Monday, January 27, 2020

Grammy Winners 2020

Brian Lynch’s The Omni-American Book Club Wins GRAMMY® Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

On Sunday, January 26th, trumpeter, composer and recording artist Brian Lynch won the second GRAMMY® Award of his career. Lynch’s The Omni-American Book Club: My Journey Through Literature in Music was named Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album at the GRAMMY Premiere Award Ceremony, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. This win is particularly momentous as The Omni-American Book Club is a fully independent project, self-released and self-funded on Lynch’s own label Hollistic MusicWorks. This win serves as a landmark for independent artists everywhere.

Following his win, Lynch stated:

“What an amazing weekend in L.A. at The Grammy Awards! To be in the company of so many celebrated artists and esteemed friends in the music community, and then to be singled out and bestowed with one of the most prestigious accolades in our field – well, it strains even my florid vocabulary to convey the elation I feel! What an honor to receive my second Grammy and my fifth and sixth nominations in this year’s awards. I salute all the nominees and winners for a year of incredible music.

I want to give thanks and gratitude to my whole production team, the incredible guest artists on the record, and in particular my students, former students and colleagues at the Frost School Of Music, University Of Miami, who along with the outstanding musicians of South Florida made up a recording ensemble second to none. I also want to thank my Frost School family for sabbatical support that allowed the creative juices to flow, access to their world class recording facilities, and in general their encouragement and help every step of the way. This project was indeed “Frost Built”!”

During his acceptance speech, Lynch also gave thanks to: “…my wife Marissa and beloved doggie Finnegan, my parents for instilling a love for reading in me; and thanks to all the authors whose books inspired this album, most especially the immortal Albert Murray. I first read his The Omni-Americans almost 50 years ago, at the very start of my journey into my life in music. His vision, and the vision of the other authors paid tribute to in this project, continue to provide me with hope that the day will come where we can live together, and create together, in justice, equality, respect and regard, both in our own land and as citizens of the world.”
To date, Brian Lynch has been nominated for six GRAMMY® Awards. In addition to his nomination for best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Lynch’s composition off the album “Crucible for Crisis” was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition (John Williams ultimately won that category). In 2006, Lynch won the GRAMMY® for Best Latin Jazz Album for his release Simpático.

 The Omni-American Book Club: My Journey Through Literature in Music, released on Hollistic MusicWorks on August 29th, 2019,  is an expansive album of music for large ensemble (“big band”) composed and arranged by Lynch and featuring his work as soloist alongside an all star cast of special guests including Regina Carter, Donald Harrison, NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman, GRAMMY® Award winner Dafnis Prieto, Orlando “Maraca” Valle, and Jim Snidero.

On his first-ever big band recording, Lynch connects his lifelong passion for reading and the books that have shaped his life with his original music. The books that have shaped Lynch’s consciousness, and thus his music, have been myriad, and his dedications for the music of The Omni-American Book Club reflect both the diversity and the focus of his reading interests. The Omni-American Book Club was co-produced by Kabir Sehgal, who Lynch describes as having been instrumental in helping to define the album’s overall theme, and Doug Davis.

Photo: Getty Images North America

Monday, January 20, 2020

Benjamin Boone collaborates with Accra-based Ghana Jazz Collective on new album "Joy"

Saxophonist-composer Benjamin Boone's The Poetry of Jazz, a visionary collaboration with U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, was praised in leading musical and literary publications, featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and voted the #3 Best Album of 2018 in DownBeat's 83rd annual Readers Poll. Boone documents an equally compelling collaboration, this time from his year as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Ghana, on his newest project Joy, set for a March 20th release on Origin Records. 
This album, the fifth under his own name, places Boone alongside an Accra-based cohort of Ghanaian jazz musicians known as the Ghana Jazz Collective. Tenor saxophonist Bernard Ayisa, pianist Victor Dey Jr., bassist Bright Osei, and drummer Frank Kissi join Boone (with further assistance on some tracks from vocalist Sandra Huson) on four of his originals, a reimagining of Herbie Hancock's classic "Maiden Voyage," and intriguing covers of two lesser-known jazz compositions.
(Benjamin Boone and Ghana Jazz Collective: Victor Dey Jr., Frank Kissi, Bright Osei, Benjamin Boone, Bernard Ayisa)
Though created in a country some five thousand miles away, Joy is not out of the realm of a traditional jazz album. The polyrhythms that underpin the music are West African in origin, but nonetheless recognizable to fans of funk, R&B, and postmodern jazz. Nobody was more surprised than Boone, who had come to Ghana to study its musical traditions, when he was invited to sit in with the band at Accra's +233 Jazz Bar & Grill. "I was expecting to hear something like Ethiojazz or Hugh Masekela," he recalls, "but these guys know American jazz inside and out, and play the heck out of it -- but with a definite Ghanaian twist."
(A school seen from the window of the Accra studio where "Joy" was recorded)

More to the point, all of the musicians speak the international language of groove. It's as potent on Boone's slithery head-bobber "The 233 Jazz Bar" as it is on his aggressive, shapeshifting "The Intricacies of Alice," or his Hiromi Uehara-inspired "Slam," or his punchy arrangement (with Dey) of Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage." Even the longing ballad "Without You," a feature for Huson, offers the entrancing and danceable beat of an R&B slow jam. "Music and dance are inseparable in Ghana," says Boone. "In traditional music, if you don't know the dance, it is almost impossible to play the music. The grooves are incredibly tight."

