Sunday, February 10, 2008

Grammy Recap

It seemed tonight the Academy had decided the excellence of the recording industry was best represented by Amy Winehouse, until Herbie Hancock pulled off a NY Giants sized upset for Album of the Year. That I did not predict. (Complete list of winner here.)

In terms of programming, between Herbie Hancock playing Gershwin and Eldar paying tribute to Oscar Peterson, jazz got about six minutes of air time. (Actually, no I do not have a lot of time on my hands, but I’d like to track jazz’s Grammy penetration from year to year.) Of course, jazz collectively cannot complain this year, given Hancock’s big win. In addition, many of this year’s departed jazz greats were duly honored in the annual memorial tribute, including: Oscar Peterson, Max Roach, Al Viola, Joel Dorn, and Joe Zawinul.

As for my predictions, they are not completely embarrassing:

Herbie Hancock won for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Check. No surprise, as he was playing the telecast. Sorry Eldar, but presumably your time will come. I predicted anyone but Hancock for Album of the year—happy to be wrong there.

Patti Austin won for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Avant Gershwin. My prediction was Dee Dee Bridgewater. There seemed to be a Gershwin vibe going on with the Grammy’s this year.

Best Instrumental Solo and Best Jazz Instrumental Album went to the late great Michael Brecker. Check and check.

New Orleans’ own Terence Blanchard won for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album (and one of your J.B. Spins Best of 2007). Check.

Paquito D’Rivera followed up a Downbeat poll win with a Best Latin Jazz Grammy. Check.

Best Traditional Blues Album went to Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen. I predicted Koko Taylor and as high powered a combination Henry Townsend, "Pinetop" Perkins, Robert Lockwood, Jr., and David "Honeyboy" Edwards are, I am shocked they beat out Taylor.

Best Musical Show Album went to Spring Awakening. Company deserved it, but check.

Best Score went to Ratatouille. I predicted the Oscar winner Babel.

Best Composition went to Maria Schneider. Check.

Best Instrumental Arrangement went to Vince Mendoza for “In a Silent Way” on Zawinul’s Brown Street. I was really pulling for Steve Wiest, but to be fair, that was a great album.

Seven right, five wrong. That is not eerily prescient, but maybe not terrible.