Well, dear readers, our second Kritzerland rehearsal was loads of lovely fun. All the folks from the other day came and were pretty up on their material, we made some minor adjustments to stuff, and the songs are just so grand. Sami joined us (she was in Las Vegas for our first rehearsal) and did her three songs – Anything Goes, Too Darn Hot (she’s eighteen now so she can play it exactly as it needs to be played), and a duet with Guy Haines, You’re the Top, for which I’ve adjusted some lyrics. This is a bittersweet show for us – she leaves for college three weeks later so this is her last show for a while.
Grant also came by and played through his solo with Richard, and the song he’s playing for Guy Haines, True Love. Then Grant, Sami, her mom, and I went to the California Pizza Kitchen and met up with Brennley Brown and her mom, Misty. I hadn’t eaten anything. We shared some spinach artichoke dip, I had a small Caesar, and then their low-calorie cedar plank salmon – all very good. We all had a very fun time.
Prior to all that, I’d gotten eight hours of sleep, answered e-mails and had telephonic calls, went and picked up a package, put gas in the motor car, and came home. I shaved so I wouldn’t look like a derelict at rehearsal, did some work on the computer, finished writing the adjusted lyrics for You’re the Top, and then we began our rehearsals.
After I got back from dinner, I just relaxed and listened to some music – the Ray Heindorf-conducted soundtracks to East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause by Leonard Rosenman – incredible music, a fun Les Baxter movie them album circa 1963, and most importantly a box set I didn’t even know I had and thank goodness I got it when it came out as new copies seem to be going for over two hundred bucks – the Rhino Handmade Jimmy Webb box, which is a great, great set I don’t think I’d ever even played. It’s five CDs – the fifth, a live album with symphony orchestra in England, is housed in its own slipcase. The other four CDs are from his solo albums, plus some demos, singles, and other assorted rarities. I’ve been a fan of Jimmy Webb from the time he came on the scene with the Fifth Dimension but more importantly Richard Harris. I love his orchestrations, his tunes, the feel of his songs. So it’s not surprising that my favorite tracks in this set are the handful that are orchestrated. The others are spare and sparse in terms of band. But the live album with symphony orchestra is incredible. That said, it does take some getting used to Mr. Webb’s singing voice – it’s not much of a voice and it’s very studied in its amateur quality, unlike someone like Randy Newman, who, while a terrible singer, somehow just does his songs in a way no one else could and it just works. Some of the Webb vocals work better than others – he rarely knows when to breathe or even how to phrase his lyrics, but I guess that’s the deal with some singer/songwriters. Anyway, I love most of the set and if you should come upon it at a decent price, I’d grab it.
And at the complete opposite end of the spectrum is an album called Other People’s Rooms by Mark-Almond. Now, you know what you’re in for right off the bat with that pretention artist name – no it’s not someone named Mark-Almond, it’s two people Jon Mark and Johnny Almond. The “singing” on this album is of the whispery variety, the kind of vocals that these people think have meaning and point, when it’s just bad and makes me want to become a serial killer. So, why did I buy it? Because the orchestrations are by Claus Ogerman. What I didn’t remember is that only two tracks are orchestrated and those, of course, are the only two worth playing because Mr. Ogerman’s work is fantastic. His credit on this is interesting: Orchestral Arrangements Composed and Conducted by Claus Ogerman. As weird as that sounds I completely understand why he’d want that credit. Those two songs aren’t good, by any means, but Claus can turn anything into art. The other tracks are just horrible.
And then from the ridiculous to the sublime, Tony Bennett’s The Movie Song Album. It’s really great, mostly due to the fact that a good many of the film songs on the album are orchestrated by their actual composers – Johnny Mandel, Luiz Bonfa, Quincy Jones, Neal Hefti. Bennett is in great voice on this one and the version of Johnny Mandel’s Emily is definitive. And yes, it has the Song from The Oscar. This one is highly recommended by the likes of me.
Today, I’ll be up early on am meeting our very own Mr. Nick Redman at eleven for either a late breakfast or early lunch, or blunch. I’m really looking forward to it. After that, I have to hurry back to get a haircut, which I desperately need, as I am quite unkempt at the moment. Then I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, bank, and then relax, which I’ll really need to do.
Tomorrow we have an early stumble-through at noon o’clock. Sami comes at eleven to have her second rehearsal. After, I’m sure some of us will go grab a bite to eat, and then I’m doing nothing but relaxing.
Sunday, I’ll just relax until it’s time for sound check, and then we do our show. I’m sure some of us will go out to eat after. Then next week is figuring out our big anniversary show, our eighth. We’re almost fully cast, so that’s a good thing.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a blunch with Nick and company, have a haircut, hopefully pick up packages, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start – CD, many things. Blu-ray, a ton of new Twilight Time titles. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that well went the second rehearsal.