Nevertheless, distinctly African influences do make themselves known. For example, while the title track "Joy" was written by the late American saxophonist/flutist Gerry Niewood, Boone and Dey's arrangement addresses the melody with West African cadences and emphasizes the interlocking rhythms within its basic waltz pulse. With "Curtain of Light," the band reaches across the continent toward the Ethiopian musical context of composer Jonovan Cooper (who teaches jazz at Addis Ababa University, where Boone was also in residence). Based on an ancient Ethiopian mode, "Curtain of Light" reaches several almost religiously ecstatic climaxes.

Where the spirit of Ghana truly manifests, however, is in the camaraderie of its musicians and the palpable joy that fulfills the promise of the album's title. "In Ghana, music is participatory, egoless, and woven into the very fabric of existence," says Boone. "People live with joy and make music with joy."
Benjamin Boone has garnered 18 national/international awards and honors for his music, which appears on 28 albums and has been performed in 36 countries at venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. As a Professor at California State University Fresno, he has won the campus's highest awards for teaching, service, and creative activity. In addition to serving as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Ghana, Boone served as a U.S. Fulbright Senior Specialist to the Republic of Moldova in 2005.

The U.S. Fulbright program seeks to build bridges to peoples across the globe. Taking this role seriously, Boone instigated the "First Annual Ghana National Jazz Workshop Tour," where he and the Ghana Jazz Collective performed and led workshops on improvisation and how jazz is an embodiment of the historic link between the peoples of the U.S. and Ghana. "I saw firsthand the power of music as diplomacy," says Boone. "I hope Joy shines a positive light on Ghana, its historic connection to the U.S., and to the tremendous jazz musicians there. Ghanaians have a love of life, a love of peace, and a culture of welcoming. What a joyous way to live and to make music."

Photography: Yoofi TV/Fotography (band); Benjamin Boone (school); Tamela Ryatt (Boone).
Cover art: "Unending Journeys III" by Ghanaian artist Wiz Kudowor.  
Web Site:

R.I.P.: Claudio Roditi (1946-2019)

R.I.P.: Jimmy Heath (1923-2019)

Friday, January 3, 2020

Latin CD of the Month - "Pacific Mambo Orchestra: The III Side"

Latin Album of the Month
Pacific Mambo Orchestra: "The III Side" (self-release)
Rating: *****

On January 4, 2020, the GRAMMY winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra released their new fabulous album "The III Side." It's a new chapter in the history of latin (big) bands. The amazing repertoire goes from Dizzy Gillespie to Sergei Rachamaninoff, from David Foster (the Chaka Khan hit previously jazzed by Eliane Elias) to Aaron Copland. Flawless sound quality too. Grammy, please! 

Known as the Pacific Mambo Orchestra Sound, the ensemble masterfully blends Timba, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo and Bolero with classical and pop sounds to create a sonic tapestry that is uniquely its own. This dynamic new recording features danceable melodies, intelligent arrangements, superb musicianship and infectious energy over the course of 9 tracks.

Featured guests on The III Side include GRAMMY® winning percussionist Dafnis Prieto, GRAMMY®nominated trumpeter Jon Faddis, singer extraordinaire Herman Olivera and renowned guitarist Alex Britti.

Highlights on The III Side include opener “Mr. B’s Mambo”, which starts off the project with a direct nod to “The Big 3”: Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez; sure to be summer banger “Mi Carnival”; and the gorgeous bolero “Le Temps d’un Horizon” which features lyrics in English and French penned and performed by Christelle Durandy. PMO tackles two Dizzy Gillespie tunes on The III Side with the help of Jon Faddis and Dafnis Prieto shine on a bright arrangement of “Night In Tunisia” and versatile guitarist Alex Britti on “Birks Works”.

The III Side features some surprising repertoire as well. “Mambo Rachmaninoff” is a brilliant arrangement by co-leader Christian Tumalan of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “2nd Piano Concerto” that pays homage to the beautiful piano concertos of the Romantic Period while infusing it with Danzon, Mambo, Guaguanco and even Tango rhythms. Another unusual addition is an arrangement of Aaron Copeland's “Fanfare for the Common Man” and a horn heavy take on Chaka Khan’s classic “Through The Fire”.
PMO was founded in 2010 by Mexican-born pianist Christian Tumalan and German-born trumpeter Steffen Kuehn. The only fully active Latin Big Band on the US West Coast, this 20-piece ensemble is comprised of some of the Bay Area’s top talent; each member boasts an extensive resume that reads like a who’s-who of Latin and popular music; Carlos Santana, Poncho Sanchez, Pete Escovedo, Herbie Hancock and Prince are just some of the artists PMO musicians have collaborated with. PMO’s advanced and modern musicality mixed with their genuine respect for the tradition make them uniquely qualified to carry on the lineage of the Latin Big Band.

Now celebrating their tenth year, PMO’s big break came when their independently produced, crowd-funded self titled debut took home the GRAMMY ® for Best Tropical Latin Album in 2013. In 2017, they released a live recording Live from Stern Grove San Francisco. Throughout their very busy decade, the band has performed at top venues such as the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Aspen Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, and many others. Most recently, the band sold out their run at Yoshi’s Oakland in January of this year in celebration of The III Sides’s release.

With the release of The III Side, Pacific Mambo Orchestra solidifies itself as not just a West Coast cultural institution, but as one of the world’s leading Latin Orchestras.

Vocal CD of the Month - "Akervinda: Förgänglighet"

Vocal CD of the Month
Akervinda: "Förgänglighet" (Vanguard Music Boulevard VMBCD 125)
Rating: *****

Featuring: Iris Bergcrantz, Agnes Åhlund, Linda Bergström, Lise Kroner
Recorded and mixed by Björn Lindberg at Rabbit Hole Studios (Malmo, Sweden)
Photos: Nadja Hallström
Design: Agnes Ahlund and Nathalie Hedim

Invigorating, enchanting and ethereal Nordic folk-singing in one of the most haunting releases I've heard in years! The tunes on this CD are derived from traditional Scandinavian folk tunes, arranged and performed by the brilliant "a cappella" Swedish quartet.

Åkervinda shares a deep love of folk music, and give new life to the Scandinavian folk tunes in their original and modern interpretations. The group’s name is inspired by a Swedish wildflower whose roots spread far and wide like rivers under the ground. Like the flower, gracefully entwining melodies, rock solid groove, and ever intriguing harmonies will take root in your mind. Like the flower, they will be impossible to remove.

In July 2019 Åkervinda made their TV debut in the famous Swedish TV show Allsång på Skansen in SVT. The spring prior Åkervinda released their second album 'Förgänglighet’, which later received a nomination for a Swedish Grammis in the category “Folk music of the year”. Förgänglighet - the passing of life - is a tribute to all the things that withers away and a celebration of life in summer as well as autumn. Like so many storytellers and artists before them, Åkervinda carries tales of women throughout the ages, embodied in a visual musical live performance.

Åkervinda was formed in 2013 at Skurups Folkhögskola with Iris Bergcrantz, Lise Kroner, Agnes Åhlund and former member Hanna Grahm. They released Åkervinda’s first album Kära Mor in 2014. Hanna later left the group and Linda Bergström joined just when they were to compete in Aarhus Vocal Festival, where they won the The Honor Reward for Best Arrangement and came 2nd place in the competition.

Since then the group have been touring in the US and Canada, singing at various festivals in France, Luxemburg, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and the UK. Åkervinda’s music has been requested and praised in both the folk music-, jazz- and a cappella scene and has been heard in venues and festivals such as Shambala Festival (UK), London A Cappella Festival (UK), Festival de la Voix de Châteauroux (FR), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (DE) and Linköping Folkmusikfestival (SE). Åkervinda has collaborated with musicians and groups such as The Swingles (UK), Nordic (SE), Jaron Freeman-Fox (CA), Solala (SE) and Spöket i köket (SE) and their unique arrangements have been sung by choirs and vocal groups all over the world.

Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month - "Julien Hucq feat. Claudio Roditi: Light Blue"

Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month
Julien Hucq: "Light Blue" (Early Bird Records)
Rating: *****

Featuring: Julien Hucq (alto sax), Claudio Roditi (trumpet), George Cables (piano), Marcos Varela (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
Produced by Julien Hucq and John Lee
Executive Producer: Mickey Bass (Early Bird)
Recorded on March 19, 2019 at Alleycat Studio (South Orange, NJ)
Recorded, mixed and mastered by John Lee
Artwork: Laurent Nyssen

One of Claudio Roditi's final recording sessions was on this album by the NY-based Belgium sax master Julien Hucq, who was a member of Roditi's last band.

Hucq is a performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and recording artist who has lived in New York City since 2012.

A multi-instrumentalist with versatile musical abilities, Julien has recorded 8 albums as a leader that included numerous original compositions and unique arrangements.

