Critics Choice Award


June 15, 1998, may go down in the annals of jazz history as one of the glorious events, comparable to the Great Day in Harlem, the Newport fest concerts documented in Jazz On A Summer's Day, and we don't know quite what else. The 1998 Jazz Awards were presented at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, and an extraordinary cross-section of musicians, recording industry, management and booking personnel, journalists and private listeners celebrated artists ranging from Benny Carter (Lifetime Achievement winner of the Jazz Industry Coalition divion of the Awards) to Ornette Coleman (Musician of the Year - see below).

Writer/actor Eric Bogosian proved to be a well-grounded jazz fan and quick emcee. Peformances by the Geri Allen Project, Mingus Big Band, Ravi and Alice Coltrane, Joe Lovano's Quartet, Dave Douglas's quintet, Joe Henderson and Friends were beautiful in and of themselves.

But what really shook the house was the grand parade of musicians, starting with Horace Silver (who announced the evening's theme: It's about time this should happen), ending with Paul Shaffer (who is *not* a Feringi). In between: Elvin Jones, Andrew Hill, Jimmy Heath, Cassandra Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, Sue Mingus, Annie Ross, Marian McPartland, Eddie Palmieri, record and film producer Saul Zantz, James Jordan (head of the music program of the New York Council on the Arts) and Stanley Crouch were among the the presenters. In the crowd: Olu Dara sitting next to Pat Martino, Steve Turre with his wife Akua Dixon, singer Andy Bey, Joe Zawinul, Chuck Mitchell and Richard Seidel from Verve Records, Bruce Lundvall and Tom Everd from Blue Note Records, David Sanchez, Edison Gomez, John Stubblefield, managers Michelle Taylor and Robin Burgess (with singer Jeanie Bryson), JJA VP Willard Jenkins and Suzan Jenkins (America's Jazz Heritage), scribes including Dan Morgenstern, Bob Blumenthal and Peter Watrous, many too many others to recall them all . . .

Most of the award winners were in attendance - among those picking up for absent friends and/or clients were Jack DeJohnette, Mary Ann Topper (the Jazz Tree), and Warner Bros. Records' Matt Pierson, who said of the Awards efforts, "What we [industry people] thought would be a small step in the right direction has tonight turned out to be a giant step."

Winners of the Jazz Industry Coalition division may be viewed at the Knitting Factory's site Winners of the Critics Choice Division of the 1998 Jazz Awards - including for the first time, awards given by jazz journalists for jazz journalists (announced at a rollicking cocktail party at Iridium, prior to the Alice Tully gala, which was a benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America and Music Cares) are as follows:

1998 Jazz Awards Critics Choice Division winners are:

Lifetime AchievementMAX ROACH
(1997 winnerBenny Carter)
Musician of the YearORNETTE COLEMAN
Best Composer of 1997MARIA SCHNEIDER
Best Improviser of 1997SONNY ROLLINS
Debut Artist (first recording as leader) of 1997OLU DARA
Best Artist/Band in Performance in 1997MINGUS BIG BAND
Best Big Band of 1997MINGUS BIG BAND
Best Recording of the Year (3/31/97-3/31/98)MONK ON MONK, T.S. MONK
Best Reissue of the Year (3/31/97-3/31/98)COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS, MILES DAVIS 1965-'68
Best Trumpeter of the YearDAVE DOUGLAS
Best Reeds/Winds Players of the Year
Other reeds/windsSTEVE LACY (soprano sax)
Best Trombonist of the YearJ.J. JOHNSON
Best Keyboard Player of the YearKENNY BARRON
Best Guitarist of the YearBILL FRISELL
Best Bassist of the YearCHARLIE HADEN
Best Drummer of the YearROY HAYNES
Best Miscellaneous InstrumentalistMILT JACKSON (vibes)
Best Male VocalistJOE WILLIAMS
Best Latin Jazz GroupFORT APACHE BAND
Robert Palmer Award for WritingWHITNEY BALLIETT
Willis Conover Award for BroadcastingMARIAN McPARTLAND
Bob Parent Award for PhotographyWILLIAM CLAXTON

