Pianist and composer Andrew Hill (pictured), who celebrated his 65th birthday on June 30 and who has a new album out today entitled A Beautiful Day (Palmetto), was named the winner of the 14th annual Jazzpar Prize, to be presented in Copenhagen, Denmark at a Gala concert on Apr. 27, 2003.
Hill was chosen as winner from a list five nominees including Seamus Blake, Ellery Eskelin, Wycliffe Gordon and Maria Schneider. Previous Jazzpar Prize winners include Muhal Richard Abrams (1990), David Murray (1991), Tommy Flanagan (1993), Jim Hall (1998) and Chris Potter (2000). This year’s judging committee was an international panel of jazz authorities, including Clim Meyer, Boris Rabinowitsch and Peter H. Larsen (Denmark), Dan Morgernstern (U.S.), Brian Priestley (England), Alex Dutilh (France) and Filippo Bianchi (Italy). The prize, which is awarded by the Danish organization Jazzkontakten, consists of a bronze statuette and a cash award of 200,000 Danish Kroner (approximately $26,500 U.S.).
With the Jazzpar Prize, Jazzkontakten aims to foster the growth of jazz music as well as aid the career of the musician the prize honors. Candidates for the prize can be any active jazz artist who the committee decides is specially deserving of further acclaim. In addition to the prize, the Jazzpar project sponsors numerous activities, including radio and television broadcasts, a prize concert tour and CD releases on its own label.
A Beautiful Day serves as the follow up to Hill’s well-received 2000 release Dusk, which was his first studio album in almost a decade after 1991’s But Not Farewell. The new album is a live recording of Hill’s big band playing at New York City’s Birdland in January 2002 and features eight original works by the pianist. Matt Balitsaris produced the album, which features liner notes by Stanley Crouch. The Andrew Hill big band is comprised of saxophonists Marty Ehrlich, Greg Tardy, Jon Savage, Aaron Stewart and JD Parran, trumpeters Ron Horton, Dave Ballou, Laurie Frink and Bruce Staelens, trombonists Charley Gordon, Joe Fiedler and Mike Fahn, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Nasheet Waits.
For more information on A Beautiful Day, visit www.palmetto-records.com.
For more information on Jazzpar, visit www.jazzpar.dk.