From John Diliberto @ Echoes today:
The Echoes Blog
But after I got home, as I booted up my DVR to catch the awards show, I opened an email from Will Ackerman with the news that Jack DeJohnette had taken the New Age Grammy. It’s a crime that this amazing drummer has never won a jazz Grammy for any of the extraordinary albums he’s authored over the last 40 years or so. But it’s a sad day that when he finally wins, it’s for a generic New Age album that would’ve been cliched 30 years ago. DeJohnette getting this award is akin to Jethro Tull getting the heavy metal Grammy in 1988 for Crest of a Knave and Yusef Lateef for getting the New Age Grammy in 1987 for his hackneyed Little Symphony, an album which will be joined by DeJohnette’s Peace Time in the dustbin of forgotten Grammy Award winners. One would hope that the New Age category may get a bit more respect when a musician of this caliber wins, but not for this album. As a member of the Academy, my regrets to Peter Kater, Will Ackerman, Will Clipman and Ottmar Liebert, all of whom released superior albums.
Brian Eno, all he does is win Grammys for other bands. I don’t believe Coldplay even mentioned him in any of their three award speeches.
I was not going to mention it, but I have received so many emails that maybe I should explain why “The Scent of Light” did not win a Grammy yesterday.
I told Jon at our weekly breakfast together that I thought DeJohnette would win, not because his album is good – it is not – but because Grammy members can vote in any category they want. Yeah, that’s how Jethro Tull once won a Heavy Metal Grammy! (((funny that John and I were both reminded of that glorious piece of history)))
It means that any Jazz musician who sees DeJohnette’s name in the New Age category can vote for him, either because they think the great drummer deserves a Grammy at last, or because they think it would be a hoot to have him win in the New Age category. It did not help that somebody in the New Age category did not approve of iTunes streaming their music for Grammy voters. Per Grammy rules that meant that none of the New Age category nominations would be streamed and voters had to find the music elsewhere or vote without hearing the music…
Every time I get nominated we receive calls from publicists who specialise in Grammys. For thousands of dollars they offer to run “a campaign”, which means they send out CDs and letters and emails and solicit votes. I can never agree to that sort of thing, because it makes music feel like politics or at least business. Yes, I make a living from my music, but still, music is what I love doing and I find that politics and business need to be kept at arms length.
And now I shall get back to practicing and playing guitar.