BEST JAZZ ARTIST - 2010
The Twin Cities suffer no dearth of nationally and internationally renowned jazz musicians. Anthony Cox, George Cartwright, Michael Lewis, Carei Thomas, Adam Linz, and countless other local players and composers have left their mark on the world at large. For whatever mysterious reason, we're especially rich in globally resonant, multidimensional drummers: J.T. Bates, Alden Ikeda, Stokely Williams, Tim Glenn, Joey Van Phillips—any one of them could easily be considered this year's best were it not for Dave King. Recently honored with a star-studded Walker micro-festival, the Happy Apple and Bad Plus co-founder doesn't just keep time, he creates it, nudging the tempo a hair forward one moment, tugging it almost imperceptibly back the next, always imparting an air of fluidity to whatever music he's immersed in. The drummer's organic sense of rhythm is just one of countless assets. He's a master of texture and tone, too. Plus, King's versatility would stand out like giant squids at a bar mitzvah even minus a history of involvement with the non-jazz likes of 12 Rods and Halloween, Alaska. Dude can switch from one genre to another (or stitch 'em together) in the space between two 32nd notes.