Clint Holmes’ original charge was simply to make a great album.
But the underlying objective, sometimes mentioned just slyly, was to make it great enough to be nominated for a Grammy.
With “Rendezvous,” Holmes not only met, but exceeded those goals.
The latest release from the popular Vegas showman and interpreter of songs has been nominated for a pair of Grammy Awards, as the field was announced Tuesday morning. Two songs from “Rendezvous” are on the list of nominees for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” his duet with jazz great Jane Monheit; and “I Loves You Porgy/There’s A Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon For New York” from “Porgy and Bess,” which Holmes recorded with another acclaimed jazz vocalist, Dee Dee Bridgewater.
The arranger on “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” Jorge Calandrelli, is a six-time Grammy winner known for his work on “The Color Purple.” Holmes, producer Gregg Field, master pianist and composer Shelly Berg, and pianist/sax man/composer Gordon Goodwin teamed for the arrangement on “Porgy and Bess.”
Field himself has won three Grammys in his five nominations, and as a topnotch drummer also toured with the Count Basie Orchestra in the early 1980s — and the Basie Orchestra backed Holmes on “Rendezvous.”
“This is an incredible feeling and a real achievement for everyone who made the album happen,” Holmes said Tuesday morning. “As you know, this was a long process, and receiving a Grammy nomination is something we really did want, even if we felt we didn’t want to jinx our chances by talking about it.”
“Rendezvous” was recorded and mixed over a 2 ½-year period at Capitol Records. The album was largely a jazz project, especially with the contributions from Monheit, Bridgewater and sax master Dave Koz (who wrote the music to Holmes’ “What You Leave Behind”). But there is a significant pop feel to “Rendezvous,” too, which actually prevented the album from being considered in nomination in the jazz field (if an album is deemed 51 percent pop by Grammy officials, it is entered into the open pop categories).
Thus, Holmes is in what he calls “tall cotton” with his fellow nominees. Also entered in his category are the cast of “La La Land” and Justin Hurwitz with “Another Day of Sun,” Seth MacFarlane and arranger Joel McNeely for “I Like Myself,” and Randy Newman with “Putin.” Newman is a two-time Academy Award winner and has been nominated for 20 Oscars. He’s also won six Grammys and three Emmys.
“It would be a long shot, but this whole album has been a long shot,” said Holmes, who hopes to attend the Jan. 28 ceremony in New York. “But we are nominated. I’ll now always be a Grammy nominee, and it feels good.”
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