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THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS / LATIN

More trophies, but still the visitante

December 07, 2007|Agustin Gurza | Times Staff Writer

This may be the 50th Grammyceremony, but it's only the 22nd with Latin categories, started in 1975 with just one trophy for the whole enchilada. Now it's up to eight, but the Latin categories are still behind the times.

These nominees can't avoid feeling like an encore to the comprehensive Latin Grammys, awarded last month in Las Vegas. The contenders, like the eligibility periods, overlap.

Dominican Juan Luis Guerra, the big winner in Vegas, gets a nod for tropical album for "La Llave de Mi Corazon" (The Key to My Heart). And the Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 is back in the urban album category, which it won last month for "Residente o Visitante" (Resident or Visitor).

Two big oversights this time around: Ricky Martin's comeback "MTV Unplugged" is missing from the list, as is Manu Chao's compelling "La Radiolina" (The Little Radio).

But the Grammys have a chance to make one thing right: Uruguay's Jorge Drexler lost last month for best singer-songwriter in a tough field that included Cuba's Silvio Rodriguez and Brazil's Caetano Veloso, who won. This time, Drexler's poetic "12 Segundos de Oscuridad" (12 Seconds of Darkness) is up for Latin pop album. He deserves it more than a Luis Miguel Christmas album.

agustin.gurza@latimes.com

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