Known Johnson

February 11, 2007

Grammy highlights

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 10:58 pm

I’m not surprised the Police “reunion” (let’s not forget they reunited for one night at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2003) wasn’t the brightest moment of the night – it just couldn’t be, not with all the hype that had been building around it. And playing only one song, and that song had to be “Roxanne” . . . well, that’s a bit of a let down. A great performance, nonetheless, but it should have been several songs. I was expecting at least “Be My Girl – Sally.”

No, the surprise for me was actually the night least-expected set, the “medley” of sorts from Corinne Bailey Rae, John Legend, and John Mayer. Rae had a lovely, soft soulful voice – I’ve only known her from the incredible number of promos that VH-1 ran for a while for an overly giddy song that sounded, thankfully, absolutely nothing like the acoustic number she played tonight, which segued nicely into Legend’s soulful piano ballad. Another surprise to me – I’d always thought this guy was more aligned with the hip-hop set, but listening to him here, it’s certain that he’s definitely in the legitimate soul/r&b camp, and not the joke that the genre has become today. Legend has, surprisingly, been put on my “list of things to consider.”

Mayer, of course, delivered exactly what I expected: “Gravity,” the bluesiest number on his latest album, and, sadly, it didn’t quite fit in. He clearly seemed a bit stifled with the surroundings because the live versions I’ve heard of this have soared where this one struggled to make it down the runway. It didn’t seem to hurt, however, as he won “pop vocal album” and “male pop vocal performance.”

I was pleased to see a tiny old Ornette Coleman get a lifetime achievement award of some kind, but a bit sad to see that he somehow managed to not take “best jazz instrumental. But at least Ornette got the spotlight for a few minutes, even if it left a few people in the audience looking around with faces registering obvious expressions of “who the hell is this guy?” (Edit: I had to change this because I initially wrote this just a tad upset that he lost to Michael Brecker, a very good sax player, who recently died, and I felt that the win was more for posterity, but I should have looked closer at the categories as Alissa informed me that they were in different ones. Coleman lost to Chick Corea. I can’t really comment there – never been a big Corea fan, myself, but I still have to say: he should have gotten the Grammy.)

But really did we need so friggin’ much Eagles? Holy hell, what was that about? I’ll tell you what it was about: torture. I cannot recall a tribute to an artist going on so long, so very, very long. At least it was slightly saved by have a very cute Carrie Underwood to distract from some of the pain.

And now it’s over for another year, thankfully, and in the meantime, we can all enjoy all the real music that the Grammies will, once again, ignore for the most part next year. Hopefully we can celebrate the few spots where they made a few smart choices again.



  1. Eagles? ya know what we really didn’t need? the Red Hot Chili Peppers. good gawd, that Dani California song is boring.

    Comment by Mark Saleski — February 13, 2007 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  2. I was just trying to forget that Chili Peppers performance even happened. I think the announcer was promising some mind-blowing performance and then they came out and did . . . that? I guess it was nice to see that they appreciate Ornette, however. But I can’t believe that’s the same band that put out Mother’s Milk and the albums before it. “Red Hot” no more, I guess.

    Comment by Tom — February 13, 2007 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

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