Spalding, Hancock and Bridgewater Among Jazz Grammy Winners

Esperanza Spalding becomes first jazz musician to win Best New Artist award

In a pre-telecast ceremony held in Los Angeles today, the winners in nearly 100 categories were announced. Included in that presentation were the jazz categories, in which Stanley Clarke, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy Childs, Herbie Hancock, Chucho Valdes and the late James Moody were among the winners.

Melissa Mergner

Herbie Hancock at CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival 2010

But perhaps the biggest surprise of the night occurred later during the nationally broadcast show, when bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding won Best New Artist, a category that included teen sensation Justin Bieber, hip-hop/R&B artist Drake and roots music stars Mumford & Sons. Spalding is the first jazz artist to win that award. Spalding also performed with the Grammy Jazz High School Ensemble.

Herbie Hancock, whose River famously beat out records by Kanye West and Amy Winehouse to win Album of the Year in 2008, won again in a pop-dominated category: "Imagine," off his The Imagine Project, triumphed over songs from albums by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in the Pop Collaboration With Vocals category.

During the telecast, Roy Haynes' Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award was mentioned, as was a Trustees Award for Blue Note chairman emeritus Bruce Lundvall. Also, a tribute montage to recently deceased music legends noted James Moody, Dr. Billy Taylor, Lena Horne and photographers Herman Leonard and Jim Marshall.

The pre-telecast ceremony was ably hosted by Bobby McFerrin and Spalding, both of whom ended up accepting many an award for no-shows, usually with the words, "The Podium is happy to accept this award on behalf of BLANK." For those watching on streamed webcast, McFerrin proved himself a particularly entertaining host, able to improvise clever song bits and ad libs. After Neil Young exited the stage, McFerrin sang in Young-like falsetto the first bars of "Helpless."

The reality is that for a serious music fan the pre-telecast is way more interesting and engaging. Where else will you get to see people like Billy Childs, Stanley Clarke and Dee Dee Bridgewater accept awards, among company such as Patty Griffin, Neil Young, Paul McCartney and Jeff Beck? And although jazz people like to complain about being treated as second (or third) class citizens, among the pre-telecast winners were Lady Gaga, The Black Keys, Usher and Eminem.

Below are the winners (in bold) along with the rest of the nominees in the categories with some connection to jazz. For a complete list of winners, you can go the Grammy website.

Congratulations to the winners, as well as the nominees, all of whom at least had the option to get dressed up on a Sunday night in Los Angeles.

Best Pop Instrumental Album

Take Your Pick
Larry Carlton & Tak Matsumoto
[335 Records, Inc.].

Pushing The Envelope
Gerald Albright
[Heads Up International].

Heart And Soul
Kenny G
[Concord Records].

Robby Krieger
[Oglio Records].

Everything Is Everything: The Music Of Donny Hathaway
Kirk Whalum
[Rendezvous Music/Mack Avenue].

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

The Stanley Clarke Band
The Stanley Clarke Band
[Heads Up International]

Never Can Say Goodbye
Joey DeFrancesco
[HighNote Records]

Now Is The Time
Jeff Lorber Fusion
[Heads Up International]

To The One
John McLaughlin
[Abstract Logix]

Trombone Shorty
[Verve Forecast]

Best Jazz Vocal Album
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.

Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee
Dee Dee Bridgewater

Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B
Freddy Cole
[HighNote Records]

When Lights Are Low
Denise Donatelli
[Savant Records]

Lorraine Feather
[Jazzed Media]

Gregory Porter
[Motéma Music]

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter's name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or Tracks only.

A Change Is Gonna Come
Herbie Hancock, soloist
Track from: The Imagine Project
[Hancock Records]

Alan Broadbent, soloist
Track from: Live At Giannelli Square: Volume 1
[Chilly Bin Records]

Body And Soul
Keith Jarrett, soloist
Track from: Jasmine

Lonely Woman
Hank Jones, soloist
Track from: Pleased To Meet You
[Justin Time Records]

Van Gogh
Wynton Marsalis, soloist
Track from: Portrait In Seven Shades (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra)
[Jazz At Lincoln Center]

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

Moody 4B
James Moody
[IPO Recordings]

John Beasley
[Resonance Records]

The New Song And Dance
Clayton Brothers

Vijay Iyer Trio
[ACT Music + Vision]

Danilo Perez
[Mack Avenue Records]

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
For large jazz ensembles, including big band sounds. Albums must contain 51% or more INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

Mingus Big Band Live At Jazz Standard
Mingus Big Band
[Jazz Workshop, Inc./Jazz Standard]

Infernal Machines
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
[New Amsterdam Records]

Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz - Chamber Music Vol. 2
Billy Childs Ensemble Featuring The Ying String Quartet

Dave Holland Octet
[Dare2 Records]

Metropole Orkest, John Scofield & Vince Mendoza

Best Latin Jazz Album
Vocal or Instrumental.

