Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Our 2016 Grammy Recap

A day late due to our new SWEET 16 Feature but I just can't resist talking about the three hours I wasted Monday Night watching this year's Grammy Awards!!!

Thanks, Kent, for the info about one of my all time favorite bands, The Eagles.  I even met Joe Walsh once while back. I guess I will have to "grin and bear" this year's Grammys till I get to the "good stuff."  Patience is a virtue.  

After a couple of great Grammy Awards shows over the past two years I found this year's event to be extremely disappointing ... I can't believe I devoted over three hours to it. (I think in the end I can say that I actually enjoyed about 20-25 minutes!) 

I, too, was looking forward to The Eagles' performance ... an emotional experience, I'm sure, for all parties concerned ... but I still found it somewhat lackluster.  (Jackson Browne forgetting the words to the song he helped co-write to launch their career was a bit disappointing, too.)  

I know it had to be hard coming together and performing for the first time without their leader, Glenn Frey, but honestly statues of The Eagles probably would have shown more life on stage. 

The so-called big events of the evening also fell flat for me ... Lady Ga Ga's tribute to David Bowie was glitz, glamour and noise ... Adele was off pitch more often than on ... and I was about ready to turn in my "I love music" card several times during the high-pitched screaming and strobe light effects of Kendrick Lamar.  If this is what constitutes as "music" these days, I'll keep living in the past.  

Much of the same could be said of the "highly anticipated" (?) debut of The Hollywood Vampires (featuring Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry), who may have set a new record for the longest moment of sustained noise without a single hint of melody.  (Honest to God, it was almost enough to make me want to dig out my Yoko Ono records again ... keyword: almost) 

Then again, a guy like The Weeknd can go up there and absolutely slay his audience through the pure power and magic of his voice.  The same can be said of the extremely short presentation of Miguel's performance of Michael Jackson's "She's Out Of My Life", accompanied by Greg Phillinganes on piano, who also played on Michael's original recording on his "Off The Wall" album.

(How boring was most of the show?  Let's just say that it's kind of sad that three of the best minutes in the three-plus hours were Gwen Stefani's new music video / Target commercial ... but it was catchy as hell and fun to watch ... and probably the best thing she's recorded in years!) 

Don't get me wrong ... there were a few high points ... I absolutely LOVED "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town ... Karen Fairchild has got to have one of the most beautiful, crystal clear voices out there today ... absolutely stunning.  (I wasn't familiar with this song at all until I bought the 2016 Grammy Nominees CD ... and have played it DOZENS of times since.)  Their subtlety orchestrated version gave the song a new dimension ... but I still prefer the original, stripped down version that won them the awards for Best Country Duo / Group Performance and Best Country Song. 

Stevie Wonder saluting Earth, Wind and Fire with Pentatronix was OK ... and I thought the tribute to Lionel Richie was quite well done (even if the most exciting part of that performance was waiting to see if Demi Lovato would fall out of her jacket) ... and who'd have EVER thought that after all the crazy theatrics and special effects thrown at us over the course of this long, drawn-out affair that the single best performance of the night was the tribute to B.B. King?  That was simply a case of letting the music do all the talking ... and it was absolutely outstanding. 

I salute Taylor Swift for accepting her Album Of The Year Award and, in the most classy and professional way, putting down Kanye West for taking ANY credit in her career, after he's made it a point to upstage her on a couple of previous occasions.  And there is absolutely NO doubt in my mind that "Uptown Funk" was the Record Of The Year ... again, thanks to its drawbacks to the vintage funk of the '60's and '70's.  

Sometimes it takes a gathering of this nature to make me realize that music hasn't really "grown" in a positive way of late ... which makes those artists capable of pulling off moments like the ones described above REALLY shine and stand head and shoulders above the rest.  (kk)  

That would be Steuart Smith, who's been with them for several years now (since the departure of Don Felder.)  Although never officially named an Eagle, (the core band to the end consisted of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit), Smith was a frequent songwriting contributor and collaborator and even shared producing credit on the band's last album "Long Road Out Of Eden".  (kk)    

No Randy Meisner?
Bob Rush
Randy's been in poor health for a few years now ... and, from the sounds of things, both mentally and physically.  As such he didn't take part in The History Of The Eagles tours either.  And, of course, Don Felder will most likely never be welcome again!  (Watch the documentary ... absolutely fascinating!)  kk  

With all the great music the Eagles gave us through the years I would have thought the Grammy tribute last night to Glenn Frey would have been more than one song. 
Ga Ga's medley tribute to Bowie included parts of 10 songs. Of course Glen was only one part of the Eagles, but the heart is a big part.
Danny Guilfoyle
I agree, especially when weighed against the two screeching songs devoted to remembering Lemmy and Motorhead.  I found Lady Ga Ga's performance to be far more spectacle than meaningful tribute ... it was less about the music and more about her presentation of it.  Chalk it up to a misstep as this is one extremely talented performer.  God, we've lost SO many great artists over the past year ... that's one thing the Grammys really drove home.  It was a night of tributes.  (Speaking of which, if David Bowie deserved TEN songs and Motorhead deserved TWO songs, how on earth did The Eagles ... and B.B. King, who had a 60+ year career, only warrant one?  Thankfully, it was one of the best performances of the night ... he would have been proud.) 
And how odd to think that MONTHS ago it was determined that Jefferson Airplane and Earth, Wind and Fire would both receive lifetime achievement awards only to have founding members of each group pass away just weeks before the telecast.
I read that Natalie Cole's family was not very happy with the tribute paid to her ... since it showcased her father as much as it did Natalie, virtually overlooking her entire "solo" career.
And what is it about LL Cool J that has convinced the Grammy folks that he should be the permanent host of these proceedings?  I don't get that one at all!  He shows absolutely no charisma and adds nothing to the proceedings. 
When compared to the past two years' ceremonies, this one was a real dud for me.  I kept waiting for those big moments where you say to yourself "Boy, I'm sure glad I got to see THAT!!!"  They seemed to be very few and far between this year.  (kk) 

And how about this ... did you hear about Paul McCartney being turned away for one of the Grammy After Parties?
At one point Paul (who was turned away TWICE) reportedly said "How VIP do we gotta get?  We need another hit." 
Kent ...
How soon they forget.
Frank B.

I'm obviously getting too old to watch the Grammys. Of course the Grammys are about as relevant as the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. 
I'm with ya ... I swore I would ALWAYS keep up with the times musically but it's been almost impossible to do so.  But what REALLY convinced me was when I saw Rolling Stone's 20 Best and Worst Grammy Moments ... I swear I disagreed with nearly every single one of them.  The things that I hated the most (Kendrick Lamar anyone?) were their favorites!  Check out some of these comments ... in typical Forgotten Hits Point / Counterpoint fashion ...

BEST OF THE NIGHT: King Kendrick Lamar Steals The Show 
Kendrick Lamar conquered the Grammys with a theatrical hip-hop musical that jettisoned through history, paying tribute to the hands that really built Alexander Hamilton's America. This intense piece of jailhouse rock traveled from New Orleans to Compton to Africa to N.W.A's "Express Yourself" music video to Busta Rhymes' "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" music video to Diddy's ecstatic adlibs. It ended with a celebration of hip-hop itself: Just a close up of Kendrick Lamar's face — all spittle and strobes — bringing an explosive arrangement of "Alright" and new lyrics of fury about the slaying of Trayvon Martin. "2012 mistakes for the world to see/Sent us back another 400 years/This is modern-day slavery." He proceeds to give us what we need. - Rolling Stone
In my opinion the WORST performance of the night.  (kk)

