By Chris Barton
4:50 PM PST, January 26, 2014
This post has been updated. See below for details.
In most genres, the Grammys aren't generally relied upon as an accurate barometer of the state of a given genre. But in the case of jazz, the Recording Academy got a few things right Sunday.
One of the biggest stories of jazz in 2013, the soulful Gregory Porter took home honors in the jazz vocal category for "Liquid Spirit," his debut album for Blue Note Records. Porter beat out another rising jazz talent in Cécile McLorin Salvant for the honor, as well as albums by Andy Bey, Lorraine Feather and Tierney Sutton. Capable of straddling multiple genres, Porter also was nominated in the traditional R&B category, but lost out to Gary Clark Jr.
Wayne Shorter's 2013 live album "Without a Net" was shut out from being nominated in the album category, but one of the year's most critically acclaimed releases was recognized elsewhere. The 80-year-old saxophonist's ageless turn in his composition"Orbits" won the Grammy for best improvised jazz solo over efforts by Donny McCaslin, Fred Hersch, Terence Blanchard and Paquito D'Rivera. A veteran Cuban saxophonist, D'Rivera was named the winner for best Latin jazz album for his recording, "Song for Maura."
Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington was the winner in jazz instrumental album category for "Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue," an expansive tribute to the 1962 album by Duke Ellington, Max Roach and Charles Mingus. Carrington was the winner in the jazz vocal category in 2012 for her album "The Mosaic Project."
A longtime Grammy favorite, trumpeter Randy Brecker won in the large ensemble category for "Night in Calisia," a collaboration with pianist Wlodek Pawlik and the Kalisz Philharmonic. The win came at the expense of a critical favorite in "Brooklyn Babylon," a sprawling effort from bandleader Darcy James Argue.
Elsewhere, in a bit of a surprise, jazz-funk ensemble Snarky Puppy beat out the likes of Miguel and Anthony Hamilton for best R&B performance with "Something," a spirited collaboration with singer Lalah Hathaway.
Updated: Mon, 10:25 a.m.: An earlier version of this post misidentified the title of Randy Brecker's large ensemble album.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times