Downbeat Hall of Fame

  • Muhal Richard Abrams (2010-C)
  • Cannonball Adderley (1975-R)
  • Gene Ammons (2012-V)
  • Louis Armstrong (1952-R)
  • Albert Ayler (1983-C)
  • Mildred Bailey (2020-V)
  • Chet Baker (1989-C)
  • Eubie Blake (2017-V)
  • Count Basie (1958-R)
  • Sidney Bechet (1968-C)
  • Bix Beiderbecke (1962-C)
  • Tony Bennett (2015-R)
  • George Benson (2020-R)
  • Ed Blackwell (1993-C)
  • Art Blakey (1981-R)
  • Jimmy Blanton (2008-V)
  • Lester Bowie (2000-C)
  • Michael Brecker (2007-R)
  • Clifford Brown (1972-C)
  • Ray Brown (2003-R)
  • Dave Brubeck (1994-R)
  • Hoagy Carmichael (2016-V)
  • Harry Carney (2008-V)
  • Benny Carter (1977-C)
  • Betty Carter (1999-C)
  • John Carter (1991-C)
  • Ron Carter (2002-R)
  • Paul Chambers (2011-V)
  • Don Cherry (2017-C)
  • Charlie Christian (1966-C)
  • Kenny Clarke (1988-C)
  • Nat "King" Cole (1997-R)
  • Ornette Coleman (1969-R)
  • John Coltrane (1965-R)
  • Chick Corea (2010-R)
  • Bing Crosby (2014-V)
  • Tadd Dameron (2009-V)
  • Miles Davis (1962-R)
  • Paul Desmond (1977-R)
  • Baby Dodds (2010-V)
  • Johnny Dodds (1987-C)
  • Eric Dolphy (1964-R)
  • Billy Eckstine (2010-V)
  • Roy Eldridge (1971-C)
  • Duke Ellington (1956-R)
  • Bill Evans (1981-C)
  • Gil Evans (1986-C)
  • Maynard Ferguson (1992-R)
  • Ella Fitzgerald (1979-R)
  • Erroll Garner (2008-V)
  • George Gershwin (2017-V)
  • Stan Getz (1986-R)
  • Dizzy Gillespie (1960-R)
  • Benny Goodman (1957-R)
  • Dexter Gordon (1980-R)
  • Stephane Grappelli (1983-R)
  • Charlie Haden (2013-C)
  • Jim Hall (2014-C)
  • Lionel Hampton (1987-R)
  • Herbie Hancock (2005-R)
  • Coleman Hawkins (1961-C)
  • Roy Haynes (2004-C)
  • Jimmy Heath (2020-C)
  • Julius Hemphill (1995-C)
  • Fletcher Henderson (1973-C)
  • Joe Henderson (2001-R)
  • Jimi Hendrix (1970-R)
  • Woody Herman (1976-R)
  • Andrew Hill (2007-C)
  • Earl Hines (1965-C)
  • Milt Hinton (2001-C)
  • Johnny Hodges (1970-C)
  • Billie Holiday (1961-R)
  • Freddie Hubbard (2009-R)
  • Milt Jackson (1999-R)
  • Ahmad Jamal (2011-R)
  • Keith Jarrett (2008-R)
  • Antonio Carlos Jobim (2002-R)
