems counterintuitive that DownBeat critics would name the same musician both Jazz Artist of the Year and Beyond Artist of the Year, until you learn that the musician in question is Jon Batiste, and suddenly the double billing makes sense. Not only does Batiste fully occupy both of these spaces, but he actively promotes the normalization of such musical ambidexterity.

  • Geri Allen

    Enters the DB Hall of Fame
  • James Brandon Lewis

    Album of the Year & Rising Star Group of the Year
  • A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle

    Historical Album of the Year
  • Maria Schneider

    Large Ensemble of the Year, Composer of the Year and Arranger of the Year
  • Melissa Aldana

    Rising Star Artist of the Year
  • Ulysses Owens Jr.

    Rising Star Large Ensemble of the Year
Blindfold Test

As the proprietor of two globally famous Greenwich Village jazz clubs, pianist Michael “Spike” Wilner, 55, has booked most of New York’s finest practitioners of the 88s since he purchased Smalls in 2007 and opened Mezzrow in 2014, while continuing to refine his own, dis- tinctive tonal personality on the instrument, as documented most recently on Aliens And Wizards (Cellar Live), with bassist Tyler Mitchell and drummer Anthony Pinciotti. This is his first Blindfold Test.

  • George Cables: “Too Close For Comfort” from Too Close For Comfort (High Note, 2021)
  • Aaron Diehl: “Milano” from The Vagabond (Mack Avenue, 2020)
  • Geoffrey Keezer: “Brilliant Corners” from On My Way To You (MarKeez, 2018)
  • Matthew Shipp: “Prelude To A Kiss” from To Duke (RogueArt, 2015)
  • Renee Rosnes: “Swoop” from Kinds Of Love (Smoke Sessions, 2021)
  • Robert Glasper: “Portrait Of An Angel” from Canvas (Blue Note, 2005)
  • Gerald Clayton: “My Ideal, Take 1” from Bells On Sand (Blue Note, 2022)
  • Ahmad Jamal: “The Awakening” from The Awakening (Impulse!, 1970)
  • Kirk Lightsey/Rufus Reid: “Oleo” from The Nights Of Bradley’s (Sunnyside, 1985–2004)
Also in this Issue
  • Giant Steps Arts
  • Brian Landrus
  • Jazz Cruises Return
  • You Need This! Album Series
  • Nicole Johänntgen
  • Roberto Occhipinti
  • Ed Neumeister
  • Carol Sloane, Live at Birdland
  • Justice, The Vocal Works OF Oliver Lake
  • Vadim Neselovskyi, Odesa
  • I Am, I Am Beyond
  • Ray Charles, A Message From The People
  • Ray Charles, Live In Stockholm 1972
  • Tenure Under the Bridge, by Tony Malaby
  • Surviving the Pandemic, by Brian Bromberg
  • Transcription, Tomeka Reid's Solo on "Cultural Differences"

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