[JPL] Hancock win latest in right artist, wrong year category

Fredejazz at aol.com Fredejazz at aol.com
Thu Feb 21 03:10:58 EST 2008


WAY, Phil
 
 
In a message dated 2/20/2008 1:51:41 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
philipbooth at tampabay.rr.com writes:

This  week's sponsor: Pacific Coast Jazz

Two new Pacific Coast Jazz albums  are in stores now and on radio: 

Roberta Donnay's ''What's Your Story''  - ''...a major new find... highly 
recommended'' with 5 albums behind her and  Orrin Keepnews by her side, this 
album is destined for a Grammy.  She  performs across the nation and in Europe.   
www.robertadonnay.com

The Bruce Eskovitz Jazz Orchestra's  ''Invitation'' to you is to listen and 
capture this ''...hard swinging,  straight-ahead, good-time modern jazz.''  
This CD release party is at The  Jazz Bakery in LA on February 17.  
www.bruceeskovitz.com

Radio  promo by New World 'N' Jazz, Neal Sapper, 415-453-1558 & Matt 
Hughes,  732-835-5050.  Label: Pacific Coast Jazz, 858-484-8609 Email  
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Pacific Coast Jazz wishes all of our friends a  great 2008.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This has probably  been mentioned, but ... 
The irony of all this is that so many rock crits  and industry observers are 
whining that Herbie's win somehow means that the  Grammys are out of touch and 
irrelevant (like they haven't been for years,  particularly in the biggest 
categories), while the reality is that his win  actually adds a little bit of 
credibility and legitimacy to the whole shebang.  

No, I don't think the album was one of the year's best jazz discs, or  that 
it's one of Herbie's best recordings. But in terms of the performances,  
arrangements and overall musicality and musical sophistication, it far  outranks the 
releases by Amy Winehead (er, Winehouse), Kanye West, Foo  Fighters and Vince 
Gill. 

And this sentiment comes from someone who  actually does admire the work of 
several of those artists. 

BTW, since  Kot mentioned Mavis Staples - Her album, indeed is top-notch. 
Another good CD  in the retro-soul/R&B vein last year was Sharon Jones' 100 Days, 
100  Nights; Winehouse borrowed Jones' excellent band, the Dap-Kings, for her 
CD  and tour, and word is that the Dap-Kings are working on Al Green's next 
CD.  Just saw Jones in Tampa - her performance was fierce, and band really  
grooved.


