Feb. 6 update – Winner: Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring The Conga Patria Son Jarocho Collective
The 2023 Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 5, 2022, at the Cripto.com Arena in Los Angeles and televised live on CBS. Therefore, it’s now time to talk about the musicians who are nominated for creating the music that we love. Let’s start with the nominations in the Best Latin Jazz Album category!
- Rhythm & Soul – Arturo Sandoval
This album is one-hour-long with 12 gorgeous songs – some smooth and romantic while others upbeat, even danceable. It’s hard to pick a favorite from this release, so below I’m posting two to show the range of its rhythms – from the passionate sound of Sandoval’s trumpet in “El Pecoso” to the contagious must-move rhythm in “Soca Beat.” Listen to all the songs in the album here.
- Fandango At The Wall In New York – Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring The Conga Patria Son Jarocho Collective – WINNER
The son of a famous Cuban musician and a Mexican singer, O’Farrill here combines the sounds and rhythms of his roots as he reminds us that music has no borders. The song posted below is my favorite from the album – “Bemba y Tablao,” written by Patricio Hidalgo (of Conga Patria). Listen to the full album here.
- Música De Las Américas – Miguel Zenón
Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenon presents eight original songs in an hour-long album that is smooth and relaxing. Below is “Antillano,” which is my favorite and also the most upbeat song in the album. Sample the full album here.
- Crisálida – Danilo Pérez Featuring The Global Messengers
This is a 50-minute long album with 8 songs divided in 2 suites: La Muralla (Glass Walls) and Fronteras (Borders). Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez works with The Global Messengers: Palestinian percussionist Tareq Rantisi, Palestinian cellist Naseem Alatrash, Iraqi-Jordanian violinist Layth Sidiq, Greek laouto player Vasilis Kostas, and American vocalist Farayi Malek. Although listed as a Latin Jazz Album, you’ll find plenty of middle eastern sounds in this release. My favorite song, in the Fronteras suite, is “Al-Musafir Blues.” Sit back and enjoy it (posted below). Once you listen to it in full, you’ll best understand how Perez is inviting us to “imagine a place where we can come together” (JazzTimes.com). Purchase the CD here.
- If You Will – Flora Purim
Flora Purim is a Brazilian vocalist and composer who has been active in the Latin Jazz scene for more than five decades. This album was released in April of 2022, six weeks after her 80th birthday. Listen to the album here. The title song is posted below.
OK. That’s them. Now, who do you think will win?!