Awards speeches are ideal forums for jokes, even during the Grammys' Internet-only pre-show broadcast. But there was a kernel of truth to what was said from the stage as Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band accepted honors in the big band category for the album "Life in the Bubble": "Once again we want to thank Chick Corea for not making a large ensemble album."
The line was in reference to the Grammys' longtime favorite when it comes to the jazz field as the pianist added to his already crowded trophy case Sunday with awards for improvised jazz solo and best jazz instrumental album. His 21st and 22nd Grammy wins were drawn from Corea's sprawling three-disc live set "Trilogy," which also featured drummer Brian Blade and bassist Christian McBride.
Corea's mastery on "Trilogy" is beyond doubt as usual, but his continued dominance makes it difficult not to wish for some new faces on the podium as his wins came against equally deserving efforts by Blade, Jason Moran, Fred Hersch and Joe Lovano, to name a few.
In the jazz vocal category, Dianne Reeves won her fifth Grammy for the album "Beautiful Life," beating out recordings by Gretchen Parlato, René Marie and Tierney Sutton as well as Billy Childs' all-star tribute album, "Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro." Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra took home the Grammy in the Latin jazz album category for "The Offense of the Drum."
Elsewhere in jazz-oriented honors, John Coltrane's two-disc archival release "Offering: Live at Temple University" was awarded the Grammy for best album notes, which were written by Ashley Kahn.
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