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Downbeat (magazine)

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Downbeat (magazine)

For other uses, see Downbeat (disambiguation).
Down Beat
File:Down Beat.png
Down Beat logo
Categories Music magazine
Frequency Monthly
First issue 1934
Company Maher Publications
Country  United States
Language English
ISSN 0012-5768

Down Beat is an American magazine devoted to "jazz, blues and beyond", the last word indicating its expansion beyond the jazz realm which it covered exclusively in previous years. The publication was established in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois. It is named after the "downbeat" in music also called "beat one" or the first beat of a musical measure.

Down Beat publishes results of annual surveys of both its readers and critics in a variety of categories. The Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame includes winners from both the readers' and critics' poll. The results of the readers' poll are published in the December issue, those of the critics' poll in the August issue.

Well-known features of Down Beat magazine include its "Reviews" section where jazz critics, using a '1-Star to 5-Star' maximum rating system, rate the latest musical recordings, vintage recordings, and books; articles on individual musicians and music forms; and its famous "Blindfold Test" column, in a which a musician listens to records by other artists, tries to guess who they are, and rates them using the 5-star maximum rating system.

In April 1979, Down Beat went to a monthly schedule for the first time since 1939.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Hall of Fame

The DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame is maintained at Universal Studios' City Jazz club in Orlando, Florida. Current membership, by year, is listed in the following table. The critics' poll was not initiated until 1961, so winners before then were all chosen by readers' polls. In 2010, the Veterans Committee Hall of Fame began electing deserving, deceased musicians of bygone eras.

Year Readers Poll Critics Poll
1952 Louis Armstrong[1]
1953 Glenn Miller[2]
1954 Stan Kenton[3]
1955 Charlie Parker[4]
1956 Duke Ellington[5]
1957 Benny Goodman[6]
1958 Count Basie[7]
1959 Lester Young[8]
1960 Dizzy Gillespie[9]
1961 Billie Holiday[10] Coleman Hawkins[11]
1962 Miles Davis[12] Bix Beiderbecke[13]
1963 Thelonious Monk[14] Jelly Roll Morton[15]
1964 Eric Dolphy[16] Art Tatum[17]
1965 John Coltrane[18] Earl Hines[19]
1966 Bud Powell[20] Charlie Christian[21]
1967 Billy Strayhorn[22] Bessie Smith[23]
1968 Wes Montgomery[24] Sidney Bechet & Fats Waller[25]
1969 Ornette Coleman[26] Pee Wee Russell & Jack Teagarden[27]
1970 Jimi Hendrix[28] Johnny Hodges[29]
1971 Charles Mingus[30] Roy Eldridge & Django Reinhardt[31]
1972 Gene Krupa[32] Clifford Brown[33]
1973 Sonny Rollins[34] Fletcher Henderson[35]
1974 Buddy Rich[36] Ben Webster[37]
1975 Cannonball Adderley[38] Cecil Taylor[39]
1976 Woody Herman King Oliver[40]
1977 Paul Desmond Benny Carter[41]
1978 Joe Venuti Rahsaan Roland Kirk[42]
1979 Ella Fitzgerald Lennie Tristano[43]
1980 Dexter Gordon Max Roach[44]
1981 Art Blakey Bill Evans[45]
1982 Art Pepper Fats Navarro[46]
1983 Stéphane Grappelli Albert Ayler[47]
1984 Oscar Peterson[48] Sun Ra[49]
1985 Sarah Vaughan Zoot Sims[50]
1986 Stan Getz Gil Evans[51]
1987 Lionel Hampton Johnny Dodds, Thad Jones, Teddy Wilson[52]
1988 Jaco Pastorius Kenny Clarke[53]
1989 Woody Shaw Chet Baker[54]
1990 Red Rodney Mary Lou Williams[55]
1991 Lee Morgan John Carter[56]
1992 Maynard Ferguson James P. Johnson[57]
1993 Gerry Mulligan Edward Blackwell[58]
1994 Dave Brubeck Frank Zappa[59]
1995 J. J. Johnson Julius Hemphill[60]
1996 Horace Silver Artie Shaw[61]
1997 Nat King Cole Tony Williams[62]
1998 Frank Sinatra Elvin Jones[63]
1999 Milt Jackson[64] Betty Carter[65]
2000 Clark Terry Lester Bowie[66]
2001 Joe Henderson Milt Hinton[67]
2002 Antonio Carlos Jobim John Lewis[68]
2003 Ray Brown Wayne Shorter[69]
2004 McCoy Tyner Roy Haynes
2005 Herbie Hancock Steve Lacy
2006 Jimmy Smith Jackie McLean[70]
2007 Michael Brecker Andrew Hill[71]
2008 Keith Jarrett[72] Joe Zawinul
2009 Freddie Hubbard Hank Jones
2010 Muhal Richard Abrams Chick Corea
2011 Ahmad Jamal Abbey Lincoln
2012 Ron Carter Paul Motian

Veterans Committee Hall of Fame

Album of the Year

An essential contribution of the critics' and readers' polls published in the August resp. December issues are the selections for "Jazz Album of the Year", listing the dozen or so most popular albums. Listed here are the top 3 albums of the selections:

2006 critics' poll:
(1) Andrew Hill: Time Lines (Blue Note)
(2) Wayne Shorter Quartet: Beyond the Sound Barrier (Verve)
(3) Sonny Rollins: Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert (Milestone)

2007 critics' poll:
(1) Ornette Coleman: Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar)
(2) Trio Beyond: Saudades (ECM)
(3) Sonny Rollins: Sonny, Please (Doxy)

2008 critics' poll:
(1) Maria Schneider: Sky Blue (ArtistShare)
(2) Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage (Heads Up)
(3) Joe Lovano and Hank Jones: Kids: Duets Live At Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Blue Note)

2010 critics' poll:
(1) Vijay Iyer Trio: Historicity (ACT)
(2) Joe Lovano Us Five: Folk Art (Blue Note)
(3) Miguel Zenón: Esta Plena (Marsalis)

See also


External links

  • website
  • : A History As Rich As Jazz"
  • The Jazz Journalists Association Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Jazz Hall of Fame
  • Arts For Art Lifetime Achievement Award
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