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Post 20

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 6:09amSanction this postReply
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Chris: I'm astounded, George, that a fan of John Coltrane, such as you, could possibly suggest, by implication, that Coltrane is in the Minor Leagues when compared to a classical player. 

I am a big Coltrane fan, Chris, that is true.

I never suggested he was in the 'minor leagues' as a player (or I did not mean to suggest that) - he is not,  his talent is superb. But, I would say that as a writer/creator/performer of music, he is 'great' within his 'genre', but that that 'genre' is not the highest manifestation of art at its highest. So, although John Coltrane could give lessons to many a Classical player in the orchestra, I do not believe that the value of his art reaches the level of a Van Cliburn within the discipline of music as a whole. .

George

PS: Coltrane eh...? What a dirty trick! -lol-

(Edited by George W. Cordero on 4/11, 12:03pm)




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Post 21

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 6:29amSanction this postReply
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Okay, well, then, I think we'll have to agree to disagree. 

And I honestly didn't mean it as a trick.  :) 

I just think that when classical players themselves tell us that they can't do what jazz players do (and, I'd add, jazz vocalists as well), and that they have the utmost respect for the level of complexity in jazz, which, in some respects, exceeds that in their own genre, we ought to listen to what they say, and not "buy into" the typical bias, which tells us that everything is "inferior" to classical music.

(Edited by sciabarra on 4/11, 6:44am)




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Post 22

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 6:41amSanction this postReply
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Thank you Chris - you said all I would have wanted to say, and much better [and yes indeed, Jourdain's book is superb in understanding music and how it affects]..

One thing wish was emphasized more in the  issue of growth of capitalism and that is that this is marking earning one's way in life, not surviving thru patronage..... and that it seems a touch of the anti-capitalistic mindset is involved here with regards to the arts....




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Post 23

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 11:31amSanction this postReply
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I don't know enough about Lanza to evaluate him or whether Newberry is completely right. But I do know that Newberry has a number of good premises here.

 - An artist has to be true to his own potential. An artist who could be creating great works, but chooses to merely create good works for the sake of comfort or popularity is betraying himself. (Obviously there is nothing wrong with the artist creating good works in order to survive).

 - An artist's potential is discernable not only by him, but by other human beings, and that we can judge the man's character by reference to how much integrity he has to his own potential. What others choose for themselves is of course their own choice, but it's not subjective; we can judge them according to how they choose.

 - People can be ranked according to their potential or actual achievements. Some people can become the great, rarefied few, whereas others can merely be good.

 - As George points out, professions can be ranked according to how much achievement is possible within them. There are some professions that no genius should enter; some that no mediocre person should enter. 

I would add a few more points:

 - These ideas apply to all human beings not just artists.

 - It takes a qualified individual to make these judgements. I don't know enough about Lanza or the field of music to answer whether Newberry is right. Just as most non-engineers aren't going to be able to compare Tesla to Edison or Microsoft Windows to UNIX.




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Post 24

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 12:34pmSanction this postReply
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There is no doubt that the most intense and emotionally satisfying musical experiences are ones that require an undivided attention and which engage both the mind and one's emotions at many levels. The "best" experiences, for me, involve being flat on my back, stretched-out, lights-out, eyes closed--under the piano itself, if possible--prepared to be transported by pure sound.

But these kind of experiences are not unique to operas or things in the sonata format. Chris is so right it is painful. Led Zep is just one example, and every bit as "intense" as Beethoven. Complexity and/or intensity is not unique to any particular genre.

Also, it does not follow from the fact that operas are mostly "about" the music, while movies are mostly "about" visual drama, that a movie score cannot be "better" than an opera. It does not even follow that if one type of art requires a more difficult skill or technique to create or perform, it must be "superior" to every instance of the simpler genre.

Of course, the "best" is matter of context, too. "Best" depends on my mood and state of mind. There are (at least) two entirely different kinds of Gershwin moods, right? "Best" also depends on the circumstances--for example, am I actually able to pay full attention? Is it a party, or am I dancing at a ball, dancing at a club. making love, or driving through the Mojave?

