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Grammy Notebook

By admin Published: February 11, 2008

Morris, Jimmy (Photo from Los Angeles Times)

Well, I have had "Jungle Love" stuck in my head all morning ...

I tried to do the civilized thing where sleep is concerned: record the Grammys last night and skim through for highlights this AM. Worked reasonably well, too, except that I forgot that the Grammys might run over (which they did). So I didn't hear all of Herbie Hancock's speech. Did get to see Quincy Jones picking up Herbie's speech notes, though.

Things of interest:

The child-like, amazed look on Amy Winehouse's face when she was on camera after winning one of her five Grammys. Considering how much newsprint (and online space) her antics have consumed, and how lived-in she looks, it's easy to forget that she's just 24. So it was kind of sweet to see her face, and to see her band crowd her for a group hug after she won.

As for her performance, vocally fine if sometimes visually uncertain. She did not always look steady on her legs, and seemed very conscious of something at her feet (monitor? lyrics sheet?) But she still sounded good. Could have done with a few less shout-outs to her husband, but by all accounts she dotes on him. And, as I said, she's pretty young.

Have already noted that I have "Jungle Love" stuck, so you can pretty well figure that I liked the reunited Time with Rihanna. Morris Day! Morris Day!

But my killer performer of the night is Alicia Keys, both for a monster rendition of "No One" and the duet with video of Frank Sinatra on "Learning the Blues." I'm not a fan of these duets-from-the-grave because only one of the singers is actually performing a duet, and even here, I would have been intrigued to see a living, active Frank's interplay with Keys. But as these things go, this made me smile.

Alicia and Frank (LA Times photo)

Also liked Kanye's tribute to his mother. And yes, he took his time during his acceptance speech. But I was with him when he chided the orchestra for its hurry-up music when he was trying to talk about his mother.

Less thrilling:

Underuse of Aretha Franklin in the inspirational-song medley. She's there. She's singing gospel. Why would we go to other singers.

Carrie Underwood, overwhelmed by the stage production.

Beyonce and Tina Turner. It looked at times as if Beyonce was having trouble keeping up with Tina.

Keely Smith and Kid Rock. I don't know if it was underrehearsed or if Smith was simply confused, but it was a mess.

The Beatles tribute.

John Fogerty with Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. The transitions from Fogerty's song to the oldies were unwieldy, and Jerry Lee seemed to be in his own bubble -- playing his song and that's it -- while Fogerty and Jerry Lee actually worked together at times.

The way the HD feed went non-HD every time Channel 19 put up a school-closing crawl.

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