Here’s a look at the 2018 GRAMMY Award nominees for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. The award was first presented in 1959. The winner on this occasion was Count Basie for his album Basie. Last year’s winner was John Scofield with Country for Old Men. None of this year’s nominees have previously won a GRAMMY for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.
Here are the five albums nominated for the GRAMMY Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, which will be presented on January 28, 2018.
THE BILL CHARLAP TRIO – Uptown, Downtown [Impulse!]
Uptown, Downtown is the new work by pianist Bill Charlap with his trio of twenty years, featuring Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington. Charlap, renowned for his elegant touch, revisits some handpicked standards, mixed with original compositions. The former selection features covers of tunes by such artists as Duke Ellington, Gigi Gryce, Jim Hall, and Gerry Mulligan. The title track, originally written by Stephen Sondheim, has a relaxed and swinging feel that offers a fine example of what the trio has been offering for the past two decades, which Nate Chinen has defined as “unforced erudition, untroubled locomotion, sparkling wit, generous soul.” For more information, go to https://www.billcharlap.com/home
BILLY CHILDS – Rebirth [Mack Avenue Records]
Four-time Grammy Award-winner Billy Childs’ debut recording for Mack Avenue Records, titled Rebirth, features the pianist and composer reaching back to the start of his varies musical experience by leading a small jazz band of state-of-the-art musicians. Childs produced the recording as well as composed and arranged all eight songs on Rebirth. The diverse compositions feature such notable artists as vocalist Claudia Acuña, who co-wrote the title track with Childs, vocalist Alicia Olatuja on “Stay,” and saxophonist Steve Wilson, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and drummer Eric Harland. For more information, go to http://billychilds.com/
JOEY DEFRANCESCO & THE PEOPLE – Project Freedom [Mack Avenue Records]
Organist Joey DeFrancesco gets gospel bluesy in his new album, Project Freedom. The album was partly inspired by and dedicated to Philadelphia’s rich organ history and is DeFrancesco’s first album in a quartet setting. Project Freedom features his stellar work on the Hammond B-3 plus contributions on his second instrument, the trumpet, and as a vocalist. His band includes drummer Jason Brown, saxophonist Troy Roberts, and vocalist Dan Wilson. For more information, go to https://www.joeydefrancesco.com/
FRED HERSCH – Open Book [Palmetto Records]
Fred Hersch’s eleventh solo piano record, Open Book, was released on Palmetto Records and features three original compositions – “The Orb,” “Plainsong,” and “Through the Forest” – alongside fresh takes on tunes by the likes of Benny Golson, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Thelonious Monk. All eight performances were recorded at JCC Art Center Concert Hall in Seoul, South Korea. Hersch also recently released a new memoir, titled Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz. For more information, go to http://fredhersch.com/
CHRIS POTTER – The Dreamer is the Dream [ECM]
Reedman Chris Potter, one of the most powerful saxophonists on the scene today, and his composing develops in texture and atmosphere with every album. The Dreamer is the Dream is his third ECM album as leader and presents a new acoustic quartet that naturally blends melodic rhapsody with rhythmic muscle. The group includes keyboardist David Virelles, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore, who each shine in addition to the leader on multiple horns. For more information, go to https://www.chrispottermusic.com/
The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 28, 2018. For the full list of nominations, go to https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/60th-grammy-awards-full-nominees-list