Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ben Ratliff has an interesting take in the New York Times about Herbie Hancock's surprise album of the year nod at the Grammy Awards:

"Institutions like to congratulate themselves, and giving the prize to “River” can be understood as a celebration of the academy’s more high-minded pop impulses. The best album category, in particular, is often a corrective or an apology for any excesses or shortcomings of the present."

Howard Mandel chimes in on the same topic:

"And if there are jazz snobs reading: please get over it. Just because a lot of people like something doesn't mean it sucks. Sometimes the avant-garde slips into the collective conscious on little cats' feet. There are no compromises with esthetic integrity on River, just elegance applied by distinguished artists to songs in which they realize previous unexplored possibilities, and in the performance suggest even more."

While on the topic of the Grammys, allmusic asks why Jimi Hendrix never won one:

"It all comes down to the nature of “peerage,” and in 1967 a guy who plunked down an amp, plugged in, and played “Louie Louie” wasn’t really a “peer” to the scores of industry people voting for Grammys back then."

Send comments to: Tim