Melody Maker Readers Poll (1971)...
the bandsthe musicianshome pagethe clubsthe recordstime linegallerydiscographiesodds + endslinks
Melody Maker Readers Poll (1971)...
For 74 years the "Melody Maker" was the weekly 'trade paper' for the dance band and jazz musician as well as all those interested in the modern music scene. One of it's continuing features and talking points were the annual Readers Polls where readers voted under different categories for individual musicians, singers, big bands and a host of other categories.
The annual jazz polls were a major event in the jazz world but were also an important historical record of the state of British jazz through the years and preserve some of the historical perspective on British Jazz.
This page carries the full results of the 1971 poll published on February 26th, 1972.
With three first places and a third in the Small group section with his Trio John Surman was the standout performer in the polls. For the third consecutive year he was chosen as Top musician. The Big band section took on a new look with Centipede topping the poll and Brotherhood of Breath voted into second place. In addition the Centipede LP 'Septober Energy' was chosen as LP of the year. Centipede were a jazz / progressive rock band led by Keith Tippett that had about fifty members and had close links with Nucleus and Soft Machine the first two names in the Small group poll. Brotherhood of Breath were a free jazz band that included many South African musicians in their ranks. Many British free jazz musicians worked with them from time to time including Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford, Harry Beckett, Alan Skidmore, Mike Osborne, Elton Dean and John Surman.

Top Musician
1 John Surman
2 Keith Tippett
3= Harry Becket
3= Mike Gibbs...

1 Paul Rutherford
2 Malcolm Griffiths
3 Nick Evans...

1 Mike Ratledge
2 Alan Haven
3 Mike Carr...

1 Jack Bruce
2 Barry Guy
3 Dave Holland...

1 Mike Gibbs
2 Neil Ardley
3= Mike Westbrook
3= Barry Guy...

LP of the year
1 Septober Energy (Centipede)
2 Tanglewood '63 (Mike Gibbs)
3 Solar Plexus (Ian Carr)...

Big Band
1 Centipede
2 Brotherhood of Breath
2 Mike Gibbs...

1 Mike Osborne
2 Tony Coe
3 Sandy Brown...

Alto sax
1 Mike Osborne
2 Elton Dean
3 Peter King...

Baritone sax
1 John Surman
2 Johnny Barnes
3= Karl Jenkins
3= Ronnie Ross...

1 Frank Ricotti
2 Bill Le Sage...

1 Henry Lowther
2= Dave Arbus
2= Rab Spall...

1 Tony Oxley
2 John Marshall
3 Louis Moholo...

Small Group
1 Nucleus
2 Soft Machine
3 John Surman Trio...

1 Harry Beckett
2 Kenny Wheeler
3 Ian Carr...

1 Bob Downes
2 Ray Warleigh
3 Barbara Thompson...

Soprano sax
1 John Surman
2 Evan Parker
3 Don Rendell...

1 Karl Jenkins (Oboe)
2 Harry Beckett (Flugelhorn)...

1 Mike Gibbs
2 Keith Tippett
3 Mike Westbrook...

Female Singer
1 Norma Winstone
2 Julie Driscoll
3 Cleo Laine...

Tenor sax
1 Alan Skidmore
2 Evan Parker
3= Ronnie Scott
3= Brian Smith...

1 Keith Tippett
2 John Taylor
3 Howard Riley...

1 John McLaughlin
2 Chris Spedding
3 Derek Bailey...

New Star
1 Stan Sulzman
2= Elton Dean
2= Marc Charig...

Male Singer
1 Jack Bruce
2 Robert Wyatt
3 Georgie Fame...

Blues Artist
1 John Mayall
2 Alexis Korner
3 Duster Bennett...

This page was last updated during February, 2014.
Any comments welcomed, please click on email below...