The Latin Jazz Corner Best Of The Year Awards is an annual event fueled by the will of our readers – the winners are selected through a voting process open to LJC readers, Latin Jazz artists, Latin Jazz fans, and the general public. The voting for our fifth annual awards ran from December 8, 2011 – December 23, 2011 and drew over 20,000 participants from around the world. It was an exciting process that engaged numerous artists, fans, and music business professionals from all areas of the Latin Jazz world. You can learn more about the LJC Best Of The Year Awards by checking out this post – What Are The LJC Best Of The Year Awards?; on that page you’ll find links to frequently asked questions that should give you the complete scoop on the awards.
In the remaining days of the year, we’ll be taking a look at the winners in each of the Best Of 2011 Award categories, revealing a small number with each passing day. In our first post, we revealed the 2011 Latin Jazz Composition Of The Year, 2011 Latin Jazz Arrangement Of The Year, 2011 Latin Jazz Record Label Of The Year, and 2011 Latin Jazz Album Art Of The Year. The second post looked at the winners for the 2011 Outer Edges Album Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Flautist Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Vibraphonist Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Guitarist Of The Year, and the the 2011 Latin Jazz Vocalist Of The Year. Our third post dug into the winners for the 2011 Boundary Breaking Album Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Saxophonist Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Trumpet Player Of The Year, and the the 2011 Latin Jazz Trombonist Of The Year. In our forth post, we revealed the winners in for the 2011 Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album, 2011 Latin Jazz Percussionist Of The Year, 2011 Latin Jazz Pianist Of The Year, the 2011 Latin Jazz Drum Kit Player Of The Year, and the 2011 Latin Jazz Bassist Of The Year. Today we’ll examine the last of our winners – the 2011 Latin Jazz Album Of The Year, the 2011 Next Generation Latin Jazz Album, the 2011 Brazilian Jazz Album Of The Year, and the 2011 South American Jazz Album Of The Year.
2011 Latin Jazz Album Of The Year
2011 Brazilian Jazz Album Of The Year
It takes more than a simple collection of songs to bring thousands of people together – it requires an artistic statement that overflows with unmistakeable musicality. Songs on their own are ultimately forgettable; when they are infused with the heart and soul of an artist’s personality, they become something magical that sticks in our memory like glue. Pianist Antonio Adolfo’s Chora Baião captured the imagination of a huge number of people in 2011, winning the titles of both Brazilian Jazz Album Of The Year and Latin Jazz Album Of The Year (among other awards that we announced earlier in the week). A heartfelt tribute to a couple of massive figures in Brazilian music – Guinga and Chico Buarque – Adolfo put together a masterful collection of music that intimately looked at a couple of musicians that influenced him. It wasn’t just the simple execution of their compositions that made this album great though, it was the way that Adolfo interpreted those songs and let us see them through his eyes. The end result is a very personal gift from Adolfo to the rest of the world that speaks volumes about Guinga, Buarque, Adolfo, and Brazilian Jazz as a whole. When the music reaches this level, the album becomes more than a simple collection of songs; that’s when an album becomes a personal statement . . . that’s when an album becomes Album Of The Year.
2011 Next Generation Latin Jazz Album Of The Year
Jamie Dubberly And Orquesta Dharma
The idea of a “Next Generation” group represents a collection of musicians that are delivering a new idea to the world. The band may include young musicians or it might have seasoned veterans; it’s more about the repertoire and performance approach that they are bringing into the world for the first time. The ideas held in that approach hold the potential to influence the next generation of musicians and listeners just as much as the musicians creating them. Trombonist Jamie Dubberly brings a wealth of experience into his album Road Warrior, playing upon lessons learned from Jackie McLean, Pete Escovedo, and more; his group features some of the best musicians from the Bay Area such as Karl Perazzo, Carlos Caro, Pete Cornell, and more playing alongside him. There’s no doubt that a conglomeration of musicians like this will deliver fantastic music, but the compositions and ideas that the group brings into Road Warrior make it outstanding. From the contemporary looks at classic tunes to the funky strut of cha cha cha originals, Road Warrior holds a wealth of great music that will inspire new listeners.
2011 South American Jazz Album Of The Year
Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra
When people think about the idea of “Latin” music, their minds often drift to music that originated in the Caribbean, but influences from South American countries have exerted an increasing amount of influence upon modern Latin Jazz. Traditions from Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, and more are becoming an essential piece of Latin Jazz as musicians find more creative and inspiring ways to blend them with jazz. Bassist and composer Pedro Giraudo has long used his Argentinean lineage as a source of inspiration in his compositions, and the music on Córboda continues that track. Giraudo uses a very modern concept when he integrates pieces of Argentinean folk music – in some ways, it’s more of an inspiration than a focal point. The fact remains that Argentinean music underlies most of what Giraudo writes for his band; it’s never more apparent than on Córdoba, where Giraudo creates an aural representation of his hometown. Giraudo delivers a beautiful example of the integration of South American influences into jazz on Córdoba, showing us the possibilities of this music in the modern world.
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