[JPL] Herbie's Grammy

Seymour, Bob BSeymour at wusf.org
Wed Feb 20 15:21:15 EST 2008

I saw a number of the articles concerning Herbie's Grammy, but none was
more off-base than in my local (and generally very good) paper, the St.
Petersburg Times.  Their pop music writer, in a lengthy piece titled
"Hancock? No, No No", complained that the whole evening promised a
different result, and that it disrupted his pre-ordained review of the
show, called it 'a bamboozle', and gratuitously knocked 'old-guard dude'
Quincy Jones for his evident joy for Herbie.  The piece was subtitled
'Grammys saves its highest honor for music as it was, not music as it


On Saturday, they printed my response, and even put a nice picture of
Herbie beside my letter to the editor:



            The Grammy Awards have a history of surprising picks, and
it's a shame they didn't follow Sean Daly's game plan as his deadline
loomed ("Hancock? No, no, no", Feb 12").  But many of us rejoice at
Herbie Hancock's Album of the Year honor.

            The Joni Mitchell tribute, which includes music by Duke
Ellington and Wayne Shorter, is a rewarding collection by an artist who
has been groundbreaking and fearless for nearly 50 years.  What a
pleasure to see sales skyrocket within a day for a musician who avoids
the self-aggrandizement and posturing so prevalent on the music

            Daly, who seldom mentions jazz except in a patronizing way,
worries this award erodes the Grammy's credibility.  I suggest that
Hancock, Mitchell, and the all-star cast on "River" are perpetually
modern, and this surprising choice was a rare and welcome triumph of art
over commerce.


Bob Seymour 

WUSF, 89.7




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