2010 Grammy Nominees

The 2010 Grammy Nominees have been announced.  Two great blog posts by NPR Jazz and Jazz Articles did a wonderful job of breaking down not only the jazz category, but how jazz fit into other categories.  

While I will admit I do not really keep up with new and popular music, skimming through the categories, a few thoughts came to mind.

First, it was great to see a nod given to the talents of Esperanza Spalding.  She is certainly a young talent that shows jazz is not a dying art form.  However looking at the other artists she is up against makes me wonder how exactly the academy defines artist.  Being a great performer and exciting crowds is one thing, but truly knowing and understanding everything about the music is another level.  I'm sure Justin Bieber has taken a few music lessons in his life, but does he really know what notes to sing on a diminished chord, probably not.  I'll be honest I don't exactly follow his line of work, and millions of teens around the world don't sigh at the thought of my voice.  I'm just saying there is a big difference between the two as artists.

Also skimming past both the Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories I was a bit surprised to see a song title literally censored, meaning it is inappropriate for us to see the actual word.  Curiosity got to me, so I took a preview listen in iTunes.  Sure it's a nice beat, but nothing I haven't heard before.  And then it's just crassness and profanity on top of that.  That song is in the running for the best song of the year?  Idiocracy is coming to fruition all too soon.

Best of luck to the Brian Setzer Orchestra, nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.  Leading the BSO sax section on alto is Wisconsinite, fellow Curt Hanrahan disciple, Wall of Sound alumn, and personal friend, Eric Morones.    Also good luck to Pat Williams for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Instrumental Arrangement.  It's a shame the band as a whole didn't get nominated.  More on the album Aurora can be found here.

Here is a list of the jazz categories, as well as categories featuring jazz artists.  The full list of nominees can be found at the Grammy website.


4. Best New Artist 
For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.

Justin Bieber
Florence & The Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding 


9. Best Pop Instrumental Performance
For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals. Singles or Tracks only.

Laurie Anderson
Track from: Homeland

Nessun Dorma
Jeff Beck
Track from: Emotion & Commotion

No Mystery
Stanley Clarke
Track from: The Stanley Clarke Band
[Heads Up International] 

Orchestral Intro
Track from: Plastic Beach
[Virgin Records] 

The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Track from: Don't Mess With A Big Band
[Surfdog Records]


44. Best Contemporary Jazz Album
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

The Stanley Clarke Band 
The Stanley Clarke Band 
[Heads Up International]

Never Can Say Goodbye 
Joey DeFrancesco 
[HighNote Records]

Now Is The Time 
Jeff Lorber Fusion 
[Heads Up International]

To The One 
John McLaughlin 
[Abstract Logix]

Trombone Shorty 
[Verve Forecast]


45. Best Jazz Vocal Album 
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.

Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee 
Dee Dee Bridgewater 

Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B 
Freddy Cole 
[HighNote Records]

When Lights Are Low 
Denise Donatelli 
[Savant Records]

Lorraine Feather 
[Jazzed Media]

Gregory Porter 
[Motéma Music]


46. Best Improvised Jazz Solo 
For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter's name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or Tracks only.

Alan Broadbent, soloist 
Track from: Live At Giannelli Square: Volume 1 
[Chilly Bin Records]

A Change Is Gonna Come 
Herbie Hancock, soloist 
Track from: The Imagine Project 
[Hancock Records]

Body And Soul 
Keith Jarrett, soloist 
Track from: Jasmine 

Lonely Woman 
Hank Jones, soloist 
Track from: Pleased To Meet You 
[Justin Time Records]

Van Gogh 
Wynton Marsalis, soloist 
Track from: Portrait In Seven Shades (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra) 
[Jazz At Lincoln Center]


47. Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

John Beasley 
[Resonance Records]

The New Song And Dance 
Clayton Brothers 

Vijay Iyer Trio 
[ACT Music + Vision]

Moody 4B 
James Moody 
[IPO Recordings]

Danilo Perez 
[Mack Avenue Records]


48. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album 
For large jazz ensembles, including big band sounds. Albums must contain 51% or more INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

Infernal Machines 
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society 
[New Amsterdam Records]

Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz - Chamber Music Vol. 2 
Billy Childs Ensemble Featuring The Ying String Quartet 

Dave Holland Octet 
[Dare2 Records]

Metropole Orkest, John Scofield & Vince Mendoza 

Mingus Big Band Live At Jazz Standard 
Mingus Big Band 
[Jazz Workshop, Inc./Jazz Standard]


49. Best Latin Jazz Album 
Vocal or Instrumental.

Tango Grill 
Pablo Aslan 

Second Chance 
Hector Martignon 

Psychedelic Blues 
Poncho Sanchez 
[Concord Picante]

Chucho's Steps 
Chucho Valdés And The Afro-Cuban Messengers 
[Four Quarters Entertainment]

¡Bien Bien! 
Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet 
[Patois Records]


75. Best Contemporary World Music Album 
Vocal or Instrumental.

Throw Down Your Heart , Africa Sessions Part 2: Unreleased Tracks 
Béla Fleck 
[Acoustic Planet Records]

All In One 
Bebel Gilberto 

Angelique Kidjo 
[Razor & Tie Entertainment]

Bom Tempo 
Sergio Mendes 
[Concord Records]

Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call 
Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon 
[Soul Chants Music]


84. Best Instrumental Composition 
A Composer's Award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the Eligibility Year. Singles or Tracks only.

Patrick Williams, composer (Patrick Williams The Big Band) 
Track from: Aurora 

Battle Circle 
Gerald Clayton, composer (Clayton Brothers) 

Box Of Cannoli 
Tim Hagans, composer (The Norrbotten Big Band) 
Track from: The Avatar Sessions 
[Fuzzy Music]

Fourth Stream...La Banda 
Bill Cunliffe, composer (Temple University Symphony Orchestra) 
[Boyer College Of Music And Dance]

The Path Among The Trees 
Billy Childs, composer (Billy Childs Ensemble) 
Track from: Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz - Chamber Music Vol. 2 


85. Best Instrumental Arrangement 
An Arranger's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

Vince Mendoza, arranger (John Scofield, Vince Mendoza & Metropole Orkest) 
Track from: 54 

Fanfare For A New Day 
Patrick Williams, arranger (Patrick Williams The Big Band) 
Track from: Aurora 

Itsbynne Reel 
Gil Goldstein, arranger (Dave Eggar) 
Track from: Kingston Morning 
[Domo Records]

Ted Nash, arranger (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra) 
Track from: Portrait In Seven Shades 
[Jazz At Lincoln Center]

Skip To My Lou 
Frank Macchia, arranger (Frank Macchia) 
Track from: Folk Songs For Jazzers 


86. Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) 
An Arranger's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

Baba Yetu 
Christopher Tin, arranger (Christopher Tin, Soweto Gospel Choir & Royal 
Philharmonic Orchestra) 
Track from: Calling All Dawns 
[Tin Works Publishing]

Roger Treece, arranger (Bobby McFerrin) 
Track from: Vocabularies 

Based On A Thousand True Stories 
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Silje Nergaard & Metropole Orchestra Strings) 
Track from: A Thousand True Stories 

Don't Explain 
Geoffrey Keezer, arranger (Denise Donatelli) 
Track from: When Lights Are Low 
[Savant Records]

Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein, arrangers (Herbie Hancock, Pink, Seal, Jeff Beck, 
India.Arie, Konono No 1 & Oumou Sangare) 
Track from: The Imagine Project 
[Hancock Records]


89. Best Album Notes

Alan Lomax In Haiti: Recordings For The Library Of Congress, 1936-1937 
Gage Averill, album notes writer (Various Artists) 
[Harte Recordings]

Keep An Eye On The Sky 
Robert Gordon, album notes writer (Big Star) 

Side Steps 
Ashley Kahn, album notes writer (John Coltrane) 
[Prestige Records]

There Breathes A Hope: The Legacy Of John Work II And His Fisk Jubilee Quartet, 1909-1916 
Doug Seroff, album notes writer (Fisk University Jubilee Quartet) 
[Archeophone Records]

True Love Cast Out All Evil 
Will Sheff, album notes writer (Roky Erickson With Okkervil River) 


107. Best Classical Crossover Album 
Award to the Artist(s) and/or to the Conductor.

Meeting Of The Spirits 
Matt Haimovitz (Amaryllis Jarczyk, Jan Jarczyk, John McLaughlin, Dominic 
Painchaud, Leanna Rutt & Matt Wilson) 
[Oxingale Records]

Off The Map 
The Silk Road Ensemble 
[World Village]

Roots - My Life, My Song 
Jessye Norman (Ira Coleman, Steve Johns, Mike Lovatt, Mark Markham & Martin 
[Sony Classical]

Tin, Christopher: Calling All Dawns 
Lucas Richman, conductor (Sussan Deyhim, Lia, Kaori Omura, Dulce Pontes, Jia 
Ruhan, Aoi Tada & Frederica von Stade; Anonymous 4 & Soweto Gospel Choir; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) 
[Tin Works Publishing]

Bobby McFerrin