  • James P Johnson (1992-C)
  • JJ Johnson (1995-R)
  • Robert Johnson (2013-V)
  • Elvin Jones (1998-C)
  • Hank Jones (2008-C)
  • Jo Jones (2008-V)
  • Philly Joe Jones (2010-V)
  • Thad Jones (1987-C)
  • Stan Kenton (1954-R)
  • B.B. King (2014-R)
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1978-C)
  • Lee Konitz (2015-C)
  • Gene Krupa (1972-R)
  • Steve Lacy (2005-C)
  • Scott LaFaro (2019-V)
  • John Lewis (2002-C)
  • Abbey Lincoln (2011-C)
  • Jimmie Lunceford (2008-V)
  • Wynton Marsalis (2017-R)
  • Jackie McLean (2006-C)
  • Carmen McRae (2020-V)
  • Pat Metheny (2013-R)
  • Glenn Miller (1953-R)
  • Charles Mingus (1971-R)
  • Hank Mobley (2019-R)
  • Thelonious Monk (1963-R)
  • Wes Montgomery (1968-R)
  • Lee Morgan (1991-R)
  • Jelly Roll Morton (1963-C)
  • Paul Motian (2012-C)
  • Gerry Mulligan (1993-R)
  • Fats Navarro (1982-C)
  • Herbie Nichols (2017-V)
  • King Oliver (1976-C)
  • Charlie Parker (1955-R)
  • Jaco Pastorius (1988-R)
  • Art Pepper (1982-R)
  • Oscar Peterson (1984-R)
  • Oscar Pettiford (2009-V)
  • Bud Powell (1966-R)
  • Sun Ra (1984-C)
  • Django Reinhardt (1971-C)
  • Buddy Rich (1974-R)
  • Max Roach (1980-C)
  • Red Rodney (1990-R)
  • Sonny Rollins (1973-R)
  • Pee Wee Russell (1969-C)
  • Artie Shaw (1996-C)
  • Woody Shaw (1989-R)
  • Wayne Shorter (2003-C)
  • Horace Silver (1996-R)
  • Nina Simone (2019-C)
  • Zoot Sims (1985-C)
  • Frank Sinatra (1998-R)
  • Bessie Smith (1967-C)
  • Jimmy Smith (2006-R)
  • Sonny Stitt (2012-V)
  • Billy Strayhorn (1967-R)
  • Art Tatum (1964-C)
  • Cecil Taylor (1975-C)
  • Jack Teagarden (1969-C)
  • Clark Terry (2000-R)
  • Lennie Tristano (1979-C)
  • McCoy Tyner (2004-R)
  • Sarah Vaughan (1985-R)
  • Joe Venuti (1978-R)
  • Fats Waller (1968-C)
  • Dinah Washington (2014-V)
  • Muddy Waters (2015-V)
  • Chick Webb (2010-V)
  • Ben Webster (1974-C)
  • Randy Weston (2016-C)
  • Joe Williams (2019-V)
  • Mary Lou Williams (1990-C)
  • Tony Williams (1997-C)
  • Teddy Wilson (1987-C)
  • Phil Woods (2016-R)
  • Lester Young (1959-R)
  • Frank Zappa (1994-C)
  • Joe Zawinul (2008-C)