Julien’s passion for music developed early on when he started performing with his little brother, Thomas. He pursued his studies in music at elite institutions, having graduated with a Master of Arts degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, City University of New York in 2013, where he studied with Prof. Antonio Hart and Prof. Michael Mossman. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Jazz Department of Conservatoire de Lausanne, in Switzerland, in alto saxophone and composition, and his Diplôme d’Etudes Musicales from the Jazz Department of Conservatoire National de la Région de Paris, CNR, France, in alto saxophone.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The 41st Annual Jazz Station Awards / The Best Jazz of 2019

41ª Edição do Prêmio Jazz Station! Os melhores do jazz em 2019!
The complete results of the 41st Jazz Station Awards
Os resultados da 41ª edição do Prêmio Jazz Station

These are the complete results of the 41st Annual Jazz Station Awards conducted by jazz journalist, record producer, historian & jazz educator Arnaldo DeSouteiro. Mr. DeSouteiro is a voting member of NARAS-Grammy, as well as of the Jazz Journalists Association and the Los Angeles Jazz Society. He has produced over 830 sessions, according to the All Music Guide website. For more details and a small bio, please check

Ron Carter, Marc Copland, Chick Corea, Randy Brecker, Ada Rovatti, Dave Liebman, Steve Gadd, Al Di Meola and The New York Voices are among the top artists of the year.

Only albums recorded or released in 2019 were eligible.
O Prêmio Jazz Station - criado em 1979 pelo jornalista, historiador e produtor brasileiro Arnaldo DeSouteiro - chega ao 41º ano, contemplando os artistas que mais se dedicaram no panorama jazzístico internacional em todo o mundo. Membro votante do Grammy, da Jazz Journalists Association e da Los Angeles Jazz Society, entre outras instituições, DeSouteiro já produziu mais de 830 sessões de gravação, segundo contabilizado pelo site All Music Guide.

Além de dono da gravadora JSR e da empresa Jazz Station Marketing & Consultoria, Arnaldo DeSouteiro traz no curriculo trabalhos para selos como Verve, Milestone, Sony e CTI, além de roteiros para shows e especiais de TV de João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfá, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Chuck Mangione, Bjork, Eumir Deodato, Diana Krall, João Donato, Doris Monteiro e Wanda Sá, sendo também convidado frequentemente para atuar como parecerista em empresas privadas, instituições governamentais e festivais de jazz nos EUA, Brasil, Europa e Ásia, além de professor convidado em universidades.

Ron Carter, Marc Copland, Chick Corea, Randy Brecker, Ada Rovatti, Dave Liebman, Steve Gadd, Al Di Meola e o grupo New York Voices estão entre os artistas que brilharam em 2019.

Atendendo aos pedidos dos leitores, que desde 1979 acompanham essa votação, incluímos – após os nomes de todos os colocados em cada categoria – os títulos dos trabalhos pelo quais os artistas foram avaliados.

Para variar, foram necessárias várias semanas para a preparação de todas estas listas, reouvindo os discos, checando fichas técnicas e, às vezes, reavaliando opiniões. Tudo isso com o objetivo de fornecer o mais fiel possível retrato do cenário jazzístico em 2019, a partir de bases reais de análise.

O que significa, por exemplo, que artistas que não lançaram novos trabalhos este ano, seja como líderes ou sidemen, tornaram-se, por mais geniais que sejam, automaticamente inelegíveis.
Tal critério explica a ausência de feras como Herbie Hancock e Gene Bertoncini que, apesar de terem realizado muitos shows, não lançaram novos trabalhos em 2018.

Vários discos premiados em 2019, com atraso, pelas revistas especializadas, não aparecem na nossa lista por uma simples razão: constaram da relação de 2018.

Aí estão os resultados completos:

