Guitarist Mike Stern has been nominated six times for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, but he's never won the coveted trophy. Perhaps Mike will break the spell once and for all with his album Big Neighborhood, featuring the track "6th Street."
The one-time backup guitarist for Miles Davis goes up against vibraphonist Stefon Harris And Blackout for Urbanus; keyboardist Philippe Saisse for At World's Edge; Sounding Point by guitarist Julian Lage; and 75 by the late Joe Zawinul And The Zawinul Syndicate.
Trumpeter Roy Hargrove overwhelmed the critics with his first big band outing, Emergence. From it, the track "Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey" earned him a nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, competing with standout solos by pianists Gerald Clayton and Martial Solal; trumpeter Terence Blanchard; and saxophonist Miguel Zenon.
In the Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group category, legendary New Orleans pianist, composer and producer Allen Toussaint hopes to win with his first solo release in more than 10 years, The Bright Mississippi.
Toussaint's competition includes Brother To Brother by the Clayton Brothers; Five Peace Band Live by the Chick Corea And John McLaughlin Five Peace Band; the John Patitucci Trio for Remembrance; and Quartet Live by an all-star quartet consisting of Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow and Antonio Sanchez.
For Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, the nominees are: Legendary by Bob Florence Limited Edition; Eternal Interlude by John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Fun Time by Sammy Nestico and the SWR Big Band; the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra's Book One; and Lab 2009 by the University of North Texas One O' Clock Lab Band.
Miguel Zenon returns as a nominee in the Best Latin Jazz Album category for Esta Plena. The saxman is vying for his first Grammy Award with percussionist Chembo Corniel; Geoffrey Keezer, Claudio Roditi; and 91-year-old Cuban bandleader Bebo Valdes and his son Chucho Valdes.
Rounding out the jazz field are the five nominees for Best Jazz Vocal Album. They are Randy Crawford with pianist Joe Sample for No Regrets; Kurt Elling for Dedicated To You - Kurt Elling Sings The Music of Coltrane and Hartman; So In Love by Roberta Gambarini; Luciana Souza for Tide; and the Tierney Sutton Band, led by three-time Grammy nominee Tierney Sutton, for Desire.