Monday, February 1, 2010

Grammy/jazz reprise

For those of you lacking the courage or patience to endure the glitz and non-music that dominate the Grammy Awards, here is a rundown of Sunday night’s winners in the jazz-related categories. Congrats to every one of the fine nominees as well.

How sad that jazz doesn’t get a significant place on the Grammy stage anymore. It was great , however, to see Clark Terry present for his Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledgement. The Recording Academy comp’ed him a room - but how unfortunate that Clark had to pony up the airfare from the East Coast for himself, his wife and his nurse who accompanies whenever he travels now.

Here are the winners:

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

Five Peace Band - Live
Chick Corea & John McLaughlin Five Peace Band (Concord Jazz)

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate (Heads Up International)
Best Jazz Vocal Album
Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman
Kurt Elling (Concord Jazz)

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Book One
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (World Village)

Best Latin Jazz Album -Vocal or Instrumental
Juntos Para Siempre
Bebo Valdés and Chucho Valdés (Sony Music/Calle 54)

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Dancin' 4 Chicken
Terence Blanchard
Track from Watts (Jeff "Tain" Watts) (Dark Key Music)

Best Instrumental Arrangement
West Side Story Medley
Bill Cunliffe, arranger (Resonance Big Band)
Track from Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute To Oscar Peterson (Resonance Records)

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
Quiet Nights
Claus Ogerman, arranger, track from Diana Krall’s Quiet Nights (Verve)

Best Pop Instrumental Album
Potato Hole
Booker T. Jones (Anti)

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Throw Down Your Heart
Béla Fleck
Track from Throw Down Your Heart: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 - Africa Sessions (Rounder)

Best Contemporary World Music Album Vocal or Instrumental
Throw Down Your Heart: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 - Africa Sessions
Béla Fleck (Rounder)

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden
Michael Bublé (143/Reprise)

Best Rock Instrumental Performance
A Day In The Life
Jeff Beck,track from Performing This Week...Live At Ronnie Scott's (Eagle Records)

Best Album Notes
The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946)
Dan Morgenstern, album notes writer Mosaic Records)

Best Historical Album
The Complete Chess Masters (1950-1967)
Andy McKaie, compilation producer; Erick Labson, mastering engineer. Hip-O Select/Geffen Records)

Best Classical Crossover Album
Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs Of Joy And Peace
Yo-Yo Ma wiith Odair Assad, Sergio Assad, Chris Botti, Dave Brubeck, Matt Brubeck, John Clayton, Paquito d'Rivera, Renée Fleming, Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Natalie McMaster, Edgar Meyer, Cristina Pato, Joshua Redman, Jake Shimabukuro, Silk Road Ensemble, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Wu Tong, Alon Yavnai & Amelia Zirin-Brown. (Sony Classical)

Note: I threw in Jeff Beck for two reasons, even though he won in an instrumental rock category. 1) He recorded his CD at Ronnie Scott’s. 2) He had a super jazz-related performance on the telecast with a Les Paul tribute performance – playing “How High the Moon” – on a Les Paul model guitar, of course.

One thing that doesn’t really make sense to me
You’ll note the category for Best Latin Jazz Album - Vocal or Instrumental.
Latin Jazz is also a part of the now-10-years-old Latin Grammy Awards. Why the duplication? And if it is so necessary, why don’t we have separate nights for Bluegrass Grammys, Blues Grammys, Classical Grammys, Folk Grammys, Jazz Grammys, Movie Soundtrack Grammys and Grab-Your-Crotch & Rhyme Grammys, etc.?

I’m curious why one genre gets its own separate night but NOTeach of the others. Then again, we are talking about a mainstream entertainment awards event.

I think I just answered my own question.

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