May 29, 2024

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Familiar faces and a few surprises in the Jazz and Blues nominees for the Grammy Awards: Video

Pianists Fred Hersch and Brad Mehldau, saxophonists Tia Fuller and Miguel Zenón, and vocalists Gregory Porter and Cécile McLorin Salvant are among the nominees for the 61st Grammy Awards.

The announcement, spanning a total of 84 categories, was made this morning by the Recording Academy.  

Tony Bennett and Diana Krall, both multiple Grammy winners, received a nomination for Love is Here to Stay, in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Their direct competitors are Gregory Porter, for Nat “King” Cole & Me, as well as Seal, Barbra Streisand and Willie Nelson, for albums largely featuring songbook standards.

In the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category, Wayne Shorter received his 21st Grammy nomination, for Emanon. His fellow saxophonists Joshua Redman and Tia Fuller are also nominated, respectively, for Still Dreaming and Diamond Cut. Rounding out the category are two pianists, for trio recordings: Hersch’s Live in Europe and Mehldau’s Seymour Reads the Constitution.

Mehldau and Hersch also appear among the nominees for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. Hersch’s lauded solo comes on “We See,” a tune by Thelonious Monk, and Mehldau’s arrives in “De-Dah,” by Elmo Hope.

Other nominated solos are by violinist Regina Carter, on the title track of Karrin Allyson’s Some Of That Sunshine; trumpeter John Daversa, on “Don’t Fence Me In,” from his big band album American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom; and Zenón, for “Cadenas,” from Yo Soy La Tradición, which is also a nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album.

Zenón’s fellow nominees in that category are clarinetist Eddie Daniels, for Heart of Brazil; pianist Elio Villafranca, for Cinque; the Dafnis Prieto Big Band, for Back to the Sunset; and the Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band, for West Side Story Reimagined.

But neither Prieto nor Sanabria appear in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category, which consists instead of albums by Daversa, Orrin Evans And The Captain Black Big Band, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, the Count Basie Orchestra, and Jim McNeely & The Frankfurt Radio Big Band.

The nominees for Best Jazz Vocal Album are Freddy Cole, for My Mood is You; Kurt Elling, for The Questions; Kate McGarry, for The Subject Tonight is Love; Raul Midón, for If You Really Want; and Salvant, for The Window. (The distinctions between a jazz vocal album and a traditional pop album are forever slippery; one could argue that Bennett and Krall made the former, but their absence in this category makes way for other nominees.)

The blues categories include a similar mix of seasoned hands and newer arrivals. Nominees for Best Contemporary Blues Album include Fantastic Negrito, Boz Scaggs and Teresa James. In the running for Best Traditional Blues Album are Buddy Guy,Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio, Maria Muldaur, Cedric Burnside, and Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite.

Another celebrated drummer, Chris Dave, has been nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album, for Chris Dave and the Drumhedz. But he’ll probably be facing some long odds: other albums in the category include War & Leisure, by R&B dynamo Miguel, and Everything is Love, by The Carters, otherwise known as Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

Here is a complete list of nominees in the 61st Grammy Awards. The awards will be held on Feb. 10, and broadcast on CBS.
Tia Fuller, a nominee for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, performing at WBGO
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