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)
  • Chet Baker (1989-C)
  • Count Basie (1958-R)
  • Sidney Bechet (1968-C)
  • Bix Beiderbecke (1962-C)
  • Tony Bennett (2015-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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • John Lewis (2002-C)
  • Abbey Lincoln (2011-C)
  • Jimmie Lunceford (2008-V)
  • Jackie McLean (2006-C)
  • Pat Metheny (2013-R)
  • Glenn Miller (1953-R)
  • Charles Mingus (1971-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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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. Mildred Bailey (1903-51): vocals
  15. Buck Clayton (1911-91): trumpet
  16. Jimmy Giuffre (1921-2008): clarinet, tenor sax
  17. Ruby Braff (1927-2003): cornet, trumpet
  18. Harry "Sweets" Edison (1915-99): trumpet
  19. George Lewis (1900-68): clarinet
  20. Don Byas (1912-72): tenor sax
  21. Chu Berry (1910-41): tenor sax
  22. Rex Stewart (1907-67): cornet
  23. Budd Johnson (1910-84): tenor sax
  24. Herbie Nichols (1919-63): piano
  25. Nat Adderley (1931-2000): cornet, trumpet
  26. Vic Dickenson (1906-84): trombone
  27. Charlie Rouse (1924-88): tenor sax
  28. Wynton Kelly (1931-71): piano
  29. Willie "The Lion" Smith (1895-1973): piano, vocals
  30. Eddie Lang (1904-33): guitar
  31. Leroy Jenkins (1932-2007): violin
  32. Red Norvo (1908-99): xylophone, vibes
  33. Grant Green (1931-79): guitar
  34. Doc Cheatham (1905-97): trumpet, vocals
  35. Frankie Trumbauer (1901-56): C melody sax
  36. Horace Tapscott (1934-99): piano
  37. Luis Russell (1902-63): piano
  38. Stuff Smith (1909-67): violin, vocals
  39. Red Garland (1923-84): piano
  40. Johnny Griffin (1928-2008): tenor sax
  41. Cozy Cole (1909-81): drums
  42. Dicky Wells (1907-85): trombone
  43. Anita O'Day (1919-2006): vocals
  44. Arnett Cobb (1918-89): tenor sax
  45. Hank Mobley (1930-86): tenor sax
  46. Lucky Thompson (1924-2005): tenor sax
  47. Tommy Dorsey (1905-56): trombone, trumpet
  48. John Hicks (1941-2006): piano
  49. Lars Gullin (1928-76): baritone sax
  50. Larry Young (1940-79): organ
  51. Stanley Turrentine (1934-2000): tenor sax
  52. Sid Catlett (1910-51): drums
  53. Sonny Clark (1931-63): piano
  54. Rashied Ali (1935-2009): drums
  55. Sonny Sharrock (1940-94): guitar
  56. Ralph Sutton (1922-2001): piano
  57. Chano Pozo (1915-48): percussion
  58. Al Haig (1924-82): piano
  59. Louis Prima (1911-78): trumpet, vocals
  60. June Christy (1926-90): vocals
  61. Paul Gonsalves (1920-74): tenor sax
  62. Barney Wilen (1937-96): soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax
  63. Warne Marsh (1927-87): tenor sax
  64. Serge Chaloff (1923-57): baritone sax
  65. Oliver Nelson (1932-75): alto sax
  66. Bud Shank (1926-2009): alto sax
  67. Jimmy Dorsey (1904-56): alto sax
  68. Kenny Clarke (1914-85): drums
  69. Joe Pass (1929-94): guitar
  70. Ray Barretto (1929-2006): conga, percussion
  71. Edmond Hall (1901-67): clarinet
  72. Booker Ervin (1930-70): tenor sax
  73. Clifford Jordan (1931-93): tenor sax
  74. Muggsy Spanier (1906-67): cornet
  75. Michel Petrucciani (1962-99): piano
  76. Bunk Johnson (1889-1949): trumpet
  77. Slim Gaillard (1916-90): piano, guitar, vocals
  78. Ethel Waters (1896-1977): vocals
  79. Jimmy Raney (1927-95): guitar
  80. Al Cohn (1925-88): tenor sax
  81. Clarence Williams (1893-1965): piano
  82. Albert Mangelsdorff (1928-2005): trombone
  83. Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002): vocals
  84. Sam Rivers (1923-2011): tenor sax
  85. Fred Anderson (1929-2010): tenor sax
  86. Billy Bang (1947-2011): violin
  87. Marion Brown (1931-2010): alto sax
  88. Marian McPartland (1920-2013): piano
  89. Herb Geller (1928-2013): alto sax
  90. Yusef Lateef (1921-2013): tenor sax, flute
  91. Frank Wess (1922-2013): tenor sax, flute
  92. Cedar Walton (1934-2013): piano
  93. David S. Ware (1949-2012): tenor sax
  94. Borah Bergman (1933-2012): piano
  95. Peter Kowald (1944-2002): bass
  96. Kenny Wheeler (1930-2014): trumpet, flugelhorn
  97. 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