There was more Latin Jazz nominated for Grammys this year than you might have realized. A couple of nominees went overlooked, because they were nominated in categories other than Latin Jazz.
Confused? I don't blame you. The Recording Academy has been struggling with the placement of Latin music styles and other "roots music" categories for years. So it's always a good idea to look through all the non-pop categories to find the hidden gems.
Which is exactly what I neglected to do last week in preparation for the show that featured this year's nominees in the the Best Latin Jazz Album category. Let me make amends here, and give a mention to some great music that I don't want you to miss.
Familia: A Tribute to Bebo and Chico Arturo O'Farrill and Chucho Valdés: O'Farrill's disclaimers make it clear: "This recording is NOT about piano, Latin Jazz or Cuba." It is very much about two families and their generations of music, and extended to their global familias. It's a tribute to the grandfathers Bebo Valdés and Chico O'Farrill, by the sons Chucho Valdés and Arturo O'Farrill, along with the grandchildren Jesse and Leyanis Valdés, and Adam and Zack O'Farrill. It's an interesting concept and stylistically wide-ranging, as you might expect from three generations. The piece "Three Revolutions" won the 2018 Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition.
Doug Beavers The Art of the Arrangement (El Arte del Arreglo): This Latin Jazz and salsa tribute to the modern-day arrangers was nominated for 2018's Best Tropical Latin Album. It didn't win, but trombonist Doug Beavers assembled an amazing crew of musicians and arrangers and recorded it beautifully. It's a delight from beginning to end.
I'll start and end Saturday Jazz Caliente this week with music from The Art of the Arrangement. We'll also hear from some NW favorites like Ann Reynolds' Clave Gringa and Show Brazil's Eduardo Mendonça, trumpeter Marquis Hill with a Peruvian percussionist, and the Cuban jazz/classical/timba group Tiempo Libre.
Jazz Caliente airs Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. The show is hosted by Robin Lloyd and produced by KNKX Public Radio.