Well, I have been contemplating writing this post for quite some time. I will do my best to remain diplomatic and also try to make sure that I don't come across as being upset for selfish reasons. Let me first start by saying I don't do the things I do because I want awards or accolades. Sure, its nice to get recognition but its not the driving force behind the club, the label or musician. As I write this I look at a picture of Tom Harrell playing The Cellar...that's enough for me. I have been an advocate of The National Jazz Awards since its inception. I think anything that celebrates jazz in a large way is only a good thing. I do think the awards however has its flaws and in the past have had some great dialogue with Bill King the founder of the awards. I remember one year, he won Producer Of The Year which I thought was odd because he founded the awards. Isn't that a conflict of interest? We talked about it and it was cool, I felt comfortable that it was a level playing field. Last year my name was conspicuously absent from the Nomination list. I emailed Bill to wish him luck that year and to express my disappointment that I wasn't nominated. I was quickly informed that they 'forgot' to add my name and it was soon added.
This year however I can no longer support the awards in any way. Yes, I'm disappointed that my name is not on the nominees for producer of the year but Cellar Live is nominated for Label Of The Year. Isn't it kind of odd that we get in for Label of The Year but the driving force behind the label is not nominated? Somebody please tell me if I'm missing something.
The West has also once again been completely ignored. Acoustic Group of The Year contains not one group from the West. Hmm, weird that Cellar Live gets recognized for Label Of The Year but not one of its releases gets in for Acoustic Group Of The Year. Album Of The Year, not one album that was made by anyone West of TORONTO was nominated. Cellar Live gets nominated for Label Of The Year but none of its albums get nominated.
Bassist Of The Year - one from the West, Andre Lachance (GO ANDRE)
Clarinetist Of The Year - To be honest, I don't know many of these guys, what I do know is to my knowledge none of these artists live in Vancouver. James Danderfer's CD got rave reviews from all across the country and enjoyed a lot of radio play. I thought a shoe in for someone that pretty much plays the clarinet exclusively.
Composer Of The Year - nothing from the West
Electric Group Of The Year - Its good to see that a band like Metalwood who has not even been together for the better part of 2 years can get nominated. Good for Metalwood, I love them but gimme a break. They haven't done anything in 2005 and its kind of laughable that they get nominated.
Guitarist of The Year - Don't really understand how Bill Coon and Oliver Gannon don't make the list. If I recall correctly Oliver Gannon came out with a great record this year called That's What. Oh yeah, all Eastern based guys made it.
Most of the other awards have some Western representation which is nice to see but I hope that you will agree that there is some absolutely GROSS oversights on the part of these awards.
In addition to that I think if the Jazz Awards are to ever be taken seriously they should alternate cities similar to the Junos. Maybe one year in Toronto and one year in Vancouver.
This is just my two cents worth.