Possible Candidates

Obviously, the rankings are more/less arbitrary.

Final Judgments

Dead musicians. Maybe something will show up in the archives, but for all intents and purposes we can evaluate their complete careers.

  1. Jimmy Rushing (1903-72): vocals
  2. Art Farmer (1928-99): flugelhorn, trumpet
  3. George Russell (1923-2009): piano
  4. Mal Waldron (1926-2002): piano
  5. Henry "Red" Allen (1908-67): trumpet, vocals
  6. Don Redman (1900-64): alto sax
  7. Louis Jordan (1908-75): alto sax, vocals
  8. Don Cherry (1936-95): pocket trumpet
  9. Don Pullen (1944-95): piano
  10. Illinois Jacquet (1922-2004): tenor sax
  11. Cab Calloway (1907-94): vocals
  12. Tommy Flanagan (1930-2001): piano
  13. Bud Freeman (1906-91): tenor sax
  14. Buck Clayton (1911-91): trumpet
  15. Jimmy Giuffre (1921-2008): clarinet, tenor sax
  16. Ruby Braff (1927-2003): cornet, trumpet
  17. Harry "Sweets" Edison (1915-99): trumpet
  18. George Lewis (1900-68): clarinet
  19. Don Byas (1912-72): tenor sax
  20. Chu Berry (1910-41): tenor sax
  21. Rex Stewart (1907-67): cornet
  22. Budd Johnson (1910-84): tenor sax
  23. Herbie Nichols (1919-63): piano
  24. Nat Adderley (1931-2000): cornet, trumpet
  25. Vic Dickenson (1906-84): trombone
  26. Charlie Rouse (1924-88): tenor sax
  27. Wynton Kelly (1931-71): piano
  28. Willie "The Lion" Smith (1895-1973): piano, vocals
  29. Eddie Lang (1904-33): guitar
  30. Leroy Jenkins (1932-2007): violin
  31. Red Norvo (1908-99): xylophone, vibes
  32. Grant Green (1931-79): guitar
  33. Doc Cheatham (1905-97): trumpet, vocals
  34. Frankie Trumbauer (1901-56): C melody sax
  35. Horace Tapscott (1934-99): piano
  36. Luis Russell (1902-63): piano
  37. Stuff Smith (1909-67): violin, vocals
  38. Red Garland (1923-84): piano
  39. Johnny Griffin (1928-2008): tenor sax
  40. Cozy Cole (1909-81): drums
  41. Dicky Wells (1907-85): trombone
  42. Anita O'Day (1919-2006): vocals
  43. Arnett Cobb (1918-89): tenor sax
  44. Hank Mobley (1930-86): tenor sax
  45. Lucky Thompson (1924-2005): tenor sax
  46. Tommy Dorsey (1905-56): trombone, trumpet
  47. John Hicks (1941-2006): piano
  48. Lars Gullin (1928-76): baritone sax
  49. Larry Young (1940-79): organ
  50. Stanley Turrentine (1934-2000): tenor sax
  51. Sid Catlett (1910-51): drums
  52. Sonny Clark (1931-63): piano
  53. Rashied Ali (1935-2009): drums
  54. Sonny Sharrock (1940-94): guitar
  55. Ralph Sutton (1922-2001): piano
  56. Chano Pozo (1915-48): percussion
  57. Al Haig (1924-82): piano
  58. Louis Prima (1911-78): trumpet, vocals
  59. June Christy (1926-90): vocals
  60. Paul Gonsalves (1920-74): tenor sax
  61. Barney Wilen (1937-96): soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax
  62. Warne Marsh (1927-87): tenor sax
  63. Serge Chaloff (1923-57): baritone sax
  64. Oliver Nelson (1932-75): alto sax
  65. Bud Shank (1926-2009): alto sax
  66. Jimmy Dorsey (1904-56): alto sax
  67. Kenny Clarke (1914-85): drums
  68. Joe Pass (1929-94): guitar
  69. Ray Barretto (1929-2006): conga, percussion
  70. Edmond Hall (1901-67): clarinet
  71. Booker Ervin (1930-70): tenor sax
  72. Clifford Jordan (1931-93): tenor sax
  73. Muggsy Spanier (1906-67): cornet
  74. Michel Petrucciani (1962-99): piano
  75. Bunk Johnson (1889-1949): trumpet
  76. Slim Gaillard (1916-90): piano, guitar, vocals
  77. Ethel Waters (1896-1977): vocals
  78. Jimmy Raney (1927-95): guitar
  79. Al Cohn (1925-88): tenor sax
  80. Clarence Williams (1893-1965): piano
  81. Albert Mangelsdorff (1928-2005): trombone
  82. Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002): vocals
  83. Sam Rivers (1923-2011): tenor sax
  84. Fred Anderson (1929-2010): tenor sax
  85. Billy Bang (1947-2011): violin
  86. Marion Brown (1931-2010): alto sax
  87. Marian McPartland (1920-2013): piano
  88. Herb Geller (1928-2013): alto sax
  89. Yusef Lateef (1921-2013): tenor sax, flute
  90. Frank Wess (1922-2013): tenor sax, flute
  91. Cedar Walton (1934-2013): piano
  92. David S. Ware (1949-2012): tenor sax
  93. Borah Bergman (1933-2012): piano
  94. Peter Kowald (1944-2002): bass
  95. Kenny Wheeler (1930-2014): trumpet, flugelhorn
  96. Roy Campbell (1952-2014): trumpet, flugelhorn

Living Legends

Living players who basically have nothing more to prove, which is not to say that they won't add some things.

