Daversa, Salvant, Mehldau Nominated for Grammy Awards


Vocalist and composer Cécile McLorin Salvant is among the nominees for the 61st annual Grammy Awards.

(Photo: Mark Fitton)

Trumpeter/bandleader John Daversa, vocalists Kurt Elling and Cécile McLorin Salvant, pianist Brad Mehldau, saxophonist Miguel Zenón and violinist Regina Carter are among the nominees for the 61st annual Grammy Awards.

Daversa’s album American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom (BFM Jazz) received three Grammy nominations. The album, credited to John Daversa Big Band (Featuring DACA Artists), was recorded with 53 young musicians (hailing from 17 nations) who settled in the United States through the Deferred Action for Childhood Early Arrivals policy.

In the Grammy category Best Improvised Solo, the nominees are Daversa, for “Don’t Fence Me In,” from American Dreamers; Carter, for “Some of That Sunshine,” the title track to vocalist Karrin Allyson’s album; pianist Fred Hersch, for “We See,” from his namesake trio’s album Live In Europe; Mehldau, for “De-Dah,” from his trio album Seymour Reads The Constitution; and Zenón, for “Cadenas,” from Yo Soy La Tradición, an album that features the Spektral Quartet.

Elling and Salvant—who topped the categories Male Vocalist and Female Vocalist in the 2018 DownBeat Critics Poll—will compete in the Grammy category Best Jazz Vocal Album. The nominees are Elling, for The Questions; Salvant, for The Window; Freddy Cole, for My Mood Is You; Kate McGarry with Keith Ganz and Gary Versace, for The Subject Tonight Is Love; and Raul Midón with The Metropole Orkest conducted by Vince Mendoza, for If You Really Want.

Daversa’s American Dreamers was nominated in the category Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. The other nominees are The Count Basie Orchestra, directed By Scotty Barnhart, for All About That Basie; Orrin Evans & The Captain Black Big Band, for Presence; the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, for All Can Work; and Jim McNeely & The Frankfurt Radio Big Band, for Barefoot Dances And Other Visions.

Additionally, in the category Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella, Davera received a nomination for his arrangement of “Stars And Stripes Forever” on American Dreamers.

The duo of Tony Bennett and Diana Krall received two nominations. Their collaborative album Love Is Here To Stay is nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and the album’s track “’S Wonderful” is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

The nominated discs for Best Jazz Instrumental album are Live In Europe, by the Fred Hersch Trio; Seymour Reads The Constitution, by the Brad Mehldau Trio; Diamond Cut, by saxophonist Tia Fuller; Emanon, by saxophonist Wayne Shorter’s quartet; and Still Dreaming, recorded by saxophonist Joshua Redman, cornetist Ron Miles, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade.

The category Best Contemporary Instrumental Album recognized several jazz artists. The nominees are trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, for The Emancipation Procrastination; drummer Steve Gadd, for Steve Gadd Band; guitarist Julian Lage, for Modern Lore; bassist Marcus Miller, for Laid Black; and drummer Simon Phillips, for Protocol 4.

Zenón’s Yo Soy La Tradición was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album, where it faces tough competition from Eddie Daniels’ Heart Of Brazil, the Dafnis Prieto Big Band’s Back To The Sunset, Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band’s West Side Story Reimagined, and Elio Villafranca’s Cinque.

Vocalist Bettye LaVette received two nominations. Her album Things Have Changed, a collection of Bob Dylan compositions, was nominated for Best Americana Album. A track from the disc, “Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight,” is nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance.

In the category Best Spoken Word Album, Questlove’s recording for his book Creative Quest is nominated against recordings by actor Courtney B. Vance, memoirist and radio performer David Sedaris, actor and standup comedian Tiffany Haddish, and President Jimmy Carter.

Among the other nominees in 84 categories are drummer Chris Dave and his band, The Drumhedz (Best Urban Contemporary Album), for Chris Dave And The Drumhedz; Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite (Best Traditional Blues Album), for No Mercy In This Land; Danielle Nicole (Best Contemporary Blues Album), for Cry No More; and Fatoumata Diawara (Best World Music Album), for Fenfo.

The Grammy Awards will be presented on Feb. 10, 2019, and a portion of the ceremony will be broadcast live by CBS.

For a complete list of nominations, visit the Recording Academy’s Grammy website. DB

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