Burt Bacharach's book is far from 'C Major'-Vanilla!

Burt Bacharach's book,' Anyone who had a heart' really got me, when he said of the pop music of the sixties; 'A lot of those songs consisted of just three chords, C to F to G. If they had thrown in a C major seventh that would have been a lot more interesting, but the plain C major chord just seemed so vanilla to me'.

Perhaps I've been a fan of Burt's all these years without being able to admit it! His music is a 1000 miles from Mick Fleetwood's cowbell thumping 'Gold dust woman', the rip and raw of Neil Young's 'Rust never Sleeps'.... part of my teen age 'sound track'.... but in all my attempts at writing a good 'Beetles tune'... I never had a C major in it...ever! C maj 7th/D perhaps.... Burt has a great quote from Darius Mihaud, his Carpinteria composition teacher; "Never be ashamed to write a melody you can whistle".

The Book started to get me before page 43! .. 'once I saw a piece performed that Lou Harrison had written for Martha Graham. It was sixteen minutes long and thirteen minutes were complete silence'! Additionally, Chapter 3 'I Married an Angel'; 'The attraction between us was physical, because she was really good-looking and had great breasts, which back then could not be prefabricated'!

I've only just started the book, but am sure I'm up for plenty more Bacharach 'raindrop' stories! The writing is a little; and then I went, and then I did, and then I met... however I'm going to stick with it; wishing I was on a Auckland to San Fran flight, getting stuck into it .... there's nothing like laughing out loud on a plane... people looking at you with a, shocked-quizzical-missing-out sort of look!

Jon Brion To Score ParaNorman for LAIKA

Two-time Grammy Award-nominated composer Jon Brion has signed to create the original score for ParaNorman. LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight made the announcement today. Mr. Brion’s original score for Focus’ Academy Award-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Score Soundtrack Album, among other honors. He was previously a Grammy nominee in the same category for scoring Magnolia.

A highly accomplished singer/songwriter, arranger, and conductor, Mr. Brion is renowned for his production work. He holds co-writing credits on albums by such artists as Kanye West, Beck, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, the Eels and Dido.

Mr. Knight said, “Jon Brion is so prodigiously gifted it’s almost unseemly. His virtuoso compositions are at once moody and imaginative, clever and subtle. Jon’s inventive, genre-defying musical storytelling will provide the perfect accompaniment to ParaNorman’s groundbreaking visuals and emotionally resonant narrative.” Mr. Brion stated, “I’ve been waiting for the right animation project for some time now. This production and the people at LAIKA and Focus have an inspiring amount of heart. One can’t help being swept up in the passion.”

Sing: The Art Of The Love Song

Glimpse what is possibly the most exciting performance of a love song ever. STING LIVE, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; 'Whenever I Say Your Name'.StingLiveInBerlin

When I took my lovely wife to the New Zealand version of this concert, I was hoping for a special evening.  I wrongly assumed the orchestra would be back-up to Stings band. Intoxicatingly the orchestra was the band!

The layered harmony and all encompassing sound of the NZ symphony orchestra with maestro conductor, Steven Mercurio, was so full and powerful, yet quite unlike a typical amped ‘rock’ sound. The experience was pure magic! On the attached track, stick around for the Marsalis solo, when the Orchestra really becomes a Jazz-Rock 'over-drive' sound machine!

Now Imagine me 'filling-in' on the 'school run' at 8:30 A.M.  The girls have named our Champagne Merc, Samantha.  I love the Merc's willingness to beep, whenever I get too close to anything, only slightly less than its Bose sound system. Once buckled up our twins almost always chant, 'push track #9', ‘Whenever I Say Your Name’, starts playing perhaps  the hundredth time! ‘Turn it up dad’, they say. From the moment the 1st violinist starts, the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up, I'm with my 'girlfriend' at the Hawkes Bay N.Z. concert.  Wonderful!

Among the comments posted about this clip is; ‘I want to be Jo Lawry’s microphone’. Yes her performance, you'll notice is passionate and outstanding also!

When I'm working overseas, and especially when I'm traveling solo, this song has the power to get me on a plane, and arrive back home to my darling wife and family unexpectedly early.  It’s a totally passionate, ‘in love’ love song.  Even if Sting is not your thing, you’re very likely to thoroughly enjoy this! Sting: Whenever I say Your Name.


Find the Album here on Amazon.com

Louis, The Movie, by Dan Pritzker

Louis, a silent film directed by Dan Pritzker, starring Jackie Earle Haley and Shanti Lowry, will premiere in US cities in late August with live musical accompaniment by Wynton Marsalis, renowned pianist Cecile Licad and a 10-piece all-star jazz ensemble. Marsalis will play a score comprised primarily of his own compositions. Licad will play the music of 19th century American composer L.M. Gottschalk. The group will perform live with the film in a series of special performances in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Detroit and Philadelphia. Shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond as a modern re-imagining of early silent film, LOUIS is an homage to Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin, beautiful women and the birth of American music. The grand Storyville bordellos, alleys and cemeteries of 1907 New Orleans provide a backdrop of lust, blood and magic for 6 year old Louis (Anthony Coleman) as he navigates the colorful intricacies of life in the city. Young Louis’s dreams of playing the trumpet are interrupted by a chance meeting with a beautiful and vulnerable girl named Grace (Lowry) and her baby, Jasmine. Haley, in a performance reminiscent of the great comic stars of the silent screen, plays the evil Judge Perry who is determined not to let Jasmine's true heritage derail his candidacy for governor.

"The idea of accompanying a silent film telling a mythical tale of a young Louis Armstrong was appealing to me,” says Marsalis. “Of course, calling it a silent film is a misnomer -- there will be plenty of music, and jazz is like a conversation between the players so there'll be no shortage of dialogue."

Kauri Cliffs

Don, Glen,Timothy...? (one of the Eagles): I'd like to introduce to you the next president of the United States Mr Jo Walsh! Joe Walsh: 'I'd like to remind you I'm running for president, and here is an industrial love song' ....'my mazuratti does 185, I lost my license and now I don't drive...' Live moments don't get better than that!

I have found Golf 'Heaven'...or at least one of the special clouds...Kauri Cliffs. Look for a book called 'Fairways to Heaven'. Along with Millbrook in Queenstown.  You have just gotta come down here one day.......and experience parts of this beautiful land that is like a serious huge breath of crystal clear air.

A couple of days at Kauri Cliffs (seriously located in the middle of 'no where' ), would have you ....well wanting to come back.