Annal: 2001 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2001.

Album:No Substitutions

No Substitutions: Live in Osaka

Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather

Like 1990s guitar wonder-bands such as Los Lobotomys, Karizma, and L.A. Guitar Workshop, this live club recording from two session-masters is a lesson in controlled thuggery. Carlton has played some of the greatest electric solos ever, gunslinging for everyone from Joni Mitchell and The Crusaders to Steely Dan (“Kid Charlemagne”) and LA Express. Ex-Toto axe-king Lukather made his name stoking the mega-rock flames, but has also plied his pick to recordings by Patti Austin, Herb Alpert, Chet Atkins, and America.

That fusion has fallen on hard times doesn’t…

Album:Aart

Aart

Acoustic Alchemy

Aart is Acoustic Alchemy’s second album on Higher Octave and sees the consolidation of the new, more commercial “drivetime” direction taken with The Beautiful Game (2000). The hour-long set delivers 14 numbers filled with catchy tunes, uplifting rhythms and idiosyncratic details: a surprising electric guitar hook on “Cactus Blue”, the Indian percussion on “Love at a Distance”. Following the death of original duo partner Nick Webb, co-founder Greg Carmichael has had the painful task of rebuilding the act and has chosen to develop Acoustic Alchemy…

Album:Smooth Jazz Christmas

Smooth Jazz Christmas

Dave Koz, Various Artists

Cohesiveness is what separates this all-star Christmas release from the others. During the last four years, Dave Koz, vocalist Brenda Russell, pianist David Benoit, guitarist Peter White, and trumpeter Rick Braun have hit the road spreading holiday cheer among the smooth-jazz masses and their collaborative ease is palpable throughout these 14 tracks. Benoit is featured on “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” while Koz adds one of his best solos. Braun has the spotlight on “Little Drummer Boy,” where Benoit shines too, and White highlights “Silent Night.” All five…

Album:Unconditional

Unconditional

Kirk Whalum

On Unconditional, Paul Brown, the hottest producer in smooth jazz, takes a crack at the distinctive Texas tenor saxophone of Kirk Whalum. If you overlook the connect-the-dots formula of the opening track, “Now ‘Til Forever,” where Boney James or any of Brown’s other buddies could be inserted, the producer does a good job of letting Whalum’s bright style come through the slick production sheen he applies to the 10-song CD. It’s Whalum’s originals—like the title track, “Song for Evan,” and the clever tribute “Groverworked and Underpaid”—that are typical of…

Album:Voice

Voice

Neal Schon

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