BEST: Lady Gaga Brings the House Down for Bowie 
Lady Gaga spent the days before her Grammy tribute to David Bowie getting an Aladdin Sane tattoo, then showed up on the red carpet dressed as Ziggy Stardust. So, yeah, there was never any doubt she meant business. And like most things she and her Haus do, the attention to detail in her performance was evident — but that's a requirement when attempting to honor a chameleon like Bowie. So while her outfits were dazzling, and her nods to Bowie's performances (updates of "Rebel Rebel," "Fame" and "Heroes") showed a true obsessive, what made Gaga's performance perfect was the way she captured the spirit of the man's work throughout his career. Bowie's looks changed, but the guiding principle behind his work didn't: He delighted in remaining true to himself. And you got the same sense from Gaga, who wasn't just celebrating the man's music, but relishing the opportunity to perform it in front of this buttoned-up, all-business crowd. It was odd, amorphous, over-the-top and everything you could've hoped for. Bowie would've loved this. - Rolling Stone
All show and no substance.  Yes, I truly believe she was a fan ... and considered Bowie to be a MAJOR inspiration in forging her own career ... but I felt virtually nothing during this entire performance.  And it dragged on FOREVER!!!  (kk)   

WORST: Adele's Audio Rolls Into Deep Trouble 
The fact that Adele — who wasn't even eligible for any of this year's awards — was performing at the Grammys, made it a must-watch event. The woman with the best-selling album of 2015, who broke all kinds of records and saved the music industry (again), was to be a draw that would bring together generations during an often disparate awards show.  The performance was plagued by poor sound mixing, dissonant tones that sounded like a fork on a guitar and a volume drop that nearly silenced the singer. "The piano mics fell on to the piano strings; that's what the guitar sound was," explained Adele on Twitter. "It made it sound out of tune. Shit happens. Because of it though... I'm treating myself to an In 'n' Out [burger]. So maybe it was worth it." Adele soldiered on in her first Grammys performance since 2012, but it was a disappointment for those who awaited her return.  - Rolling Stone
Agreed ... it was downright embarrassing ... and she knew it.  She can blame it on whatever she wants ... what should have been the highlight of the show was a disappointing fiasco.  (kk)

BEST: Taylor Brushes Off a Famous Hater 
As the cameras turned to Taylor Swift for the Grammys' opening number, a question hung in the air: Would she take this chance to lash back at Kanye West's crass, misogynist shot at her on his song "Famous" (and his subsequent, half-assed attempt to claim her blessing for the same)? The answer was no: She saved that for a pointed subliminal in her Album of the Year acceptance speech a few hours later.  Sorry, Kanye, this just wasn't your night.  - Rolling Stone
Agreed ... Taylor showed a LOTTA class with the way she handled this.  (But seriously ... when Beyonce came out there at the end, weren't you waiting for Kanye to rush out from behind the curtain, snatch somebody's Grammy and give to Beyonce himself since she couldn't win one on her own???kk

BEST: Jackson Browne Soars With the Eagles
In the 2013 doc History of the Eagles, Glenn Frey credits Jackson Browne — his onetime downstairs neighbor — with teaching him how to write songs. Browne meanwhile, thanks the late singer-songwriter for penning the masterfully cocky line ("It's a girl, my lord, in a flat-bed Ford/Slowin' down to take a look at me") that capped off their jointly written smash "Take It Easy." So it was comforting to see Browne taking center stage to sing that very song during the surviving Eagles' classily understated tribute on Monday's show. - Rolling Stone
As stated earlier I found this to be a very stone-faced performance.  Honestly, I just don't think they were ready to do this ... there was still too much pain in their hearts.  (kk)  

WORST: Lionel Richie's Tribute Seems to Last "All Night Long" 
Lionel Richie spent what must have been a surreal holiday weekend sitting in the audience as a parade of contemporary stars covered his hits.  A jumble of oddly matched singers — John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor and Tyrese Gibson — carried the torch at Monday's main event. The medley started decently enough, with Legend's smooth "Easy" and Lovato's fiery "Hello" (you could see Richie in the audience mouthing a sincere "Yes!") but quickly descended into cheese once a lounge-singer-esque Bryan took the stage to croon "Penny Lover." Trainor and Gibson only added to the karaoke-caliber scenery chewing. Even Richie's stage-storming "All Night Long" finale felt like far too little, way too late.
Disagree ... THIS they thought went on too long but they were satisfied with Lady Ga Ga's David Bowie tribute and the excruciating pain of Kendrick Lamar's performance???   
I thought John Legend's rendition of "Easy" was outstanding ... he should cover it for real as it suits him to a "t".  I wasn't especially thrilled by the Meghan Trainor or Tyrese Gibson performances either ... but contrary to what Rolling Stone has stated, Frannie thought Luke Bryan's was among the evening's best.  Far cooler than the shot of Lionel Richie mouthing "yes" to Demi Lovato's version of "Hello" was the quick shot to Adele, who had quite a bit of fun with her recent big hit "Hello" at Richie's expense.  (kk)

