Richard Pryor, one of my favorite comics, has left us for the big gig in the sky. I can't remember how or why, but he was one of the first comics I heard using the f-word. He also threw around the n-word like it was a beanbag chair. But despite their normally biting sting, his liberal usage of both of those words awarded him five Grammy awards for Best Comedy Album. I'll be watching 'See No Evil, Hear No Evil' in tribute tonight.
Illinois U.S. Senator Barack Obama has been nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Spoke Word Album for his publication 'Dreams From My Father.' Nominated in that same category are Garrison Keillor, Al Franken, Sean Penn, and George Carlin. If that isn't a motley crew, I don't know what is.
Yes, the Grammy nominations are out. Damn that was quick. It seems like only a few months ago Ray Charles was dominating the awards show. We watched Alicia and Jamie sing Ray, Melissa and Joss give Janice, and Queen Latifah prove her jazz pipes were solid gold, clad in diamonds. But that was then, and this is now.
Is it me or has it seemed like there is an excess of multiple nominees the last few years? Eight Grammy nominations here, four there, six over that way. Looking at the list of major nominations, you see so many of the names repeating, there has to be something strange going on behind the scenes.
Don't get me wrong, some of my favorites are at the top, but doesn't it seem a bit extreme? 'The Emancipation of Mimi' was a great album, but eight nominations? 'A Time To Love' by Stevie Wonder grabbed six?
Neil Portnow, President of The Recording Academy, spoke of 'a dynamic and vibrant community of music makers' yet the major awards all have so much overlap, I can't help but think there is some funny business going on behind the scenes.
My favorite award, 'Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical' has an interesting collection of remixers this year. The nominees are; Fever ( Adam Freeland Remix ) remixed by Adam Freeland, Flashdance ( Guetta & Garraud F*** Me I'm Famous Remix ) remixed by Joachim Garraud & David Guetta, Mr. Brightside ( Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix ) remixed by Jacques Lu Cont, Superfly ( Louie Vega EOL Mix ) remixed by Louie Vega, and What Is Hip? ( T.O.P.R.M.X. ) remixed by Meat Beat Manifesto.
Jacques Lu Cont won the award last year for 'It's My Life', but we'll see if he takes it home again. The Adam Freeland mix is an awesome retake on Sarah Vaughn's 'Fever.' But my favorite pick is the Louie Vega mix of Superfly. It's sweet and subtle; truly worthy of a master at work.
Gettin' Grammy with it in 4/4,