DownBeat Critics Poll: 2024

I voted on May 9-10, 2023. I keep track of what I've done in this file, which started off as an edit on last year's file. In past years, I've been known to spend a couple days sorting through the many ballot questions, but lately I've been cutting corners. But the older I get, the less I feel like putting any serious work into this exercise.

They use SurveyMonkey for the polling. For each category, they offer several dozen nominations, as well as allowing write-in votes. I've always read this as allowing 3 votes totaling 10 points, so probably 5-3-2, but that isn't clearly stated.

My usual practice is to first scan through the nominees, and jot down any that strike me as likely. Sometimes I'll also add some names that I felt should have been nominated. Some of the categories, like Jazz Artist, I find annoyingly undefined, and some, like Jazz Group, horribly cluttered. Some instrument slots are hugely competitive (e.g., piano, bass, drums), and some are so sparse or marginal (flute) I don't care for anyone. Some (electric bass and keyboards, soprano sax) are often populated by artists who mostly play something else -- limit yourself to specialists and they become as marginal as flautists.

Note: I got 18 questions (down through alto saxophone) answered first evening. After answering 26 questions, I got interrupted with a message: "This survey was modified by its creator." I was able to reaffirm my earlier choices, but had to fill out "Reed Artists of the Year" again.

Veterans Committee Hall of Fame: I got an invite for this in 2022, but they didn't publish results, and it didn't appear on my later ballots. I wrote quite a bit about it in my 2022 notes.

Hall of Fame: Excludes previous winners, including 2023 winners: Alice Coltrane (C), Pharoah Sanders (R), Mario Bauzá (V), Red Norvo (V). My votes: Anthony Braxton (5), Wadada Leo Smith (3), Henry Threadgill (2).

First pass: I'll copy the whole ballot, then sort them into five tiers (*new on ballot this year):

  1. Voted for: Anthony Braxton (5), Wadada Leo Smith* (3), Henry Threadgill (2).
  2. Seriously considered: Paul Bley, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Dave Holland, Bobby Hutcherson, Abdullah Ibrahim, Illinois Jacquet, Joe Lovano, John McLaughlin, Roscoe Mitchell*.
  3. Not now: Jaki Byard, Kenny Garrett, Grant Green, Buddy Guy, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Fred Hersch, Billy Higgins, Shirley Horn, Charles Lloyd, Dave Liebman, Oliver Nelson, Dianne Reeves, Gunther Schuller, John Scofield, Chucho Valdes, Kenny Wheeler, John Zorn.
  4. Not really: Terence Blanchard, Jane Ira Bloom, Randy Brecker, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bob Brookmeyer, Kenny Burrell, Billy Cobham, Joey DeFrancesco, Dr. John, Melba Liston, Maria Schneider, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Cassandra Wilson.
  5. Not ever: Lenny Breau, Ramsey Lewis, Ellis Marsalis.
  6. Dropped from ballot: Bela Fleck, Jan Garbarek, Howard Johnson, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Tyshawn Sorey, Steve Turre.

Last year I complained about some names I had voted for in the past, but had been dropped from the ballot: George Russell, Roswell Rudd. Also I singled out the omission of Sheila Jordan. It wouldn't be hard to add another dozen names (even without getting into Veterans eligibles), like: Billy Bang, Han Bennink, Art Farmer, Tommy Flanagan, Al Haig, Misha Mengelberg, Evan Parker, William Parker, Houston Person, Don Pullen, Sam Rivers, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Irene Schweizer, Horace Tapscott, Mal Waldron, David S. Ware. Actually, one could add several dozen more.

While the Veterans Committee has helped a bit (although somewhat peculiarly, with a rule that favors early deaths over long careers), the DBHOF, limited to two picks per year (one critics, one readers) has been losing ground steadily. I've recommended several times that they double this, picking one living and one deceased artist each round.

Jazz Artist: I assume this is someone who did monumental work during the last year or two, but I never quite know what that means. But I will say that the winner of the Jazz Critics Poll (for a second time) should at least be nominated, as should the winner of El Intruso's Poll (and my favorite album of 2023). James Brandon Lewis (5), Rodrigo Amado (3), Jason Moran (2).

First pass: Kenny Barron, Tim Berne, Kris Davis, Mary Halvorson, Charles Lloyd, Jason Moran, Matthew Shipp, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill, Miguel Zenon.

Also on ballot: Ambrose Akinmusire, Jon Batiste, Brian Blade, Terence Blanchard, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jack DeJohnette, Sullivan Fortner, Bill Frisell, Kenny Garrett, Fred Hersch, Vijay Iyer, Samara Joy, Julian Lage, Dave Liebman, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Nicole Mitchell, Nicholas Payton, Jeremy Pelt, Danilo Pérez, Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Shabaka [Hutchings], Esperanza Spalding, Helen Sung, Kamasi Washington.

Not on ballot (among many others): Rodrigo Amado, Steven Bernstein, Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, Satoko Fujii, James Brandon Lewis, Myra Melford, William Parker, Dave Rempis, Ken Vandermark, John Zorn.

Rising Star -- Jazz Artist: James Brandon Lewis (5), Luke Stewart (3), Kevin Sun (3). Since they were on the ballot, I figured I might as well. Ballot, of course, misses a lot of worthy people.

First pass: Lakecia Benjamin, Emmet Cohen, Peter Evans, James Brandon Lewis, Makaya McCraven, Hedvig Mollestad, Luke Stewart, Kevin Sun, Brandee Younger.

Also on ballot: Yazz Ahmed, Joey Alexander, Etienne Charles, Jacob Collier, Isaiah Collier, Jacob Collier, Theo Croker, Theon Cross, Angel Bat Dawid, Aaron Diehl, James Francies, Nubya Garcia, Tigran Hamasyan, Jazzmeia Horn, Nduduzo Makhathini, Adam O'Farrill, Kassa Overall, Aaron Parks, Julius Rodriguez, Jamison Ross, Christian Sands, Carmen Staaf, Becca Stevens, Dayna Stevens, Veronica Swift, Isaiah J. Thompson, Camille Thurman, David Virelles, Dan Wilson.

Not on ballot (among many others): Moses Boyd, Josephine Davies, Immanuel Wilkins.

Jazz Album of the Year (April 1, 2023-March 31, 2024): See The Best Jazz Albums of 2023 for my actual picks, supplemented with whatever's applicable from my 2024 list. Limiting myself to albums nominated, I voted for:

  • Steve Lehman/Orchestre National de Jazz: Ex Machina (Pi) (5)
  • James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet: For Mahalia, With Love (Tao Forms) (3)
  • David Murray/Questlove/Ray Angry: Plumb (Outside In Music) (2)

Other A-list albums on ballot:

  • Kris Davis, Diatom Ribbons Live At The Village Vanguard (Pyroclastic)
  • Margherita Fava, Tatatu (Independent Release)
  • Miho Hazama's m_unit, Beyond Orbits (Edition)
  • Darius Jones, fluXkit Vancouver (its suite but sacred) (We Jazz/Northern Spy)
  • Charles Lloyd, The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow (Blue Note '24)
  • Christian McBride's New Jawn, Prime (Mack Avenue)
  • Joel Ross, Nucleus (Blue Note '24)
  • Jim Snidero, For All We Know (Savant '24)
  • Tyshawn Sorey Trio, Continuing (Pi)
  • Henry Threadgill Ensemble, The Other One (Pi)
  • Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, Open Me, A Higher Consciousness Of Sound And Spirit (Spiritmuse '24)

I had 84 A/A- albums on my 2023 list, so that's a fair approximation of a year's worth of listening. With 14 A/A- records on their ballot, that leaves 70 that they missed. Their screwy eligibility rules won't change the numbers much, and aren't worth qualifying. My 2024 list already includes 52 A/A- albums, 38 of them jazz, including 4 that made their ballot, but also April-May releases that they would have found ineligible.

Suffice it to say that they've missed a lot of good records. As for what they picked, here's the ballot breakdown by my grades: A: 2; A-: 12; B+(***): 21; B+(**): 25; B+(*): 21; B: 5; B-: 1; unheard: 16. I managed to hear most of these (87/103, or 84.4%, down from 87.0% in 2023).

