Jazz Honored by GRAMMY® Hall of Fame

by Alan Kurtz

Grammy at 50

In the wake of the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, which CBS telecast nationally in mid-February 2008, we temporarily set aside our usual aversion to show-business award ceremonies to reflect on the Big Picture, something we here at Jazz.com never tire of analyzing, contemplating, examining, inspecting, perusing, pondering, probing, scrutinizing, studying, surveying, vetting, viewing, weighing, and otherwise casting a watchful eye upon.

"The Hall of Fame Award," explains The Recording Academy's website, "was established in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old. Inductees are selected annually by a special member committee of eminent and knowledgeable professionals from all branches of the recording arts."

As of February 2008, 73 jazz singles and 51 jazz albums have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. However, in listing these inductees, The Recording Academy's website gives, like a POW, only name, rank and serial number. Jazz.com is therefore pleased to complement the Grammy honor roll with a detailed review of each HOF jazz track. Plus, since many HOF singles are drawn from HOF albums, our handy track reviews will guide you to those albums as well.

Let it be said, however, that while most of our reviews confirm Grammy's HOF choices, in some cases we beg to differ with the "eminent and knowledgeable professionals." Most notably, their 2007 election of Duke Ellington's "Cocktails For Two," hardly one of the Maestro's masterpieces. We also treat "Sing, Sing, Sing," "Cherokee," "Star Dust," "Frenesi," "Night Train" and "Mack The Knife" with less than reverence.

Sometimes Grammy herself seems downright befuddled by jazz, as in 2001's election of "Moody's Mood For Love," credited to saxophonist James Moody on the Prestige label in 1952. Although Prestige twice released "Moody's Mood For Love" (based on the standard "I'm In The Mood For Love") by James Moody—first as an instrumental recorded in Sweden in 1949, later with Eddie Jefferson's vocal, remade stateside in 1954—James Moody did not record "Moody's Mood For Love" in 1952.

What did distinguish 1952 in this regard, however, was Prestige's release of the bestselling "Moody's Mood For Love" by King Pleasure, singing Eddie Jefferson's lyric based on James Moody's improvised 1949 solo. Confused yet? Grammy's eminent and knowledgeable professionals were. To us, at least, it seems likely that King Pleasure's single, which put vocalese on the map, is Grammy's Hall of Fame choice, even if the poor dear didn't fully know what she was doing.

And while we're at it, we must take issue with Grammy's arbitrary classification of certain Hall of Famers as non-jazz. What, for instance, do the following have in common? We'll tell you in advance: according to Grammy, they're not jazz.

•  Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started" and Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade," two Swing Era stalwarts. Just because jazz happened then to be America's pop music doesn't mean it stopped being jazz.

•  Lena Horne's "Stormy Weather" and Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five's "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," 1940s hits by crossover artists thoroughly steeped in jazz.

•  Julie London's "Cry Me A River" and Peggy Lee's "Fever," pop-jazz delights from the 1950s. Barney Kessel's contribution to "Cry Me A River" and Shelly Manne's to "Fever" make those hits jazz irrespective of the singers, who resolve the argument anyway beyond dispute in jazz's favor.

•  Or how about Henry Mancini's crime-jazz classic "Peter Gunn," Mongo Santamaria's Latin-jazz favorite "Watermelon Man," or Getz & Gilberto's tall-&-tan-&-young-&-lovely "The Girl From Ipanema"? The latter's exclusion from jazz is especially silly, considering that the album it powered to smash success is enshrined in Grammy's Jazz HOF.

•  And don't even get us started on Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World." Not jazz! It's like saying the Statue of Liberty isn't in New York. Crimea River!

Reservations aside, we commend The Recording Academy's Hall of Fame for so prominently honoring jazz, and proudly salute the class of 2008 HOF jazz inductees:

Singles:
Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines, "Weather Bird" (1928)
Louis Armstrong, "St. Louis Blues" (1929)
Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra, "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" (1932)
Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, "King Porter Stomp" (1935)
Benny Goodman Sextet, "Seven Come Eleven" (1940)

Albums:
Etta Jones, Don't Go To Strangers (1960)
John Coltrane Quartet, Ballads (1962)

Complete List:
Grammy Hall of Fame Jazz Singles
 

January 21, 2008 · 2 comments

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GRAMMY® Hall of Fame Jazz Singles

"The Hall of Fame Award," explains The Recording Academy's website, "was established in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old. Inductees are selected annually by a special member committee of eminent and knowledgeable professionals from all branches of the recording arts."

As of February 2008, 73 jazz singles have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Jazz.com is pleased to complement the Grammy honor roll with a detailed review of each HOF jazz track. Note that the date in parentheses may not always correspond exactly, since Grammy lists release date, whereas Jazz.com prefers recording date.

