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They had two great albums last year, running their streak to five (or six if you count the live one), whereas, say, New Gary Burton Quartet has one (not bad) record to its credit.

Other groups dropped from the ballot: Atomic (still very active), Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy (more a lineup than a group), and Vandermark 5 (a great group, despite the leader name, but no longer active).

Aside from those already mentioned (Tommy Flanagan, Misha Mengelberg, and Bud Shank -- all 3 on the above scale), others on the ballot last year but not this: Lenny Breau (0), Pete Fountain (0), Bobby Mc Ferrin (0), Enrico Rava (1), Bobo Stenson (1), Gianluigi Trovesi (1), Muddy Waters (1).

Downbeat's interest in blues is historical but hasn't begun to register here.

And it looks like the one extravagant gift I did get -- New York Art Quartet's Call It Art -- had a March 15, 2013 release date.

So rather than vote for something as insubstantial as Tony Bennett's White House tapes, I pretty much had to write something in.

Note that Tommy Flanagan, Misha Mengelberg, and Bud Shank were on my first pass list last year, but have been dropped from the ballot -- this is a tough category, progressively so given how few are elected each year: in 2013: Charlie Haden (critics), Pat Metheny (readers), Robert Johnson (by the veterans committee, founded to help catch up in 2008 and now falling down on the job).

For what it's worth, others on the ballot (notation: 3 = in, but when?

I tried to build up a long list of good candidates a few years back: the file is here, but I'd caution you that while I've updated it to reflect elections and deaths, I haven't fiddled with the rankings or made a pass to move younger players into the "prospects" list.

Maybe some measure of publicity, otherwise I can't imagine what Esperanza Spalding and Trombone Shorty are doing on the ballot.

Rising Star -- Jazz Artist: Jon Irabagon (5), Peter Evans (3), Mary Halvorson (2).

; 2 = maybe; 1 = not really; 0 = who are you kidding?

; indicates new on this year's ballot): Fred Anderson (2), Derek Bailey (2), Tony Bennett (1), George Benson (0), Bob Brookmeyer (2), Kenny Burrell (1), Thomas Chapin (1), Buddy De Franco (2), Jack De Johnette (2), George Duke (0), Von Freeman (1), Bill Frisell (3), Steve Gadd (0), Jan Garbarek (2), Benny Golson (2), Grant Green (3), Jim Hall (2), Chico Hamilton (1), Eddie Harris (2), Jimmy Heath (2), Jon Hendricks (1), Billy Higgins (2), Dave Holland (2), Shirley Horn (2), Bobby Hutcherson (2), Ronald Shannon Jackson (1), Eddie Jefferson (0), B. King (1), Yusef Lateef (1), Melba Liston (1), Charles Lloyd (2), Professor Longhair (1), Wynton Marsalis (1), John Mc Laughlin (3), Marian Mc Partland (2), Carmen Mc Rae (2), Hank Mobley (2), James Moody (1), Joe Morello (1), Mark Murphy (0), Oliver Nelson (2), Les Paul (1), Tito Puente (3), Pharoah Sanders (3), Gunther Schuller (1), Tomasz Stanko (3), Esbjorn Svensson (1), Toots Thielemans (1), Mel Torm (2), Chucho Valdes (2), Frank Wess (2), Joe Williams (1), Phil Woods (2), John Zorn (2).