BEST: Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix Honor a Shining Star
Yes, Pentatonix is an acapella group, which means they are burdened with a completely inescapable level of uncool that even Stevie Wonder himself cannot untangle.  However, together with Wonder, they paid tender, touching tribute to Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire. A bold choice to reduce "That's the Way of the World" to just its melody, it highlighted the indelible backbone that supported EWF's concept albums and huge arena performances.  - Rolling Stone
Mostly agree ... although Frannie enjoyed this performance much more than I did.  Wonder is ALWAYS entertaining, however ... and this was an excellent song choice.  (kk)

WORST: Pitbull Hails a Cab
What the hell was that closing number? It started out fine with "El Taxi," where Mr. Worldwide bounced merrily over the riddim from Chaka Demus and Pliers' dancehall classic "Murder She Wrote." Sofia Vergara even popped up in a taxi costume after the lyric that referenced her. But the cab went over the divider when Pit switched to a performance of his charmless new single "Bad Man," featuring sleazy Robin Thicke, Blink-182's Travis Barker and, for some reason, Joe Perry. That's right, the 2016 Grammys included two separate all-star performances featuring Joe Perry.  - Rolling Stone
Agreed ... and I'll admit it right here and now that I can no longer tolerate Sofia Vergara in ANYTHING ... not "Modern Family", not in any of the dozens of television commericals in which she's currently appearing ... and definitely not as part of a Pitbull performance ... she gets on my absolute last nerve.  (From a "glass half full" perspective, however, it's nice to see that today's generation now has their very own Charro.)  kk  

BEST: Justin Bieber and Jack Ü Are Guitar Heroes 
Bieber, Skrillex and Diplo brought one of the night's most pleasant surprises to the Grammy stage. After the pop star's solo acoustic take on single "Love Yourself," the superstar DJ duo appeared not from behind their boards, but behind a guitar and drum respectively. With Bieber belting, Skrillex, Bieber and their full band — including Jon Theodore of Mars Volta and Queens of the Stone Age — turned the dance hit into a heavy arena rock joint that was almost as triumphant as Bieber finally getting a Grammy win.  - Rolling Stone
Disagree.  I've never been a fan of The Biebs and I thought this performance was especially hard to watch ... and listen to ... he, too, missed several notes and the collaboration was just pure noise to my ears.  But I will also admit to really liking his stripped down, hit version of "Love Yourself" ... because on THAT record his true talent shines through.  (Is Rolling Stone suggesting that Justin Bieber is worthy of a Grammy???  Boy have they lost THEIR edge!!!  Guess that means he'll be going to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, too ... and, at this rate, probably ahead of deserving artists like The Guess Who, The Moody Blues, Yes and countless others.  (kk)     

WORST: Gwen Stefani Wins the Grammy for Integrated Marketing 
This was just a commercial, one that ended with Gwen ascending skyward in the center of the company's bull's-eye logo. For the normally savvy Stefani, it was a rare misstep, one that made her look like she was trying to crash the Grammy party from the parking lot. Maybe she was. 
- Rolling Stone
Totally disagree.  Yes, it WAS just a Target commercial ... but it's also the best piece of music that Gwen Stefani has recorded in YEARS.  And, as soon as I'm done posting this, I'm going to go download that one for my collection!  (kk)

BEST: Hollywood Vampires Light One Up for Lemmy
Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry — the core of the supergroup Hollywood Vampires — led a hard-rocking tribute to late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister with a performance of "Ace of Spades." Cooper and Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan traded harmonies on the tune's gritty verses, as dry-ice smoke surrounded them. Perry and Depp played synchronized guitar squeals and offered up dueling solos. - Rolling Stone
Once again, I TOTALLY disagree ... the SECOND worst performance of the night ... pure noise with no redeeming value.  (kk)

