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Three jazz groups on the 2015 Polaris Prize long list

Elizabeth Shepherd - The SignalThe 2015 Polaris Prize longlist, which was announced Tuesday, includes three jazz-related CDs out of 40 nominees:

  • the trio BADBADNOTGOOD,
  • vocalist and pianist Elizabeth Shepherd, and 
  • saxophonist Colin Stetson and violinist Sarah Neufeld.

It's the highest number of jazz-related CDs in the Canadian best-of list in recent years.

Shepherd is nominated for her recent CD, The Signal; she played selections from that CD at her show at the Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival in February. BADBADNOTGOOD are nominated for Sour Soup, recorded with Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan. Stetson is nominated for his instrumental collaboration with Neufeld, Never were the way she was.

The short list will be announced July 16, and the winner September 21.

The 2014 Polaris Prize was won by improvising vocalist Tanya Tagaq, for Animism. The only other jazz-related nominee that year was BADBADNOTGOOD. In 2013, Colin Stetson was the only jazz/improv-related nominee for New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light.

The Polaris prize recognizes Canadian recorded "albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history, as judged by a panel of selected music critics."

    – Alayne McGregor

Read OttawaJazzScene.ca's reviews of Elizabeth Shepherd and Colin Stetson: