A closer look at this year’s jazz Grammy nominees

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on January 31, 2020, in Los Angeles. Its format is not yet known. But we do know that Trevor Noah will host the awards ceremony.

“RoundAgain, the first recording from Brad Mehldau, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride and Brian Blade since 1994’s “MoodSwing,” has been nominated for Grammys for Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo for Redman on “Moe Honk.”

Congrats are in order to pianist Gerald Clayton who earned two Grammy Award nominations, Best Jazz Instrumental Album for “Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard,” and Best Improvised Jazz Solo: “Celia” from Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard.”

Also, kudos to Minnesota native and five-time Grammy-winner Maria Schneider for her latest album “Data Lords.”

In the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category, these standouts were up nominated: “On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment” from trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and “Waiting Game” featuring drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science. This is Akinmusire’s first-ever nomination.

Who are some of the biggest snubs of the 2021 Grammys in the jazz categories?

For starters, there were no nods for, “Without Deception” by Kenny Barron/Dave Holland Trio featuring Jonathan Blake. Barron has been nominated 11 times but has never won a Grammy. This was a highly anticipated collaborative project with two of the most beloved artists today.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis effort “Black, Brown, & Beige,” didn’t get a nod for their rendition of Duke Ellington’s most ambitious composition. The recording is their label Blue Engine’s first release devoted entirely to Ellington and is also Marsalis’ first recording of the work.

Yet another snub, “Charles Lloyd: 8: Kindred Spirits (Live From The Lobero).” This live recording was made in his hometown of Santa Barbara and is a range of celebrations to mark Lloyd’s 80th birthday last year. Julian Lage is on electric guitar, Gerald Clayton on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Eric Harland on drums. Lage is nominated for “Tomorrow is the Question” for Best Improvised Jazz Solo.

On another note, it’s great to see that saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s “Becoming” score earned him a nod for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.

And a big congrats to vocalist Carmen Lundy who is nominated for the first time-ever for Best Jazz Vocal Album for “Modern Ancestors.”

Below find a full list of the nominees in the jazz categories that include Best Improvised Jazz Solo, Best Jazz Vocal Album, Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and Best Latin Jazz Album.

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

• GUINEVERE

Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah, soloist

Track from: Axiom

PACHAMAMA

Regina Carter, soloist

Track from: Ona, by Thana Alexa

TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION

Julian Lage, soloist

CELIA

Gerald Clayton, soloist

Track from: Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard

ALL BLUES

Chick Corea, soloist

Track from: Trilogy 2 (Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade)

MOE HONK

Joshua Redman, soloist

Track from: RoundAgain, by Redman Mehldau McBride Blade)

Best Jazz Vocal Album

ONA

Thana Alexa

SECRETS ARE THE BEST STORIES

Kurt Elling Featuring Danilo Pérez

MODERN ANCESTORS

Carmen Lundy

HOLY ROOM: LIVE AT ALTE OPER

Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big Band

WHAT’S THE HURRY

Kenny Washington

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

ON THE TENDER SPOT OF EVERY CALLOUSED MOMENT

Ambrose Akinmusire

WAITING GAME

Terri Lyne Carrington And Social Science

HAPPENING: LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD

Gerald Clayton

• TRILOGY 2

Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade

ROUNDAGAIN

Redman Mehldau McBride Blade

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

DIALOGUES ON RACE

Gregg August

MONK’ESTRA PLAYS JOHN BEASLEY

John Beasley

THE INTANGIBLE BETWEEN

Orrin Evans And The Captain Black Big Band

SONGS YOU LIKE A LOT

John Hollenbeck With Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Gary Versace And The Frankfurt Radio Big Band

DATA LORDS

Maria Schneider Orchestra

Best Latin Jazz Album

TRADICIONES

Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra

FOUR QUESTIONS

Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

CITY OF DREAMS

Chico Pinheiro

VIENTO Y TIEMPO – LIVE AT BLUE NOTE TOKYO

Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymée Nuviola

TRANE’S DELIGHT

Poncho Sanchez

One Comment on “A closer look at this year’s jazz Grammy nominees”

  1. An addition to the snubbed category: Ray Mantilla did not receive a nod for his final Latinjazz recording “Rebirth”. Ray passed away March 21, 2020

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