The big jazz event of the week is John Scofield coming to town. He appears this Friday and Saturday at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Scofield, one of the most important jazz guitarists of his generation, is touring in support of his Verve Ray Charles tribute album, That's What I Say, although, sadly, Charles' great tenor saxophonist David 'Fathead' Newman and the other guest artists on the album won't be accompanying him. Neither will drummer/producer Steve Jordan, bassist Willie Weeks or organist Larry Goldings, who were the engine room of the critically acclaimed album, but he's fielding a strong quartet plus a vocalist. Stepping in is singer Dean Bowman, supported by Gary Versace on organ, Ruben Rodriquez on bass and Steve Hass on drums. Bowman has a background in gospel singing, as well as in jazz and rock, which marks him out as a particularly suitable foil for Scofield on this repertoire. He has also been described by Charles Mingus' formidable widow, Sue, as 'the most important jazz vocalist since Bobby McFerrin'. I anticipate the shows being a highlight of the Arts Festival. That's What I Say was certainly one of the finest jazz albums of last year, and probably the only reason it didn't make the shortlist for the Grammys was that the guest vocals and mixture of jazz, blues, rock and soul elements - a fitting tribute in itself to Charles - meant it didn't fit any of the categories. Flow, the current album by Terence Blanchard who played the Cultural Centre last night, also as part of the Arts Festival, was nominated for two Grammys, but was passed over. Sonny Rollins was the obvious emotional choice for best jazz instrumental solo for his performance of Why Was I Born? on Without A Song - The 9/11 Concert, although Blanchard's producer, Herbie Hancock, may have been justifiably a little disappointed not to have picked up the award for his guest pianist appearance on The Source, one of Flow's high points. The other contenders in that category were Branford Marsalis, for his performance of John Coltrane's Acknowledgement from A Love Supreme; Coltrane's son, Ravi, for Away from the In Flux album; and Alan Broadbent for an interpretation of Thelonious Monk's 'Round Midnight. Flow also lost out in the best jazz instrumental album category, but since it ceded pride of place to The Wayne Shorter Quartet's magisterial Beyond the Sound Barrier, and since Shorter is something of a mentor, Blanchard can't complain. Also returning empty-handed from the ceremony in that category were Wynton Marsalis, nominated for Live at the House of Tribes, the Billy Childs Ensemble for Lyric, and Kenny Wheeler with Dave Holland, Chris Potter and John Taylor for What Now?. It wasn't all bad news for bassist Holland. His Big Band won the best large ensemble album with Overtime, over John Hollenbeck's Large Ensemble's A Blessing, the Bill Holman Band's Live, the Mingus Big Band, Orchestra and Dynasty with I Am Three, and the Chris Walden Big Band's Home of My Heart. The Pat Metheny Group's The Way Up picked up the best contemporary jazz album award, beating a mixed bag of nominees. Dianne Reeves' Good Night, and Good Luck took the top honour as best jazz vocal album. It would have been nice if the great conguero and band-leader Ray Barretto - recovering in hospital from open heart surgery - could have had the boost of winning best Latin jazz album for Time Was, Time Is, but it wasn't to be. Eddie Palmieri got it for Listen Here. In the blues category, B.B. King, now on a programme of what he says are retirement tours, got a nice 80th birthday present with a Grammy for best traditional blues album for 80 - B.B. King and Friends. Delbert McClinton has never enjoyed much of the spotlight in his own right, despite a long and distinguished career as a singer, songwriter and harmonica player - while touring Britain in the early 1960s he showed a young John Lennon how to play the kind of harp licks that later turned up on Love Me Do and Please Please Me. He gets some well-earned recognition with the best contemporary blues album Grammy for Cost of Living. McClinton also has the satisfaction of having beaten a strong field, including Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Solomon Burke and the North Mississippi All Stars. There isn't a Grammy category that looks a likely fit for the sort of music Peter Scherr puts out on his 1 Hr Music label - although independents are making stronger showings in the nominations - but three new albums on it are now available in Hong Kong's specialist jazz shops and will shortly be in HK Records and HMV. They are: Version Two by the Joe Rosenberg Quartet East; Scherr's own Dual Mono: Williamsburg; and Proper Villains by a band of the same name. The latter, led by New York-based saxophonist Bruce Huron and featuring Scherr and trumpeter Toby Mak, will be playing on the same nights as Scofield, but at the Fringe Club, starting both evenings at 9pm. The band will be shooting a video during the performances, which should be worth hearing.