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Scofield, Cole, Douglas Compete for Jazz Grammys - 2003-02-15

The 45th Annual Grammy Awards will be presented at Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 23. VOA's Doug Levine previews this year's nominees in jazz.

Guitarist and bandleader John Scofield is one of five nominees for Best Contemporary Jazz Album with Uberjam, featuring the track Tomorrow Land. With a group that includes jazz funk soloists Karl Denson and John Medeski, Scofield is a strong contender for his first-ever Grammy Award. Competition in this category is stiff, with the Yellowjackets, keyboardist Joe Zawinul, and guitarists Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton also vying for the Grammy trophy.

Singer Natalie Cole is a favorite for Best Jazz Vocal Album, with Ask A Woman Who Knows.

Natalie is no stranger to the Grammys. She won the Best New Artist award in 1976, followed by a stunning seven Grammy sweep for her album Unforgettable" in 1992. Coincidentally, Better Than Anything, another of the tracks on Ask A Woman Who Knows features Canadian jazz sensation Diana Krall who captured a nomination for her album, Live In Paris. Etta Jones, Patti Austin and Luciana Souza round out the jazz vocal category.

Trumpeter Dave Douglas has recorded 19 albums with eight different ensembles since debuting in 1993. The 39-year-old native New Yorker has garnered international acclaim for his original compositions, improvisation and mastery of jazz. His 2002 release, The Infinite, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group. Also nominated, Triangulo by pianist Michel Camilo; Footprints Live! by saxophonist Wayne Shorter; pianist McCoy Tyner's tribute to John Coltrane, Live At The Village Vanguard, and Directions In Music with Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove and Michael Brecker.

Brecker and Hancock are also in the running for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, along with guitarist Pat Metheny, tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb, and the late pianist Tommy Flanagan.

British-born bassist Dave Holland has a distinguished jazz history. He performed with an array of legendary jazz figures in the 1960s, including Coleman Hawkins and Miles Davis, moving on to groups led by Chick Corea, Stan Getz, Anthony Braxton and Betty Carter. Holland's 20-year solo career includes his most recent big band effort, What Goes Around. The song is nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. Other nominees in this category include the Mingus Big Band; Slide Hampton and the SWR Big Band; The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra; and Sammy Nestico.

The 45th Annual Grammy Awards telecast will air worldwide from New York City on February 23. One of the five nominees for Best Latin Jazz Album is The Gathering by the Caribbean Jazz Project.