Culture Magazine

Will Jacob Collier Win the Grammy for Best Album? [Oh Those Kids]

By Bbenzon @bbenzon

I surely don’t know. He’s already won four Grammies, all for arranging (Wikipedia).

Here’s what he has to say about the nomination, from his Facebook page:

The last 24 hours have turned my world upside down. To find myself Grammy-nominated for Album Of The Year is nearly impossible to wrap my head unthinkable, unspeakable, epic honor. Three years ago, when I set about dreaming up a self-produced quadruple album, I barely imagined it would be possible to create, let alone that it would carry me into such unfathomable territory as this! To be considered alongside such legendary nominees for this award is a bizarre and tremendous privilege. I am forever grateful to Mahalia Music,Ty Dolla $ign, Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Kiana Ledé ,T-Pain, Kimbra, Tank and the Bangas, Tori Kelly & Rapsody for bringing such magic to the album... to the wonderful Ben Bloomberg, Emily Lazar, and Chris Allgood for helping me shape it sonically... and to all at the Recording Academy who voted for me. This is going to take some time to fathom... but in the meantime, I’m sending so much love to you all from here in London, and looking forward to wherever the path may lead us.

I’m just barely familiar with his music. I’ve seen perhaps a half-dozen to a dozen of his YouTube clips – he got his start on YouTube in 2012. They’re interesting and impressive, and I’ll be watching more. I note that Herbie Hancock thinks he’s a genius and that Quincy Jones has signed on as his manager. I’ve read, and have heard from a friend, that he gives an impressive live show. No doubt.


Here’s his most recent video, an arrangement of Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”), a song I know fairly well and like a lot:

If you’re interested in the musical particulars, here’s a transcription by Jason Fisher:

Impressive? Surely. Tremendous knowledge of music, great skill in execution, and mastery of technology. Very pretty. But compelling music? I’m not sure. Do I like it? Yes.

As I said in an email to a friend:

I’ve listened to between a half and a dozen of his videos. Impressive stuff. But they all seem a bit the same. When you throw all that STUFF at a tune, what emerges is mostly the stuff and all the tunes become racks on which to hang the stuff.

But he’s still young. Not even 30. Maybe he’ll pile up more and more stuff and then figure out how to get rid of most of it. Then we’ll see. I figure I’ll keep tabs on him but I’m not going to buy his albums, not yet. I’d like to hear what he can do with a simple blues. And since he’s a vocalist, I want to hear what he can sang, if you get my drift.

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