Chucho's Steps
Chucho Valdés And The Afro-Cuban Messengers
[Four Quarters Entertainment]

Tango Grill
Pablo Aslan

Second Chance
Hector Martignon

Psychedelic Blues
Poncho Sanchez
[Concord Picante]

¡Bien Bien!
Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
[Patois Records]

Best Contemporary World Music Album
Vocal or Instrumental.

Throw Down Your Heart , Africa Sessions Part 2: Unreleased Tracks
Béla Fleck
[Acoustic Planet Records]

All In One
Bebel Gilberto

Angelique Kidjo
[Razor & Tie Entertainment]

Bom Tempo
Sergio Mendes
[Concord Records]

Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call
Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon
[Soul Chants Music]

Best Instrumental Composition
A Composer's Award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the Eligibility Year. Singles or Tracks only.

The Path Among The Trees
Billy Childs, composer (Billy Childs Ensemble)
Track from: Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz - Chamber Music Vol. 2

Patrick Williams, composer (Patrick Williams The Big Band)
Track from: Aurora

Battle Circle
Gerald Clayton, composer (Clayton Brothers)

Box Of Cannoli
Tim Hagans, composer (The Norrbotten Big Band)
Track from: The Avatar Sessions
[Fuzzy Music]

Fourth Stream...La Banda
Bill Cunliffe, composer (Temple University Symphony Orchestra)
[Boyer College Of Music And Dance]

Best Instrumental Arrangement
An Arranger's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

Vince Mendoza, arranger (John Scofield, Vince Mendoza & Metropole Orkest)
Track from: 54

Fanfare For A New Day
Patrick Williams, arranger (Patrick Williams The Big Band)
Track from: Aurora

Itsbynne Reel
Gil Goldstein, arranger (Dave Eggar)
Track from: Kingston Morning
[Domo Records]

Ted Nash, arranger (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra)
Track from: Portrait In Seven Shades
[Jazz At Lincoln Center]

Skip To My Lou
Frank Macchia, arranger (Frank Macchia)
Track from: Folk Songs For Jazzers

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
An Arranger's Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

Baba Yetu
Christopher Tin, arranger (Christopher Tin, Soweto Gospel Choir & Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra)
Track from: Calling All Dawns
[Tin Works Publishing]

Roger Treece, arranger (Bobby McFerrin)
Track from: Vocabularies

Based On A Thousand True Stories
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Silje Nergaard & Metropole Orchestra Strings)
Track from: A Thousand True Stories

Don't Explain
Geoffrey Keezer, arranger (Denise Donatelli)
Track from: When Lights Are Low
[Savant Records]

Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein, arrangers (Herbie Hancock, Pink, Seal, Jeff Beck,
India.Arie, Konono No 1 & Oumou Sangare)
Track from: The Imagine Project
[Hancock Records]

Best Album Notes

Keep An Eye On The Sky
Robert Gordon, album notes writer (Big Star)

Alan Lomax In Haiti: Recordings For The Library Of Congress, 1936-1937
Gage Averill, album notes writer (Various Artists)
[Harte Recordings]

Side Steps
Ashley Kahn, album notes writer (John Coltrane)
[Prestige Records]

There Breathes A Hope: The Legacy Of John Work II And His Fisk Jubilee Quartet, 1909-1916
Doug Seroff, album notes writer (Fisk University Jubilee Quartet)
[Archeophone Records]

True Love Cast Out All Evil
Will Sheff, album notes writer (Roky Erickson With Okkervil River)

Best Classical Crossover Album
Award to the Artist(s) and/or to the Conductor.

Tin, Christopher: Calling All Dawns
Lucas Richman, conductor (Sussan Deyhim, Lia, Kaori Omura, Dulce Pontes, Jia
Ruhan, Aoi Tada & Frederica von Stade; Anonymous 4 & Soweto Gospel Choir; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
[Tin Works Publishing]

Meeting Of The Spirits
Matt Haimovitz (Amaryllis Jarczyk, Jan Jarczyk, John McLaughlin, Dominic
Painchaud, Leanna Rutt & Matt Wilson)
[Oxingale Records]

Off The Map
The Silk Road Ensemble
[World Village]

Roots - My Life, My Song
Jessye Norman (Ira Coleman, Steve Johns, Mike Lovatt, Mark Markham & Martin
[Sony Classical]

Bobby McFerrin

1 Comment

  • Feb 14, 2011 at 01:00AM Jean-Pierre Leduc

    Does anyone recall if Hank Jones was included on the 2011 Grammy Memorial Reel? (listing those who have passed away since the last Awards broadcast). I know James Moody was, and I know Guru was not....

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