Historical Album (April 1, 2022-March 31, 2023):

  • Roy Hargrove, The Love Suite: In Mahogany (Blue Engine) (5)
  • Cal Tjader, Catch The Groove: Live At The Penthouse 1963-1967 (Jazz Detective/Elemental) (3)
  • Les McCann, Never A Dull Moment: Live From Coast To Coast 1966-1967 (Resonance) (2)

Other A-list records nominated:

  • Dexter Gordon, Bouncin' With Dex (SteepleChase)
  • Michel Petrucciani, The Montreux Years (BMG/Montreux)
  • Mal Waldron, The Reminiscent Suite (BBE '24)

Ballot breakdown by my grades (extra is grades for previous editions): A: 1; A-: 5; B+(***): 6; B+(**): 5; B+(*): 2; unheard: 14. I didn't hear very much here (19/33, or 57.5%, but up from 30.3% in 2023).

Jazz Group: Irreversible Entanglements (5); Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (3), James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet, (2).

First pass: Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra, The Cookers, Kris Davis Diatom Ribbons, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, ICP Septet, James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet, Thumbscrew.

Rising Star Jazz Group: Irreversible Entanglements (5), Binker and Moses (3), Natural Information Society (2).

First pass: Binker and Moses, Irreversible Entanglements.

Large Ensemble: Satoko Fujii Orchestra (5), Fire! Orchestra (5), Steven Bernstein Millennial Territory Orchestra (2).

First pass: Steven Bernstein Millennial Territory Orchestra, Anthony Brown's Asian-American Jazz Orchestra, Exploding Star Orchestra, Fire! Orchestra, Satoko Fujii Orchestra, ICP Orchestra, Sun Ra Arkestra.

Rising Star Large Ensemble: Miho Hazama's M_unit (5), Paal Nilssen-Love Large Ensemble (3), Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (2).

First pass: Miho Hazama's M_unit, Paal Nilssen-Love Large Ensemble, Natural Information Society Community Ensemble, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra.

Trumpet: Wadada Leo Smith (5), Kirk Knuffke (3), Terell Stafford (2).

First pass: Steven Bernstein, Dave Douglas, Kirk Knuffke, Brian Lynch Wadada Leo Smith, Terell Stafford Nate Wooley.

Also on ballot: Ambrose Akinmusire, Herb Alpert, Terence Blanchard, Randy Brecker Avishai Cohen, Theo Croker, John Daversa, Tom Harrell, Eddie Henderson, Marquis Hill, Ingrid Jensen, Sean Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Rob Mazurek, Nadje Noordhuis, Adam O'Farrill, Jason Palmer, Nicholas Payton, Jeremy Pelt, Enrico Rava, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Charles Tolliver, Diego Urcola, Corey Wilkes.

Not on ballot (among many others): Taylor Ho Bynum, Jonathan Finlayson, David Weiss.

Rising Star Trumpet: Jonathan Finlayson (5), Lina Allemano (3), Steph Richards (2),

First pass: Lina Allemano, Peter Evans, Jonathan Finlayson, Keyon Harrold, Steph Richards, Alex Sipiagin.

Also on ballot: Yazz Ahmed, Benny Benack III, Maurice Brown, Summer Camargo, Etienne Charles, Josh Evans, Victor Garcia, Giveton Gelin, Anthony Hervey, Laura Jurd, Josh Lawrence, Brandon Lee, Ibrahim Maalouf, Riley Mulherkar, John Raymond, Wallace Roney Jr., Susana Santos Silva, Bria Skonberg, Sarah Wilson.

Not on ballot (among many others): Magnus Broo, Sei Miguel, Daniel Rosenboom, James Zollar.

Trombone: Steve Swell (5), Ray Anderson (3) Joe Fiedler (2).

First pass: Ray Anderson, Jeb Bishop, Samuel Blaser, Joe Fiedler, Craig Harris, Curtis Fowlkes, George Lewis, Steve Swell, Steve Turre.

Also on ballot: Theo Croker, Steve Davis, Michael Dease, Robin Eubanks, John Fedchock, Alan Ferber, Nick Finzer, Curtis Fowlkes, Jacob Garchik, Marshall Gilkes, Wycliffe Gordon, Slide Hampton, Conrad Herwig, Ryan Keberle, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Nils Landgren, Delfeayo Marsalis, Ed Neumeister, Gianluca Petrella, Yves Robert, Trombone Shorty, Papo Vázquez, Wayne Wallace, Nils Wogram, John Yao.

Not on ballot (among many others): Dan Barrett, Luis Bonilla, Wolter Wierbos.

Rising Star Trombone: Mats Ĺleklint (5), Brian Drye (3), Jennifer Wharton (2).

First pass: Mats Ĺleklint, Natalie Cressman, Brian Drye, JC Sanford. Jennifer Wharton.

Also on ballot: Hailey Brinnel, Chris Crenshaw, Melissa Gardiner, David Gibson, Jon Hatamiya, Haruka Kikuchi, Corey King, Aubrey Logan, Elliot Mason, Naomi Moon-Siegel, Henrik Munkeby Nřrstebř, Anoushka Nanguy, Audrey Ochoa, Ed Partyka, Ryan Porter, Rahsaan Salaam, Rosie Turton, Filippo Vignato, Ron Westray, Kalia Vandever, Corey Wallace, Scott Whitfield, Big Sam Williams, Nils Wogram.

Not on ballot (among many others): Michael Dessen.

Soprano Saxophone: Evan Parker (5), Dave Liebman (3), Jane Ira Bloom (2).

These are the same three I voted for last year, but do not appear on this year's ballot, from which the following previous first pass picks have also been purged: Jan Garbarek, Jimmy Greene, Ingrid Laubrock, Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Newsome, Marcus Strickland, Steve Wilson. I've complained in the past about loading this category up with people who primarily play other saxophones, but this year's cut goes way too far.

First pass: Steven Lugerner, Jason Robinson.

Also on ballot: Dan Blake, Nicola Caminiti, Sharel Cassity, Trish Clowes, Isaiah Collier, Sam Gendel, Alex LoRe, Jasmine Lovell-Smith, Tobias Meinhart, Aurora Nealand, Marius Sřfteland Neset, Russ Nolan, Hailey Niswanger, Tineke Postma, Jeremy Powell, Emma Rawicz, Alexa Tarantino, Audrey Welber-Lafferty.

Rising Star Soprano Saxophone: Aurora Nealand (5), Steven Lugerner (3), Marius Neset (2).

First pass: Isaiah Collier, Jasmine Lovell-Smith, Steve Lugerner, Aurora Nealand, Marius Sřfteland Neset, Jason Robinson.

Also on ballot: Dan Blake, Alexander Bone, Sharel Cassity, Trish Clowes, Sam Gendel, Phil Meadows, Tobias Meinhart, Russ Nolan, Émile Parisien, Christian Soleanu, Wil Swindler, Audrey Welber-Lafferty, Leland Whitty, John Wojciechowski.

Alto Saxophone: Steve Lehman (5), Miguel Zenon (3). Jim Snidero (2).

First pass: Marshall Allen, Gary Bartz, Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Jon Irabagon, Darius Jones, Oliver Lake, Steve Lehman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Charles McPherson, Ted Nash, Greg Osby, Jim Snidero, Henry Threadgill, Bobby Watson, Immanuel Wilkins, Steve Wilson, Miguel Zenón, John Zorn.

Also on ballot: Greg Abate, Lakecia Benjamin, David Binney, Peter Brötzmann, Caroline Davis, Paquito D'Rivera, Wayne Escoffery, Tia Fuller, Kenny Garrett, Frank Gratkowski, Donald Harrison, Antonio Hart, Vincent Herring, Sherman Irby, Grace Kelly, Roscoe Mitchell, Chris Potter, Matana Roberts, David Sanborn, Jaleel Shaw.

Not on ballot (among many others): François Carrier, Benjamin Herman, Allen Lowe, Dave Rempis.

Rising Star Alto Saxophone: Dave Rempis (5), Silke Eberhard (3). Nick Mazzarella (2).

First pass: Andrew D'Angelo, Mike DiRubbo, Silke Eberhard, Nick Mazzarella, Angelika Niescier, Dave Rempis, Will Vinson, Greg Ward.

