Best Jazz Artist - 2003
Some jazz musicians stay inside, expertly navigating the changes while inventing fresh new melodies on the spot. Others go outside, discarding the boundaries of harmony and stretching music into pure sound with a restless yearning to grab the whole world and channel it through a horn. One of the things that makes saxophonist-composer John Norment distinctive is his ability to do both -- to play both inside and outside, sometimes even in the same solo, and yet have it all make perfect sense. A skinny man of average height with a frizzy mop of gray hair, Norment looks and talks like a mild-mannered individual -- until he picks up his horn and reveals himself to be part deep thinker, part slapstick comedian and all master musician. Equally adept on alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, Norment has a unique musical mind teeming with intriguing ideas, as well as the experience and technique to realize those ideas in a most satisfying manner.