BEST: Bonnie Raitt Takes the Blues for a Stroll
A fashionably late entrance from Bonnie Raitt helped elevate what could've been a run-of-the-mill Grammy tribute to the late B.B. King to the level of the sublime. Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark Jr. kicked off the homage with soulful vocals and a stinging lead, respectively, but only Raitt — a friend and longtime collaborator of the blues legend — brought the requisite world-weary wisdom to the trio's reading of King's 1969 hit "The Thrill Is Gone." She strolled in from stage left wearing black leather and sporting a slide on her fretting hand, and matched a molten solo and smoky turn at the mic with the kind of stoic demeanor that King himself was famous for. When she sang the song's title line, it was clear that it held special meaning for her in light of King's absence.  - Rolling Stone
I agree ... to a point.  In my opinion all three artists took full advantage of their moment to shine in the spotlight ... excellent performances by all ... and kudos to the back-up band as well.  The most musical moment of the show because it truly came from the soul.  Sad to think that B.B. King's entire career has been reduced to his one hit record ... but man, what a GREAT record that was.  Best performance of the night ... with second place going to Little Big Town.  (kk)

BEST: Little Big Town Class It Up for "Girl Crush" 
From their geometric stage setup to the string section fleshing out the usually stark ballad, Little Big Town's performance of "Girl Crush" was thoughtful elegance. And it had to be. This was a song the vocal group have been performing everywhere from the CMA Awards to Ellen, and new life was required for the critical Grammy viewership. With Karen Fairchild's conflicted vocals at the fore, this "Girl Crush" felt alive and of the moment in a way that even the studio version can't match — and without sacrificing any of the mature delivery that helped land the band a Best Country Duo / Group Performance Grammy earlier in the night. - Rolling Stone
Agreed ... and I've got a crush on this song ... an absolute gem that I missed the first time around.  (kk)

I had planned to share a few Grammy moments with you today but it looks like all of the videos that had been floating around have been since removed due to copyright infringement.  However, you CAN watch the entire Grammy Ceremony right here if you missed it ...       

Oh yeah, what about the winners?  

So much has been made about the way the show is presented that one almost forgets those who were honored with awards Monday night.  