Acoustic Piano: 1. Marc Copland (“Gary – Piano Solo” – Illusions Music); 2. Ahmad Jamal (“Ballades” – JazzBook/Jazz Villge); 3. Keith Jarrett (“Munich 2016” – ECM); 4. Chick Corea (“Trilogy 2” – Concord); 5. Geoffrey Keezer (“Legacy Alive Volume 6 At The Side Door” w/ Ralph Peterson – Onyx); 6. David Kikoski (“Phoenix Rising” – HighNote); 7. Alan Pasqua (“3 Nights In LA” w/ George Garzone); 8. Fred Hersch (“Begin Again” – Palmetto); 9. Jacky Terrason (“53” – Blue Note); 10. Hakan Rydin (“Melodies…” – AdOpen); 11. Enrico Pieranunzi (“Wine And Waltzes” – Cam Jazz); 12. Ai Kuwabara ("Live at Blue Note Tokyo" - Verve)
Electric Piano: 1. Vasil Hadzimanov (“Lines in Sand” – MoonJune); 2. Kevin Hays (“Across The Sea” w/ Chiara Izzi – Jando Music); 3. Chick Corea (“Antidote” – Concord); 4. Bruno Cardozo (“Pra Te Fazer Sonhar” w/ Thiago Espirito Santo – self-produced); 5. Enrique Haneine (“Right Around The Corner” w/ John Minnock – JM); 6. Luzius Schuller (“The Faraway Nearby” w/ Tomas Sauter – Catwalk); 7. Christian Sands (“Facing Dragons” – Mack Avenue)
Organ: 1. Ricky Peterson (“Drop Shot” w/ Bob Mintzer & WDR Big Band Cologne - Leopold); 2. Joey DeFrancesco (“In The Key of the Universe” – Mack Avenue); 3. Brian Charette (“Groovin’ With Big G” – SteepleChase); 4. Gerard Gibbs (“Live From Newport Jazz” w/ James Carter – Blue Note)
Keyboards: 1. Chick Corea (“Antidote” – Concord); 2. Lelo Nazario (“Projeto MI 2” - Utopia); 3. Jim Beard (“Sacred Bond” w/ Randy Brecker & Ada Rovatti – Piloo); 4. Chris Walters (“On The Corner Live! The Music of Miles Davis" – Ear Up Records); 5. Phil Magallanes (“Elegant Gyspy & More Live” w/ Al Di Meola – ear Music); 6. Marcos Silva (“Brasil From Head to Toe” – Goose Egg); 7. Peter Berglund (“Numbers” – AdOpen); 8. Dominique Vantomme (“Tales from the Dreaming City” w/ Mark Wingfield – MoonJune); 9. Nina Ott (“Bring All Your Ships Home” w/ Autentico); 10. Bruno Cardozo (“Pra Te Fazer Sonhar” w/ Thiago Espirito Santo – self-produced); 11. Santiago Bosch (“Mr. Steiner / The EVI Sessins” w/ Darren Barrett – dB Studios)
Acoustic Bass: 1. Ron Carter (“Remember Love” w/ Houston Person – HighNote); 2. Michael Formanek (“Time Like This” – Intakt); 3. Larry Grenadier (“The Gleaners” - ECM); 4. Christian McBride (“New Jawn” – Mack Avenue); 5. Charnett Moffett (“Bright New Day” – Motema); 6. Leon Lee Dorsey ("MonkTime" w/ DSC - JazzAvenue1); 7. Jay Anderson ("Ronnie's Trio" w/ Ronnie Cuber - SteepleChase); 8. Tony Marino (“Someday” w/ Skip & Dan Wilkins Quartet – Deer Head)