---- Jae Sinnett <jaejazz at yahoo.com> wrote: 
>  This week's sponsor: Pacific Coast Jazz
> 
> Two new Pacific Coast  Jazz albums are in stores now and on radio: 
> 
> Roberta Donnay's  ''What's Your Story'' - ''...a major new find... highly 
recommended'' with 5  albums behind her and Orrin Keepnews by her side, this 
album is destined for a  Grammy.  She performs across the nation and in Europe.  
 www.robertadonnay.com
> 
> The Bruce Eskovitz Jazz Orchestra's  ''Invitation'' to you is to listen and 
capture this ''...hard swinging,  straight-ahead, good-time modern jazz.''  
This CD release party is at The  Jazz Bakery in LA on February 17.  
www.bruceeskovitz.com
> 
>  Radio promo by New World 'N' Jazz, Neal Sapper, 415-453-1558 &amp; Matt  
Hughes, 732-835-5050.  Label: Pacific Coast Jazz, 858-484-8609 Email  
donna at pacificcoastjazz.com   check out all of our artists at  www.pacificcoastjazz.com
> 
> Pacific Coast Jazz wishes all of our  friends a great 2008.
> 
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>  
> I've read countless articles about Herbie's win and to me it seems  like 
most are trying to find a way to justify why he shouldn't have won. I  enjoyed 
this article until...
>    
>   "But  is it really the album by which we will remember the year in music? 
Was it  truly the
> embodiment of "artistic excellence" in 2007? That's not even  remotely 
true. If the Grammys were looking for a revered artist to honor for a  late-career 
triumph, they would've been better off choosing Mavis Staples'  "We'll Never 
Turn Back." Unfortunately, Staples' album wasn't even nominated -  a huge 
oversight. It isn't the first time the Grammys got it  wrong."
>    
>   Firstly, I'm wondering what  album he thought was "artistically" 
superior? Winehouse? West? Marvis? Nah.  Not even close...IF you're listening from a 
completely objective artistic  perspective. I would love to know what he 
thought was artistically better and  why from a musical perspective. Just about 
every reason I've heard as to why  people thought he shouldn't have won....55.000. 
That of course was the number  sold before the Grammy presentation. It can't 
be that great if it sold that  pitiful five digit figure. "Disco Duck" sold a 
few million didn't it? Strength  in numbers...right. It's a delicate line the 
writer and programmer for that  matter... have to walk...without it becoming 
purely all about them.   
>    
>   From a musician's perspective...the  ballad...is the most mis-understood 
point of musical reference in the jazz  repertoire. Dexter Gordon once said 
that if you can play a ballad, you can  play anything. That's what "River" is 
conceptually all about. It's "sleepish"  nature is deceptive. Yet in that 
sleepish display is the most difficult  methodology of instrumental performance the 
jazz musician will be confronted  with. It's the ultimate test of the 
musicians time and forward vision. You  want to play faster but you can't. It forces 
your body to stay in that  zone....like bending over to pick something 
up...having it be either to low or  not high enough. You know...which is it? That 
awkward spot. Now when the  untrained ear hears ballads it's musical intentions 
don't reach out and touch  you right away because of the pacing. That missing 
repetitive 9th grade  example of rhythm so common in today's award ceremony 
atmosphere. Then the  harmony...oh the harmony. That's the deepest thing
>  about "River"  but who talks harmony but musicians? So it's obvious to 
me...on a major  scale... the point of "River" is missed.
>    
>   
>   Jae Sinnett    
>     
>   
> 
> 
> Jazz Promo Services  <jazzpromo at earthlink.net> wrote:
>   This week's  sponsor: Pacific Coast Jazz
> 
> Two new Pacific Coast Jazz albums  are in stores now and on radio: 
> 
> Roberta Donnay's ''What's  Your Story'' - ''...a major new find... highly 
recommended'' with 5 albums  behind her and Orrin Keepnews by her side, this 
album is destined for a  Grammy. She performs across the nation and in Europe.  
www.robertadonnay.com
> 
> The Bruce Eskovitz Jazz Orchestra's  ''Invitation'' to you is to listen and 
capture this ''...hard swinging,  straight-ahead, good-time modern jazz.'' 
This CD release party is at The Jazz  Bakery in LA on February 17. 
www.bruceeskovitz.com
> 
> Radio  promo by New World 'N' Jazz, Neal Sapper, 415-453-1558 & Matt 
Hughes,  732-835-5050. Label: Pacific Coast Jazz, 858-484-8609 Email  
donna at pacificcoastjazz.com check out all of our artists at  www.pacificcoastjazz.com
> 
> Pacific Coast Jazz wishes all of our  friends a great 2008.
> 
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>  
> http://www.kansascity.com/414/story/496779.html
> 
>  Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008
> Posted on Tue, Feb. 19, 2008
> Hancock  win latest in right artist, wrong year category
> By GREG KOT
>  Chicago Tribune
> With his Grammy Award for album of the year Sunday,  Herbie Hancock joins a
> long list of venerated musicians who have won  music's biggest prize decades
> after releasing their best work.
>  
> Hancock's "River: The Joni Letters" joins Ray Charles' "Genius  Loves
> Company" (which won in 2005), Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature"  (2001) and
> Tony Bennett's "MTV Unplugged" (1995) in a dubious  category: Right Artist,
> Wrong Year.
> 
> These awards  honored career achievement more than they did artistic
> excellence or  impact on the year in music. "River" is certainly a competent
> piece of  work, but it's far from Hancock's best. There were at least a 
dozen
>  hard-core jazz albums released last year that received far greater  
accolades
> from music buffs. From his classic solo album "Maiden  Voyage" (1965) to his
> innovative meld of jazz, electro-funk and  hip-hop on "Rockit" (1983),
> Hancock has done better work in the past.  He's won Grammys for some of his
> achievements, but never for album of  the year; indeed, "River" was the 
first
> album by a jazz artist to win  the top honor in five decades.
> 
> But "River" had several things  in its favor. It was just enough (but not 
too
> much) jazz, so it shaded  its pop overtures in a veneer of sophistication 
and
> class (the same  reason that people like Sting and Norah Jones keep winning
> Grammys).  It paired two artistic heavyweights in Hancock and Joni Mitchell,
>  whose songs provided a template for the pianist's arrangements. And it  was
> up against a couple of favorites who really didn't do much to  ingratiate
> themselves to the staid National Academy of Recording Arts  and Sciences, 
the
> 18,000-member organization that annually votes on  the Grammys.
> 
> The academy hates controversies, except when  they can bring higher ratings
> to its nationally televised awards  ceremony. And album-of-the-year
> front-runners Amy Winehouse and Kanye  West did their part with dramatic
> performances on the telecast and  juicy, tabloid-baiting back stories in the
> months leading up to it.  There was Winehouse, the outlaw soul singer with a
> drug problem and an  attitude. She got sprung from rehab just in time to
> perform on the  Grammys, though she had to do it via satellite in London
> because of  visa problems (imagine that). And then there was West, who has
> blasted  the Grammys in past years for denying him album of the year, only 
to
>  turn into a relatively sympathetic figure in recent months because of  the
> tragic death of his mother and closest adviser, Donda  West.
> 
> Love them or hate them, West and Winehouse brought a  lot of sizzle to a 
show
> that normally drags, with academy big shots  giving speeches and hopelessly
> mismatched performers gamely performing  duets (Kid Rock and Keely Smith,
> anyone?). Winehouse was much improved  over the fidgety, out-of-it performer
> who toured America last year  before her health bottomed out. West dazzled
> with an over-the-top  robot-rap set complemented by the helmeted French duo
> Daft Punk, then  a stirring tribute to his mother.
> 
> But West's reputation as a  petulant egotist - deserved or not - hasn't made
> him any friends at  the academy and turned off many potential fans to the
> accomplishment  of his music. Winehouse, too, has been elevated to celebrity
> status  not by her music but by her wayward behavior off the stage and
> outside  the recording studio.
> 
> So in giving its top honor to Hancock,  the academy once again made the safe
> choice. It gave it to the nice  guy steeped in respectable music, as a
> victory lap for a career well  done. Award presenter Quincy Jones was
> stunned. Hancock's jaw dropped.  Nobody, least of all the winner, saw this
> one coming.
> 
>  The award had immediate impact. "River" shot to No. 2 on the  amazon.com
> popularity list the next morning (behind Winehouse). But is  it really the
> album by which we will remember the year in music? Was  it truly the
> embodiment of "artistic excellence" in 2007? That's not  even remotely true.
> 
> If the Grammys were looking for a revered  artist to honor for a late-career
> triumph, they would've been better  off choosing Mavis Staples' "We'll Never
> Turn Back." Unfortunately,  Staples' album wasn't even nominated - a huge
> oversight. It isn't the  first time the Grammys got it wrong.
> 
> Greg Kot:  greg at gregkot.com
> --
> 
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