  1. Abdullah Ibrahim (1934): piano
  2. Sheila Jordan (1928): vocals
  3. Carla Bley (1938): piano
  4. Paul Bley (1932): piano
  5. Archie Shepp (1937): tenor sax
  6. Chris Barber (1930): trombone, vocals
  7. Roswell Rudd (1935): trombone
  8. Bob Wilber (1928): soprano sax, alto sax
  9. Charles Lloyd (1938): tenor sax, flute
  10. Benny Golson (1929): tenor sax
  11. Martial Solal (1927): piano
  12. Houston Person (1934): tenor sax
  13. Gerald Wilson (1918): trumpet
  14. Mose Allison (1927): piano, vocals
  15. Phil Woods (1931): alto sax
  16. Eddie Palmieri (1936): piano
  17. Gary Peacock (1935): bass
  18. Bill Holman (1927): arranger
  19. Toots Thielemans (1922): harmonica

Tracking

Younger musicians who are consistently doing the sorts of things that get one into the Hall of Fame. Many would enter tomorrow if they died today.

  1. Anthony Braxton (1945): alto sax
  2. David Murray (1955): tenor sax, bass clarinet
  3. Joe Lovano (1952): tenor sax
  4. Jack DeJohnette (1942): drums
  5. William Parker (1952): bass
  6. John McLaughlin (1942): guitar
  7. Dave Holland (1946): bass
  8. Peter Brötzmann (1941): tenor saxophones, clarinets
  9. Scott Hamilton (1954): tenor sax
  10. Kenny Barron (1943): piano
  11. Joe McPhee (1939): tenor sax, alto sax, trumpet
  12. Evan Parker (1944): soprano sax, tenor sax
  13. Jan Garbarek (1947): tenor sax, soprano sax
  14. Pharoah Sanders (1940): tenor sax
  15. Hamiet Bluiett (1940): baritone sax
  16. Bobby Hutcherson (1941): vibes
  17. Wadada Leo Smith (1941): trumpet
  18. Marilyn Crispell (1947): piano
  19. Alex Von Schlippenbach (1938): piano
  20. Warren Vaché (1951): cornet
  21. Han Bennink (1942): drums, percussion
  22. Vinny Golia (1946): clarinet, sax, flute
  23. James Blood Ulmer (1942); guitar, vocals
  24. Dianne Krall (1964): vocals, piano
  25. Ray Anderson (1952): trombone, vocals
  26. Bobby Watson (1953): alto sax, soprano sax
  27. Irčne Schweizer (1941): piano
  28. Henry Threadgill (1944): alto sax
  29. Louis Sclavis (1953): clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor sax
  30. Steve Turre (1948): trombone, conch shells
  31. Chucho Valdés (1941): piano
  32. Tomasz Stanko (1942): trumpet
  33. Randy Sandke (1949): trumpet
  34. Misha Mengelberg (1935): piano

Prospects

Younger musicians who have done some things of Hall of Fame caliber, but will probably need to do more to make it.

  1. Dave Douglas (1964): trumpet
  2. Matthew Shipp (1960): piano
  3. Ken Vandermark (1964): tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet
  4. James Carter (1969): tenor sax, baritone sax
  5. Don Byron (1958): clarinet
  6. Hamid Drake (1955): drums
  7. Tim Berne (1954): alto sax
  8. Steven Bernstein (1961): trumpet, slide trumpet
  9. Ben Allison (1966): bass
  10. Vijay Iyer (1971): piano
  11. Uri Caine (1956): piano
  12. Chris Potter (1971): tenor sax, soprano sax
  13. Michael Moore (1954): clarinet, alto sax
  14. Satoko Fujii (1958): piano
  15. Wynton Marsalis (1961): trumpet
  16. Harry Allen (1966): tenor sax
  17. Jason Moran (1975): piano
  18. Myra Melford (1957): piano, harmonium
  19. Ellery Eskelin (1959): tenor sax
  20. Joshua Redman (1969): tenor sax, soprano sax
  21. Dennis Gonzalez (1954): trumpet
  22. Tommy Smith (1967): tenor sax
  23. Branford Marsalis (1960): tenor sax, soprano sax
  24. Wolfgang Muthspiel (1965): guitar
  25. Nils Petter Molvaer (1960): trumpet
  26. Brad Mehldau (1970): piano
  27. Terrence Blanchard (1962): trumpet
  28. Nik Bärtsch (1971): piano
  29. Rudresh Mahanthappa (1971): alto sax
  30. John Hollenbeck (1968); drums