Chick Corea, left, with vibraphonist Gary Burton at UCLA for a 2011 performance. (Andrew Elliott )
Pianist Robert Glasper was perhaps the biggest story in jazz for 2012 with his genre-blending crossover effort "Black Radio," and Grammy voters seemed to endorse his bid to reach a broader audience. Glasper received two nominations for best performance and album of the year -- in the R&B category.
In a 2012 interview with the Times, Glasper had little interest in genre labels, but he still considers himself very much a jazz artist.
"This is what jazz sounds like now," he said of the album, which was recorded with his band the Experiment. "If [jazz] would've kept evolving and everybody was okay with it . . . this is where it would be."
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With Glasper shifting categories, voters turned to a familiar face in pianist Chick Corea, who earned five nominations including best improvised jazz solo, best instrumental composition and two nods for best jazz instrumental album for "Further Explorations" with his trio album featuring the late Paul Motian, and another duo recording with Gary Burton, "Hot House."
Guitarist Pat Metheny's Unity Band, saxophonist Kenny Garrett and veteran pianist Ahmad Jamal round out the album category, and the jazz solo field also includes Garrett, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and pianist Brad Mehldau.
Another Grammy favorite, Esperanza Spalding, was nominated in the jazz vocal category along with Kurt Elling, Denise Donatelli, Luciana Souza and Al Jarreau, and for best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocalists for the song "City of Roses." L.A.-based bandleader Bob Mintzer also earned two nominations, one in the large jazz ensemble category for his album "For The Moment" and another for best instrumental arrangement.
Souza was also nominated for best latin jazz album, a field that also includes Chano Dominguez's Miles Davis tribute, "Flamenco Sketches. Jazz great Dave Brubeck, who died Wednesday, was also nominated in the instrumental category for the symphonic project, "Music of Ansel Adams: America," which the pianist composed with his son.
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