As reported in Jazz’s Downbeat magazine, Pianist Chick Corea, bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Ahmad Jamal, saxophonist Kenny Garrett are among the artists nominated for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. The nominations were announced on Dec. 5. Among the usual suspects were some surprises this year, Ravi Coltrane and Ahmad Jamal being nominated in Best Improvised Jazz Solo and Best Jazz Instrumental respectively.
Corea, a prolific pianist/keyboardist who works in a variety of settings, will compete against himself in a couple of categories. The five discs nominated in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category are Further Explorations (Concord), a trio project that Corea recorded with bassist Eddie Gomez and the late drummer Paul Motian; Hot House (Concord), a collaboration between Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton; Garrett’s Seeds From The Underground(Mack Avenue); pianist Ahmad Jamal’s Blue Moon(Jazz Village); and Unity Band (Nonesuch), a project that guitarist Pat Metheny recorded with saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez and bassist Ben Williams.
Familiar names also populate the list of nominations for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. The nominees are Corea and Burton, for the title track to Hot House; Corea, for “Alice In Wonderland” from Further Explorations; Garrett, for “J. Mac” from Seeds From The Underground; pianist Brad Mehldau, for the title track to his trio project Ode (Nonesuch); and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, for “Cross Roads” from Spirit Fiction (Blue Note).
Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza simultaneously released two outstanding albums on the Sunnyside label on Aug. 28, and each project has received a Grammy nomination. The Book Of Chet, a tribute to the music of Chet Baker, received a nod in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category.
Souza’s Duos III is nominated in the Best Latin Jazz Album category, where she’ll be competing against Chano Domínguez’s Flamenco Sketches (Blue Note); the Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band’s Ritmo! (Clare Fischer Productions/Clavo Records); the Bobby Sanabria Big Band’s Multiverse (Jazzheads); and New Cuban Express (Mavo Records) by Manuel Valera New Cuban Express. follow Robert J. Carmack events & blogs via twitter @blues2jazzguy