Melody Maker Readers Poll (1974)...
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Melody Maker Readers Poll (1974)...
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 1974 poll published on June 29th, 1974.
In many ways a re-run of the previous year with most of last years winners retaining their top places and more veterans from the 1950s and '60s coming back into contention. One surprise was former traditional jazz clarinettist Sandy Brown coming back to take the Clarinet top spot. Continuing the ex-trad theme Freddy Randall's band took second place in the Small group section and Freddy was placed fourth in the Trumpet section.
There was a comeback by John Dankworth whose band came in second in the Big band section, and he himself came second in the Composer, Arranger and Top musician polls and third in the Alto sax section. John's wife Cleo Laine returned as top Female singer.

Top Musician
1 Mike Gibbs
2 John Dankworth
3= Stan Tracey
3= John Surman
5 John McLaughlin...

1 Paul Rutherford
2 Malcolm Griffiths
3 Nick Evans
4 Chris Pyne
5 George Chisholm...

1 Mike Ratledge
2 Mike Carr
3 Alan Haven
4 Dave McRae
5 Brian Auger...

1= Roy Babbington
1= Ron Mathewson
3 Barry Guy
4 Chris Laurence
5= Lennie Bush
5= Dave Holland...

1 Mike Gibbs
2 John Dankworth
3 Neil Ardley
4 Alan Cohen...

LP of the year
1 In the Public Interest
(Mike Gibbs)
2 Original
(Stan Tracey/Mike Osborne)
3 Soft Machine 7 (Soft Machine)
4 Isotope (Isotope)
5 Morning Glory (John Surman)

Big Band
1 Mike Gibbs
2 John Dankworth
3 Brotherhood of Breath
5= Centipede
5= Syd Lawrence
5= Alan Cohen...

1 Sandy Brown
2 Tony Coe
3 Mike Osborne
4 John Surman
5 Al Gay...

Soprano sax
1 John Surman
2 Lol Coxhill
3= Evan Parker
3= Al Gay
5 Trevor Watts...

Alto sax
1 Mike Osborne
2 Elton Dean
3 John Dankworth
4 Bruce Turner
5 Peter King...

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

1 Frank Ricotti
2 Bill Le Sage
3 Alan Branscombe...

1 John Marshall
2 Tony Oxley
3 John Stevens
4 Lennie Hastings
5 Jon Hiseman...

Small Group
1 Soft Machine
2 Freddy Randall
3 S.O.S.
4 Isotope
5 Paraphernalia...

Tenor sax
1 Alan Skidmore
2 Evan Parker
3 Danny Moss
4 Ronnie Scott
5 Don Rendell...

1 Bob Downes
2 Barbara Thompson
3 Ray Warleigh
4 Jimmy Hastings
5 Brian Smith...

1 Karl Jenkins (oboe)
2 John Surman (moog/bass clarinet)
3 Kenny Wheeler (flugelhorn)...

1 Mike Gibbs
2 John Dankworth
3 Ian Carr
4= Mike Westbrook
4= John Surman...

1 Henry Lowther
2 Fred Frith
3= Dave Arbus
3= Alan Holdsworth ...

Female Singer
1 Cleo Laine
2 Norma Winstone
3 Julie Tippetts
4= Annie Ross
4= Maggie Nicholls...

1 Kenny Wheeler
2 Harry Beckett
3 Ian Carr
4 Freddy Randall
5 Henry Lowther...

1 Stan Tracey
2 Brian Lemon
3 John Taylor
4 Keith Tippett
5 Gordon Beck...

1 John McLaughlin
2 Derek Bailey
3 Gary Boyle
4 Terry Smith
5 Diz Disley...

New Star
1 Gary Boyle
2 Barbara Thompson
3 Colin Hodgkinson
4= Stan Sulzmann
4= Derek Bailey...

Male Singer
1 George Melly
2 Robert Wyatt
3 Jack Bruce
4 Mark Murphy
5= Georgie Fame
5= Phil Minton...

Blues Artist
1 John Mayall
2 George Melly
3 Eric Clapton
4 Alexis Korner
5 Back Door...

This page was last updated during February, 2014.
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