Herbie Hancock and the $15.99 Cabernet

Ever been part of one of those jaw dropping wine moments when in the course of a single blind tasting of what are considered really top notch Pinots or Chards or Bordeaux, the night’s top wines are revealed and it’s the ringer, the $15.99 bottle of wine, that actually takes first place among the tasters?

I just love those moments. I don’t know what they mean, but I do love them so for the sheer entertainment value. The best part, of course, is the post revelation explanations when all those involved look down at their score sheets and confirm that, "yep, I liked it better than the $120 El Magnifico…but I have to admit, I ate a lot of that blue cheese before tasting it and also It came after that blockbuster, and I’ve had a cold lately, and my electro-lights are out of balance and, and, and, and…"

Well, we had just such a moment last night at the Grammy Awards when Herbie Hancock walked away with Album of The Year. Let me say that again…HERBIE HANCOCK? walked away with Album of the Year—beating out Kanye West’s "Graduation" and Amy Winehouse’s "Back to Black".

This is the equivalent of The Fruit Bomb Association choosing a 12.5% alcohol, "elegant" Cabernet from British Columbia over the 15.1% molasses monster from Napa Valley in a blind tasting.

For what it’s worth, I enjoy Hancock when he does his straightforward jazz, rather than his various attempts to cross over into Pop. This recording however, while straying into pop by virtue of its Joni Mitchell subject matter, is nonetheless brilliant interpretive jazz. Contemplative, appreciative, smoky, vocal and sincere.

Download or buy this recording and listen to it with a nice $15.99, low alcohol, elegant Cabernet.

Posted In: Culture and Wine


4 Responses

  1. Benjamin Saltzman - February 11, 2008

    Ah . . . Music and wine.
    Great post Tom and go Herbie!

  2. Thomas Pellechia - February 11, 2008

    Tom, the news that he won the Grammy made me shout, Yeah! How long has it been since jazz music won a that award? 50 years?
    And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer, better pianist.

  3. rgustafson - February 12, 2008

    Tom, not surprised that you posted about this considering your previous post regarding Oscar Peterson. My own all time favorite jazz pianist is the late Bill Evans. We are lucky to have Herbie and his album, “Maiden Voyage” is one I go back to and never get tired of listenibg to.

  4. Amy Rootvik - February 17, 2008

    I finally downloaded the album on Friday and have been so thoroughly impressed, so pleasantly surprised by the consistent pull of the music. It wasn’t like that Reininger 2005 Ash Hollow Vineyard Syrah I tried yesterday where I loved the nose, liked the first sip, then found myself wishing I’d stuck with the much cheaper — and surprisingly more complex–Helix 2005 Syrah. Hmm…
    Also thrilled that a jazz album won album of the year! It’s great to shake things up a bit.

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