The Grammy nominees for best reggae album have been announced. The proud nominees are Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express Live!, Israel Vibration’s Reggae Knights, Stephen Marley’s Revelation Pt 1: The Root of Life, Ziggy Marley’s Wild and Free and Shaggy’s Summer in Kingston.
As usual parts of the Marley family are nominated along with the usual odd choices.
To be a part of the Grammy nomination procedure you have to submit a physical copy of the recording to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). And once the work is entered it’s reviewed by more than 150 said to be experts from the recording industry. These experts then decide if the work is eligible or not.
The resulting list is circulated to all NARAS members, and they are the ones that make the final decision about the winner in each category. The Academy members are required to vote based upon quality alone. This means that they should not be influenced by the commercial success of an album, which is probably easier said than done.
I can’t say I have much trust in these experts nor the Academy members when it comes to reggae. However, it’s hard to be too critical since I have no idea what albums that actually have been submitted for selection.
The nominees that have been presented are pretty far away from my own list. I’d have added Alpheus and Takana Zion and their excellent albums. And if you would like more well-known artists you could check the albums from Sizzla, Richie Spice and Alborosie, who recently won the MOBO Award.
Last year I wrote that the Reggae Grammy is a joke, and I’m still laughing, even though I hope that this event will promote and highlight the real gems in reggae music.
The Grammy Awards 2012 will be held on 12 February in Los Angeles, and I hope – and I could also bet on it – that Stephen Marley walks home with a gramophone under his arm.