1998 Critics Choice
1) Lifetime Achievement (1997 winner: Benny Carter)
Ornette Coleman, Elvin Jones, Marian McPartland, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver
2) Musician of the Year 1997
Ornette Coleman, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Roy Hargrove, Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis
3) Best Composer of the Year 1997
Anthony Braxton, Ornette Coleman, Wynton Marsalis, Maria Schneider, Henry Threadgill, John Zorn
4) Best Improviser of the Year 1997
James Carter, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Sonny Rollins, Matt Shipp, Wayne Shorter
5) Debut Artist (first recording as leader released) of 1997
Olu Dara, Mark Shim, Greg Tardy, Matt Turner, Anthony Wilson, Matt Wilson
6) Best Artist/Band in Performance in 1997
Art Ensemble of Chicago, Dave Douglas, Kenny Garrett Quartet, Joe Lovano, Mingus Big Band, Steve Turre's Sanctified Shells
7) Best Combo of 1997
Art Ensemble of Chicago, Dave Douglas's Tiny Bell Trio, Roy Hargrove's Crisol, Joe Lovano Sextet, Masada, Quartet West
8) Best Big Band of 1997
Bill Holman Big Band, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Mingus Big Band, Maria Schneider Big Band, Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
9) Best Recording of the Year (3/31/97-3/31/98)
Angel Song (ECM), Kenny Wheeler, Blood on the Fieldsx (Columbia), Wynton Marsalis, By the Laws of Music (hat Art), Matt Shipp Strings Trio, Habana (Verve), Roy Hargrove's Crisol, Stargazer (Arabesque), Dave Douglas, Colors (Verve/Harmolodic), Ornette Coleman & Joachim Kuhn, Monk On Monk (N2K), T.S. Monk , 1+1 (Verve), Herbie Hancock-Wayne Shorter, Sanctuary (Avant) Dave Douglas
10) Best Reissue of the Year (3/31/97-3/31/98)
Complete Atlantic Recordings of Lennie Tristano (Mosaic), Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (Impulse), John Coltrane, Complete Columbia Studio Recordings 1965-'68 (Columbia) M. Davis, Passions of a Man: Complete Atlantic Recordings (Rhino), C. Mingus, Complete Blue Note Herbie Nichols (Blue Note), Complete Sonny Rollins RCA Recordings (BMG/RCA)
11) Best Trumpeter of the Year
Dave Douglas, Roy Hargrove, Tom Harrell, Nicholas Payton, Wallace Roney
12) Best Reeds/Winds Players of the Year
a) Alto sax
Ornette Coleman, Kenny Garrett, Lee Konitz, Jackie McLean, Phil Woods
b) Tenor sax
James Carter, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, David Murray, Sonny Rollins
c) Other reeds/winds
Nick Brignola (bari sax), Jane Bunnett (soprano sax, flute), Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet, bari sax), James Carter (bari sax), Steve Lacy (soprano sax)
13) Best Trombonist of the Year
Ray Anderson, Conrad Herwig, J. J. Johnson, Kuumba Frank Lacy, Steve Turre
14) Best Keyboard Player of the Year
Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, Herbie Hancock, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Matt Shipp
15) Best Guitarist of the Year
Bill Frisell, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Joe Morris, John Scofield
16) Best Bassist of the Year
Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Christian McBride, George Mraz, William Parker
17) Best Drummer of the Year
Jack DeJohnette, Roy Haynes, Billy Higgins, Elvin Jones, Leon Parker, Jeff "Tain" Watts
18) Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist
Billy Bang (violin), Milt Jackson (vibes), Howard Johnson (tuba), Bob Stewart (tuba), Toots Thielemans (harmonica), Steve Turri (shells)
19) Best Male Vocalist
Andy Bey, Kurt Elling, Jon Hendricks, Kevin Mahogany, Mark Murphy, Joe Williams
20) Best Female Vocalist
Dee Dee Bridgewater, Betty Carter, Shirley Horn, Diana Krall, Abbey Lincoln, Cassandra Wilson
21) Best Latin Jazz Group
Fort Apache Band, Roy Hargrove's Crisol, Eddie Palmieri Band, Tito Puente Latin Jazz Orchestra, Pancho Sanchez Band
22) Excellence in Jazz Journalism
a) Print: the Robert Palmer Award
Whitney Balliett, Bob Blumenthal, Francis Davis, Gary Giddins, Howard Mandel
b) Broadcast: the Willis Conover Award
Michael Bourne, Marian McPartland, Phil Schaap, Dr. Billy Taylor, Kenny Washington, Jim Wilke
c) Photographer: the Bob Parent Award
William Claxton, Jimmy Katz, William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard
Nominating Committee:
Chris Albertson, Andy Bartlett, Karen Bennett, Larry Blumenfeld, Phillip Booth, Jeff Bradley, Sandra Burlingame, Cadence Magazine staff, Owen Cordle, Francis Davis, Paul de Barros, Ken Franckling, John Gilbreath, Ira Gitler, James Hale, Tad Hendrickson, Christopher Hovan, Tom Ineck, Willard Jenkins, Fred Jung, Art Lange, John Litweiler, Howard Mandel, Lee Mergener, Rick Mitchell, Michael Nastos, Dan Oullette, Don Palmer, Ted Panken, Roberta Penn, Thierry Permarti, Stephen Phillips, Christopher Porter, Sam Prestianni, Howard Reich, Michael Renner, R. Dante Sawyer, Will Smith, Graham Trageses, Joe Vanderford, Scott Yanow, Bob Young.

C o m m e n t s

Musician 1 of 1
Gary Spraul
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April 17, 15

What about Johnny Wiggs?

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