Here is a list of ALL the 2016 Grammy winners ...    
Record of the year:  "Uptown Funk," Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars    
Album of the year:  1989, Taylor Swift   
Best new artist:  Meghan Trainor   
Best rock performance:  "Don't Wanna Fight," Alabama Shakes
Best musical theater album:  Hamilton
(The Grammys visited Broadway live to show the opening number from this hot new rap musical ... an interesting spin on history ... and how cool is this?  They actually rapped their acceptance speech!
Song of the year:  "Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran
(one of my favorites from last year as well)
Best country album:  Traveller, Chris Stapleton 
Best rap album:  To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar
Best pop duo / group performance:  "Uptown Funk," Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars 
Best rap / sung collaboration:  "These Walls," Kendrick Lamar featuring Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat
Best traditional pop vocal album:  The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern, Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap 
(another Grammy for the incomparable Tony Bennett!)
Best pop solo performance:  "Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran
Best rap song:  "Alright," Kendrick Lamar
Best alternative music album:  Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes
Best rock album: Drones, Muse
Best rap performance: "Alright," Kendrick Lamar
Best rock song:  "Don't Wanna Fight," Alabama Shakes
Best R&B album:  Black Messiah, D'Angelo and the Vanguard
Best urban contemporary album:  Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd
Best R&B performance:  "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)," the Weeknd
(love this one, too ... the arrangement has kind of a James Brown / "It's A Man's Man's World" feel to it ... and the vocal is outstanding)
Best R&B song:  "Really Love," D'Angelo and the Vanguard
Best traditional R&B performance:  "Little Ghetto Boy," Lalah Hathaway 
Best dance / electronic album:  Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü, Skrillex and Diplo
Best dance recording:  "Where Are Ü Now," Skrillex and Diplo With Justin Bieber
Best music video:  "Bad Blood," Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
Best country duo / group performance:  "Girl Crush," Little Big Town
(LOVE it!!!)
Best country song:  "Girl Crush," Little Big Town
Best music film:  Amy, Amy Winehouse
Best rap / song collaboration:  "Glory," Common and John Legend
Best pop vocal album:  1989, Taylor Swift
Best country solo performance:  "Traveller," Chris Stapleton
Best contemporary christian music album:  This Is Not a Test, Tobymac
Best roots gospel album:  Still Rockin' My Soul, the Fairfield Four 
Best Latin rock, urban or alternative album:  Dale, Pitbull
Best Latin pop album:  A Quien Quiera Escuchar (Deluxe Edition), Ricky Martin
Best comedy album:  Live at Madison Square Garden, Louis C.K.
Best spoken word album:  A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, Jimmy Carter
Score soundtrack for visual media:  Birdman
Best gospel album:  Covered: Alive Is Asia [Live] (Deluxe), Israel & Newbreed
Best gospel performance / song:  "Wanna Be Happy?" Kirk Franklin
Best contemporary Christian music performance / song:  "Holy Spirit," Francesca Battistelli
Best contemporary classical composition:  Paulus: Prayers & Remembrances, Stephen Paulus
Best classical solo vocal album:  Joyce & Tony - Live From Wigmore Hall, Joyce DiDonato and Antonio Pappano
Best classical instrumental solo:  "Dutilleux: Violin Concerto, L'Arbre Des Songes," Augustin Hadelich
Best Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance:  "Filament," Eighth Blackbird
Best Choral Performance:  "Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil," Charles Bruffy
Best opera recording:  "Ravel: L'Enfant Et Les Sortilèges; Shéhérazade," Saito Kinen Orchestra; SKF Matsumoto Chorus & SKF Matsumoto Children's Chorus
Producer of the year, classical:  Judith Sherman
Best New Age album:  Grace, Paul Avgerinos
Best surround sound album:  Amused to Death, Roger Waters 
Best orchestral performance:  "Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow - Symphony No. 10, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Best classical compendium:  Paulus: Three Places of Enlightenment; Veil of Tears & Grand Concerto, Giancarlo Guerrero
Best regional roots music album:  Go Go Juice, Jon Cleary
Best folk album:  Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Best blues album:  Born to Play Guitar, Buddy Guy
Best bluegrass album:  The Muscle Shoals Recordings, The Steeldrivers
Best Americana album:  Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell
Best American roots song:  "24 Frames," Jason Isbell
Best American roots performance:  "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean," Mavis Staples
Best tropical Latin album:  Son De Panamá, Rubén Blades With Roberto Delgado & Orchestra
Best regional Mexican music album (including Tejano):  Realidades - Deluxe Edition, Los Tigres Del Norte
Best children's album:  Home, Tim Kubart
Best world Album:  Sings, Angélique Kidjo
Best reggae album:  Strictly Roots, Morgan Heritage
Best Latin jazz album:  Made in Brazil, Eliane Elias
Best large jazz ensemble album:  The Thompson Fields, Maria Schneider
Best jazz instrumental album:  Past Present, John Scofield
Best jazz vocal album:  For One to Love, Cécile McLorin Salvant
Best surround sound album:  Amused to Death, James Guthrie and Joel Plante
Best remixed recording, nonclassical:  "Uptown Funk (Dave Audé Remix)," Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
Best engineered album, nonclassical:  Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes
Best historical album:  The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, Various Artists, 
Best boxed or special limited edition package:  The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32), Various Artists
Best album notes:  Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced, Joni Mitchell 
Best recording package:  Asleep at the Wheel, Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Sarah Dodds, Shauna Dodds and Dick Reeves
Best arrangement, instruments and vocals:  "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)," Maria Schneider
Best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella:  "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy," Avi Kaplin, Kirstin Taylor, Kevin K.O. Olusola
Best instrumental composition:  "The Afro Latin Jazz Suite," Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
MusiCares person of the year:  Lionel Richie