Jazz artist wins best album; Winehouse rolls

Even at 50 years old Grammy still has the capacity to shock.

Just as it appeared Amy Winehouse was poised to join Christopher Cross as the only artist to sweep the big four categories, Herbie Hancock’s “River: The Joni Letters” was named album of the year Sunday at Staples Center.

Winehouse won three of the four top categories – song, record and new artist – at the 50th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, while also securing two trophies in the pop categories. Her dominance was reflected, too, in the producer of the year win for the man who worked the board for several of her songs, Mark Ronson.

The win for Hancock and the five wins for Winehouse meant that once again Kanye West wrangled a healthy total – four trophies – but was denied a seat at the head of the table.

“Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse – you deserve this award as much as me,” West said of the album of the year award during his acceptance speech for the rap album nod. West also won for rap solo perf, rap perf by duo or group and rap song.

Little did West know it would be Hancock becoming the first jazz artist in 43 years to win album of the year. The last jazz artist to win that category was Stan Getz, who won in 1964 for “Getz/Gilberto.”

The Recording Academy, Hancock said in his acceptance speech, “is courageous for breaking the mold this time. And in doing so, I’m honored by the giants on whose shoulders I stand.”

It may well go down in history as the lowest selling album of the year winner as the Verve disc has sold but 52,000 copies since its release on Sept.25. Hancock, 67, registered his 11th and 12th wins on Sunday.

With a varied field contending for the top album prize, it generated a rare bright side. Each individual up for album of the year won for their respective genre categories: Vince Gill in country; Foo Fighters in rock; Winehouse in pop; and West in rap.

The list of multiple winners seemed shorter than in most years. Bruce Springsteen and Karen Clark-Sheard of the gospel group the Clark Sisters were the only triple winners; double winners were Hancock, the White Stripes, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, the late Michael Brecker, Mary J. Blige, the Clark Sisters and Leonard Slatkin.

For Winehouse, whose album has sold 1.6 million copies in the U.S., the victories have a phoenix symbolism to them. A tabloid character the last several months, her personal drama ramped up during Grammy week when she applied for and was denied a visa to travel to and perform at the ceremony. Not only did she want permission to leave the country, she had to leave a rehab facility. The refusal was reversed Friday, but the deadline for her to make it L.A. from London had passed.

It was a rare move by the Recording Academy and CBS to allow Winehouse to step out of rehab and beam in perfs of “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab” from a London studio in front of a small audience.

This year, however, Winehouse was the act the public was clamoring for and the one performer who could deliver a sufficient bump in viewership. Irony of the situation was not lost on her: She sang “Rehab,” with a sly, knowing smile in the early refrains and with a sense of defiance in the tune’s second half.

Winehouse’s victories could be viewed as a reward for the rise, crash and suggestion of recovery of a young artist. But for people who make a living crafting sound recordings, last year’s big winner, the Dixie Chicks’ “Taking the Long Way,” and Winehouse’s “Back to Black” are peas in a pop pod, two records that share a commonality in the professionalism of their construction..

The Winehouse and Hancock wins point once again to the Grammy voting body’s affinity for well-recorded music that taps into the familiar. The album by Hancock, whose formidable career dates back to the early 60s, is mostly songs written by Joni Mitchell with guest appearances from singers Norah Jones, Tina Turner and Corinne Bailey Rae.

In Winehouse’s case, the sound is a throwback to early 1970s horn-driven soul music – the sound of Memphis and Watts – given a bit of street-smart sass in songs populated by cheaters and mistreaters.

The 50th, which honored recordings released between Oct. 1, 2006 and Sept. 30, 2007, received an understated opening – early ’60s black-and-white footage of Frank Sinatra explaining the Grammy which gave way to Alicia Keys performing “Learnin’ the Blues” with footage of a young Chairman of the Board. It was followed by Carrie Underwood – whose outfit was a bit of a Sinatra homage, albeit to Nancy – performing “Before He Cheats” with a “Stomp”-inspired ensemble.

