Grammy Goof: New Age and Polka Dots

I skipped watching the Grammys Sunday night to catch a live performance by Jon Hassell that took a deep diving expedition guided by fourth world semaphores and jazz signposts.  (See earlier blog.)

Peace Time

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.

Random Observations:
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.

Steve Wonder playing with the overwrought boy band, The Jonas Brothers:  They can only hope to have a fraction of his genius.

Carrie Underwood had me thinking that there’s no difference between modern country and mainstream rock, but then Kenny Chesney came on, plunging deep into a soulful country vein, complete with cowboy hat, to remind me that there is.

When is Herbie Hancock going to start looking his age?

Why is it that whenever a rap artist came on to perform with a pop singer the song turned to crap.   Jay-Z rapping  on Coldplay’s “Lost?”   Does everything t have to have a rap component or is that just me?

Rappers also detracted from the sightof  M.I.A.’s polka dot leotard bikini over her 9 months and calling very pregnant belly.

How many awards given in a 3.5 hour broadcast? 10  That’s one award every 18 minutes.

Winners at

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

  3 comments for “Grammy Goof: New Age and Polka Dots

  1. “How many awards given in a 3.5 hour broadcast? 10 That’s one award every 18 minutes.”

    wow, that is truly pathetic. it also reinforces my lack of interest in the whole event. haven’t watched in years.

    herbie’s baddass though! i’ll have to check the youtube footage.

  2. For another perspective on this, check-out Grammy nominee Ottmar Liebert’s blog:
    EXCERPT: 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.

  3. Dear John,

    I have been a fan of your show for many years, and we greatly appreciate all of the support you have given our artists over the years.

    That said, I am really surprised (and even a little offended) by your vocal opposition to Jack’s nomination in this category, and even more vocal opposition to his win. This is a perfectly valid recording in this field, and it is a well-deserved win.

    “Peace Time” is Jack’s second recording made specifically for the purpose of *relaxation*. This, and it’s predecessor, “Music in the Key of Om” (also a New Age Grammy nominee) were made with a ‘relaxation session’ in mind. They both consist of a single piece of music, 60 minutes in length, with music that contains movement, but are still non-intrusive enough to accompany a yoga session, massage session, healing session, etc.

    I would imagine that you, John, of all people, would have an appreciation of what this music was created for. It would be hard to argue that this is not fitting music for the ‘New Age World’ or New Age-type activity. These two records ACTUALLY WORK – you put them on, and they relax you. John, if memory serves me, you were a supporter of Jack’s first relaxation disc.

    Also, not to take anything away from Mr. Liebert (whose music I appreciate), but Jack’s participation and success in this field is absolutely valid. Jack has been incorporating New Age concepts into his music for a long time. Jack and his family live in the Hudson Valley, where ‘New Age’ concepts are a part of the normal lifestyle. Jack’s wife Lydia is a vibrational healer, and his daughter Minya is certified Chinese herbalist and message therapist and acupuncturist. He also has supporters high up in the sound healing community. Fact is, Jack DeJohnette has more New Age cred than most.

    In late 2007, the editors at eMusic, a very important digital retailer for Indie music, selected “Peace Time” as one of the most overlooked albums of 2007. For most of the following year, “Peace Time” was their top New Age download. This was a huge boost to Jack’s New Age audience, and no doubt an influence in his 2nd New Age Grammy Nomination, and his 1st New Age Grammy win.

    Mr. Diliberto, Mr. Liebert – your careers have been built on musical diversity and universality, so for you to publicly discredit or dismiss Jack’s win is really disappointing. I beg you both to reconsider your statements, and to appreciate this accomplishment in its appropriate context.

    Even better – why don’t you have Jack on the show to talk about healing through music!


    Doug Yoel
    President, Now Forward Music
    Managing: Golden Beams Productions, Disques Dreyfus (USA), Kindred Rhythm Music Group

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