We now only have a little less than two months to ponder who will take home GRAMMY Awards in the Jazz Field before Music's Biggest Night takes place on Feb. 10.
One thing that could be certain is this being the year for GRAMMY-winning pianist Chick Corea. With an impressive 18 GRAMMYs to his credit, Corea garnered five more nominations this year, including two for Best Improvised Jazz Solo — "Alice In Wonderland" and "Hot House" with vibraphonist Gary Burton — and Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Further Explorations with Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian.
Rounding out the competition for Best Improvised Jazz Solo are saxophonist Ravi Coltrane ("Cross Roads"), pianist Brad Mehldau ("Ode") and saxophonist Kenny Garrett ("J. Mac").
It's a tough race for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Will it be Denise Donatelli's Soul Shadows, Kurt Elling's 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project, Al Jarreau and the Metropole Orkest's Live, Luciana Souza's The Book Of Chet, or Esperanza Spalding's Radio Music Society?
The Best Jazz Instrumental Album honor is up for grabs between five albums released by musicians who have been in the jazz game for a long time: Corea, Gomez and Motian's Further Explorations is competing against Corea and Burton's Hot House, Garrett's satisfying Seeds From The Underground, Ahmad Jamal's sublime Blue Moon, and Pat Metheny Unity Band's Unity Band.
Arguably one of the most significant jazz albums released in 2012 was Gil Evans Project's Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans, which is nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album along with Bob Mintzer Big Band's For The Moment and Arturo Sandoval's Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You). The three nominated albums are very different but great examples of what big bands are creating these days.
The Best Latin Jazz Album award is back with five strong contenders: Chano Domínguez's Flamenco Sketches, the Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band's ¡Ritmo!, Bobby Sanabria Big Band's Multiverse, Souza's Duos III, and Manuel Valera New Cuban Express' New Cuban Express. Any of these albums would be worthy of winning a GRAMMY Award.
I can't wait to who will take home music's coveted prize in jazz at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 10.