Terri Lyne Carrington (Mosaic Project)
The Rhythm Best of drums 2015 polls have received over 102,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the drummers and gear that have excelled in 2015. Here, we present the Best Jazz Drummer of 2015. First up we have Terri Lyne Carrington
2015 Highlight: Already established as a Grammy-winning jazz drummer, composer, singer, producer etc – particularly with her interpretation of the Duke Ellington classic, Money Jungle a couple of years back – this year Terri dipped her sticks into the world of r’n’b with her latest very groovy and soulful Mosaic Project album, Love And Soul.
Bill Stewart (US jazz master)
2015 Highlight: Bill is one of the most highly-regarded contemporary American jazz drummers, thanks to his crisp sound and extraordinary technical range, not to mention his boundless energy behind the kit. If you need proof, check out his playing in this clip, with John Scofield and Joe Lovano earlier this year.
John RIley (Jazz master and educator)
2015 Highlight: One of the great drum educators, particularly in genres of jazz and big band, John continues to inspire from the drum seat, whether he's teaching or playing with a full contacts-book of the best musicians in the jazz world.
Pete Cater (UK big band drummer/leader)
2015 Highlight: The UK’s foremost Big Band drummer and band leader continues to bring the swing, and his Beginner’s Guide To Big Band in Rhythm magazine this year proved his chops as a fantastic drum educator as well as a man whose knowledge of big band and sublime touch brings real authenticity to his big band.
Jeff Hamilton (Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra)
2015 highlight: Jeff Hamilton remains an undisputed master of jazz brush playing, and whether it’s with his own trio or the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, his feel and technique continues to amaze and influence jazzers the world over.
Mark Guiliana (Mark Guiliana Quartet)
2015 Highlight: Mark is undoubtedly one of the most exciting new jazzers out there, and after his more electronic-style jazz recordings of last year, in 2015 he embraced the classic quartet format for some truly brilliant small-group jazz playing on his album Family First.
Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Dr. Um)
2015 Highlight: Mr Erskine is a jazz drumming treasure, and while his sublime kit work is all over some of the finest jazz releases of recent years, many may have yearned for his days playing exciting jazz fusion chops with Weather Report. Well, the gods be praised, Dr. Um is Peter’s return to the kind of aggressive, fusion-orientated chops that came to personify his contribution to the genre with the Report, Steps Ahead etc.
WINNER: Steve Smith (Vital Information NYC Edition)
2015 Highlight: Steve Smith rounds out a busy and triumphant year – one that saw the release of a new CD from his group Vital Information NYC Edition, plus a new classic organ trio –by cleaning up in the Best Jazz category. It was tightly contested, though, with an exciting mix of new and old faces all continuing to innovate and evolve jazz drumming in 2015.