Warner Brothers wanted to spotlight its ten Grammy Award nominees in the contemporary jazz and pop instrumental categories. So, it released a compilation CD called (It's Not Whether You Win or Lose,) It's How Cool You Sound Doing It
. Too bad that usually only one nominee gets to be the winner in each category. It does feature Grammy winners guitarist Norman Brown and Pat Metheny Group, but it also features some other nominees that should have been winners as well.
Saxophonist Boney James is featured in two tracks from his Grammy nominated CD Ride
. Guitarist Larry Carlton has the title track from his nominated CD Deep Into It
Saxophonist Kirk Whalum has two tracks, one from his Grammy nominated Pop Instrumental Album The Christmas Message
and the other for his nominated Best Pop Instrumental Performance Playing with Fire
from his release Unconditional
One other performance of note is Dave and Jeff Koz' version of the classic Blackbird
, which many of you have heard on smooth jazz radio in an edit form. The song is from their release of lullabys for babies called Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby
. On this CD, they feature the original version that touches me more than the radio version. It touches me because of its simplistic approach to the song and the way the arrangement brings back memories of childhood that we somehow never lose. You will notice the difference. (It's Not Whether You Win or Lose,) It's How Cool You Sound Doing It
is a great release where you get the best of the best. A must for any collection.