History, more than music of 2007, was the cornerstone of the telecast which showcased the Beatles, Sinatra, soul legends of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, George Gershwin, ’50s rockers, crooners and Cher.

The Beatles were celebrated with performance pieces by Cirque du Soleil and cast members from “Across the Universe”; Beyonce danced and name-checked in song femme artists from over the years – Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughn, Mahalia Jackson, Donna Summer and others – before introducing Tina Turner for a three-hit medley

Telecast, during which 10 awards were handed out, focused consistently on connecting past and present. Even the pairing of Kanye West and the electronic act Daft Punk had a heavy dose of the ’80s from the computer-tweaked voice to the dance beat to West’s slatted sunglasses.

One hundred Grammys were handed out in the two-hour, 45-minute “pre-tel ceremony,” which was expanded to include three musical performances. Terrance Simien and Zydeco Experience, one of the acts that performed, won the inaugural zydeco-Cajun trophy; his wife Cynthia had campaigned for the creation of the category for six years.

Other performers, Pinetop Perkins, 94, and Honeyboy Edwards, 92, won in the traditional blues category for a disc they made with the late Henry Townsend and Robert Lockwood Jr. It was the first Grammy win for the musicians.

Current presidential candidate Barack Obama defeated former presidents Clinton and Carter to win the spoken word album trophy.

For the third year in a row, Daniel Ho, Wayne Wong and their team that assembles Hawaiian slack key guitar compilations won the Hawaiian Music nod. Patti Austin won for the first time in her 39-year recording career. And Jimmy Sturr won his 17th Grammy in the polka category.

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Rehab – Amy Winehouse; Mark Ronson, producer; Tom Elmhirst, engineer/mixer; Track from: “Back To Black” [Universal Republic Records]

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
“River: The Joni Letters” – Herbie Hancock; Leonard Cohen, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza & Tina Turner, featured artists; Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein, producers; Helik Hadar, engineer/mixer; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer [Verve]

RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
“Umbrella” – Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z; Track from: “Good Girl Gone Bad” [Def Jam Recordings]

COUNTRY ALBUM
“These Days” – Vince Gill [MCA Nashville]

ROCK ALBUM
“Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” – Foo Fighters [Roswell/RCA Records]

RAP ALBUM
“Graduation” – Kanye West [Roc-A-Fella Records]

BEST NEW ARTIST
Amy Winehouse

R&B SONG
“No One” – Dirty Harry, Kerry Brothers & Alicia Keys, songwriters (Alicia Keys) [J Records/MBK Entertainment; Publishers: Lellow Productions/EMI April Music, Book Of Daniel Music/EMI Music Publishing, D. Harry Productions]

SONG OF THE YEAR
“Rehab” – Amy Winehouse, songwriter (Amy Winehouse); Track from: “Back To Black” [Universal Republic Records; Publisher: EMI Music Publishing]

FEMALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“No One” – Alicia Keys [J Records/MBK Entertainment]

FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Rehab” – Amy Winehouse; Track from: “Back To Black” [Universal Republic Records]

MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“What Goes Around…Comes Around” – Justin Timberlake [Jive]

POP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL
“Makes Me Wonder” – Maroon 5; Track from: “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” [Octone/A&M Records]

ROCK PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL
“Icky Thump” – The White Stripes; Track from: “Icky Thump” [Third Man/Warner Bros.]

ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM
“We Are The Night” – The Chemical Brothers [Astralwerks]

TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
“Call Me Irresponsible” – Michael Bublé [143 Records/Reprise]

SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Radio Nowhere” – Bruce Springsteen; Track from: “Magic” [Columbia]

HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE
“The Pretender” – Foo Fighters; [Roswell/RCA Records]

METAL PERFORMANCE
“Final Six” – Slayer; Track from: “Christ Illusion” [American Recording/Columbia]

ROCK INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE
“Once Upon A Time In The West” – Bruce Springsteen; Track from: “We All Love Ennio Morricone” [Sony Classical]

ROCK SONG
“Radio Nowhere” – Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen); Track from: “Magic” [Columbia; Publisher: Bruce Springsteen]

ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
“Icky Thump” – The White Stripes [Third Man/Warner Bros.]

