Most Grammy nominees are swept under the rug
Gordon Goodwin is a 2007 nominee, as well as a past Grammy winner and the proud owner of three Emmys. But don’t watch for him during the ceremony; he’ll likely be watching from home.
“Most of us nominees don’t go to the Grammy telecast,” says the big-band leader, up for this year’s best instrumental arrangement kudo for a new orchestration of his “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” theme, a category he aced last year for his work on “The Incredibles.” “They have an afternoon ceremony where they give out some 90 Grammys. Then they have the telecast where they give out 10.”
Goodwin is that rarest of breeds — a gainfully employed musician. He’s been orchestrating and scoring films and cartoons for nearly 20 years, all the while finding time to perform and record with his 18-piece Big Phat Band.
And while he admits that having “Grammy-winner” appended to his name helps open doors (“at least it makes agents say, ‘well, this guy’s serious’ “), he can’t help but take some umbrage that his life’s work merits less Grammy coverage than Fergie’s reaction shots.
“There’s a lot of resentment among jazz and classical musicians for the huge amount of work that it takes to play these kinds of music, to watch our culture celebrate music that doesn’t,” Goodwin says, adding: “When was the last time you saw a jazz artist on the show?”
He readily acknowledges that large-ensemble jazz is hardly the stuff of primetime these days, although it’s cold comfort. “I know that big bands aren’t in the mainstream, but it’s still my mainstream,” he says.
At least Goodwin is in good company on Grammy’s editing room floor.
“When I look at the list of nominees, I see Chick Corea,” he says. “I see my name right next to John Williams. What’s better than that?”