The nominees for the 2019 Grammy Awards were announced Friday morning, Dec. 7. Pop stars like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Childish Gambino, and Cardi B dominated the list. In the jazz categories, Miguel Zenón, Fred Hersch, Brad Mehldau, and John Daversa each received two nominations—Daversa for Best Improvised Jazz Solo and Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, the other three for Best Improvised Jazz Solo and Best Jazz Instrumental Album.
Interestingly, Hersch was nominated for his solo on Thelonious Monk’s “We See,” in a version recorded for the 2018 Live in Europe album. What makes that interesting? At the 2017 Grammys he was nominated for a solo on the same composition, as heard on the 2016 album Sunday Night at the Vanguard (John Scofield’s solo on “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” ended up winning that year’s award).
Other standout 2019 nominations include Cécile McLorin Salvant, for her duo album The Window; Wayne Shorter, for Emanon; Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band, for Presence; and the Dafnis Prieto Big Band, for Back to the Sunset.
We are also pleased to report that Terence Blanchard’s “Blut and Boden (Blood and Soil),” written for the soundtrack of Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman, was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition; that Jon Batiste’s “Saint James Infirmary Blues” was nominated for Best American Roots Performance; and that Ben Ratliff, a past JazzTimes contributor, received a Best Album Notes nomination for penning the notes to the Sonny Clark Trio archival album The 1960 Time Sessions.
The 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10, 2019.
Below is a full list of the nominees in the jazz categories—which include Best Improvised Jazz Solo, Best Jazz Vocal Album, Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and Best Latin Jazz Album—as well as the related fields of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.
Best Improvised Jazz Solo
“Some of That Sunshine”
Regina Carter, soloist
Track from: Some of That Sunshine (Karrin Allyson)
“Don’t Fence Me In”
John Daversa, soloist
Track from: American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom (John Daversa Big Band Featuring DACA Artists)
Fred Hersch, soloist
Track from: Live in Europe (Fred Hersch Trio)
Brad Mehldau, soloist
Track from: Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Brad Mehldau Trio)
Miguel Zenón, soloist
Track from: Yo Soy la Tradición (Miguel Zenón Featuring Spektral Quartet)
Best Jazz Vocal Album
My Mood Is You
The Subject Tonight Is Love
Kate McGarry with Keith Ganz & Gary Versace
If You Really Want
Raul Midón with the Metropole Orkest Conducted by Vince Mendoza
Cécile McLorin Salvant
Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Live in Europe
Fred Hersch Trio
Seymour Reads the Constitution!
Brad Mehldau Trio
Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley & Brian Blade
The Wayne Shorter Quartet
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
All About That Basie
The Count Basie Orchestra Directed by Scotty Barnhart
American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom
John Daversa Big Band Featuring DACA Artists
Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band
All Can Work
John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
Jim McNeely & the Frankfurt Radio Big Band
Best Latin Jazz Album
Heart of Brazil
Back to the Sunset
Dafnis Prieto Big Band
West Side Story Reimagined
Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band
Yo Soy la Tradición
Miguel Zenón Featuring Spektral Quartet
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Love Is Here to Stay
Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
Nat “King” Cole & Me
The Music…the Mem’ries…the Magic!
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
The Emancipation Procrastination
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Steve Gadd Band
Steve Gadd Band