A string of good popular tunes, depending on the context, may be vastly superior to an opera. Tosca is for when I want to be wrung out like a sponge. So is King Crimson. But the need to be copasetic, to rock, or just "feel groovy," cannot be assuaged by Chopin or Verdi.
(Edited by James S. Valliant
on 4/11, 3:07pm)




Post 25

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 1:57pmSanction this postReply
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James wrote,
"It does not even follow that if one type of art requires a more difficult skill or technique to create or perform, it must be "superior" to every instance of the simpler genre."


I think Michael's recent "$200 a day" paintings are excellent examples of this. To me, the simple content and quick-sketch style -- which requires lesser skill and doesn't get into narrative concepts -- is superior to that of his tightly-worked "major works."

Best,
J



Post 26

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 2:51pmSanction this postReply
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And I like Michael's work! I just don't think that Howard Roark would be in favor of formalism or classicism of any kind.



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Post 27

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 3:01pmSanction this postReply
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Namesake!

Damn you to hell!

You know from our previous private correspondence that I would be DROOLING to jump into the middle of this. And it is still way too early...

Damn you!

Well here goes. Before, let me say that I am presently in the process of coming off my "strike" in art, but I am in the laying-the-foundation stage to do it right. At least I no longer consider myself as a self-imposed outsider. I am actively working to get back.

But I will do it my way and on my own terms...

I did not want to write about these things because it would create a curiosity about my former work. One day I will make some of it available again. I will put it back into the market. But a good deal of it will stay relegated to a well-deserved permanent retirement.

I have no interest at this time to swerve from this chosen path, which is excruciatingly difficult at times when you love like I do. I am convinced that it will yield what I am hell-bent on attaining.

So I do not want to swerve. You know, swerve like, for instance, talking about artistic greatness with people who do great art and understand.

I will say it again. Damn you to hell!

I am one who has composed film scores. I never did an opera, but I did close out the opera season one year in São Paulo with a Cantata I wrote - about 250 musicians on stage (including expanded orchestra, both Municipal choruses, offstage brass and percussion and soprano,  which I also conducted). I have also done jazz. And I have composed and produced songs for TV soap operas, of all things. And a whole gamut of other stuff.

Yes, good film music can be done in the concert hall. But that is a "solo" medium for a composer, not a collective (or should I say "collaborative") form like a movie. Music like that usually needs to be recast to work right in the concert hall - and a great composer like Rosza knows exactly what to do and why.

I know what all this feels like. I did it. This used to be my active profession. And I would not trade one of my little "good" songs for all the money in the world. Nor my film scores nor any other of my "children."

But NOTHING beat the experience of that Cantata. NOTHING.

(Despite the fact that someday, if I ever do it again, I will rewrite some chunks that I am not happy with due to my maturity at the time.)

There are some really exalted things that go on in a concert (or opera) hall that are unique to that medium - no recorded performance can ever reach that height - despite coming close.

Are other musical genres great? You bet they are. But I have tremendous difficulty in comparing which is "greater." Each has limits on what it can do - and this is a qualitative - not quantitative - attribute. I can't boogie in a concert hall, and I can't achieve a rapturous state akin to praying at a jazz concert. I can come close, but frankly, each medium does best what it does best.

In my own life I like to do the full range of human internal activity - and embrace the full range of artistic experience - so I personally need different musical genres.

btw - You left out one of the most impressive aspects of "monumental feats in great opera houses" - that is "one small voice" completely filling it up without using a microphone and amplified sound. The opera singer merely has his/her vocal chords (including throat and mouth structures), breathing and "mask" of cranial bones as a sounding board. Nothing else. And he/she will fill the air with such a huge volume of disciplined sound that the listener will feel it all the way down to the toes.

(Also - I refuse to discuss tenors on SOLO. You got more balls than I do there. I am not suicidal.)

Popular versus classical? I used to be really snobbish about that - popular to me was a non-issue - music was classical hands down. