This year’s Grammy selections in the jazz categories surprised me. The nominees and winners are frequently predictable if you’ve paid attention to the categories in the last 20 years. This year’s omissions are perplexing. The Chick Corea Elektric Band reunited for a concept album. A concept album by a fusion era leader not recognized by the Recording Academy? Almost. “The Long Passage,” a challenging piece from the CCEB’s To the Stars, earned Corea a Best Instrumental Arrangement nomination. That’s it. Diana Krall released her first recording that contained recent music that she wrote and wrote with husband and frequent Grammy-nominee Elvis Costello. The Girl in the Other Room garnered much praise. She received zero nominations, though Al Schmitt and Tommy LiPuma received nominations for engineering and producing it. Gifted singer Jane Monheit moved to the Sony label this year but still didn’t get recognized, though Vince Mendoza did for arranging “Dancing in the Dark” from her Taking A Chance On Love CD.
One of my favorite singers, Jane Monheit, graces the cover of the December issue of JazzTimes. You’ll feel like you know Jane a bit better after reading this interview by Sean Daly, in which Jane discusses her singing career, criticism, her husband, and Journey. Of particular interest to me is that Jane’s next album will be a Christmas CD, due next year. You can sample the article at the JazzTimes site. Also look for Jane Monheit Live at the Rainbow Room, Jane’s first DVD due on Valentine’s Day.