Electric Bass: 1. Will Lee (“Live At Blue Note Tokyo” w/ Ai Kuwabara – Verve); 2. Victor Wooten (“On The Corner Live! The Music of Miles Davis" – Ear Up Records); 3. Thiago Espírito Santo (“Pra Te Fazer Sonhar” – self-produced); 4. Alexander Claffy (“Sacred Bond” w/ Randy Brecker & Ada Rovatti – Piloo); 5. Scott Thompson (“Brasil From Head to Toe” w/ Marcos Silva – Goose Egg); 6. Gary Brown (“Mirror” w/ Katerina Brown – KB); 7. Miroslav Tovirac (“Lines in Sand” w/ Vasil Hadzimanov Band – MoonJune); 8. Ulf Radelius (“Numbers” – AdOpen); 9. Yaron Stavi (“Tales from the Dreaming City” – MoonJune)
Drums: 1. Steve Gadd (“Live At Blue Note Tokyo” w/ Ai Kuwabara – Verve); 2. Ralph Peterson (“Legacy Alive Volume 6 At The Side Door" – Onyx); 3. Bill Goodwin (“Someday” w/ Skip & Dan Wilkins Quartet – Deer Head); 4. Jerome Jennings (“Solidarity” – Iola Records); 5. Mauricio Zottarelli (“Brasil From Head to Toe” w/ Marcos Silva – Goose Egg); 6. Cuca Teixeira (“Pra Te Fazer Sonhar” w/ Thiago Espirito Santo – self-produced); 7. Billy Hart (“In The Key of the Universe” w/ Joey DeFrancesco – Mack Avenue); 8. Wolfgang Haffner (“Rocks” w/ Randy Brecker & NDR Big Band – Piloo); 9. Asaf Sirkis (“Tales from the Dreaming City” w/ Mark Wingfield – MoonJune); 10. Rodney Holmes (“Sacred Bond” w/ Randy Brecker & Ada Rovatti – Piloo); 11. Mike Clark (“Monk Time” w/ DSC – JazzAvenue 1); 12. Adam Nussbaum ("Ronnie's Trio" w/ Ronnie Cuber - SteepleChase)
Percussion: 1. Sammy Figueroa (“In The Key of the Universe” w/Joey DeFrancesco – Mack Avenue); 2.  Luisito Quintero (“Antidote” w/ Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band – Concord); 3. Gumbi Ortiz (“Elegant Gypsy & More Live” w/ Al DiMeola – ear Music); 4. Marilyn Mazur (“Shamania” – RareNoise); 5. Café da Silva (“Sacred Bond” w/ Randy Brecker & Ada Rovatti - Piloo); 6. Mino Cinelu (“Storyteller” w/ Biréli Lagrène – Naïve); 7. Bojan Ivkovic (“Lines in Sand” w/ Vasil Hadzimanov Band – MoonJune); 8. Cyro Baptista (“Dreamer” w/ Shunzo  Ohno – Pulsebeats); 9. Marcio Doctor (“Rocks” w/ Randy Brecker & NDR Big Band – Piloo); 10. Poncho Sanchez (“Trane’s Delight” – Concord Picante)
Vibes/Marimba: 1. David Friedman (“Thursday” – Malletmuse); 2. Erik Charlston (“Hermeto: Voice and Wind” – Sunnyside); 3. Mike Freeman (“Venetian Blinds” – VOF); 4. Stefon Harris (“Sonic Creed” – Motema)
Miscellaneous:  1. Darren Barrett – EVI (“Mr. Steiner / The EVI Sessions" – dB Studios); 2. Evan Garr – electric violin (“Elegant Gypsy & More” w/ Al Di Meola – ear Music); 3. Rino Adamo – electric violin (“Convergenze” w/ Boris Savoldelli – Onyx Jazz Club); 4. Ray Spiegel – tabla (“Dreamer” w/ Shunzo Ohno – Pulsebeats); 5. Fadhel Boubaker - oud (“It Just Happens” w/ Beyond Borders Band – Hout)
Acoustic Guitar: 1. Al Di Meola (“Opus” – ear Music); 2. Biréli Lagrène (“Storyteller” – Naïve); 3. Jay Berliner (“Three Chords & The Truth” w/ Van Morrison – Exile); 4. Diego Figueiredo (“Amizade” w/ Ken Peplowski – Arbors); 5. Nir Felder (“Across The Sea” w/ Kevin Hays & Chiara Izzi – Jando Music)
Electric Guitar: 1. Al Di Meola (“Elegant Gypsy & More – Live" – ear Music); 2. Vic Juris (“Groovin’ with Big G” w/ Brian Charette – SteepleChase); 3. Mark Wingfield (“Tales from the Dreaming City” – MoonJune); 4. BG Sahlin (“Numbers” – AdOpen); 5. Greg Skaff (“MonkTime” w/ DSC – Jazz Avenue 1)
Flute: 1. Nicole Mitchell (“Maroon Cloud” – For Pratically Everyone Records); 2. Jane Bunnett (“On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme” – Linus); 3. Jamie Baum ("Sheroes" w/ Monika Herzig - Whaling City Sound); 4. Jorge Pardo ("Antidote" w/ Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band - Concord)
Clarinet: 1. Ken Peplowski ("Amizade" w/ Diego Figueiredo - Arbors); 2. Michael Heitzlers (“Ode Hashem” – Neuklang); 3. Don Byron (“Random Dances And Atonalities” w/ Aruan Ortiz – Intakt); 4. Anat Cohen (“Live in Healdsburg” – Anzic) 
Trumpet: 1. Randy Brecker (“Rocks” w/ NDR Big Band – Piloo Records); 2. Shunzo Ohno (“Dreamer” – Pulsebeat Records); 3. Brian Lynch (“Legacy Alive Volume 6 At The Side Door” w/ Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy – Onyx); 4. Enrico Rava (“Roma” w/ Joe Lovano – ECM); 5. Ralph Alessi (“Imaginary Friends” – ECM); 6. Tom Harrell (“Infinity” – HighNote); 7. Susana Santos Silva (“Child of Illusion” – Clean Feed)
Flugelhorn: 1. Franco Ambrosetti (“The Nearness Of You” – Unit);  2. Randy Brecker (“Rocks” w/ NDR Big Band - Piloo) ; 3. Claudio Roditi (“Crossing Paths” w/ Samuel Martinelli – Prestige Music); 4. Tom Harrell (“Infinity” – HighNote)
Trombone: 1. John Fedchock (“Reminiscence” – Summit); 2. Karin Hammar (“Circles” – Prophone/Naxos); 3. Clifton Anderson (“The Dream Is You” w/ Vanessa Rubin – Nibur); 4. Samuel Blaser (“Early In The Mornin’” – Outnote); 5. Steve Davis ("Antidote" w/ Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band - Concord)
