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The New Cool: Coolest Grammy Nominees

Gregory Porter singing live on 88.5 in 2013.

It’s been a few weeks since the Recording Academy announced their nominees for this year’s Grammys – broadcast special on February 12 – but after the holiday craziness, I’ve just noticed them. And I’ve also noticed that a few of our favorites on The New Cool are up for big awards, and not always in the jazz category.

Guitar great John Scofield goes for a second best jazz instrumental album award in back-to-back years, following 2016’s "Past Present" with the cleverly titled, western influenced "Country For Old Men." He’s also nominated this year for best improvised jazz solo for his performance of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” On this week's show, you’ll hear Sco’s cool performance of “Wildwood Flower” from the new LP.

Singer Gregory Porter took home the best jazz vocal album award for 2014, and he’s up against familiar names (Tierney Sutton, Kurt Elling, Catherine Russell & Rene Marie) for his latest album, "Take Me To The Alley."  Our show this week features the “New Cool approved” version of “Holding On” featuring Detroit-based R&B singer Kem.

Two albums you’ve heard on The New Cool are nominated for awards in the best contemporary instrumental album category (not jazz? huh.), guitarist Bill Frisell’s "When You Wish Upon a Star," and the wonderful Culcha Vulcha album from Texas collective "Snarky Puppy." Just a few weeks ago, the teen ladies from Seattle JazzEd’s Melba Liston All-Stars were live in our studios and played “Tarova” from this new album, but I’m leading off today’s show with the first song from the group that struck me, “Like a Light” from their breakout fifth album, "groundUP."

Also listen for top 2016 modern jazz from trumpeter Takuya Kuroda, guitarist Julian Lage, and bassist/pianist Derrick Hodge of the Robert Glasper Experiment. Awards are subjective and fairly meaningless in the grand scheme of life, but they can be fun – and we’ve got a fun show for you this week!

The New Cool airs Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. The program is hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Wash.

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