I’ve posted the fourth in my series of top contemporary jazz recordings of past years. This one is eight of the best-selling artists in 1991, including the debut recordings from Fourplay and Candy Dulfer, some serious funkiness from David Benoit and Eric Marienthal, the Crusaders produced by Marcus Miller and more! Click the image below to immediately listen and spread the word! Thanks for those who have submitted such nice feedback through 8tracks!
Kenny Garrett – Sketches of MD: Live At The Iridium. “I wanted to document the band I took on the road for Beyond the Wall while we were working with Pharoah and also write some new songs,” says Kenny of this new recording which features Pharoah Sanders. “The idea of doing the Miles-related songs just evolved.”
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Nominees in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album (For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.) Shouldn’t they replace the word “album” with “recording?”
Nominees are: Journey by Fourplay, Unspeakable by Bill Frisell, In Praise of Dreams by Jan Garbarek, The Hang by Don Grusin, and the Strength EP from Roy Hargrove (The RH Factor).
The Academy has nominated Bob James and Larry Carlton several times over the last 30 years. James has won with his collaborations with Earl Klugh (1980) and David Sanborn (1985). So collaborations with James can win but Fourplay has yet to score and the stronger competition will make sure that doesn’t happen this year either.
Garbarek returned to the studio after six years with American-Armenian violist Kim Kashkashian and African-French drummer Manu Katch?. The trio’s emotive recording earned accolades.
The Strength EP, from Roy Hargrove and his RH Factor, is a small follow-up to the band?s debut that is big on sound. The great tunes here are firmly rooted in R&B and jazz making this one of the most accessible fusion projects in a while.
Grusin’s The Hang didn’t impress me when I first listened to it but when I saw the performance on DVD, my impression changed. If the Academy sees the DVD too then they might give overdue recognition to these artists who were an important part of keeping jazz going in the 1980s.
However, I think the Grammy will go to Bill Frisell. Many reviews have credited Unspeakable as Frisell’s jazziest album to date. The fact that it was nominated shows that the Academy knows his work. I speculate that they have been looking for a way to recognize him and this is it. Then again, I thought that the Academy would give Joe Zawinul the award two years ago for Faces and Places. By saying that, I mentally overrode my own recognition that Metheny Always Wins (and, of course, the Pat Metheny Group beat Zawinul for their Speaking of Now release).
The Grammys are televised this Sunday. I would write about the show but I won’t have anything to say. They (and I don’t know who to point the finger to) are completely abandoning jazz on air this year.