Thursday, June 29, 2006

And the Winners Are . . .

Last week the Jazz Journalists Association held their award ceremony at B.B. King’s. Most of the music awards I can’t take issue with. I would have voted for Robert Glasper over Dafnis Prieto for the Up & Coming Musician of the Year Award, but I’m not outraged by their selection. Lifetime Achievement for Roy Haynes, Musician of the Year for Sonny Rollins, and Composer of the Year for Andrew Hill are all solid choices in my judgment.

One eyebrow raiser was the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism going to Howard Mandel, who as it just so happens, is also president of the Jazz Journalists Association. Hmm.

Mandel also has written on behalf of Tarik Shah, the jazz bassist facing charges for conspiring to aid al-Qaeda. Considering we do not know the extent of the government’s case, it seems premature to assume his innocence. In fact, Mandel seems to presuppose overzealousness on the part of the government.

Maybe the JJA needs some fresh blood in its membership to give them some perspective. I wonder if they accept bloggers as members.