Also on ballot: Owen Broder, Francesco Cafiso, Nicola Caminiti, Sharel Cassity, Rachel Cohen, Alfredo Colon, Braxton Cook, Devin Daniels, Maria Faust, Jon Gordon, Danny Janklow, Nicole Johänntgen, Josh Johnson, Remy Le Boeuf, Godwin Louis, Jessica Lurie, Jasmine Myra, Aurora Nealand, Hailey Niswanger, Émile Parisien, Tineke Postma, Logan Richardson, Jonathan Suazo, Jeremy Udden, Luise Volkmann.

Not on ballot (among many others):

Tenor Saxophone: James Brandon Lewis (5), Rodrigo Amado (3), Ivo Perelman (2).

First pass: JD Allen, Jerry Bergonzi, Peter Brötzmann, James Carter, Shabaka Hutchings, Jon Irabagon, James Brandon Lewis, Dave Liebman, Charles Lloyd, Joe Lovano, Tony Malaby, David Murray, Evan Parker, Ivo Perelman, Houston Person, Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp.

Also on ballot: Melissa Aldana, Eric Alexander, Don Braden, Wayne Escoffery, Joel Frahm, Nubya Garcia, Jimmy Greene, Billy Harper, Javon Jackson, Ingrid Laubrock, Branford Marsalis, Donny McCaslin, Marc Mommaas, Noah Preminger, David Sánchez, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens, Marcus Strickland, Mark Turner, Kamasi Washington, Ben Wendel, John Wojciechowski.

Not on ballot (among many others): Juhani Aaltonen, Rodrigo Amado, Harry Allen, Iain Ballamy, Abraham Burton, Chris Byars, Ernest Dawkins, Avram Fefer, Ricky Ford, George Garzone, Rich Halley, Scott Hamilton, Joe McPhee, Larry Ochs, Adam Pieronczyk, Dave Rempis, Matt Renzi, Bob Rockwell, Andy Sheppard, Tommy Smith, Chris Speed, Grant Stewart, Lew Tabackin, Assif Tsahar, Ken Vandermark. Bennie Wallace.

Rising Star Tenor Saxophone: Kevin Sun (5), Edwin Bayard (3), Binker Golding (2).

First pass: Zoh Amba, Geof Bradfield, John Ellis, Julieta Eugenio, Binker Golding, Kevin Sun, Anna Webber.

Also on ballot (*in my pre-2000 file): Teodross Avery*, Rahsaan Barber, Dan Blake, Abraham Burton*, Chelsea Carmichael, Matt Carmichael, Trish Clowes, Xhosha Cole, Isaiah Collier, Roxy Coss, Stacy Dillard, Chet Doxas, Avram Fefer*, Maria Grand, Morgan Guerin, Mats Gustafsson*, De'Sean Jones, Adam Larson, Bill McHenry*, Emilio Modeste, Marius Sřfteland Neset, Tivon Pennicott, Alabaster de Plume, Emma Rawicz, Troy Roberts, Ada Rovatti, Jacques Schwarz-Bart*, Skerik, Chris Speed*, Grant Stewart*, Cecilie Strange, Alexa Tarantino, Camille Thurman.

Not on ballot (among many others): Gabriel Amargant, Edwin Bayard, Chris Byars, Josephine Davies, Keefe Jackson, Hilary Noble.

Baritone Saxophone: Ken Vandermark (5), Rudi Mahall (3), Claire Daly (2).

First pass: Tim Berne, James Carter, Ronnie Cuber, Claire Daly, Vinny Golia, Mats Gustafsson, Brian Landrus, Rudy Mahall, Dave Rempis, Scott Robinson, Josh Sinton, Gary Smulyan, John Surman, Ken Vandermark.

Also on ballot: Alex Harding, Patience Higgins, Grace Kelly, Charlie Kohlhase, Stephen Doc Kupka, Roger Lewis, Jason Marshall, Dave McMurray, Roger Rosenberg, Lauren Sevian, Colin Stetson.

Not on ballot (among many others): Mikko Innanen, Gebhard Ullman.

Rising Star Baritone Saxophone: Timo Lassy (5), Charles Evans (3), Adam Schroeder (2).

First pass: Charles Evans, Timo Lassy, Jonah Parzen-Johnson, Adam Schroeder.

Also on ballot: Frank Basile, Céline Bonacina, Ben Ellman, Linda Fredriksson, Andrew Hadro, Ted Hogarth, Tony Lustig, Jason Marshall, Paul Nedzella, Jon Raskin, Jason Sharp, Karen Sharp, Lo "LUCY" Wood, Courtney Wright.

Clarinet: Louis Sclavis (5) Ken Peplowski (3), Michel Portal (2).

First pass: Don Byron, Evan Christopher, Anat Cohen, Eddie Daniels, Marty Ehrlich, Ben Goldberg, Francois Houle, David Krakauer, Jeff Lederer, Rudi Mahall, Michael Moore, Ken Peplowski, Michel Portal, Ned Rothenberg, Louis Sclavis, Chris Speed, Gianluigi Trovesi, Ken Vandermark.

Also on ballot: Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Beth Custer, Angel Bat Dawid, Paquito D'Rivera, Oran Etkin, James Falzone, Avram Fefer, Victor Goines, Todd Marcus, Gabriele Mirabassi, Ted Nash, Aurora Nealand, Matana Roberts, Shabaka, Andy Statman, Jesper Thilo, Harvey Wainapel, Dr. Michael White.

Not on ballot (among many others): Andy Biskin, Jason Stein.

Rising Star Clarinet: Mike McGinnis (5), Chris Byars (3), Lucas Pino (2).

First pass: Joachim Badenhorst, Chris Byars, Mike McGinnis, Marius Sřfteland Neset, Lucas Pino.

Also on ballot: Sheldon Brown, Jeremiah Cymerman, Chet Doxas, Chloe Feoranzo, Jean-Marc Foltz, Nico Gori, Ted Hogarth, Patrick Holmes, Josh Johnson, Doreen Ketchens, Tim Laughlin, Sam Sadigursky, Jason Scott, Giacomo Smith, Connor Stewart, Alexa Tarantino.

Not on ballot (among many others): Aram Shelton.

Flute: Juhani Aaltonen (5), Nicole Mitchell (3), Henry Threadgill (2).

First pass: Juhani Aaltonen, Nicole Mitchell, James Newton, Henry Threadgill, Anna Webber.

Also on ballot: Jamie Baum, Lakecia Benjamin, T.K. Blue, Andrea Brachfeld, Jane Bunnett, Jeff Coffin, Charles Compo, Robert Dick, Anne Drummond, Michel Edelin, Marty Ehrlich, Douglas Ewart, Tia Fuller, Frank Gratkowski, Holly Hofmann, Naďssam Jalal, Hubert Laws, Dave Liebman, Charles Lloyd, Magic Malik, Dave McMurray, Roscoe Mitchell, Ted Nash, Elsa Nilsson, Jorge Pardo, Elena Pinderhughes, Bart Platteau, Logan Richardson, Ali Ryerson, Shabaka, James Spaulding, Jiri Stivin, Lew Tabackin, Biggi Winkelte, Steve Wilson.

Rising Star Flute: Anna Webber (5), Nubya Garcia (3), Itai Kriss (2).

First pass: Zoh Amba, Nubya Garcia, Itai Kriss, Anna Webber, None.

Also on ballot: Andre 3000, Chris Bullock, Xhosha Cole, Isaiah Collier, Alfredo Colon, Anne Drummond, Evan Francis, Naissam Jalal, Josh Johnson, De'Sean Jones, Grace Kelly, Ben Kono, Gareth Lockrane, Magic Malik, Mthunzi Mvubu, Hadar Noiberg, Tamar Osborn, Noah Preminger, Tom Reese, Mayu Saeki, Geni Skendo, Connor Stewart, Wil Swindler, Alexa Tarantino, Maria Toro, Leland Whitty.

Piano: Matthew Shipp (5), Satoko Fujii (3) Myra Melford (2).

First pass: Kenny Barron, George Cables, Bill Charlap, Marilyn Crispell, Kris Davis, Orrin Evans, Satoko Fujii, Fred Hersch, Abdullah Ibrahim, Vijay Iyer, Brad Mehldau, Myra Melford, Matt Mitchell, Jason Moran, Matthew Shipp, Craig Taborn, Davie Virelles.

