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DownBeat Magazine

Salvant Wins Four Categories in DownBeat Critics Poll

Posted 6/23/2014

Singer-songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant topped four categories in the 62nd Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll, including Jazz Album of the Year. Besides honoring her U.S. debut, WomanChild (Mack Avenue), as the year’s best jazz album, critics named her the top Female Vocalist, as well as the Rising Star–Jazz Artist and Rising Star–Female Vocalist.

“This is a remarkable year for jazz vocalists,” said Frank Alkyer, DownBeat publisher. “Gregory Porter earned Jazz Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist honors on the strength of Liquid Spirit, his Blue Note debut, and for being one of the best live shows touring today. And Cécile McLorin Salvant has just exploded onto the scene. We knew WomanChild was a great record, but had no idea it would be honored as Jazz Album of the Year. She’s going to be one of the most exciting acts on tour this year, too.

“The DownBeat Critics Poll once again demonstrates the beauty of this music and tremendous diversity on so many levels,” Alkyer added. “It’s not just about the winners. We’ve got 62 categories, with more than 1,200 artists listed in the complete results. This poll is the most in-depth snapshot of jazz you’ll see in 2014.”

The DownBeat Critics Poll is divided into categories for established artists and for Rising Stars. In addition to the categories for Jazz, the poll also includes categories for Blues and Beyond.

Another big winner in the poll is Maria Schneider, who had victories in three categories: Big Band, Composer and Arranger.

Buddy Guy was named the top Blues Artist or Group and his album Rhythm & Blues (RCA/Silvertone) was voted Blues Album of the Year.

The complete poll results will be published in the August issue of DownBeat, arriving on newsstands on July 15.

The critics elected influential guitarist Jim Hall (1930–2013) into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. The DownBeat Veterans Committee inducted singers Dinah Washington (1924–’63) and Bing Crosby (1903–’77) into the Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of inductees to 138.

Among the established artists in the Critics Poll, the winners include Ambrose Akinmusire (Trumpet), Kenny Garrett (Alto Saxophone), Jane Ira Bloom (Soprano Saxophone), Anat Cohen (Clarinet), Nicole Mitchell (Flute), Vijay Iyer (Piano), Bill Frisell (Guitar), Christian McBride (Bass), Jack DeJohnette (Drums) and Gary Burton (Vibraphone).

The Robert Glasper Experiment was named the top Beyond Artist or Group, and its album Black Radio 2 (Blue Note) was honored as the top Beyond Album. Additionally, Glasper won the Keyboard category.

Wycliffe Gordon won the Trombone category, and critics honored him for his tuba playing in the category Rising Star–Miscellaneous Instrument.

The top Historical Album is Miles Davis’ Miles At The Fillmore–Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (Columbia/Legacy).

Ryan Truesdell, who leads and conducts the Gil Evans Project, took honors for Rising Star–Big Band and Rising Star–Arranger.

Among the other Rising Star winners are Jonathan Finlayson (Rising Star–Trumpet), Colin Stetson (Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone), Holly Hofmann (Rising Star–Flute), Fabian Almazan (Rising Star–Piano), Marc Cary (Rising Star–Keyboard), Rudy Royston (Rising Star–Drums) and Terri Lyne Carrington (Rising Star–Producer).

The complete list of winners is below:


Hall of Fame: Jim Hall 

Veterans Committee Hall of Fame: Dinah Washington 

Veterans Committee Hall of Fame: Bing Crosby 

Jazz Artist: Gregory Porter

Jazz Album: Cécile McLorin Salvant, WomanChild (Mack Avenue)

Historical Album: Miles Davis, Miles At The Fillmore–Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (Columbia/Legacy)

Jazz Group: Wayne Shorter Quartet 

Big Band: Maria Schneider Orchestra

Trumpet: Ambrose Akinmusire

Trombone: Wycliffe Gordon

Soprano Saxophone: Jane Ira Bloom

Alto Saxophone: Kenny Garrett

Tenor Saxophone: Joe Lovano 

Baritone Saxophone: Gary Smulyan

Clarinet: Anat Cohen

Flute: Nicole Mitchell

Piano: Vijay Iyer 

Keyboard: Robert Glasper 

Organ: Dr. Lonnie Smith 

Guitar: Bill Frisell

Bass: Christian McBride

Electric Bass: Stanley Clarke 

Violin: Regina Carter

Drums: Jack DeJohnette

Vibraphone: Gary Burton 

Percussion: Hamid Drake 

Miscellaneous Instrument: Béla Fleck (banjo)

Male Vocalist: Gregory Porter

Female Vocalist: Cécile McLorin Salvant 

Composer: Maria Schneider 

Arranger: Maria Schneider 

Record Label: ECM

Producer: Manfred Eicher

Blues Artist or Group: Buddy Guy

Blues Album: Buddy Guy, Rhythm & Blues (RCA/Silvertone)

Beyond Artist or Group: Robert Glasper Experiment

Beyond Album: Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio 2 (Blue Note)


Rising Star–Jazz Artist: Cécile McLorin Salvant

Rising Star–Jazz Group: 3 Cohens 

Rising Star–Big Band: Ryan Truesdell Gil Evans Project

Rising Star–Trumpet: Jonathan Finlayson

Rising Star–Trombone: Vincent Gardner

Rising Star–Soprano Saxophone: Tia Fuller

Rising Star–Alto Saxophone: Jaleel Shaw

Rising Star–Tenor Saxophone: Wayne Escoffery

Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone: Colin Stetson

Rising Star–Clarinet: David Krakauer

Rising Star–Flute: Holly Hofmann

Rising Star–Piano: Fabian Almazan

Rising Star–Keyboard: Marc Cary

Rising Star–Organ: Brian Charette

Rising Star–Guitar: Peter Bernstein

Rising Star–Bass: Avishai Cohen

Rising Star–Electric Bass: Derrick Hodge 

Rising Star–Violin: Eyvind Kang

Rising Star–Drums: Rudy Royston

Rising Star–Vibraphone: Matt Moran

Rising Star–Percussion: Pedrito Martinez

Rising Star–Miscellaneous Instrument: Wycliffe Gordon (tuba) 

Rising Star–Male Vocalist: Ed Reed

Rising Star–Female Vocalist: Cécile McLorin Salvant

Rising Star–Composer: Ben Allison

Rising Star–Arranger: Ryan Truesdell

Rising Star–Producer: Terri Lyne Carrington



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