By Don Heckman
I’m no more enthusiastic than I usually am about this year’s jazz Grammy nominations. The Awards, when they’re presented, can be no better than the nominees. And this year’s jazz selections – despite the merits of many who have been nominated – also omit many who were equally qualified for inclusion.
Nor do I understand the decision to open the Best Jazz Vocal Album category to both genders, thereby limiting the Award opportunities for two very different approaches to the jazz vocal art.
That said, this year’s Best Jazz Vocal nominees include four world class female vocalists: Karrin Allyson, Denise Donatelli, Lorraine Feather and Cecile McLorin Salvant. And it will be strange, indeed, if the Award goes to the category’s only male nominee, Jamison Ross, a gifted drummer who is also a singer.
To put things in context, I thought it might be informative to include International Review of Music reviews of a pair of the Best Jazz Vocal Album nominees.
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