Are two awards shows better, or more confusing, than one?
When nominations for the third annual Latin Grammys were announced Wednesday, recordings by bassist Charlie Haden ("Nocturne") and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba ("Supernova") were once again pitted against each other in the Latin jazz category. The same thing happened earlier this year in the Grammy Awards, when Haden won the honors.
Complicating matters further, Rubalcaba not only played on Haden's album, he was also co-producer and was credited with the orchestrations.
To get a handicap on this Latin Grammy contest, we consulted David Sanchez, the saxophonist who also played on Haden's album and who recently performed with Rubalcaba at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Will Rubalcaba be aided by a Latin Grammy membership that has more Spanish-speaking members?
"It's possible," said Sanchez. "I've heard people say, 'Charlie's not even a Latino, and all the arrangements were by Gonzalo.' But Charlie was the leader, and he made a beautiful album."
Sanchez, whose own album, "Travesia," received a Latin jazz nod in the Grammys (confused yet?), lamented that he didn't get a Latin Grammy nod. He blames his label, Sony Discos, for not submitting his album for consideration.
So who will win the Latin Grammy? "Probably Gonzalo," Sanchez responded, laughing, "since I'm not in the picture."