Also on ballot: Monty Alexander, Lynne Arriale, Jon Batiste, Karl Berger, Stefano Bollani, Marc Cary, Gerald Clayton, Emmet Cohen, Sylvie Courvoisier, Benoit Delbecq, Chano Domínguez, Aaron Diehl, Eliane Elias, Sullivan Fortner, Leo Genovese, Robert Glasper, Benny Green, Herbie Hancock, Geoffrey Keezer, Ahmad Jamal, Aaron Parks, Luis Perdomo, Danilo Pérez, Eric Reed, Marta Sánchez, Bobo Stenson, Chucho Valdés.

Not on ballot (among many others): Ran Blake, Dave Burrell, Uri Caine, Bill Carrothers, Cooper-Moore, Marc Copland, Hal Galper, Vyacheslav Ganelin, Ethan Iverson, Guus Janssen, Pandelis Karayorgis, Roger Kellaway, Joachim Kühn, Steve Kuhn, Howard Riley, Michele Rosewoman, Renee Rosnes, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Irene Schweizer, Martial Solal, Aki Takase, Albert Van Veenendaal, Yosuke Yamashita, Denny Zeitlin.

Rising Star Piano: Marta Sanchez (5), Alexander Hawkins (3), Kaja Draksler (2).

First pass: Kaja Draksler, John Escreet, Margherita Fava, Danny Grissett, Alexander Hawkins, Nduduzo Makhathini, Yoko Miwa, Aaron Parks, Marta Sánchez, Dan Tepfer.

Also on ballot: Alfa Mist, Luther Allison, Fabian Almazan, Laila Biali, Kris Bowers, Romain Collin, Paul Cornish, Zaccai Curtis, Jo Ann Daugherty, Jamael Dean, Eldar Djangirov, Bikini Dyer, Taylor Eigsti, Lawrence Fields, Roberto Fonseca, James Francies, Amaro Freitas, Brandon Goldberg, Philip Golub, Cameron Graves, Tigran Hamasyan, Connie Han, Ashley Henry, Justin Kauflin, Mike King, Lex Korten, Pascal Le Boeuf, Harold López-Nussa, Brian Marsalla, Sean Mason, Fergus McCreadie, Dan Nimmer, Steve Okonski, Samora Pinderhughes, Julius Rodriguez, Ben Rosenblum, Christian Sands, Carmen Staaf, Elias Stemeseder, Helen Sung, Gwylim Symcock, Micah Thomas, Isaiah J. Thompson, Fraser Urquhart, Elio Villafranca, Marta Warelis, Matthew Whitaker, Deanna Witkowski, Michael Wollny, Miki Yamanaka.

Not on ballot (among many others): Ehud Asherie, Neil Cowley, Leo Genovese, Chris Hopkins, Michael McNeill, Harold O'Neal, Matt Piet, Jacob Sacks, Sergi Sirvent, Nobu Stowe, Hĺvard Wiik.

Keyboards: Jamie Saft (5), Leo Genovese (3), Uri Caine (2).

First pass: Nik Bärtsch, Django Bates, Uri Caine, George Colligan, Wayne Horvitz, John Medeski, Jamie Saft, Matthew Shipp, Craig Taborn, Gary Versace.

Also on ballot: Jim Baker, Jon Batiste, Jim Beard, John Beasley, Marc Cary, Brian Charette, Zaccai Curtis, Benoit Delbecq, Kit Downes, James Francies, Leo Genovese, Robert Glasper, Larry Goldings, Herbie Hancock, Hiromi, Gary Husband, Geoffrey Keezer, Jason Lindner, Russ Lossing, Matt Mitchell, Eddie Palmieri, Danilo Pérez, Patrice Rushen, Omar Sosa, Bugge Wesseltoft.

Not on ballot (among many others): Soren Kjaegaard.

Rising Star Electronic Keyboard: Elliot Galvin (5), Florian Weber (3), Joe Armon-Jones (2). Only Galvin of last year's votes remained on the ballot, but frankly I can't remember why I voted for any of them.

First pass: Joe Armon-Jones, Elliot Galvin, Florian Weber.

Also on ballot: Jacob Anderskov, Jeff Babko, Marco Benevento, Matthew Bourne, Paul Cornish, Matt Cunitz, Jamael Dean, DOMi, Lawrence Fields, Amaro Freitas, Cameron Graves, Morgan Guerin, Ashley Henry, Cory Henry, Henry Hey, Scott Kinsey, Nick Maclean, Brian Marsella, Alfa Mist, Javier Santiago, Elias Stemeseder, Macie Stewart, Mamiko Watanabe, Matthew Whitaker, Joshua White, Kamaal Williams, Frank Woeste.

Organ: Mike LeDonne (5), Gary Versace (3), Brian Charette (2).

First pass: Pat Bianchi, Brian Charette, Jared Gold, Larry Goldings, Mike LeDonne, John Medeski, Jamie Saft, Gary Versace.

Also on ballot: Brian Auger, Carla Bley, Barbara Dennerlein, Kit Downes, Cory Henry, Wayne Horvitz, Booker T. Jones, Delvon Lamarr, Tony Monaco, Amina Claudine Myers, Rhoda Scott, Stĺle Storlřkken, Craig Taborn.

Rising Star Organ: Alexander Hawkins (5), Greg Lewis (3), Radam Schwartz (2).

First pass: Alexander Hawkins, Greg Lewis, Radam Schwartz, Vince Seneri.

Also on ballot: Jeff Babko, Joe Bagg, Pete Benson, Will Blades, Brian Coogan, Erik Deutsch, Dan Fogel, Gerard Gibbs, Morgan Guerin, Atsuko Hashimoto, Chris Hazelton, Bill Heid, Chok Kerong, Kyle Koehler, Ron Oswanski, Ben Paterson, Adam Scone, Bobby Sparks, Matthew Whitaker, Charlie Wood, Raphael Wressnig, Akiko Tsuruga.

Guitar: Gordon Grdina (5), Marc Ribot (3), Jeff Parker (2).

First pass: Rez Abbasi, Howard Alden, Peter Bernstein, Nels Cline, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Gordon Grdina, Mary Halvorson, John McLaughlin, Joe Morris, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Jeff Parker, Marc Ribot, John Scofield, Dave Stryker,

Also on ballot: Jakob Bro, Bobby Broom, Kevin Eubanks, Nir Felder, Bruce Forman, Gilad Hekselman, Charlie Hunter, Julian Lage, Lionel Loueke, Romero Lubambo, Russell Malone, Pat Metheny, Ben Monder, Miles Okazaki, John Pizzarelli, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ralph Towner, Mark Whitfield, Stephane Wrembel.

Not on ballot (among many others): Joe Diorio, Pierre Dřrge, Marc Ducret, Liberty Ellman, James Emery, Scott Fields, Marty Grosz, Billy Jenkins, Jon Lundblom, Jim McAuley, Doug Raney, Reg Schwager, Brad Shepik, John Stowell, Martin Taylor, James Blood Ulmer, Ulf Wakenius.

Rising Star Guitar: Gordon Grdina (5), Eric Hofbauer (3), Ava Mendoza (2).

First pass: Raoul Bjorkenheim, Gordon Grdina, Eric Hofbauer, Pete McCann, Ava Mendoza, Hedvig Mollestad (listed twice, second time as Thomassen), Brandon Seabrook, Matthew Stevens.

Also on ballot: Quentin Angus, Gregg Belisle-Chi, Joe Cohn, Graham Dechter, Daniel Delorenzo, Francesco Diodati, Wendy Eisenberg, Matt Gold, Pasquale Grasso, Jonathan Kreisberg, Max Light, Mateo Mansco, Camila Meza, Mike Moreno, Chico Pinheiro, Nate Radley, Adam Rogers, Yotam Silberstein, Hristo Vitchev, Joe Williamson, Dan Wilson, Cory Wong.

Not on ballot (among many others): Eivind Aarset, Scott DuBois, On Ka'a Davis, Terrie Ex, Nir Felder, Jostein Gulbrandsen, Ross Hammond, Luis Lopes, Jon Lundbom, Terrence McManus, Michael Musillami, Mark O'Leary, Kevin O'Neil, Rich Rosenthal, Samo Salamon, Billy Stein, Johnny Valentino.

