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Report From the Grammys

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Jim Eigo of Jazz Promo Services sent along an email yesterday summing up what he saw and heard at the Grammys last Sunday. He flew out to Los Angeles to represent several Grammy nominees, and he took his two kids, Agnes, 16, and Jamie, 19. I asked Jim if he'd mind if I shared his email with you, and he said by all means. Here's his blow-by-blow...

“Soon after arriving, we stumbled on an armed robbery in progress on Hollywood Blvd. We thought it was a movie shoot at first, but it turned out to be the real thing.

“Walking back to our hotel after Mexican food, we saw a guy have a heart attack through the window of a restaurant. Terrible.

“Also staying at our hotel were body builders attending a fitness expo. Sculpted bodies mingling with music industry types was pretty amusing.

“At the pre-telecast ceremony held at the Nokia Theater next to the Staples Center, the overall enthusiasm was very low. Gloria Gaynor summed up the vibe succinctly when she said to the audience, 'Are you alive out there?'

“After each category (there were 74), the losers got up and left.

“A special all-star jazz quartet featuring Joe Lovano, Robert Glasper, Nathan East and Billy Hart lifted the spirits to the level of polite applause.

“The guest presenter for the jazz awards was John Waters.

“The most emotional moment came when the children of the late Gil Friesen, producer of Twenty Feet From Stardom, accepted his Grammy for Best Music Film. That received a standing ovation.

“After we left the pre-telecast ceremony, we ate at Smash Burger outside the Nokia Theater. Amusing to see everybody in black tie, gowns and spiked heels waiting on line for burgers.

“For the big live show at the Staples Center, our seats were in the nose-bleed section. When you attend the show that's broadcast live, they announce you have 30 seconds to return to your seats. Funny to see everyone scramble. 

“Grammy pet peeve:  When they used the small circular stage, they didn't project the performers on the jumbo screen. So when Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga sang Cheek to Cheek, we had to strain to watch.

“Buried in the live telecast were Herbie Hancock, who accompanied Ed Sheeran along with Questlove and John Mayer, and George Wein, who received the NARAS Special Merit Award.

“We hit the Grammy after-party at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but by the time we arrived there wasn't a place to stand, sit or eat.

“We went to the jazz lounge to hear Justin DiCioccio and the 2015 Grammy Camp Jazz Session band. Then we went back to the main after-party to hear British pop-soul songstress Jessie J, who delivered a powerhouse set that had everybody up and dancing.

“Our flight home on Monday was cancelled due to the weather, so we flew into Washington, D.C., rented a car and drove back on I-95, passing the massive pile-up outside of Trenton.

“Finally made it home at 2 a.m. In L.A., it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. But at least my kids didn’t come down with the measles."

JazzWax clips: In case you missed the televised show, here are my three favorite performances:

Here's Annie Lennox (with Hozier) singing I Put a Spell on You (move the bar up to 2:03)...



Here's Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga singing Cheek to Cheek...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

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