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June 6, 2018:

THE THIRTY-MINUTE ALBUM

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, there’s something to be said for the thirty-minute album.  Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, there’s something to be said for the thirty-minute album and I may as well be the one to say it.  In the old days of LPs most albums were between thirty and forty minutes – yes, there were longer albums but the longer album the more compromised the vinyl was.  But now we can have eighty minutes on a CD and people feel they have to fill up those minutes no matter what.  But all day yesterday I was listening to classic albums on CD with no fillers or extras, just the original albums as sequenced and put together by some awfully talented folks.  The albums are perfect listening experiences – they don’t overstay their welcome.  The reason for all this was that I went to the garage and opened some of the jazz and classical CD boxes because I had a couple of albums I wanted to play, most specifically the two Wes Montgomery jazz masterpieces he did for A&M Records – A Day in the Life and Down Here on the Ground, both with brilliant orchestrations by Don Sebesky.  Happily I found those pretty quickly, but then I began looking at other jazz CDs, things I haven’t played in years because they were hard to get to in the other home environment.

So, because I needed a ME day I took it, and spent most of the day uploading these albums into iTunes – about thirty of ‘em, maybe more.  And then I began my listening in the evening and it’s quite pleasurable.  The two Montgomery albums are as fresh and great today as they were back then.  If you don’t know the albums, check them out.  I listened to some Cal Tjader, my favorite vibes player – his Burt Bacharach album, which is wonderful.  Tjader “purists” don’t like it because it’s not Latin-flavored, as if artists can’t branch out and do other things.  Save me from the purists, please.  Then a Tjader compilation that’s quite a good overview of his stuff on Verve.  And two Pete Jolly albums.  Both were available on this horrid label called VSOP and in mono. But on Amazon the sound samples were stereo, so I purchased the mp3s – they were mono.  Yep, sound samples stereo, mp3s mono – no one could explain it to me, but I got a refund.  But I’d forgotten that I’d bought both of these AVA albums on Japanese mini-LP releases, and they are in wonderful stereo.  The albums are great.  I originally bought the album Little Bird knowing nothing of Mr. Jolly.  I was a fan of the AVA label (owned by Fred Astaire and named for his daughter) – I had lots of their soundtrack releases.  I bought it because it had the theme from To Kill a Mockinbird, but I fell in love with the entire album, and it was that album that introduced me to the amazing song, Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.  And to bring it back to the original point, all these albums are around thirty minutes and that’s just a perfect length.  I’ll report on more listening treasures as I get to them, but it was a great way to spend a few hours.

I got nine hours of needed sleep, proofed a chart, then got the track for it – made some adjustments to a couple of sections, so that’s finished and leaves only four to go, which I’m hoping can get done by the time of our private reading. Then I drove to Doug Haverty’s to pick something up, then picked up no mail or packages.  I came home and made some tuna sandwiches for my main meal o’ the day – they were quite yummilicious.  I did the track adjusting then, and after that I did my garage excavating.  I spent the next many hours uploading and listening as well as listening and uploading. I had several telephonic calls, including some about our upcoming reading, made a quick decision to not even think about casting someone I was thinking about casting – no time to waste on people who can’t commit to things, not to mention have the passion to do them, not to mention the games that get played.  That was easy and I’m glad it’s done and we can get someone really good who will love the opportunity to create a co-starring role in a new musical and appear on its cast album.  We figured out the people we’re going to ask to do the reading, so we’ll see how many can do it – and for any roles that need to be filled I’ll bring in my own folks. I also did a three-mile jog around eight in the evening, and ate two eggs for my evening snack.

Today, I have a noon-thirty lunch at a favorite restaurant, and after that I am buckling down, Winsocki and finding a few more great people for the Sherman event.  I have to find about eight to ten more folks and then I can lock down the song choices.  I also have to decide on the July Kritzerland show – I had an idea but now I’m not sure about it as it’s a very specific kind of show that will take time I don’t really have, so I’m looking at other options, but I have to decide today. I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, and then I’ll relax at some point.

Tomorrow is more of the same, Friday is more of the same, and I’m hoping the weekend can be mine all mine.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a lunch meeting at a favorite restaurant, book more singers for the Sherman event, decide on the Kritzerland show and cast it, hopefully pick up some packages, jog, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have said that there was something to be said about the thirty-minute album.

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