Well, the Grammy Award nominations are out and for a change, I have reason to be excited. Patti Austin has been nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her more than moving tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, “For Ella“. Natalie Cole has also been nominated for this category for her wonderful debut Verve release “Ask A Woman Who Knows” and Diana Krall for her “Live in Paris” album (which by the way, I was given for Christmas and uh, er, I have played it a few times.) Rounding this category are Etta Jones, who passed in 2002, for her “Etta Jones Sings Lady Day” album and Luciana Souza for her “Brazilian Duos” album.
While I am a big Natalie Cole fan and am enjoying some of the music of Diana Krall, my personal pick is the Patti Austin “For Ella” album. This truly underrated music legend poured her heart and soul into this tribute to Ella. As I have said before, this is the quintessential album for any Patti Austin fan. From the beginning to the end, there are nothing but pure gems on this album with my favorite being the gospel-flavored rendition of “Miss Otis Regrets.” She took the song and made it personal. Enough said.
I am also excited because McCoy Tyner’s album “McCoy Tyner Plays John Coltrane – Live at The Village Vanguard” is nominated in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group category along with Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, and Roy Hargrove for “Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall” and Wayne Shorter for “Footprints Live!”
Of course, the Jazz categories are usually presented before the main show so I will be checking the Grammy Award website for the results. Hmm…I wonder how they could have missed Carla Cook’s “Simply Natural” release. Oh well, maybe next year.
The complete list of the 2002 Grammy Award Nominations