Original Dixieland Jazz Band, "Darktown Strutters' Ball" (1917)
Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds, "Crazy Blues" (1920)
King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, "Chimes Blues" (1923)
Bessie Smith With Louis Armstrong, cornet, "St. Louis Blues" (1925)
Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five, "Heebie Jeebies" (1926)
Frankie Trumbauer And His Orchestra Featuring Bix Beiderbecke On Cornet, "Singin' The Blues" (1927)
Bix Beiderbecke, "In A Mist (Piano Solo)" (1927)
Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five, "West End Blues" (1928)
Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, "Black And Tan Fantasy" (1928)
Pine Top Smith, "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" (1928)
Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines, "Weather Bird" (1928)
Thomas "Fats" Waller, "Ain't Misbehavin' (Piano Solo)" (1929)
Louis Armstrong, "St. Louis Blues" (1929)
Duke Ellington, "Mood Indigo" (1931)
Cab Calloway & His Orchestra, "Minnie The Moocher" (1931)
Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra, "All Of Me" (1932)
Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra, "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" (1932)
Ethel Waters, "Stormy Weather" (1933)
Thomas "Fats" Waller, "Honeysuckle Rose" (1934)
Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, "Cocktails For Two" (1934)
Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France Featuring Django Reinhardt And Stephane Grappelli, "Djangology" (1935)
Benny Goodman And His Orchestra, "King Porter Stomp" (1935)
Benny Goodman Quartet, "Moonglow" (1936)
Count Basie, "One O'clock Jump" (1937)
Benny Goodman, "Sing, Sing, Sing" (1937)
Jimmie Lunceford And His Orchestra, "For Dancers Only" (1937)
Artie Shaw And His Orchestra, "Begin The Beguine" (1938)
Chick Webb And His Orchestra With Ella Fitzgerald, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" (1938)
Coleman Hawkins, "Body And Soul" (1939)
Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit" (1939)
Art Tatum, Piano Solo, "Tea For Two" (1939)
Benny Goodman And His Orchestra, Martha Tilton, Vocal And Ziggy Elman, Trumpet, "And The Angels Sing" (1939)
Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra, "Cherokee" (1939)
Woody Herman And His Orchestra, "Woodchopper's Ball" (1939)
Count Basie's Kansas City 7, "Lester Leaps In" (1939)
Artie Shaw And His Orchestra, "Star Dust" (1940)
Artie Shaw And His Orchestra, "Frenesi" (1940)
Benny Goodman Sextet, "Seven Come Eleven" (1940)
Billie Holiday, "God Bless The Child" (1941)
Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, "Take The "A" Train" (1941)
Lionel Hampton And His Orchestra, "Flying Home" (1942)
Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra, "Black, Brown And Beige" (1944)
King Cole Trio, "Straighten Up And Fly Right" (1944)
Lester Young Quartet, "Just You, Just Me" (1944)
Billie Holiday, "Embraceable You" (1944)
Stan Kenton And His Orchestra, "Artistry In Rhythm" (1945)
Billie Holiday, "Lover Man" (1945)
Dizzy Gillespie & His Sextet, "Groovin' High" (1945)
Charlie Parker And His Re-Boppers, "Billie's Bounce" (1945)
Charlie Parker Sextet, "Ornithology" (1946)
Sarah Vaughan, "If You Could See Me Now" (1946)
Django Reinhardt And Stephane Grappelli With The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France, "Nuages" (1946)
The King Cole Trio, "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" (1946)
Dizzy Gillespie & His Sextet, "A Night In Tunisia" (1946)
Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra, "Manteca" (1947)
Woody Herman And His Orchestra, "Four Brothers" (1948)
Thelonious Monk Quintet, "Round Midnight" (1948)
Woody Herman And His Orchestra, "Early Autumn" (1949)
Bud Powell Trio, "Un Poco Loco" (1951)
James Moody, "Moody's Mood For Love" (1952)
Jimmy Forrest, "Night Train" (1952)
Erroll Garner Trio, "Misty" (1954)
Count Basie & His Orchestra, "April In Paris" (1955)
Count Basie Orchestra, Joe Williams, Vocal, "Every Day I Have The Blues" (1955)
Louis Armstrong & The All-Stars, "Mack The Knife" (1955)
Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, "Diminuendo In Blue And Crescendo In Blue" (1956)
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, "Moanin'" (1958)
Nina Simone, "I Loves You, Porgy" (1959)
Ella Fitzgerald, "How High The Moon" (1960)
Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd, "Desafinado" (1962)
Dave Brubeck Quartet, "Take Five" (1963)
John Coltrane With Johnny Hartman, "Lush Life" (1963)
Chick Corea, "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs" (1968)

January 20, 2008 · 3 comments

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