Bass: William Parker (5), Peter Washington (3), Arild Andersen (2). No write-in slot under this category. I was considering Reggie Workman.

First pass: Joshua Abrams, Ben Allison, Arild Andersen, Ron Carter, Avishai Cohen, Scott Colley, Stephan Crump, Mark Dresser, Ray Drummond, Ingebrigt Hĺker Flaten, Michael Formanek, John Hébert, Dave Holland, Cecil McBee, Christian McBride, William Parker, Eric Revis, Luke Stewart, Peter Washington, Buster Williams.

Also on ballot: Jay Anderson, Gregg August, Matt Brewer, Gerald Cannon, Stanley Clarke, John Clayton, Luques Curtis, Dezron Douglas, Kermit Driscoll, Trevor Dunn, Kyle Eastwood, Essiet Okon Essiet, Joe Fonda, Larry Grenadier, Brad Jones, Derrick Hodge, Robert Hurst, Anne Mette Iversen, Brandon Lopez, Christian McBride, Thomas Morgan, Linda May Han Oh, John Patitucci, Barre Phillips, Bruno Rĺberg, Rufus Reid, Jorge Roeder, Reuben Rogers, Esperanza Spalding, Rodney Whitaker, Ben Williams, Martin Wind, Victor Wooten.

Not on ballot (among many others): Michael Bisio, Drew Gress, Barry Guy, Mark Helias, Marc Johnson, Joëlle Léandre, Harvie S, Reggie Workman.

Rising Star Bass: Moppa Elliott (5), Billy Mohler (3), Petter Eldh (2).

First pass: Petter Eldh, Moppa Elliott, Russell Hall, Billy Mohler, Matt Penman.

Also on ballot: Zwelakhe-Duma Bell Le Pere, Rashaan Carter, Jeff Denson, Kris Funn, Hans Glawischnig, Carlos Henriquez, Sigurd Hole, Corcoran Holt, Michael Janisch, Mimi Jones, Mark Lewandowski, Hannah Marks, Liany Mateo, Lisa Mezzacappa, Jonathan Michel, Yasushi Nakamura, Mali Obomsawin, Darek Oles, Endea Owens, Junius Paul, Harish Raghavan, Nat Reeves, Amina Scott, Todd Sickafoose, Matt Ulery, Ellen Andrea Wang, David Wong.

Not on ballot (among many others): John Edwards, Adam Lane, Katie Thiroux.

Electric Bass: Melvin Gibbs (5), Jamaaladeen Tacuma (3), Trevor Dunn (2).

First pass: Avishai Cohen, Trevor Dunn, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Melvin Gibbs, Nate McBride, John Patitucci, Steve Swallow, Jamaaladeen Tacuma.

Also on ballot: Casey Abrams, Richard Bona, Brian Bromberg, Stanley Clarke, Matthew Garrison, James Genus, Larry Grenadier, Derrick Hodge, Mimi Jones, Tim Lefebvre, Tony Levin, Tarus Mateen, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, Meshell Ndegeocello, Linda May Han Oh, Pino Palladino, Junius Paul, Esperanza Spalding, Thundercat, Victor Wooten.

Not on ballot (among many others): Stomu Takeishi.

Rising Star Electric Bass: Farida Amadou (5) Chris Morrissey (3), Tommy Babin (2).

First pass: Farida Amadou, Tommy Babin, Brandon Lopez, Chris Morrissey, Luke Stewart.

Also on ballot: Daniel Casimir, Conor Chaplin, Anders Christensen, Carlitos Del Puerto, Jeff Denson, Moppa Elliott, Hadrien Feraud, Michael Janisch, Matt Lux, Reed Mathis, Al McDowell, Mono Neon, Michael Olatuja, Felix Pastorius, Mike Pope, Kaveh Rastegar, Jason Roebke, Jorge Roeder, Skulli Sverisson, Chris Tarry.

Violin: Jason Kao Hwang (5), Jenny Scheinman (3), Carlos Zingaro (2).

First pass: Sam Bardfeld, Mark Feldman, Jeff Gauthier, Jason Kao Hwang, Eyvind Kang, Carla Kihlstedt, Mat Maneri, Jenny Scheinman, Aaron Weinstein, Carlos Zingaro.

Also on ballot: Sarah Bernstein, Zach Brock, Regina Carter, Sara Caswell, Theo Ceccaldi, Melanie Dyer, Jerry Goodman, Christian Howes, Diane Monroe, Mark O'Connor, Tomoko Omura, Jean-Luc Ponty, Mazz Swift, Mads Tolling, Michal Urbaniak.

Not on ballot (among many others): Charles Burnham, Rob Thomas.

Rising Star Violin: Szilard Mezei (5), Jesse Zubot (3), Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (2).

First pass: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Ola Kvernberg, Szilárd Mezei, Jesse Zubot.

Also on ballot: Jason Anick, Johanna Burnheart, Joe Deninzon, Erica Dicker, Anais Drago, Leonor Falcon, Chris Garrick, Nora Germain, Bernadette Kellerman, Majid Khaliq, Joanna Mattrey, Fiona Monbet, Marcus Moore, Sana Nagana, Ben Powell, Layth Sidiq, Curtis Stewart, Tscho Theissing, Scott Tixier, Lisi Wright, Zara Zaharieva.

Drums: Jim Black (5), Tyshawn Sorey (3).

Chad Taylor (2),

First pass: Joey Baron, Han Bennink, Jim Black, Terri Lyne Carrington, Gerald Cleaver, Andrew Cyrille, Jack DeJohnette, Hamid Drake, Tomas Fujiwara, Billy Hart, John Hollenbeck, Allison Miller, Lewis Nash, Rudy Royston, Ches Smith, Tyshawn Sorey, Bill Stewart, Chad Taylor, Nasheet Waits, Kenny Washington, Matt Wilson.

Also on ballot: Cindy Blackman Santana, Brian Blade, Johnathan Blake, Obed Calvaire, Joe Chambers, Billy Cobham, Peter Erskine, Al Foster, Steve Gadd, Marcus Gilmore, Mark Guiliana, Jeff Hamilton, Eric Harland, Roy Haynes, Albert "Tootie" Heath (RIP), Willie Jones III, Franklin Kiermeyer, Makaya McCraven, Francisco Mela, Ulysses Owens Jr., Dafnis Prieto, Herlin Riley, Avreeayl Ra, Karriem Riggins, Kendrick Scott, Nate Smith, Jeff "Tain" Watts.

Not on ballot (among many others): Barry Altschul, Joe Farnsworth, Gerry Hemingway, Dave King, Paul Lovens, Mike Reed.

Rising Star Drums: Paal Nilssen-Love (5), Tom Rainey (3), Tim Daisy (2).

First pass: Moses Boyd, Tim Daisy, Devin Gray, Paal Nilssen-Love, Dafnis Prieto, Tom Rainey, Ches Smith, Dan Weiss.

Also on ballot: Jonathan Barber, JD Beck, Jaimeo Brown, Justin Brown, Henry Cole, Graham Costello, Adam Cruz, Chris Dave, Jeremy Dutton, Joe Dyson, Justin Faulkner, Yissy Garcia, Rodney Green, Terreon Gully, Savannah Harris, Dana Hall, Eddie Hick, Ari Hoenig, McClenty Hunter Jr., Yoron Israel, Sanah Kadoura, Swarthy Korwar, Jerome Jennings, Christian Lillinger, Myles Manzana, Sun Mi-Hong, Leslie Mok, Stanton Moore, Kassa Overall, Ulysses Owens Jr., Reggie Quinerly, Seb Rochford, Tomoki Sanders, E.J. Strickland, Shirazatte Tinnin, Justin Tyson, Mark Whitfield Jr., Jamire Williams, Mark Whitfield Jr., Nate Wood.

Percussion: Hamid Drake (5), Han Bennink (3), Marilyn Mazur (2).

First pass: Han Bennink, Mino Cinelu, Hamid Drake, Kahil El'Zabar, Trilok Gurtu, Zakir Hussain, Susie Ibarra, Marilyn Mazur, Adam Rudolph, Michael Zerang.

