It was a busy night for veteran British acts at the Jazz FM Awards last night. At the star-studded event held in Shoreditch Town Hall on the centenary date of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth, the ROLLING STONES received two gongs – they grabbed Blues Artist Of The Year while their latest LP, ‘Blue & Lonesome,’ triumphed in the Album Of The Year category. Mick Jagger, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts (pictured above) all took to the stage to receive the award – and, CHARLIE WATTS in fact, went home with one more award than his band mates as he walked off Jazz FM’s special Gold award for his servcies to jazz, which was presented to him by the UK’s avant-garde maven, Evan Parker.
Another veteran who rose to fame in the ’60s was GEORGIE FAME, who was the recipient of the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award, handed to him by another legend, Van Morrison. Fame then performed two songs – the Chet Baker-associated ballad, ‘Everything Happens To Me’ and Benny Golson’s ‘Moanin” with a band that included bassist Alec Dankworth and trumpeter Guy Barker. Fellow septuagenarian, singer, NORMAN WINSTONE, also scooped the Vocalist Of The Year prize.
While the awards celebrated some of the UK’s most venerable acts, there was room for some of the younger ones too – LAURA MVULA won Soul Artist Of The Year (she also performed a striking version of the Billie Holiday-associated tune, ‘The Man I Love’); pianist, NIKKI YEOH beat off Gwilym Simcock and Tim Garland to grab Instrumentalist Of The Year; reed meister, SHABAKA HUTCHINS topped the piubic vote for UK Jazz Act Of The Year; and duo, YUSEF KAMAAL won Breakthrough Act Of The Year– their boss at the Brownswood label, GILLES PETERSON, also came away with an award for his radio show Worldwide FM, which won in the category of Digital Initiative Of The Year. The public-voted Live Experience Of The Year went to veteran vibraphonist, ORPHY ROBINSON, for his performance of ‘The Bobby Hutcherson Songbook’ at Church Of Sound.
It wasn’t all about the Brits, though – American tenor saxophonist and David Bowie collaborator, DONNY McCASLIN, came away with the International Artist Of The Year gong and also treated the audience to a live performance. Noted record producer, Tony Visconti – who worked with McCaslin on Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ album, said via a video message: “Congratulations Donny on winning the International Jazz Artist of the Year Award. When we did Blackstar together you blew our minds because you’re a one take guy… and David and I weren’t quite used to such professionalism. If it wasn’t for you Blackstar wouldn’t be the success that it is, it was so much fun working with you and your band. This is a well-deserved Award.”
Another American, drummer/music conceptualist, JAMIEO BROWN, picked up Jazz Innovation Of The Year for his work with his band, TRANSCENDENCE. Also, the director of the acclaimed films, Whiplash and La La Land, DAMIEN CHAZELLE, grabbed Jazz FM’s Impact award.
Here’s a breakdown of all the winners:
BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Yamaha)
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Oris Watches)
VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by PRS for Music)
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Rathbones)
BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by The Piano Bar Soho)
SOUL ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by RCS)
JAZZ INNOVATION OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Mishcon de Reya)
DIGITAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Pollitt & Partners)
Gilles Peterson – Worldwide FM
ALBUM OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE) (Sponsored by Arqiva)
Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome
UK JAZZ ACT OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE) (Sponsored by Grange Hotels)
LIVE EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE)
Orphy Robinson All Stars – The Bobby Hutcherson Songbook
PPL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Recipient: Georgie Fame
Recipient: Damien Chazelle
THE GOLD AWARD
Recipient: Charlie Watts