The 2014 Jazz Awards (and mine)

The Jazz Journalists’ Association announced its 2014 awards this week. I don’t think I’ve disagreed with so many of its picks. In most cases, I’d simply rank others higher than the JJA balloteers; in some cases, though, I part from their judgment pretty vigorously. Here are some of the JJA winners, followed by my choices:

Record of the Year:
(JJA) Wayne Shorter, Without a Net (Blue Note).
(Me) Darcy James Argue & Secret Society, Brooklyn Babylon (New Amsterdam). (I’m in a minority here, but I think Shorter’s latest is overrated: the band is great, but Shorter noodles too much.)

Composer of the Year:
(JJA) Maria Schneider.
(Me) Maria Schneider. (No argument here.)

Historical Record of the Year:
(JJA) Miles Davis, Live in Europe 1969 (Columbia Legacy).
(Me) Clifford Jordan, The Complete Strata-East Sessions (Mosaic). (The Jordan is what historical reissues are for.)

Large Ensemble of the Year:
(JJA) Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra.
(Me) Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra. (Yes!)

Mid-Sized Ensemble of the Year:
(JJA) Wayne Shorter Quintet.
(Me) Dave Douglas-Joe Lovano Sound Prints Quintet. (This band played one of the most exciting sets I’ve seen at the Village Vanguard lately—where’s the album?)

Trio or Duo of the Year:
(JJA) Randy Weston-Billy Harper.
(Me) The Bad Plus (if just for the Rite of Spring audacity, though I would like to hear the Weston-Harper).

Trumpeter of the Year:
(JJA) Terence Blanchard.
(Me) Dave Douglas.

Tenor Sax of the Year:
(JJA) Joe Lovano.
(Me) Sonny Rollins. (In fairness, JJA has declared Rollins “emeritus,” so he’s disqualified from winning again.)

Alto Sax of the Year:
(JJA) Lee Konitz.
(Me) Steve Coleman.

Pianist of the Year:
(JJA) Craig Taborn.
(Me) Jason Moran (or maybe Marc Cary).

Clarinetist of the Year:
(JJA) Anat Cohen.
(Me) Ben Goldberg.

Multi-Reed Player of the Year:
(JJA) Joe Lovano.
(Me) Scott Robinson.

Guitarist of the Year:
(JJA) Bill Frisell.
(Me) Bill Frisell (though Marc Ribot comes very close).

Violinist/Cellist of the Year:
(JJA) Regina Carter.
(Me) Erik Friedlander (runner-up to Jenny Scheinman or Mark Feldman).

Bassist of the Year:
(JJA) Christian McBride.
(Me) William Parker.

Drummer of the Year:
(JJA) Jack DeJohnette.
(Me) Roy Haynes (runner-up: Matt Wilson).

Anyway, a lot of very good musicians out there!

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COMMENTS
Bixby's picture

I don't know of an album, but there is audio from their 2012 appearance at the Vanguard.

Allen Fant's picture

Thanks! for sharing FK. Another banner year for Jazz, IMO. I fell in love w/ Jazz music about 10 years ago and have no volition of turning back.

pablolie's picture

Best album,best writer,best vocalist.

BradleyP's picture

You said it, pablolie.  I so often think of the heartfelt poetry in Porter's line "...like water under bridges that are already burned" and try think of who else can write and sing lyrics like that in any genre.  It's a mighty short list. 

romath's picture

Your mention of The Bad Plus sent me onto YouTube to listen to several of their tracks from different times.  Whew, talk about soporific!  I don't hear any human life there. But then, a lot of people get off on those players from smaller west coast U.S. towns that compose ocean-inspired music.  

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