The nominees for the 49th annual Grammy Awards were announced this morning. It’s the only visible awards show that recognizes all genres of music, including jazz. The selections for Best Contemporary Jazz Album are the most interesting (and exciting) I’ve seen in years: Bela Fleck, Groove Collective, Sex Mob, Christian Scott, and Mike Stern. It’s possible that there will be an answer to my question of why no one under the age of 50 won a jazz Grammy last year. Nominees in the other five jazz categories include Ornette Coleman, Randy Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Garrett, Chick Corea, Diana Krall, and Branford Marsalis.
Fleck was also nominated in the Best Pop Instrumental Performance category where he’ll compete against a George Benson and Al Jarreau pairing among others. The Benson/Jarreau release also is a contender for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals. Larry Carlton rocked out on his recording Fire Wire this year, which received a Best Pop Instrumental Album nod. His smooth jazz group, Fourplay, is also up for that award along with Spyro Gyra, Gerald Albright, and Peter Frampton. Terence Blanchard’s DVD, Flow: Living In The Stream Of Music, was nominated for Best Long Form Music Video.