Grammy Awards Announced in Jazz Categories

Big winners include Chick Corea & Gary Burton, Esperanza Spalding, Pat Metheny; Robert Glasper Experiment wins Best R&B Album

Winners of the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were announced on Sunday in Los Angeles. Below is our compilation of the jazz-oriented categories, nominees and victors, announced during the Awards’ pre-telecast program. Musical performances during the pre-telecast included World Music Album nominee Hugh Masekela and band. Yesterday, Charlie Haden received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony.

On the Grammy primetime broadcast jazz was sparsely represented: Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band joined the Black Keys on their song “Lonely Boy” and Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Kenny Garrett paid tribute to the late Dave Brubeck (unfortunately, only for about a minute) with a taste of “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo à la Turk.”

Winners are bolded below.

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

“Hot House”

Gary Burton & Chick Corea, soloists

Track from: Hot House [Concord Jazz]

[Award accepted by Burton and Corea.]

“Cross Roads”

Ravi Coltrane, soloist

Track from: Spirit Fiction [Blue Note]

“Alice in Wonderland”

Chick Corea, soloist

Track from: Further Explorations (Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez & Paul Motian)

[Concord Jazz]

“J. Mac”

Kenny Garrett, soloist

Track from: Seeds From the Underground

[Mack Avenue Records]


Brad Mehldau, soloist

Track from: Ode (Brad Mehldau Trio) [Nonesuch]

Best Jazz Vocal Album

Radio Music Society

Esperanza Spalding [Heads Up International]

[Award accepted by Spalding.]

Soul Shadows

Denise Donatelli [Savant Records]

1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project

Kurt Elling [Concord Jazz]


Al Jarreau (And the Metropole Orkest) [Concord]

The Book of Chet

Luciana Souza [Sunnyside Records]

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Unity Band

Pat Metheny Unity Band [Nonesuch]

[Award accepted by Metheny and bassist Ben Williams.]

Further Explorations

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez & Paul Motian [Concord Jazz]

Hot House

Chick Corea & Gary Burton [Concord Jazz]

Seeds From the Underground

Kenny Garrett [Mack Avenue Records]

Blue Moon

Ahmad Jamal [Jazz Village]

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You)

Arturo Sandoval [Concord Jazz]

[Award accepted by Arturo Sandoval and co-producer Gregg Field.]

Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans

Gil Evans Project [ArtistShare]

For the Moment

Bob Mintzer Big Band [MCG Jazz]

Best Latin Jazz Album


The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band [Clare Fischer Productions/Clavo Records]

[Award accepted by Brent Fischer.]

Flamenco Sketches

Chano Domínguez [Blue Note]


Bobby Sanabria Big Band [Jazzheads]

Duos III

Luciana Souza [Sunnyside Records]

New Cuban Express

Manuel Valera New Cuban Express [Mavo Records]

Best Pop Instrumental Album


Chris Botti [Columbia]


Gerald Albright & Norman Brown [Concord Jazz]

Four Hands & a Heart Volume One

Larry Carlton [335 Records, Inc.]

Live at the Blue Note Tokyo

Dave Koz [Just Koz Entertainment]


Arun Shenoy [Arun Shenoy Music Publishing]

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Kisses on the Bottom

Paul McCartney [Hear Music]


Michael Bublé [143/Reprise]

A Holiday Carole

Carole King [Hear Music]

Best Instrumental Composition

“Mozart Goes Dancing”

Chick Corea, composer (Chick Corea & Gary Burton)

Track from: Hot House [Concord Jazz]

[Award accepted by Corea.]

“December Dream”

Chuck Loeb, composer (Fourplay)

Track from: Esprit De Four [Heads Up International]

“Music of Ansel Adams: America”

Chris Brubeck & Dave Brubeck, composers (Temple University Symphony Orchestra) [BCM&D Records]

“Overture, Waltz and Rondo”

Bill Cunliffe, composer (Temple University Symphony Orchestra) [BCM&D Records]

“Without a Paddle”

Bill Holman, composer (Tall & Small)

Track from: High on You [Bosco Records]

Best Instrumental Arrangement

“How About You”

Gil Evans, arranger (Gil Evans Project)

Track from: Centennial – Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans [ArtistShare]

[Award accepted by Ryan Truesdell, producer and creator of Centennial.]

“Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite for Ellington”

Michael Philip Mossman, arranger (Bobby Sanabria Big Band)

Track from: Multiverse [Jazzheads]


Bob Mintzer, arranger (Bob Mintzer Big Band)

Track from: For the Moment [MCG Jazz]

“A Night in Tunisia (Actually an Entire Weekend!)”

Wally Minko, arranger (Arturo Sandoval)

Track from: Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You) [Concord Jazz]

“Salt Peanuts! (Mani Salado)”

Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Arturo Sandoval)

Track from: Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You) [Concord Jazz]

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)

“City of Roses”

Thara Memory & Esperanza Spalding, arrangers (Esperanza Spalding)

Track from: Radio Music Society [Heads Up International]

[Award accepted by Spalding and mentor/teacher Memory.]

“Look to the Rainbow”

Gil Evans, arranger (Gil Evans Project and Luciana Souza)

Track from: Centennial – Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans [ArtistShare]

“Out There”

Shelly Berg, arranger (Lorraine Feather)

Track from: Tales of the Unusual [Jazzed Media]

“Spain (I Can Recall)”

Vince Mendoza, arranger (Al Jarreau and the Metropole Orkest)

Track from: Live [Concord Records]

“Wild Is the Wind”

Nan Schwartz, arranger (Whitney Claire Kaufman and Andrew Playfoot)

Track from: The Greatest Film Scores of Dimitri Tiomkin [LSO Live]

Best Blues Album

Locked Down

Dr. John [Nonesuch]

[Award accepted by Dr. John and producer Dan Auerbach.]

33 1/3

Shemekia Copeland [Telarc International]

Let It Burn

Ruthie Foster [Blue Corn Music]

And Still I Rise

Heritage Blues Orchestra [Raisin’ Music]

Bring It on Home

Joan Osborne [Saguaro Road]

Additional Awardees of Interest

In the Best R&B Album Category

Black Radio

Robert Glasper Experiment [Blue Note]

[Award accepted by Glasper, saxophonist-keyboardist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Chris Dave.]

In the Best Surround Sound Album Category

Modern Cool

Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer;

Michael Friedman, surround producer (Patricia Barber) [Premonition Records]

[Award accepted by Anderson, Proper and Friedman.]

In the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media Category

Midnight in Paris

(Various Artists) [Madison Gate Records, Inc.]

[Music by Stephane Wrembel, Sidney Bechet, others]

In the Best Album Notes Category

Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles

Billy Vera, album notes writer (Ray Charles) [Concord]

[Award accepted by Vera.]