Jazz FM announces its first Awards shortlist – spot the omission/s?

Radio station Jazz FM has announced the nominees for its first Jazz FM Awards, the winners to be announced at a (hopefully) glitzy ceremony on 31 January done in Londres.

The individual award categories look fairly sensible. I particularly like the Cutting Edge award. I am never quite sure why singers get their own category but all the instrumentalists are lumped together (perhaps we should be told how many singers there are in the land and how many instrumentalists, in the style of Paxman on University Challenge: “the team from Yeolde College, Oxford, are representing 400 students; the team from Nuformerpoly University are representing 250,000 students). I like that there is a completely wild card in there (it’s funk band PB Underground in my opinion, though your wild card may differ from mine, just as your theories for inclusion (a personal fave of a panellist? an imposition from the organisers to show breadth and accessibility?) may also be different.

The only glaring omission so far spotted in the nominations (I’m sure there will be others that occur to me in the following days) is LondonJazz blog from the Jazz Media category, but maybe that’s because Sebastian Scotney, LondonJazz‘s modest main man, was on the panel (on other hand, allaboutjazz.com is on the shortlist and the panel also included that site’s editor John Kelman).

Oh no, there is another glaring omission! And a totally mystifying onel. Can you spot it?

The official announcement on Jazz FM’s website says it all, so I’ll just cut and paste that, though it does have one error I have spotted: Tony Dudley-Evans, one of the final panel of judges on award night, is Jazz Adviser for THSH’s Jazzlines programme, not Artistic Director of Birmingham Jazz. Come on Jazz FM, get with the programme – you can read more than enough about that saga elsewhere on this blog…

Here you go, then:

With three months to go until the first Jazz FM Awards Powered by Klipsch, the nominations have been announced today, revealing that 2013 sees Jamie Cullum up for UK Jazz Artist of the Year and Sonny Rollins up for International Artist of the Year. Gregory Porter and Robert Glasper will go head to head in the Album of the Year Award.

The 34 nominations recognise and commend those who have made exceptional contributions to jazz this year. The awards see new talent and legends up for the coveted gongs and the public will have the opportunity to get involved too with a public vote for the UK Jazz Artist of the Year. The public voting will begin on 1st November 2012.

The nominations were chosen by a 13-strong panel of experts which included jazz journalists Clive Davis, Mike Hobart, Rob Adams and Seb Scotney; the live jazz promoters Steve Rubie (the 606 Club), Paul Pace (Ronnie Scott’s) and Ross Dines (Pizza Express); and international commentators including John Kelman (editor of AllAboutJazz .com), chair of the US Jazz Journalists Association Howard Mandel and Peter Schulze of the German jazz expo Jazzahead.

The winners will be named at the awards ceremony on January 31st at Number One Marylebone and will be selected by an expert panel of judges including: John Cumming, Director of Serious Productions, Tony Dudley-Evans, Artistic Director of Birmingham Jazz (sic) and of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Alex Webb, Songwriter, Musician and Journalist.

Judges have been selected based on their roles and contributions to the jazz industry, with the UK Jazz Artist of the Year Award up for public vote. Online voting opens on 1st November 2012, at www.jazzfmawards.com and voters have the opportunity to win a pair of Klipsch headphones.

The Jazz FM Awards Nominees are:

International Jazz Artist
Kurt Elling
Brad Mehldau
Sonny Rollins

Cutting Edge Award for Jazz Innovation
Django Bates
Robert Glasper

Album Of The Year
Robert Glasper: Black Radio
Keith Jarrett: Sleeper
Pat Metheny: Unity Band
Gregory Porter: Be Good
John Surman: Saltash Bells
Ryan Truesdell: Centenial (Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans)

Jazz Media
AllAboutJazz .com (website)
Do The Math (website of Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus)
Jazzwise (magazine)

Best UK Newcomer
Beats & Pieces Big Band (Troyka feat. Kit Downes on the originally announced list but now changed, presumably to spread the love!)
Josh Arcoleo
Roller Trio

UK Jazz Artist of the Year
Neil Cowley Trio
Jamie Cullum

UK Vocalist of the year
Carleen Anderson
Liane Carroll
Ian Shaw

UK Instrumentalist of the year
Nathaniel Facey (saxophonist with Empirical)
Ivo Neame (pianist with Phronesis)
Phil Robson

Live UK shows of the year
Gregory Porter
PB Underground

Best UK Jazz Venue
Band on the Wall
Café Oto
Ronnie Scott’s

The event is invitation only and with fewer than 270 guests, the event is an exclusive and intimate celebration, but will be broadcast live on Jazz FM with video highlights of the awards and performances available online.

More information on the award categories can be found at www.jazzfmawards.com

Categories: News


9 replies

  1. PB Underground are unbelievably good. Whilst I was surprised to see them in a ‘Jazz’ awards nomination list, they are well worth checking out, especially live!

    • I am sure you are right – I cannot comment on their worth. You echo my surprise (and it’s good to be surprised, though one inclusion begs the question of all the other resultant exclusions… and there may have been some jazz bands among them).

  2. Thanks for the really kind words Peter! Seb

  3. Robert Glasper for jazz innovation award? Mixing urban sounds with jazz is innovative? What about Herbie Hancock in the 70s? What about Miles Davis mixing rap, hip hop and jazz improvisation in the 80s? What about Greg Osby in the 80s ditto? Steve Williamson of the UK?? And scores of other examples well beyond Glasper. There is absolutely nothing innovative about Glasper’s record. It is a soul/hip hop/groove record w/ the occasional virtuosic piano/key solo. And it’s a great record, but it is NOT innovative. I wish the jazz press would stop reading Blue Note’s press releases and think for themselves.

  4. Forgot to mention, re the links between nominators and nominations, that Jazzwise magazine is nominated in the Media category and that two Jazzwise writers (Mike Flynn and Stuart Nicholson) were among the nominators. Presumably they declared an interest and left the room at this point…

  5. … oh. and I assume Paul Pace did the same when Ronnie Scott’s was discussed… tricky in such a small world to avoid overlapping interests, eh?

  6. Glasper’s a genius, and Black Radio is awesome, but it’s not even the most innovative album in his catalogue, let alone the whole of 2012. A puzzling nomination. I’d like to have seen Christian Scott and/or Lionel Loueke’s name in this list, in any of the top three categories.

  7. Hi Peter, this is a bold but fair article and a great read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s definitely an interesting and inspiring selection of artists most of which I fully agree with. I’m excited to see who picks up which however (as previously mentioned in other comments) I am intrigued behind the reasoning for Robert Glasper’s innovation appearance – a phenomenal musician but in my humble opinion nothing excitingly different to some other, older artists! My only other groan unfortunately comes from within the venues category. Despite great changes in the infrastructure of jazz (Jazz Northwest, Yorkshire etc teaming up to become one hive of activity being one example) the hard work and dedication of groups of volunteers nationwide appears overlooked in preference to some of the classic and more ‘famous’ choices. Don’t get me wrong, the three clubs selected are some of my favourites but there are others that are programming equally as exciting events but seem to evade the limelight…..


  1. Your challenge re Jazz FM Awards, should you wish to accept it… | thejazzbreakfast

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: