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Christian Scott, Nancy Wilson Among Jazz Grammy Contenders

Two years ago, jazz trumpeter Christian Scott was just another busy student gearing up for graduation day at the Berklee College of Music. Today, he is one of five nominees for Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the upcoming Grammy Awards. VOA's Doug Levine tells us more about Scott's quick rise to the Grammys, as well as the other nominees in this year's jazz categories.

Christian Scott doesn't believe in wasting time. He graduated from Berklee in less than half the time it takes the average student. The following year, he released his debut album, a self-titled effort that he produced himself. In 2006, he made his major label debut on Concord Records with Rewind That. The album, with its improvisational feel, already has him drawing comparisons to fellow New Orleans trumpeters Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard.

Scott's competition for Best Contemporary Jazz Album includes guitarist Mike Stern, and the groups Groove Collective, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, and Sex Mob.

Five ladies will battle it out for the Best Jazz Vocal Album award.

Singer Nancy Wilson is no stranger to the Grammy Awards, having won once for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2004, and once for Best R&B Recording 40 years earlier. At 69, Nancy grabbed a nomination with her album Turned To Blue, featuring a well-known jazz soloist on 10 of 11 tracks.

Also in the running for Best Jazz Vocal Album are two-time Grammy winner Diana Krall, along with Nancy King, Karrin Allyson, and newcomer Roberta Gambarini.

Veterans such as two-time Grammy-winning saxophonist Sonny Rollins dominate the Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group category. Sonny's album Sonny, Please is up against albums by Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, a trio featuring Jack DeJohnette, Larry Goldings and John Scofield, and at age 46, the youngest nominee in this category, saxophonist Kenny Garrett.

The nominees for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album include Randy Brecker and the WDR Big Band, Bob Brookmeyer and the New Art Orchestra, Joe Lovano Ensemble, Mingus Big Band, and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

For Best Latin Jazz Album, Vocal of Instrumental, the nominees are Ignacio Berroa, Edsel Gomez, The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project, Dafnis Prieto, and Diego Urcolo and his Dream Band.

Rounding out the jazz field are the nominees for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo: saxophonists Branford Marsalis and the late Michael Brecker, clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, drummer Roy Haynes, and 22-year-old pianist Taylor Eigsti for the track "Freedom Jazz Dance" from his album Lucky To Be Me. He's also nominated in the Best Instrumental Composition category for Argument.

The 49th Annual Grammy Awards will be announced on February 11 in Los Angeles, California.