Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jazz at the Top: Fans Ask Why

We would like to impute good taste to our Republic with the announcement that jazz giant Herbie Hancock's River is the Grammy winner for Album of the Year.

But with critics like Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune, we can't.

Kot calls the award a lifetime achievement surrogate for a recording that isn't the artist's best, given in a year when members of the academy didn't want to vote for other nominees for various nonmusical reasons.

We wonder whether it wasn't also a vote, like the Oscar votes for An Inconvenient Truth and Nobel votes for Gore's warm globaloney, that is a surrogate for the presidential election. Herbie is notable as an Obama Brahmin, after all.

But, to borrow a phrase, whatever. Listening to an OK Herbie Hancock recording is better than listening to the best pop recording in any year.


Bryan D said...

It is my opinion that between the performance of Rhapsody in Blue, the awarding of a lifetime achievement award for Max Roach, VInce Gill's comment "Wow, I just got handed a music award by the Beatles; bet you haven't had that happen to you yet, have you, Kanye?", and the aforementioned honoring of Herbie Hancock, the good parts of this year's Grammy's almost make up for the fact that I was forced to listen to Kanye ramble, Will.i.am do whatever it is that he considers performing, and a drunken Kid Rock try to stand in as half of one of the greatest jazz duets of all time.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

We agree that it was an excellent show. And we join in celebrating the performance of "Rhapsody in Blue." However, we urge gentle readers who enjoyed that particulr segment to visit the professional orchestra of their choice. The truth is that the performance was extremely ordinary (the orchestra was a bit awkward, the soloists self-conscious). One can hear music as good as that with just about any major or regional symphony orchestra, which is not to say that the Grammy nod-to-classical-and-jazz was bad, but that the world's orchestras are that good.

Also, we thought Kid Rock did a respectable imitation of Louis Prima (King Louie from Jungle Book for our younger gentle readers).

Pat Rock said...

"Listening to an OK Herbie Hancock recording is better than listening to the best pop recording in any year."

False. That would that mean that an OK Herbie Hancock album is better than the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds which is the best pop album ever recorded, and is among the best albums, period, of any genre.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of orchestras, I really liked the Foo Fighter performance until that very strange & long orchestral interlude. It's great for rock bands to have a string section, but orchestra's (and especially conductors) detract.

As for Kid Rock, my wife, who has never had a positive thing to say about him, was very impressed.

Matt C

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Pat, you differ from Vince Gill, (Mr. Amy Grant!) who is quoted as having said that Herbie is a better musician than all the other Grammy nominees put together.