jazz musicians

Grammy Nominations Announced - Have Your Say

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It's official - the nominations for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards have been announced. Proof that jazz musicians are versatile? Charlie Haden gets nominated for Best Country Instrumental! Strangest sight? How about drummer Jack DeJohnette in the New Age category!

Nominations are the exclusive domain of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences members, but that doesn't prohibit you from speaking (or writing) your mind. So have your say. Who should have been nominated but wasn't? Who would you pick to win? Be sure to include category and name of artist. Click "Read more" to see the list. Then make your comments.
<!--more-->Best Contemporary Jazz Album
Randy In Brasil
Randy Brecker

Floating Point
John McLaughlin

Cannon Re-Loaded: All-Star Celebration Of Cannonball Adderley
Various Artists

Miles From India
Various Artists

Yellowjackets Featuring Mike Stern

Best Jazz Vocal Album
Imagina: Songs Of Brasil
Karrin Allyson

Breakfast On The Morning Tram
Stacey Kent

If Less Is More...Nothing Is Everything
Kate McGarry

Cassandra Wilson

Norma Winstone

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
Terence Blanchard, soloist
Live At The 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars

"Seven Steps To Heaven"
Till Brönner, soloist
The Standard
Take 6

"Waltz For Debby"
Gary Burton & Chick Corea, soloists
The New Crystal Silence

"Son Of Thirteen"
Pat Metheny, soloist
Day Trip

James Moody, soloist
Live At The 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
The New Crystal Silence
Chick Corea & Gary Burton

History, Mystery
Bill Frisell

Brad Mehldau Trio: Live
Brad Mehldau Trio

Day Trip
Pat Metheny With Christian McBride & Antonio Sanchez

Alan Pasqua, Dave Carpenter & Peter Erskine Trio

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Appearing Nightly
Carla Bley And Her Remarkable Big Band

Act Your Age
Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band

Joe Lovano With WDR Big Band & Rundfunk Orchestra

Vince Mendoza

Monday Night Live At The Village Vanguard
The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Best Latin Jazz Album
Afro Bop Alliance
Caribbean Jazz Project

The Latin Side Of Wayne Shorter
Conrad Herwig & The Latin Side Band

Song For Chico
Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra

Nouveau Latino
Nestor Torres

Papo Vázquez The Mighty Pirates

Best Instrumental Composition
"The Adventures Of Mutt"
John Williams, composer
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Chick Corea, composer
The New Crystal Silence

"Claire's Closet"
Russell Ferrante, composer

"Danzón De Etiqueta"
Dave Grusin, composer

"Hit The Ground Running"
Gordon Goodwin, composer
Act Your Age

Best Instrumental Arrangement
"Define Dancing"
Peter Gabriel & Thomas Newman, arrangers
Wall-E Soundtrack

"Down In The Valley"
Frank Macchia, arranger

"Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love"
Michael Abene, arranger

"St. Louis Blues"
Bob Brookmeyer, arranger
Monday Night Live At The Village Vanguard

Gordon Goodwin, arranger
Act Your Age

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
Vince Mendoza, arranger
The Look Of Love - Burt Bacharach Songbook

Cedric Dent, arranger
The Standard

"Here's That Rainy Day"
Nan Schwartz, arranger
Still Unforgettable

"Johnny One Note"
Don Sebesky, arranger
With A Song In My Heart

"Lazy Afternoon"
Claus Ogerman, arranger
Across The Crystal Sea

Best Album Notes
Art Of Field Recording Volume I: Fifty Years Of Traditional American Music Documented By Art Rosenbaum
Art Rosenbaum, album notes writer (Various Artists)

Debate '08: Taft And Bryan Campaign On The Edison Phonograph
Patrick Feaster & David Giovannoni, album notes writers

Kind Of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Francis Davis, album notes writer

Rare & Unreleased Recordings From The Golden Reign Of The Queen Of Soul
David Ritz & Jerry Wexler, album notes writers

The Unsung Father Of Country Music: 1925-1934
Henry "Hank" Sapoznik, album notes writer

Best Historical Album
Art Of Field Recording Volume I: Fifty Years Of Traditional American Music Documented By Art Rosenbaum

Classic Columbia, OKeh And Vocalion Lester Young With Count Basie (1936-1940)