Also on ballot: Alex Acuńa, Manolo Badrena, Cyro Baptista, Rogério Boccato, Alex Cline, Sheila E, Pete Escovedo, Sammy Figueroa, Kate Gentile, Giovanni Hidalgo, Pedrito Martinez, Airto Moreira, Dafnis Prieto, Michele Rabbia, Poncho Sanchez, Bobby Sanabria, John Santos, Ches Smith, Chad Taylor, Michael Zerang,

Not on ballot (among many others): Famoudou Don Moye, Leon Parker, Warren Smith, Dan Weiss.

Rising Star Percussion: Kevin Diehl (5), Sarathy Korwar (3), Ravish Momin (2).

First pass: Kevin Diehl, Harris Eisenstadt, Sarathy Korwar, Ravish Momin.

Also on ballot: Amaury Acosta, Brian Andres, JoVia Armstrong, Eli Fountain, Abraham Gomez-Delgado, Mauricio Herrera, Kevin Bujo Jones, James Maddren, Tupac Mantilla, Nitin Mitta, Keita Ogawa, Gumbi Ortiz, Daniel Sadownick, Kweku Sumbry, Rajna Swaminathan, Robert Vizcaíno Jr, Jon Wikan.

Not on ballot (among many others): Lukas Ligeti, Andi Pupato, Okay Temiz.

Vibraphone: Jason Adasiewicz (5), Steve Nelson (3), Warren Smith (2).

First pass: Jason Adasiewicz, Mulatu Astatke, Karl Berger (RIP), Patricia Brennan, Joe Locke, Matt Moran, Steve Nelson, Joel Ross, Ches Smith, Warren Smith, Kenny Wollesen.

Also on ballot: Sasha Berliner, Joe Chambers, Christopher Dell, Chris Dingman, Tomas Fujiwara, Behn Gillece, Stefon Harris, Jason Marsalis, Hendrik Meurkens, Simon Moullier, Cecilia Smith, Ben Thomas, Warren Wolf.

Not on ballot (among many others): Gunter Hampel, Steve Hobbs, Terry Gibbs, Mike Mainieri, Kevin Norton.

Rising Star Vibes: Patricia Brennan (5), Chien Chien Lu (3), Kjell Nordeson (2).

First pass: Patricia Brennan, Chien Chien Lu, Kjell Nordeson,

Also on ballot: Lolly Allen, Jalen Baker, Tom Beckham, Sasha Berliner, Tyler Blanton, Mike Dillon, Smith Dobson, Jim Hart, Sae Hashimoto, Jon Metzger, Rolando Morales-Matos, Corey Mwamba, Mike Pinto, Peter Schlamb, Yuhan Su, Christian Tamburr, Thaddeus Tukes, Lewis Wright.

Miscellaneous Instrument: Theon Cross (tuba) (5), Tomeka Reid (cello) (3), Gary Versace (accordion) (2).

First pass: Rabih Abou Khalil (oud), Edmar Castaneda (Colombian harp), Theon Cross (tuba), Erik Friedlander (cello), Richard Galliano (accordion), Gordon Grdina (oud), Peggy Lee (cello), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Grégoire Maret (harmonica), Myra Melford (harmonium), David Murray (bass clarinet), Tomeka Reid (cello), Marcus Rojas (tuba), Gebhard Ullmann (bass clarinet), Gary Versace (accordion), Brandee Younger (harp).

Also on ballot: Jon Batiste (melodica/harmonaboard), Anouar Brahem (oud), James Carter (bass saxophone), Vincent Chancey (French horn), Toumani Diabaté (kora), Akua Dixon (cello), Béla Fleck (banjo), Wycliffe Gordon (tuba), Jon Irabagon (sopranino saxophone), Brian Landrus (bass clarinet), Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar), Howard Levy (harmonica), Charles Lloyd (tarogato), Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica), Marcus Miller (bass clarinet), Ikue Mori (laptop), Chris Potter (bass clarinet), Hank Roberts (cello), Scott Robinson (bass saxophone), Marcus Rojas (tuba), Dino Saluzzi (bandoneón), Sarah Schoenbeck (bassoon), Brandon Seabrook (banjo), Chris Thile (mandolin), Steve Turre (shells), Ben Wendel (bassoon).

Not on ballot (among many others): Joseph Daley (tuba), Guy Klucevsek (accordion).

Rising Star Miscellaneous Instrument: Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello) (5), Andrea Parkins (accordion) (3) Jason Stein (bass clarinet) (2).

First pass: Val Jeanty (turntables/sound sculpture), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Andrea Parkins (accordion), Jason Stein (bass clarinet), Colin Stetson (bass sax), Katherine Young (bassoon).

Also on ballot: Joachim Badenhorst (bass clarinet), Casey Benjamin (vocoder), Alina Bzhezhinska (harp), Washboard Chaz (washboard), Chris Combs (pedal steel guitar), Helen Gillet (cello), DoYeon Kim (gayageum), Okkyung Lee (cello), Dana Leong (cello), Todd Marcus (bass clarinet), Aurora Nealand (accordion), Ed Partyka (tuba), Vincent Peirani (accordion), Matt Perrine (sousaphone), Ben Rosenbaum (Accordion), Arkady Shilkloper (French horn), Alexa Tarantino (alto flute), David Virelles (celeste), Ben Wendel (bassoon), Min Xiao-Fen (pipa).

Not on ballot (among many others): Ernst Reijseger (cello), Marcus Rojas (tuba).

Female Vocalist: Fay Victor (5).

Catherine Russell (3), Sheila Jordan (2).

First pass: Dee Alexander, Patricia Barber, Jazzmeia Horn, Sheila Jordan, Stacey Kent, Diana Krall, Carmen Lundy, Dianne Reeves, Catherine Russell, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Fay Victor.

Also on ballot: Cyrille Aimée, Thana Alexa, Laila Biali, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jay Clayton (RIP), Dominique Eade, Roberta Gambarini, Melody Gardot, Samara Joy, Kate McGarry, Camila Meza, Gretchen Parlato, Madeleine Peyroux, Sara Serpa, Jen Shyu, Luciana Souza, Esperanza Spalding, Becca Stevens, Tierney Sutton, Veronica Swift, Cassandra Wilson, Norma Winstone, Lizz Wright, Alice Zawadzki.

Not on ballot (among many others): Leena Conquest, Lorraine Feather, René Marie, Mary Stallings, Roseanna Vitro.

Rising Star Female Vocalist: Nellie McKay (5), Champian Fulton (3), Lisa Sokolov (2).

First pass: Champian Fulton, Lady Blackbird, Nellie McKay, Bria Skonberg, Lisa Sokolov, Nicole Zuraitis.

Also on ballot: Aimée Allen, Alyssa Allgood, Daymé Arocena, Iva Bittová, Hailey Brinnel, Buika, Gabrielle Cavassa, Melanie Charles, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Christie Dashiell, Dena DeRose, Denise Donatelli, Elina Duni, Madeline Eastman, Kat Edmonson, Sidsel Endresen, Rachell Ferrell, Hilary Gardner, Sara Gazarek, Vanisha Gould, Ashley Henry, Amirtha Kidambi, Laura Kinsella, Laufey, Sasha Masakowski, Zara McFarlane, Alicia Hall Moran, Alexis Morrast, Alicia Olatuja, Kandace Springs, Emmaa-Jean Thackray, Camille Thurman, Charenée Wade, Ellen Andrea Wang, Lucy Yeghiazaryan.

Not on ballot (among many others): Fay Claassen, Nicki Parrott, Andrea Wolper.

Male Vocalist: John Pizzarelli (5), James Blood Ulmer (3), Giacomo Gates (2).

First pass: Tony Bennett (RIP), Theo Bleckmann, Giacomo Gates, John Pizzarelli, Dwight Trible, James Blood Ulmer, Kenny Washington.

Also on ballot: Casey Abrams, Andy Bey, Joăo Bosco, John Boutté, Jacob Collier, Harry Connick Jr., Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Allan Harris, José James, Bobby McFerrin, Phil Minton, Leslie Odom Jr., Johnny O'Neal, Gregory Porter, Jamison Ross, Sachal Vasandani, Ben Williams.

Not on ballot (among many others): Ed Reed, Mark Winkler.

