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June 10, 2018:

PLAY BACH ON THE STAIRCASE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, thinking this is a terrible allergy season, feeling congested, voice trashed, and sucking down Sambucol and Airborne just in case, although I know what this is.  As I sit here I am listening to Play Bach 4, the fourth album in Jacques Loussier’s incredible five volumes of his Play Bach series, originally released on Decca. These albums were incredibly influential and oft imitated, but Loussier is the original and no one has ever done this sort of thing better.  I had the first two volumes on import Decca CDs, but recently got a box set with all five CDs from Decca, each CD its original album length and housed in a mini-LP replica of the original album cover.  The fourth volume switches things up just a tad and adds organ to the mix. It’s a fantastic sounding album and a brilliant one.  If you like Bach and very respectful, classic jazz, and you don’t know these albums, let me tell you the box set can be had for less than twenty-five bucks and it’s just great listening anyway you cut it.  I could, in fact, listen to these repeatedly for days.  I could score movies with them.  I could drive to them.

Yesterday was a day, sorta kinda.  I got eight hours of sleep, getting up a bit before noon due to not getting to bed until four thanks to that damnably addictive documentary entitled The Staircase.  I kept thinking it would be over with the episode I was watching but on it went and I finally checked and saw it was thirteen episodes.  What I didn’t know was that this documentary originally came out in 2004 and was highly lauded, the first of its kind really and oft imitated just like Loussier’s Play Bach albums.  In fact, the entire current crop of crime documentaries that proliferate Netflix owe a HUGE debt to this groundbreaking film.  It originally ended at episode eight with The Verdict.  But as it turned out that wasn’t the end of the tale and eight years later the filmmakers did a two-part sequel.  And then Netflix bought it and they added another three episodes to bring it fully up to date as of last year.  It’s an astonishing piece of work and completely unique in its form.  Most of these have the participants NOW looking back at the thing from afar as we’re told what happened and see clips, recreations and all that stuff.  This actually plays out as it happens.  They began filming right after an indictment happened – they were allowed to film everywhere.  So we watch as it all goes down – and it’s brilliant.  There are twists and turns every step of the way, some jaw-dropping in how shocking they are, and those little revelations and twists continue right to the very end.

The prosecuting attorneys are just, for me, disgusting.  They present flawed “evidence” they know is flawed, manipulated, or downright fake and they do it gleefully although with great seriousness on their faces.  The judge continually allows into evidence things that are completely prejudicial and incendiary and he is the sitting judge all the way through this thing – from 2001 to now.  In his final interview he says he now sees that he was most likely in error allowing two truly damaging things to be admitted into the trial. Well, too late, huh?  The victim’s sisters are also, for me, horrible.  Yes, they believe the accused to be guilty, but based on nothing except what they were told by the DA’s office, which we now know was a whole load of hooey.  The one really obnoxious sister has a final speech in court that literally made me scream at the TV, “SHUT UP!”  She not only berates the accused, but also the filmmakers, screaming at them that they were biased and that she didn’t give them permission to make the film. Well, here’s a little thing: They don’t need your stupid permission to do anything including having you IN the documentary.  In any case, it’s great drama and will have you glued to your TV, so if you have the Flix of Net I highly recommend you give this a whirl – it’s long, but it will never EVER bore you.

I proofed a chart and heard a new track, which was really great, and I just had a couple of minor fixes to it.  So, just two left to do and that will be it until we begin rehearsals and I see what scene change and dance music is needed. I was really trying to rest my weary voice (all due to allergies) and I mostly did until dinner with the Geissmans. I also picked up some packages.

We went to Barone’s to celebrate the finishing of Grant’s epic coffee table book about EC comics – all 600-plus pages of it. It’s going to be a beauty.  After that, I went to another restaurant to have a little conversation that needed to be had, it was had, and then I finally came home.  Earlier I’d listened to some Milhaud music, and then it was the five volumes of Play Bach.

Today, I’m sleeping in, I know there will be a couple of Sunday delivery packages so I’ll retrieve those, otherwise I’m keeping my trap shut for the entire day and night as well as tomorrow. I’ll rustle up some Wacky Noodles for my meal.

This week is all Kritzerland show stuff and meetings and meals, seeing a couple of things, and preparing for our private reading of the new musical – must have my full and strong voice for that so I’ll also be resting both body and voice all week.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, retrieve packages, eat, keep my trap shut, and relax and rest my voice.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them.  So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to Play Bach on The Staircase.

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