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL
Mark Ronson
“Back To Black” (Amy Winehouse)
“Littlest Things” (Lily Allen)
“Rehab” (Amy Winehouse)
“Version” (Mark Ronson)
“You Know I’m No Good” (Amy Winehouse)

BLUEGRASS ALBUM
“The Bluegrass Diaries” – Jim Lauderdale [Yep Roc Records]

JAZZ VOCAL ALBUM
“Avant Gershwin” – Patti Austin [Rendezvous Entertainment]

COMEDY ALBUM
“The Distant Future” – Flight Of The Conchords [Sub Pop]

COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK ALBUM FOR MOTION PICTURE, TELEVISION OR OTHER VISUAL MEDIA
“Love” – (The Beatles) [Apple Records/Capitol Records]

DANCE RECORDING
“LoveStoned/I Think She Knows – Justin Timberlake; Nate (Danja) Hills, Timbaland & Justin Timberlake, producers; Jimmy Douglass & Timbaland, mixers Track from: “FutureSex/LoveSounds” [Jive/Zomba]

ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE
“Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps” – Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic) [Deutsche Grammophon]

POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
“Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)” – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss; [Rounder Records]

POP INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE
“One Week Last Summer” – Joni Mitchell; Track from: “Shine” [Hear Music]

POP INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM
“The Mix-Up” – Beastie Boys [Capitol Records]

POP VOCAL ALBUM
“Back To Black” – Amy Winehouse [Universal Republic Records]

CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ALBUM
“River: The Joni Letters” – Herbie Hancock [Verve]

CONTEMPORARY R&B ALBUM
“Because Of You” – Ne-Yo [Def Jam Recordings]

RAP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP
“Southside” – Common Featuring Kanye West; Track from: “Finding Forever” [Geffen]

TRADITIONAL BLUES ALBUM
Last Of The Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas
Henry James Townsend, Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins, Robert Lockwood, Jr. & David
“Honeyboy” Edwards [The Blue Shoe Project]

CONTEMPORARY BLUES ALBUM
The Road To Escondido
JJ Cale & Eric Clapton [Reprise Records/Warner Music Group]

R&B ALBUM
“Funk This” -Chaka Khan [Burgundy Records]

URBAN/ALTERNATIVE PERFORMANCE
“Daydreamin'” – Lupe Fiasco Featuring Jill Scott; Track from: “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor” [1st & 15th/Atlantic]

MALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Stupid Boy” – Keith Urban; Track from: “Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing” [Capitol Records Nashville]

COUNTRY SONG
“Before He Cheats” – Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood); Track from: “Some Hearts” [19 Recordings/Arista Nashville; Publishers: That Little House Music, Mighty Underdog Music/Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing]

FEMALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood; Track from: “Some Hearts” [19 Recordings/Arista Nashville]

COUNTRY PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL
“How Long” – Eagles [Eagles Recording Co. II]

COUNTRY COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
“Lost Highway” – Willie Nelson & Ray Price; Track from: “Last Of The Breed” [Lost Highway Records]

GOSPEL PERFORMANCE (Tie)
“Blessed & Highly Favored” – The Clark Sisters
Track from: Live – One Last Time [EMI Gospel]
“Never Gonna Break My Faith” – Aretha Franklin & Mary J. Blige (Featuring The Harlem Boys Choir)
Track from: Bobby: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Island Def Jam]

JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM, INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP
“Pilgrimage” – Michael Brecker [Heads Up International]

LARGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE ALBUM
“A Tale Of God’s Will (A Requiem For Katrina)” – Terence Blanchard [Blue Note]

RAP SOLO PERFORMANCE
“Stronger” – Kanye West; Track from: “Graduation” [Roc-A-Fella Records]

RAP SONG
“Good Life” – A. Davis, F. Najm & K. West, songwriters (J. Ingram & Q. Jones, songwriters) (Kanye West Featuring T-Pain); Track from: “Graduation” [Roc-A-Fella; Publishers: Very Good Beats/Hip Hop Since 1978, Warner-Tamerlane Punlishing, Yellow Brick Road Music/Eiseman Music]

NEW AGE ALBUM
“Crestone” – Paul Winter Consort [Living Music]

LATIN JAZZ ALBUM
“Funk Tango” – Paquito D’Rivera Quintet? [Paquito Records]

MALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Future Baby Mama” – Prince; Track from: “Planet Earth” [Columbia/NPG Records]

R&B PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
“Disrespectful” – Chaka Khan Featuring Mary J. Blige [Burgundy/Sony/BMG]

TRADITIONAL R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“In My Songs” – Gerald Levert; Track from: “In My Songs” [Atlantic]

ZYDECO OR CAJUN MUSIC ALBUM
Live! Worldwide
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience [AIM Trading Group P/L]

POLKA ALBUM
Come Share The Wine
Jimmy Sturr And His Orchestra [Rounder]

SOUTHERN, COUNTRY OR BLUEGRASS GOSPEL ALBUM
Salt Of The Earth
Ricky Skaggs & The Whites [Skaggs Family Records]

ROCK OR RAP GOSPEL ALBUM
Before The Daylight’s Shot
Ashley Cleveland [204 Records]

TRADITIONAL SOUL GOSPEL ALBUM
Live – One Last Time
The Clark Sisters [EMI Gospel]

POP/CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL ALBUM
A Deeper Level
Israel And New Breed [Integrity Music]

CONTEMPORARY R&B GOSPEL ALBUM
Free To Worship
Fred Hammond [Verity]

GOSPEL SONG
“Blessed & Highly Favored” – Karen Clark-Sheard, songwriter (The Clark Sisters)
Track from: Live – One Last Time [EMI Gospel; Publisher: K. Sheard's Melody]

JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL SOLO
“Anagram” – Michael Brecker; Track from: “Pilgrimage” [Heads Up International]

REGGAE ALBUM
Mind Control
Stephen Marley [Tuff Gong/Ghetto Youths/Universal Republic]

TRADITIONAL FOLK ALBUM
Dirt Farmer
Levon Helm [Dirt Farmer Music/Vanguard Records]

NORTEÑO ALBUM
Detalles Y Emociones
Los Tigres Del Norte [Fonovisa Records]

TEJANO ALBUM
Before The Next Teardrop Falls
Little Joe & La Familia [TDI Records]

TRADITIONAL WORLD MUSIC ALBUM
African Spirit
Soweto Gospel Choir [Shanachie Entertainment

CONTEMPORARY WORLD MUSIC ALBUM
Djin Djin
Angelique Kidjo [Razor & Tie Direct/Starbucks Entertainment]

CONTEMPORARY FOLK/AMERICANA ALBUM
Washington Square Serenade
Steve Earle [New West Records]

NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC ALBUM
Totemic Flute Chants
Johnny Whitehorse [Silver Wave Records]

MEXICAN/MEXICAN-AMERICAN ALBUM
100% Mexicano
Pepe Aguilar [EMI Televisa]

HAWAIIAN MUSIC ALBUM
Treasures Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Various Artists
Daniel Ho, George Kahumoku, Jr., Paul Konwiser & Wayne Wong, producers [Daniel Ho Creations]

BANDA ALBUM
Te Va A Gustar
El Chapo [Disa]

LATIN URBAN ALBUM
Residente O Visitante
Calle 13 [Norte]

LATIN ROCK/ALTERNATIVE ALBUM
No Hay Espacio
Black:Guayaba [Machete Music]

LATIN POP ALBUM
El Tren De Los Momentos
Alejandro Sanz [Warner Music Latina]

CHORAL PERFORMANCE
“Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem” – Simon Rattle, conductor; Simon Halsey, chorus master (Thomas Quasthoff & Dorothea Röschmann; Rundfunkchor Berlin; Berliner Philharmoniker) [EMI Classics]