Rising Star Male Vocalist: Benny Benack III (5), Jamie Davis (3), Billy Valentine (2).

First pass: Benny Benack III, Jamie Davis, Billy Valentine.

Also on ballot: Dean Bowman, Pierre L. Chambers, Peter Cincotti, Ori Dagan, Jeremy Davenport, Jeff Denson, Vincent Gardner, Alan Hampton, Steven Herring, Grzegorz Karnas, Paul Marinaro, Michael Mayo, Tyreek McDole, Fred Moten, Ola Onabule, John Proulx, Milton Suggs, Charles Turner, JD Walter, Doug Wremble.

Not on ballot (among many others): Pete McGuinness, Frank Senior.

Composer: John Zorn (5), Henry Threadgill (3), Tim Berne (2).

First pass: Tim Berne, Carla Bley (RIP), Satoko Fujii, Dave Holland, Jason Moran, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill, John Zorn.

Also on ballot: Ambrose Akinmusire, Melissa Aldana, Ben Allison, Darcy James Argue, Terence Blanchard, Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Kris Davis, Dave Douglas, Amir ElSaffar, Bill Frisell, Jacob Garchik, Robert Glasper, Benny Golson, Mary Halvorson, Tom Harrell, Fred Hersch, François Houle, Vijay Iyer, Christine Jensen, Michael Leonhart, Brian Lynch, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Jim McNeely, Brad Mehldau, Myra Melford, Vince Mendoza, Pat Metheny, Roscoe Mitchell, Arturo O'Farrill, Aaron Parks, Nicholas Payton, Jeremy Pelt, Renee Rosnes, Maria Schneider, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Tyshawn Sorey, Esperanza Spalding, Kamasi Washington, Immanuel Wilkins.

Not on ballot (among many others): Moppa Elliott, John Hollenbeck, Steve Lehman, Rob Mazurek, Ted Nash.

Rising Star Composer: Moppa Elliott (5), Marta Sanchez (3), Taylor Ho Bynum (2).

First pass: Nik Bärtsch, Taylor Ho Bynum, Moppa Elliott, Miho Hazama, James Brandon Lewis, Marta Sanchez, Kevin Sun.

Also on ballot: Yazz Ahmed, Thana Alexa, JD Allen, Fabian Almazan, Jaimie Branch (RIP), Francesco Cafiso, Etienne Charles, Roxy Coss, Angel Bat Dawid, Chet Doxas, Steven Feifke, Amina Figarova, Jonathan Finlayson, James Francies, Tia Fuller, Mark Hendry, Marquis Hill, Ingrid Laubrock, Pascal Le Boeuf, Remy Le Boeuf, Makaya McCraven, Samora Pinderhughes, Eve Risser, Joel Ross, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Ches Smith, Walter Smith III, Becca Stevens, Marcus Strickland, Elio Villafranca, David Virelles, Greg Ward, Anna Webber.

Not on ballot (among many others): Ethan Iverson, Allison Miller.

Arranger: Steven Bernstein (5), John Hollenbeck (3), Miho Hazama (2).

First pass: Darcy James Argue, Steven Bernstein, Miho Hazama, John Hollenbeck, Ted Nash, William Parker.

Also on ballot: Joshua Abrams, Omer Avital, Django Bates, John Beasley, Lakecia Benjamin, Carla Bley (RIP), Terri Lyne Carrington, James Carter, Billy Childs, John Clayton, John Daversa, Orbert Davis, Amir ElSaffar, Sullivan Fortner, Satoko Fujii, Robert Glasper, Victor Goines, Gil Goldstein, Gordon Goodwin, Dayramir Gonzalez, Christine Jensen, Michael Leonhart, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Jim McNeely, Myra Melford, Bob Mintzer, Vince Mendoza, Arturo O'Farrill, Chuck Owen, Ed Palermo, Ed Partyka, Dave Rivello, Esperanza Spalding, Ryan Truesdell, Kamasi Washington, Miguel Zenón.

Not on ballot (among many others): Adam Rudolph, John Zorn.

Rising Star Arranger: Jonathan Finlayson (5), Miho Hazama (3), Allison Miller (2).

First pass: Jonathan Finlayson, Miho Hazama, Allison Miller.

Also on ballot: Lauren Elizabeth Baba, Lakecia Benjamin, Jacob Collier, Chris Crenshaw, Steven Feifke, Amina Figarova, Stefon Harris, Carlos Henriquez, Brian Krock, Michael League, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Michael Leonhart, Makaya McCraven, Phil Meadows,a Miles Okazaki, Adam O'Farrill, Ulysses Owens Jr., Lucas Pino, Noah Preminger, Dafnis Prieto, Antonio Sanchez, Christian Sands, Helen Sung, Anna Webber, Ben Wendel, Miguel Zenón.

Record Label: No Business (5), Intakt (3), Pi (2).

First pass: AUM Fidelity, Clean Feed, Enja, Firehouse 12, HighNote, Intakt, Leo, NoBusiness, Origin, Pi Recordings, RogueArt, Savant, Smoke Sessions, SteepleChase, Sunnyside, TUM, Tzadik.

Also on ballot: Arbors, Abstract Logix, ACT, Anti-, Anzic, ArtistShare, Astral Spirits, Barbes, Basin Street, BBE, Biophilia, Blue Canoe, Blue Note, BluJazz, Brooklyn Jazz Underground, Brownswood, CAM Jazz, Capri, Cellar Live Music Group, Challenge, Columbia Legacy, Concord, Craft, Criss Cross Jazz, Cryptogramophone, Cuneiform, Decca, Delmark, Dot Time, Elemental, Emarcy, ECM, Edition, Elemental, eOne, Firehouse 12, Fresh Sound New Talent, Gearbox Records, Giant Step Arts, Gold Label, Greenleaf Music, HatHut, Impulse!, In & out Music, Inner Circle, International Anthem Recording Co., IPO, Jazz Is Dead, Jazz Detective, Jazzed Media, Jazzhaus, Justin Time, Losen Records, Luaka Bop, Mack Avenue, Marsalis Music, MaxJazz, MCG Jazz, MoonJune, Mosaic, Motéma, New Land, Newvelle Records, Nonesuch, Odradek Records, OKeh, Orenda, Outside In Music, Palmetto, Posi-Tone, Pyroclastic Records, Random Act, RareNoise Records, Red House, Relative Pitch, Resonance, Ropeadope, The Royal Potato Family, Rune Grammofon, Savoy Jazz, SmallsLIVE, Smoke Sessions Records, Songlines, Sony Masterworks, Truth Revolution, Valid, Verve, We Jazz, Whaling City Sound, Whirlwind Recordings, Zoho.

Producer: John Zorn (5), Don Was (3), Mark Free (2).

First pass: Mark Free, Bill Laswell, Don Was, John Zorn.

Also on ballot: Alfa Mist, Ben Allison, Ambrose Akinmusire, Brian Bacchus, John Beasley, Terri Lyne Carrington, Michael Cuscuna, Kris Davis/David Breskin, Dave Douglas, Manfred Eicher, Zev Feldman, Flying Lotus, Robert Glasper, Dave Holland, Charlie Hunter, Larry Klein, Oded Lev-Ari, Siegfried Loch, Christian McBride, Makaya McCraven, Matt Pierson, Al Pryor, Damon Smith, Tyshawn Sorey, Paul Stache, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Miguel Zenón.

Not on ballot (among many others): Matt Baltisaris, Gil Goldstein, Nils Winther.

Rising Star Producer: Taylor Ho Bynum (5), John Corbett (3), Pedro Costa (2).

First pass: Taylor Ho Bynum, John Corbett, Pedro Costa, Liberty Ellman, -Seth Rosner/Yulun Wang, Spike Wilner.

Also on ballot: JD Allen, Ben Allison, Fabian Almazan, Daymé Arocena, Moses Boyd, Dezron Douglas, Leo Feigin, Sara Gazarek, Derrick Hodge, Jimmy Katz, Ryan Keberle, Michael League, Michael Leonhart, Steven Lugerner/Ross Eustis, Lage Lund, Terrace Martin, Myra Melford, Kassa Overall, Aaron Parks, Marta Sánchez, Chris Schlarb, Matthew Stevens, Emma-Jean Thackray, Ryan Truesdell, Matt Ulery, Cory Weeds, Cory Wong, Nate Wooley, Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

Blues Artist or Group: Maria Muldaur (5), Sue Foley (3), Taj Mahal (2).

