April, 2022 – Our own MC Curtis Davenport offers a rundown of the 64th Grammy Awards. Take a listen to this compilation playlist while you check out the exceptional list.
Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Humpty Dumpty (Set 2), Chick Corea aTunde Adjuah, soloist. Track from: Akoustic Band Live.
No surprise here. Chick was a longtime Grammy favorite (he won 25 during his life). I knew the voters wouldn’t pass up a chance to honor him a couple more times, posthumously.
Sackodougou, Christian Scott. Track from: The Hands Of Time.
Kick Those Feet, Kenny Barron, soloist. Track from: Songs From My Father.
Bigger Than Us, Jon Batiste, soloist. Track from: Soul.
Absence, Terence Blanchard, soloist. Track from: Absence.
Best Jazz Vocal Album
Songwrights Apothecary Lab, Esperanza Spalding
My least favorite of the five nominees but again, no surprise. Ever since her surprise Best New Artist win, Esperanza is now a Grammy name. Even if her work is not her best, she is going to now win, every time she is nominated.
Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Gonzalo Rubalcaba ”Skyline”. The voters got it right this time. Three legends made a killer album. Hope they do more together as a trio!
Generations, The Baylor Project
SuperBlue, Kurt Elling & Charlie Hunter
Time Traveler, Nnenna Freelon
Flor, Gretchen Parlato
Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Skyline, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette & Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Jazz Selections: Music From And Inspired By Soul, Jon Batiste
Absence, Terence Blanchard Featuring The E Collective And The Turtle Island Quartet
Akoustic Band LIVE, Chick Corea, John Patitucci & Dave Weckl
Side-Eye NYC (V1.IV), Pat Metheny
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
For Jimmy, Wes And Oliver, Christian McBride Big Band.
Again, a good choice. McBride and company did a fine tribute to Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery and Oliver Nelson. Nothing groundbreaking but it was REALLY good.
Live At Birdland!, The Count Basie Orchestra Directed By Scotty Barnhart
Dear Love, Jazzmeia Horn And Her Noble Force
Swirling, Sun Ra Arkestra
Jackets XL, Yellowjackets + WDR Big Band
Best Latin Jazz Album
Mirror Mirror, Eliane Elias With Chick Corea and Chucho Valdé
Mistake. They are three legendary pianists but there was very little that was “Latin” about this album of piano trios. It was a final opportunity to honor Chick but it was at the expense of four other very fine albums, which is a shame.
The South Bronx Story, Carlos Henriquez
Virtual Birdland, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Transparency, Dafnis Prieto Sextet
El Arte Del Bolero, Miguel Zenón & Luis Perdomo
Other adjacent wins
Best traditional pop vocal album
“Love for Sale,” Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.
“‘Til We Meet Again (Live),” Norah Jones
“A Tori Kelly Christmas,” Tori Kelly
“Ledisi Sings Nina,” Ledisi
“That’s Life,” Willie Nelson
“A Holly Dolly Christmas,” Dolly Parton
Album of the year
“We Are,” Jon Batiste
The great Jon Batiste is Colbert’s bandleader and a great jazz player. He won 5 Grammys last night, only one associated in any was with his jazz work (the score for the Disney/Pixar movie “Soul”. Jon Batiste’s other nominations included Best R&B, and Record of the Year with “Freedom”.
“Love for Sale,” Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
“Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe),” Justin Bieber
“Planet Her (Deluxe),” Doja Cat
“Happier Than Ever,” Billie Eilish
“Back of My Mind,” H.E.R.
“Montero,” Lil Nas X
“Sour,” Olivia Rodrigo
“Evermore,” Taylor Swift
“Donda,” Kanye West