OPERA RECORDING
“Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel” – Sir Charles Mackerras, conductor; Rebecca Evans, Jane Henschel & Jennifer Larmore; Brian Couzens, producer (Sarah Coppen, Diana Montague & Sarah Tynan; New London Children’s Choir; Philharmonia Orchestra) [Chandos Opera In English]

INSTRUMENTAL SOLOIST(S) PERFORMANCE (WITH ORCHESTRA)
“Barber/Korngold/Walton: Violin Concertos” – Bramwell Tovey, conductor; James Ehnes (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) [CBC Records]

INSTRUMENTAL SOLOIST PERFORMANCE (WITHOUT ORCHESTRA)
“Beethoven Sonatas, Vol. 3″ – Garrick Ohlsson [Bridge Records, Inc.]

CHAMBER MUSIC PERFORMANCE
“Strange Imaginary Animals” – Eighth Blackbird [Cedille Records]

CLASSICAL VOCAL PERFORMANCE
“Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs” – Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (James Levine; Boston Symphony Orchestra) [Nonesuch Records]

CLASSICAL CONTEMPORARY COMPOSITION
“Made In America” – Joan Tower (Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Nashville Symphony Orchestra); Track from: “Tower: Made In America” [Naxos]

SMALL ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE (WITH OR WITHOUT CONDUCTOR)
“Stravinsky: Apollo, Concerto In D; Prokofiev: 20 Visions Fugitives” – Yuri Bashmet, conductor; Moscow Soloists [Onyx Classics]

CLASSICAL CROSSOVER ALBUM
“A Love Supreme: The Legacy Of John Coltrane” – Turtle Island Quartet [Telarc]

REMIXED RECORDING, NON-CLASSICAL
“Bring The Noise (Benny Benassi Sfaction Remix)” – Benny Benassi, remixer (Public Enemy); Track from: “Bring The Noise/Give It Up EP” [Ultra Records]

SURROUND SOUND ALBUM
“Love” – Paul Hicks, surround mix engineer; Tim Young, surround mastering engineer; George Martin & Giles Martin, surround producers (The Beatles) [Apple/Capitol Records]

MUSICAL ALBUM FOR CHILDREN
“A Green And Red Christmas” – The Muppets; Ted Kryczko & Ed Mitchel, producers [Walt Disney Records]

SPOKEN WORD ALBUM FOR CHILDREN
“Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows” – Jim Dale [Listening Library]

SPOKEN WORD ALBUM
“The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream” – Barack Obama [Random House Audio]

MUSICAL SHOW ALBUM
“Spring Awakening” – Duncan Sheik, producer; Duncan Sheik, composer; Steven Sater, lyricist (Original Broadway Cast With Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele & Others) [Decca Broadway]

RECORDING PACKAGE
“Cassadaga” – Zack Nipper, art director (Bright Eyes) [Saddle Creek]

BOXED OR SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE
“What It Is!: Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977)” – Masaki Koike, art director (Various Artists) [Rhino]

ALBUM NOTES
“John Work, III: Recording Black Culture” – Bruce Nemerov, album notes writer (Various Artists) [Spring Fed Records]

HISTORICAL ALBUM
“The Live Wire – Woody Guthrie In Performance 1949″ – Nora Guthrie & Jorge Arévalo Mateus, compilation producers; Jamie Howarth, Steve Rosenthal, Warren Russell-Smith & Dr. Kevin Short, mastering engineers (Woody Guthrie) [Woody Guthrie Publications]

ENGINEERED ALBUM, NON-CLASSICAL
“Beauty & Crime” – Tchad Blake, Cameron Craig, Emery Dobyns & Jimmy Hogarth, engineers (Suzanne Vega) [Blue Note]

SHORT-FORM MUSIC VIDEO
“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” – Johnny Cash; Tony Kaye, video director; Rachel Curl, video producer [American Records/Lost Highway Records]

LONG-FORM MUSIC VIDEO
“The Confessions Tour” – Madonna; Jonas Akerlund, video director; Sara Martin & David May, video producers [Warner Bros.]

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