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Jazz Grammy Nominees Include Lorber, Clarke, Moody

  • Doug Levine

Bassist Stanley Clarke & keyboardist George Duke (2006 file photo)

Bassist Stanley Clarke & keyboardist George Duke (2006 file photo)

The 53nd Annual Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles, California on February 13. Here are this year’s nominees in jazz.

Three of the greatest names in jazz fusion: John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke and Jeff Lorber - are in the running for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. The Jeff Lorber Fusion's Rain Dance/Wanna Fly from Now Is The Time, is also competing with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco’s Never Can Say Goodbye - A Tribute To Michael Jackson, and Trombone Shorty for Backatown.

Pianist, composer and arranger Herbie Hancock is one of jazz music’s most honored players, having won 12 Grammy Awards, an NEA Jazz Masters Award, an Oscar, and numerous others. This year, Hancock earned a Grammy nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” from his album The Imagine Project, and featuring vocalist James Morrison. The other nominees include Keith Jarrett, Wynton Marsalis, Alan Broadbent, and the late Hank Jones.

In the Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group category, the nominees are The Clayton Brothers’ The New Song And Dance, John Beasley’s Positootly!, The Vijay Iyer Trio for Historicity, Danilo Perez’s Providencia, and the late James Moody for Moody 4A.

Winner or not at the upcoming Grammy Awards, saxophonist James Moody will always be remembered for his timeless composition “Moody’s Mood For Love,” elected into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. Last December, Moody succumbed to pancreatic cancer at age 85.

Five big bands are competing for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, including the Dave Holland Octet, John Scofield and Vince Mendoza, Mingus Big Band, Billy Childs Ensemble, featuring The Ying String Quartet, and Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society.

Three-time Grammy Award winner Chucho Valdes returns to the Best Latin Jazz Album category with Chucho’s Steps, featuring his band The Afro-Cuban Messengers. Also nominated are Pablo Aslan, Hector Martignon, Pancho Sanchez, and the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet.

Rounding out the jazz field are the five nominees for Best Jazz Vocal Album: Freddy Cole, Denise Donatelli, Lorraine Feather, Gregory Porter, and two-time Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater for her tribute to Billie Holiday, Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee Bridgewater.

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards will be presented on February 13 in Los Angeles, California.