Debate '08: Taft And Bryan Campaign On The Edison Phonograph

Polk Miller & His Old South Quartette

To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story

Dr. Billy Taylor's Online Video Archive

Dr. Billy Taylor, at 86, is still a great broadcaster. The good doctor has been spreading the jazz message on multiple broadcast platforms for more than half a century. In the 1950s, he was one of the first jazz musicians to have a daily radio program. He also hosted a weekly television show, The Subject is Jazz. He was the jazz correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning. He hosted two NPR programs, Jazz Alive and Jazz at the Kennedy Center. He founded Jazzmobile. And he's had a web presence for the last seven years. Dr. Billy Taylor's website now includes many classic videos culled from an extraordinary life in jazz. Here's one of the many gems you'll discover - a performance with Billy Taylor, Duke Ellington and Willie "The Lion" Smith:


While you're here, dig this interview with Dr. Taylor and WBGO's Gary Walker.

IAJE Evening 2 - A Night of British Jazz

Dennis Rollins at IAJE

Courtney Pine, the British jazz musicians turned Jazz Crusader for BBC2, presented an evening of British Jazz at IAJE. I missed the first set from Empirical, winner of the 2007 EBU European Jazz Competition. I got there for the band's final notes.

Pine quickly introduced Martin Taylor, who jumped onstage a little early. Since the stagecrew wasn't ready for the band, he entertained the audience with a solo version of "I'm Old Fashioned." Here it is:

Martin Taylor - I’m Old Fashioned

I supposed you're predestined to play guitar when your named Martin Taylor, since that's the name of two highly regarded luthiers. Taylor made his first appearance in Toronto 25 years ago. This performance was his return engagement. It's been a while. Here's a cut from the full band:

Martin Taylor’s Freternity

I was totally blown away by the next act. Kids from Scotland who play like they've been playing together for years. Check this out, and tell me if you think they sound like novices...

Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra - A Night in Tunisia

The last act, I suppose, represented "the future." Trombonist Dennis Rollins has been raking in the awards in Britain. The music was certainly fun and dance-ready. Occasional references to "Summertime" and "Work Song" notwithstanding, I would call this a tightly arranged ensemble that combines a panoply of styles, including drum-n-bass, jazz, funk, and garage. Hear what I mean:

Dennis Rollins’ Badbone

So there you have it. I guess you can't call this show The British Invasion, since we're technically in Canada, where Queen Elizabeth is the head of state. - Josh

My Favorite Albums of 2007

2007 is ending, and though this year was pretty dry in my humble opinion, it was a GREAT year for music. Here are my favorite albums of 2007. I hope you'll check some of them out. And maybe some of these are your favorites, too!

Terence Blanchard - A Tale of God's Will: A Requiem for Katrina (Blue Note)

Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature (Peacefrog)

Radiohead - In Rainbows (Radiohead)

Robert Glasper - In My Element (Blue Note)

Kendrick Scott Oracle - The Source (World Culture Music)

Charles Mingus Sextet w/ Eric Dolphy - Cornell 1964 (Blue Note)

Common - Finding Forever (Geffen)

Mike Moreno - Between the Lines (World Culture Music)

Many of the people on my list are fantastic, young jazz musicians who are blazing the trails of this music. I can't wait to see what's in store for 2008 from some of my favorite artists!

Angelika Beener

Toast of the Nation New York - The Musicians

There's some serious talent on the stage tonight.

Trio da Paz are Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass, and Duduka da Fonseca on percussion. They are some of the best Brazilian jazz musicians on the scene. When you want samba, bossa nova, and other native Brazilian styles fused with jazz improvisation, these are your go-to guys. Singers Pamela Driggs and Maucha Adnet will each join the trio for a song before midnight.

Kenny Barron is a certifiable jazz master, for sure (it's time for the NEA to recognize this). He's played with Dizzy Gillespie, Jim Hall, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz and a slew of other great musicians. His work in Gillespie's 1960s Quintet with James Moody is outstanding. The final records with Getz are worth having, especially People Time, the sax and piano duets. The duet recording with bassist Charlie Haden, Night and the City, is a not-so-distant classic. Kenny Barron was also a part of Sphere, the Thelonious Monk tribute group that became its own thing.

Did I mention that he taught music at Rutgers University in Newark for 27 years? I'll leave the rest out for you to discover. There's plenty more.

Kenny Barron and his wife used to go to the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday mornings. At noon, they'd visit a nearby café for Brazilian food and a great trio. Kenny was digging Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass, and Duduka da Fonseca on drums. aka Trio da Paz. In 2002, these four recorded a CD together. It's called Canta Brasil.

Kenny Barron

Kenny Barron and Trio da Paz have a lot of chemistry. Stay tuned.