Soprano Sax: 1. Dave Liebman (“On The Corner Live! The Music of Miles Davis" – Ear Up Records); 2. Ada Rovatti (“Sacred Bond” – Piloo);  3. Gary Meek (“Brasil From Head to Toe” w/ Marcos Silva – Goose Egg)
Alto Sax: 1. David Sanborn (“Rocks” w/ Randy Brecker – Piloo); 2. Bobby Watson (“Legacy Alive Volume 6 At The Side Door” w/ Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy – Onyx); 3. Jim Snidero (“Waves of Calm” – Savant); 4. Lee Konitz (“Decade” w/ Dan Tepfer – Verve); 5. Caroline Davis (“Alula” – New Amsterdam); 6. David Binney (“Zinc City” w/ Manuel Engel – Metonic); 7. Remy Le Bouef (“Light As A Word” – Outside In Music); 8. Kuba Wiecek (“Multitasking” – Muza/Warner)
Tenor Sax: 1. Ada Rovatti (“Sacred Bond” – Piloo); 2. Houston Person (“Remember Love” w/ Ron Carter – HighNote); 3. Eric Alexander (“Phoenix Rising” w/ David Kikoski – HighNote); 4. Jeff Coffin (“On The Corner Live! The Music of Miles Davis – Ear Up Records); 5. Dan Wilkins (“Someday” w/ Skip & Dan Wilkins Quartet – Deer Head); 6. George Garzone (“3 Nights In LA” – Fuzzy Music); 7. Bill Pierce (“Legacy Alive Volume 6 At The Side Door” w/ Ralph Peterson – Onyx); 8. Joe Lovano (“Roma” w/ Enrico Rava – ECM); 9. George Coleman (“Groovin’ with Big G” w/ Brian Charette – SteepleChase); 10. Joshua Redman (“Come What May” – Nonesuch); 11. Mark Turner (“Temporary Kings” w/ Eithan Iverson – ECM); 12. Donny McCaslin (“Blow” – Motema); 
Baritone Sax: 1. Ronnie Cuber (Ronnie’s Trio” – SteepleChase); 2. Alex Harding (“The Dream Is You” w/ Vanessa Rubin – Nibur); 3. Andrew Duncan (“LAB 2019” w/ One O’Clock Lab Band – UNT); 4. James Carter (“Live From Newport Jazz” – Blue Note)
Male Singer: 1. Boris Savoldelli (“Convergenze” w/ Rino Adamo – Onyx Jazz Club); 2. Gregory Porter (“One Night Only – Live At Royal Albert Hall” - Universal); 3. John Minnock (“Right Around The Corner” – JM)
Female Singer: 1. Vanessa Rubin (“The Dream Is You – Sings Tadd Dameron” – Nibur Records); 2. Laurie Antonioli (“The Constant Passage of Time” – Origin); 3. Chiara Izzi (“Across The Sea” w/ Kevin Hays – Jando Music); 4. La Tanya Hall (“Say Yes” – Blue Canoe); 5. Fleurine (“Brazilian Dream” – Pure Imagination); 6. Carolyn Fitzhugh (“Living in Peace” – CF); 7. Claudia Vilella (“Encantada Live” - Taina Music); 8. Sivan Arbel ("Change of Light" - Sivan); 9. Jazzmeia Horn (“Love & Liberation” – Concord); 10. Katerina Brown ("Mirror" - KB)
Vocal Group: 1. New York Voices (“Reminicing in Tempo” – Origin)
Instrumental Group: 1. Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band (“Antidote” – Concord); 2. Vasil Hadzimanov Band (“Lines In Sand” – MoonJune); 3. Skip & Dan Wilkins Quartet (“Someday” – Deer Head); 4. Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy (“Legacy Alive Volume 6 At The Side Door” – Onyx); 5. Autentico (“Bring All Your Ships Home” - self-release)
Big Band/Jazz Orchestra: 1. NDR Big Band – The Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra (“Rocks” w/ Randy Brecker – Piloo); 2. Brian Lynch (“The Omni-American Book Club” – Hollistic MusicWorks); 3. UMO Jazz Orchestra (“Together” w/ Randy Brecker & Mats Holmquist – Mama Records); 4. WDR (“Drop Shot” w/ Ricky Peterson – Leopold); 5. Terraza Big Band ("One Day Wonder" - Outside in Music); 6. New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (“Songs – The Music of Allen Toussaint” – Storyville); 7. Marcus Shelby Orchestra ("Transitions" - MSO); 8. One O’ Clock Lab Band: “LAB 2019” (UNT); 9. Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band (“West Side Story Reimagined” – Jazzheads)
Composer: 1. Ada Rovatti (“Sacred Bond – Brecker Plays Rovatti” w/ Randy Brecker – Piloo); 2. Randy Brecker (“Rocks” – Piloo); 3. Shunzo Ohno (“Dreamer” – Pulsebats); 4. Mats Holmquist (“Together” w/ Randy Brecker & UMO Jazz Orchestra – Mama Records); 5. Brian Lynch (“The Omni-American Book Club” – Hollistic MusicWorks); 6. Yelena Eckemoff ("Nocturnal Animals" - L&H); 7. Vasil Hadzimanov (“Lines in Sand” – MoonJune); 8. Fred Hersch (“Begin Again” – Palmetto)
Arranger: 1. Jörg Achim Keller (“Rocks” w/ Randy Brecker & NDR Big Band – Piloo); 2. Mats Holmquist (“Together” w/ Randy Brecker & UMO Jazz Orchestra – Mama Records); 3. Bob Mintzer (“Drop Shot” w/ Ricky Peterson & WDR Big Band – Leopold); 4. Vince Mendonza (“Begin Again” w/ Fred Hersch & WDR Big Band – Palmetto)
Artist of the Year: 1. Randy Brecker; 2. Chick Corea; 3. Dave Liebman; 4. Ralph Peterson; 5. Ron Carter
Engineer: 1. Paul Wickliffe (“Someday” w/ Skip & Dan Wilkins Quartet – Dear Head); 2. Sven Hohlwage (“Rocks” w/ Randy Brecker & NDR Big Band – Piloo); 3. Joe Marciano/Marx Ross (“The Dream Is You” w/ Vanessa Rubin – Nibur);  4. Phil Bulla/Alan Baylock (“LAB 2019” w/ One O’Clock Lab Band – UNT); 5. Aaron Nevezie/Cynthia Daniels (“Sacred Bond” w/ Randy Brecker & Ada Rovatti – Piloo)

