Grammys 2016: As the jazz nominations show, buzz helps (via LA Times)

Kendrick Lamar may have been a popular choice as one of this year’s Grammy contenders, but his rising tide wasn’t enough to lift L.A.’s Kamasi Washington, who lent his saxophone and string arrangements to parts of Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly.” Despite being one of the most talked-about jazz releases of the year, Washington’s three-disc debut, “The Epic,” went missing among this crop of nominations.

Second-guessing the Grammy voters’ choices is something of an annual tradition, and the rest of the year’s nominations offered the usual mix of welcome and head-scratching selections. For instance, 12-year-old piano prodigy Joey Alexander was a morning-show favorite for the promise shown on his album “My Favorite Things.” While it showed an ear for interpretation beyond his years, his position as one of the contenders in the jazz instrumental album and improvised jazz solo categories points to the importance of buzz once it comes time for Grammy nominations.

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