First pass: Marcia Ball, Eric Bibb, Fantastic Negrito, Sue Foley, Buddy Guy, Corey Harris, Bettye LaVette, Taj Mahal, Duke Robillard, Bobby Rush, Otis Taylor, James Blood Ulmer.

Also on ballot: Elvin Bishop, Joe Bonamassa, Billy Branch, Cedric Burnside, The Cash Box Kings, Gary Clark Jr., Shemekia Copeland, Robert Cray, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, Tinsley Ellis, Robert Finley, Gov't Mule, Samantha Fish, Robben Ford, Ruthie Foster, Eric Gales, Billy F. Gibbons, Buddy Guy, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, Keb' Mo', Little Freddie King, John Mayall, North Mississippi Allstars, Coco Montoya, Charlie Musselwhite, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Slash, Swamp Dog, Otis Taylor, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Doug Wamble, Mike Zito.

Not on ballot (among many others): Lurrie Bell, Guy Davis, Maria Muldaur.

Blues Album (April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024):

  • Taj Mahal, Savoy (Stony Plain) [A-]
  • Fenton Robinson, Somebody Loan Me A Dime (1974, Alligator) [A-]
  • Jimi "Primetime" Smith & Bob Corritore, The World In A Jug (VizzTone/SWMAF) [***]

Other albums on ballot I've heard:

  • The Cash Box Kings, Oscar's Motel (Alligator) [**]
  • Robert Finley, Black Bayou (Easy Eye) [**]
  • Tracy Nelson, Life Don't Miss Nobody (BMG) [**]
  • Selwyn Birchwood, Exorcist (Alligator) [*]

Unheard albums on ballot:

  • Matt Anderson, The Big Bottle Of Joy (Sonic) [(**)]
  • Duane Betts, Wild & Precious Life (Royal Potato Family) [(*)]
  • Joe Bonamassa, Blues Deluxe, Vol. 2 (J&R Adventures) []
  • Peter Case, Doctor Moan (Sunset Blvd) []
  • Gary Clark Jr., JPeg Raw (WEA) [(B-)]
  • Chris Duarte, Ain't Giving Up (Mascot/Provogue) [(*)]
  • William Lee Ellis, Ghost Hymns (Yellow Dog) [(***)]
  • Tinsley Ellis, Naked Truth (Alligator) [(**)]
  • Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton, Death Wish Blues (Rounder) [(**)]
  • Sue Foley, One Guitar Woman (Stony Plain) [(***)]
  • Gov't Mule, Peace . . . Like A River (Fantasy) [(B-)]
  • Christone Kingfish Ingram, Live In London (Alligator) [(*)]
  • Eric Johanson, The Deep And The Dirty (Rug) [(*)]
  • Robert John and the Wreck, Ride Into The Night (Journeyman) []
  • Dave Keller, It's Time To Shine (Tastee Tone) []
  • Bernie Marsden, Working Man (Conquest) []
  • Dom Martin: Buried In The Hall (Forty Below) [(*)]
  • Nat Myers, Yellow Peril (Easy Eye) [(A-)]
  • Coco Montoya, Writing On The Wall (Alligator) []
  • John Primer & Bob Corritore, Crawlin' Kingsnake (VizzTone) [(***)]
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dirt On My Diamonds (Provogue) []
  • Slash, Orgy Of The Damned (Gibson) []
  • Various Artists, Tell Everybody (21st Century Juke Joint Blues) (Easy Eye) [(**)]
  • Various Artists, The Memphis Blues Box (Bear Family) []

Ballot breakdown by my grades: A-: 2; B+(***): 1; B+(**): 3; B+(*): 1 unheard: 24. I do a poor job of tracking these (7/31, or 22.5%).

Beyond Artist of Group: Dua Lipa (5), Amaarae (3), Hurray for the Riff Raff (2).

First pass: Amaarae, Beyoncé, Ceramic Dog, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Rhiannon Giddens, Kim Gordon, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Bettye LaVette, Bonnie Raitt, Taylor Swift, Neil Young, Lucinda Williams.

Also on ballot: Anohni and the Johnsons, Arooj Aftab/Vijay Iyer/Shahzad Ismaily, Roxana Amed, Fiona Apple, Jon Batiste, The Baylor Project, Beyoncé, Björk, Ruben Blades, Edmar Castańeda, CimaFunk, Lana Del Rey, DOMi & JD Beck, Bob Dylan, Béla Fleck, Hannah Francés, Melody Gardot, Robert Glasper, PJ Harvey, Joe Henry, Brittany Howard, Jason Isbell, Kara Jackson, Valerie June, Booker T. Jones, Rickie Lee Jones, Khruangbin & Vieux Farka Touré, Angela Kidjo, Kendrick Lamar, Laufey, Adrianne Lenker, Bettye LaVette, Lettuce, Ivan Lins, Kali Malone, Van Morrison, Anderson.Paak, Gregory Porter, Corinne Bailey Rae, Antonio Sanchéz, Somi, Sufjan Stevens, Tank and the Bangas, Ralph Towner, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Thundercat, Tower of Power, Trombone Shorty, Caetano Veloso, Waxahatchee, Wilco, Yo La Tengo.

Beyond Album (April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023):

  • Olivia Rodrigo, GUTS (Geffen) [A]
  • Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Past Is Still Alive (Nonesuch) [A-]
  • Kim Gordon, The Collective (Matador) [A-]

Other albums on ballot I've heard:

  • Amaarae, Fountain Baby (Golden Child) [A-]
  • Roxana Amed/Frank Carlberg, Los Trabajos y Las Noces (Sony Latin) [*]
  • Anohni and the Johnsons, My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross (Secretly Canadian) [**]
  • Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily, Love In Exile (Verve) [**]
  • Beyoncé, Cowboy Carter (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia) [**]
  • Ceramic Dog, Connection (Enja/Yellowbird) [**]
  • Lana Del Rey, Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd (Interscope) [**]
  • Hannah Francés, Keeper Of The Shepherd (Rination) [*]
  • Rhiannon Giddens, You're The One (Nonesuch) [**]
  • PJ Harvey, Inside The Old Year Dying (Partisan) [*]
  • Brittany Howard, What Now (Island) [**]
  • Kara Jackson, Why Does The Earth Give Us People To Love? (September) [*]
  • Bettye LaVette, LaVette! (Jay-Vee) [A-]
  • Adrianne Lenker, Bright Future (4AD), [***]
  • Ivan Lins, My Heart Speaks (Resonance), [**]
  • Kali Malone, All Life Long (Ideologic Organ), [*]
  • Aja Monet, when the poems do what they do (Drink Sum Wtr), [A-]
  • Yo La Tengo, This Stupid World (Matador), [A-]
  • Waxahatchee, Tigers Blood (Anti-), [***]
  • Corinne Bailey Rae, Black Rainbows (Thirty Tigers), [**]
  • Mannequin Pussy, I Got Heaven (Epitaph), [**]
  • Moor Mother, The Great Bailout (Anti-), [*]
  • Sufjan Stevens, Javelin (Asthmatic Kitty), [*]
  • Rafael Toral, Spectral Evolution (Moikai), [*]
  • Wednesday, Rat Saw God (Dead Oceans), [*]
  • Joni Mitchell, At Newport (Rhino) [B]
  • The Smile, Wall Of Eyes (XL), [B]

Other unheard albums on ballot:

  • Edmar Castańeda World Ensemble, Viento Sur (Independent Release) [(***)]
  • Béla Fleck, Rhapsody In Blue (Thirty Tigers) []
  • Rickie Lee Jones, Pieces of Treasure (BMG Modern), [(B-)]
  • John Lurie, Painting With John (Royal Potato Family), [(***)]
  • Ralph Towner, At First Light (ECM), [(*)]

Ballot breakdown by my grades [TH: need to recount]: A-: 8; B+(***): 8; B+(**): 5; B+(*): 2; B: 6; unheard: 8. These are all over the place (29/37, or 78.3%).

Post-Poll Comments

Downbeat Readers Poll