Top Instrumental Jazz Albums

Randy Brecker & NDR Big Band: “Rocks” (Piloo)
David Liebman, Jeff Coffin, Victor Wooten, Chester Thompson, Chris Walters, James DaSilva (“On The Corner Live! The Music of Miles Davis – Ear Up Records)
Marc Copland: “Gary – Piano Solo” (Illusions Music)
Randy Brecker & Ada Rovatti: “Sacred Bond – Brecker Plays Rovatti” (Piloo)
Shunzo Ohno: “Dreamer” (Pulsebats)
Franco Ambrosetti: “The Nearness Of You” (Unit)
Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy: “Legacy Alice Volume 6 At The Sidedoor” (Onyx)
Jerome Jennings: “Solidarity” (Iola Records)
Vasil Hadzimanov Band: “Lines In Sand” (MoonJune)
Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band: “Antidote” (Concord)
Randy Brecker & Matt Holmquist with UMO Jazz Orchestra: "Together" (Mama Records)
Thiago Espirito Santo: “Pra Te Fazer Sonhar” (self-produced)
One O’Clock Lab Band: “LaB 2019” (UNT)
Skip & Dan Wilkins Quartet: Someday (Deer Head Records)
Hakan Rydin: “Melodies…” (AdOpen)
Darren Barrett: “Mr. Steiner – The EVI Sessions” (dB Studios)
Mark Wingfield: “Tales from the Dreaming City” (MoonJune)
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: “Songs – The Music of Allen Toussaint” (Storyville)
Top Vocal Jazz Albums
Vanessa Rubin: “The Dream Is You – Sings Tadd Dameron” (Nibur Records)
New York Voices: “Reminiscing in Tempo” (Origin)
Boris Savoldelli & Rino Adamo: "Convergenze" (Onyx Jazz Club)
Sheila Jordan Quartet: “Lucky To Be Me” (Abeat)
Laurie Antonioli: “The Constant Passage of Time” (Origin)
Chiara Izzi & Kevin Hays: “Across The Sea” (Jando Music)
Claudia Villela: “Encantanda Live” (Taina Music)
Lauren Desberg: “Out For Delivery” (LD)
John Minnock: “Right Around The Corner” (JM)
Katerina Brown: “Mirror” (KB)
Fleurine: “Brazilian Dream” (Pure Imagination)
La Tanya Hall: “Say Yes” (Blue Canoe)
Carolyn Fitzhugh: “Living in Peace” (CF)
Sivan Arbel: "Change of Light" (Sivan)

Top Historical Albums/Special Projects/Reissues
João Gilberto: "Live in Tokyo" (Promax, Blu-ray)
Don Sebesky: "Giant Box" (CTI/Vocalion, SACD)
Betty Carter: “The Music Never Stops” (Blue Engine)
Miles Davis: "Rubberband" (Warner)
Tamba 4: "California Soul" (A&M-CTI/Elemental Music, vinyl)
John Coltrane: “Blue World” (Impulse!)
Bill Evans: “Evans In England” (Resonance)
Wes Montgomery: “Back On Indiana Avenue” (Resonance)
Michel Petrucciani, Gary Peacock & Roy Haynes: “One Night in Karlsruhe” (Jazzhaus)
Bill Evans: “Another Time” (Resonance, SACD)
Zé Eduardo Nazario: “Poema da Gota Serena” (Lugar Alto, vinyl)
Woody Shaw: “Tokyo ‘81” (Elemental Music)
Dexter Gordon Quartet: “Tokyo 1975” (Elemental Music)
Tommy LiPuma: “Works” (Warner)
Andy Bey: “Shades of Bey” (12th Street/Ko Ko Music, vinyl)
Nat King Cole: “Hittin’ The Ramp – The Early Years” (Resonance)
Stan Getz: “Getz At The Gate, 1961” (Verve)
Dorothy Ashby & Frank Wess: “In A Minor Groove” (New Jazz/Real Gone, vinyl)
Stanley Turrentine: "Cherry/Don't Mess With Mr.T/The Sugar Man" (CTI/BGO)
Airto Moreira: "Free/Identity/Promises Of The Sun" (CTI-Arista/BGO)
Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet: “The Complete Lansdowne Recordings, 1965-1969” (Jazzman)