2005 Jazz Journalists Awards at B.B. King's - A Hot and Successful Night
Paxton Baker came back on again and re-announced Todd Barkan for the cameras. Barkan was acclaimed as one of the great jazz events producers. "One of the great secrets in this secrets for surviving in this business is to keep breathing. You have to keep breathing. I'd like to thank Wynton Marsalis and all the great people who work at Jazz at Lincoln Center. It's a dream for all of us who work there. And you all take care of yourself and we'll take care of you."
Martin Mueller got up and said, "I'm very proud of the relationship with Hoard and the JJA. It's all about partnering. We'll keep pushing for that." Mueller cited the vision of the late Arnie Lawrence, who passed on recently, in the jazz program at the New School.
Wendy Oxenhorn talked about the Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians Emergency Fund ("If it were the HIP Foundation, I'd be rich and get me a big home!") and how it has grown and all the doctors who work for free. She mentioned Ben Riley and how musicians aren't turned away from being helped. She said in the beginning they helped 35 musicians a year and how that figure is up to 35 musicians a week.
Said performer Bob Wisdom, "We often hear that jazz is dead. That is just not true. This music will take you to places none of you can imagine. I'm so happy to be alive to see all this music and all these musicians." He mentioned the Sy Johnson Octet. Just then George Avakian walked by the bar and said he had some work to do. "I have to announce some winners."
Sitting near the stage was young tenor saxophonist Tommy Morimoto, who came to accept in case Roswell Rudd won for trombone. "It has been so great to see everbody: all the great musicians are being recognized. I don't think I have ever seen so many talented, great musicians in one place!"
(L-R) David Adler, Carla Rupp, Chris Slawecki, R.J. DeLuke, C. Andrew Hovan
The night was always in good humor. When George Avakian (producer for Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck) got up to give the award to AllAboutJazz.com, he said, "They didn't used to have all these dots!"
"I'd like to thank our founder and publisher, Mike Ricci, who could not be here with us this evening, Senior Editor Chris M. Slawecki said in accepting the award. "I'd like to thank the JJA for presenting this award, and everyone who voted for us so that we could win this award. I'd like to thank our readers.
"Most of all, I'd like to thank our writers, he concluded. "At any time, AAJ has between two and three hundred volunteer writers, people who do what they do just for their love of the music. This belongs to them. Thank you very much.
Other important journalist winners were Bob Blumenthal and Ben Ratliff. Said Blumental, "I'd like to thank all of those who have asked me to write liner notes. I would like to acknowledge my friends Gene Lees, the late Leonard Feather, Stanley Dance, Dan Morgenstern and Gary Giddens. They have all been examples to follow."
Concluded Howard Mandel, "This evening has been an incredible expedition." He thanked a long list of people, including his daughter Rosie, Lois Gilbert, people from Blue Note, Hot House, E*Trade and many more.
Discuss the 2005 JJA Awards on the AAJ Bulletin Board.
Visit the JJA on the web.
R. Andrew Lepley