Monday, February 9, 2009

Brecker, Burton and Blanchard -- oh, my!

Last night's Grammy Awards recognized new achievements by some familiar names: Randy Brecker (His "Randy in Brasil" was named best Contemporary Jazz Album), Terence Blanchard's solo with the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars on "BE-BOP" on the "Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival" was named best solo; and Gary Burton and Chick Corea's "The New Crystal Silence" was named best Jazz Instrumental Album. Add in Cassandra Wilson's "Loverly" (best Jazz Vocal Album), Arturo O'Farrill's "Song for Chico" (best Latin jazz album), and the best Large Jazz Ensemble Album award for "Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard" by The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
It's great to see so many terrific new recordings by the best of jazz musicians being recognized, but we hope the "also rans" will get some notice: people like Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and the Brad Mehldau Trio are great listens. The nominations list also includes "can't-go-wrongs" like Pat Metheny, the Yellowjackets and James Moody.

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