Form won out in the jazz honors at the 45th annual Grammy Awards. But it's not surprising that the winners are all well-established artists, given that so few unfamiliar faces made it into the nominations. And because the nominations were crowded with major artists, there's little to quibble about in the ultimate choices.
Pat Metheny is a worthy winner in the contemporary field. The same is true with Herbie Hancock as the best instrumental soloist. (But I'll bet Hancock himself would have been happy to have had the late Tommy Flanagan receive the honor, four months after his death.)
The awards to Dave Holland in the large jazz ensemble category and Hancock, Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove in the best instrumental album group are also well deserved. Here too, however, one wonders how Hancock feels about garnering a second award by beating out one of the finest albums in years from Wayne Shorter. The voters made the right pick in the jazz vocal album category, acknowledging Diana Krall's very real skills as a jazz singer.
-- Don Heckman