Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to the cool jazz sounds of vibes player Cal Tjader. While he’s known for his Latin albums, those are actually of no interest to me. I like his straight ahead albums and especially the ones with orchestra – for example, right now I’m listening to Several Shades of Jade, a Verve album with Lalo Schifrin charts and orchestra. It’s cooler than cool – it’s so cool I’m wearing sunglasses whilst listening to it, and pondering a beret and goatee, that’s how cool it is. And prior to that I’d listened to Tjader’s The Prophet, with charts by Don Sebesky. That one is just about my favorite of the Tjader albums. And unlike last night at this same time, I have been so good a boy and not really cleared my throat for several hours, despite a few urges to do so. I simply willed myself to stop, knowing that to keep doing that undoes all the vocal resting I’ve been doing.
Earlier in the evening, I did a dry run of cueing up the tracks for the private reading, and I kind of sang along without really using my voice and that was a good thing to do.
But prior to all that, I’d had difficulty getting to sleep, although I think I slept more than I think I did, as my brain was in a loop, which sometimes happens. I’ll focus on a song or something, and that just keeps going in a loop. And I’d had so much liquid that I kept having to get up. Then the doorbell rang at nine-fifteen – that was Grant’s mom’s cleaning lady (and sister of she of the Evil Eye) who felt it necessary to tell me she’d had to park in the driveway because the damn film crew, despite not being allowed to, took every parking space on the entire block. Her being parked there was something I didn’t need to know about since my intention was to sleep as late as possible. I went back to bed and finally got up at eleven-thirty, so I’m thinking maybe I got eight hours of sleep. I was congested and dry, but that’s been every morning. Once up, that began to go away. Then at around twelve-thirty I did the Costco run, my sole intention being to buy six folding chairs. Of course they had none. So good intentions aside, I bought some water and Diet Coke and thought I was getting out of their cheap, only my membership was due, so it ended up costing what it would have with the damn chairs they didn’t have.
Then I went and picked up no packages, after which I had some chicken soup and a chicken salad sandwich, both good and filling, too. Then I came home. I’d also gotten what I thought were ten of the little square boxes of tissues, but they weren’t that at all, they were the long boxes, which are of no use to me, so today I need to go buy the square boxes. I had a box of eight square boxes in my cart until I saw the ten and that seemed a better deal – and it was completely impossible to tell they weren’t square.
Once home, I relaxed and listened to music. I went out to the garage and brought in another twenty or so albums to listen to. It was a grand assortment – some Cal Tjader, some Swingle Singers, some Mason Williams, some Gary McFarland, some Gato Barbieri, some Patrick Williams, some Sadao Watanabe. I won’t bore you with a detailed report on each, but my favorite of all this batch was Jazz Sebastian Bach by the Swingle Singers. It is a perfect album at a perfect length and is so creative and wonderful. I haven’t heard it in so long, but I will be playing it a lot now and I want to get the other Swingle Singers of the 60s. You have to be very careful because there’s a whole other series of Swingle Singer albums that are not the original group and of little interest. If you’ve never heard the original group, really try this album – it can be had very cheaply. And it’s so beautifully recorded, too. Aside from that, my favorite single track was Sunflower by Mason Williams. It’s from his brilliant and unique first album, The Mason Williams Phonograph Record, which was one of my all-time favorites back in 1968 when it came out. That was the album that gave the world Classical Gas, but while I, like everyone else, loved that track, it was Sunflower that really got to me. Be careful not to buy the CD called Mason Williams Music – it would seem to be a compilation album, but it doesn’t have the correct versions of some of the songs. And the funny thing about Sunflower, and I will not believe it was an accident because it’s just too close in every way, from tune to chords to feel and orchestration – but if you listen to the final cue in the Sweet Charity movie, from the time the hippies enter and find Charity on the park bench, you’ll know exactly where Cy got his inspiration from.
I had a few potato chips and some chocolate licorice for little snacks, and then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish after I did my cueing tracks go-through.
Last night, I watched Ken Russell’s BBC film about Delius, called Song of Summer. It was really good – beautifully photographed by Dick Bush (he photographed some great films including Tommy, Yanks, Victor/Victoria and most of Blake Edwards’ films from that point on), with wonderful performances by Christopher Gable and Max Adrian and the entire cast. I knew little of the Delius story so it was fascinating – this film concentrates on the last year of his life and the fellow who came to work with him – it’s based on his book and he wrote the script with director Ken Russell. Russell has a most amusing cameo in the film. There are two other composer films in this set – one on Edward Elgar and one on Debussy – looking forward to those.
After that, I took a hot shower and then just relaxed to the cool tones of Cal Tjader, which is still playing as I write these here notes.
Today, I’ll hopefully arise after a good night’s beauty sleep. Then I’ve got to clear out whatever congestion and guck there is rather quickly. I’ll go eat a very light late breakfast or early lunch so I have some food in me, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, then I’ll rest and relax and not clear my throat until about ninety minutes prior to everyone’s arrival, at which point I’ll shave and shower and warm up my voice and hope for the best. Send lots of vibes and xylophones for a healthy voice and for said voice to hold out for all seventeen songs. Then actors arrive and I will talk them through some musical stuff for timing dialogue purposes. Then the artistic directors of the theater arrive and we do our private reading. After that, I’m thinking a nice meal might be in order.
Tomorrow I have a few Kritzerland things to do, then Sami arrives and we’ll mosey on over to the Academy for the Sherman Brothers tribute. I figured she’d have fun because she’ll know so many people there and Richard adores her. Then the rest of the week is meetings and meals.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, clear out congestion and gunk quickly, eat a light meal, hopefully pick up packages, then relax until people arrive, then do our private reading. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite breads and rolls? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have done my dry run of cueing with no throat clearing.