Recordings in more than 100 categories, from rap to classical, are being recognized with the music industry's highest honor, the Grammy Awards. The major awards will be announced during a live worldwide telecast from Los Angeles, California on February 8. VOA's Doug Levine previews the nominees in jazz.
With six categories at stake in jazz, the competition is tight. Take the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category, for example: Trumpeter Dave Douglas; saxophonists Joshua Redman and Bill Evans; bass player Meshell Ndegeocello and guitarist Pat Metheny heard here playing a selection from his Grammy-nominated album The Way Up. They are an eclectic group of musicians who, with the exception of Metheny, are each vying for their first-ever Grammy Award.
Piano and sax are the instruments of choice in the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo category: Herbie Hancock, whose keyboard wizardry has earned him 10 career Grammy Awards; pianist Alan Broadbent; and saxophonists Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane and Sonny Rollins.
Sonny Rollins switched from alto sax to tenor sax in 1946, and fans couldn't be happier. The jazz veteran, who twice retired from music only to come back bigger and better each time, is nominated for his solo "Why Was I Born?" from Without A Song - The 9/11 Concert.
No retirement plans for this up-and-coming jazz lady. Tierney Sutton sings some of the greatest jazz songs ever written on her album, I'm With The Band. And, she sings them with the greatest of improvisational ease. Not bad for the girl from Milwaukee who earned a degree in Russian language and literature before embarking on a career in jazz. Competing with Sutton for Best Jazz Vocal Album are Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Nnenna Freelon and Luciana Souza.
In the Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group category, the nominees are the Wayne Shorter Quartet; the Billy Childs Ensemble; and trumpeters Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Kenny Wheeler.
Kenny Wheeler's drummer-less quartet features two-time Grammy winner Dave Holland on bass. A frontrunner in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble category, the Dave Holland Big Band is up against the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble; the Bill Holman Band; the Chris Walden Big Band; and the Mingus Big Band, Orchestra And Dynasty.
The five nominees for Best Latin Jazz Album are: the Caribbean Jazz Project, Omar Sosa, Dave Samuels, Sammy Figueroa And His Latin Jazz Explosion, and pianist Eddie Palmieri for his album Listen Here!
Winners of the 48th Annual Grammy Awards will be announced on February 8.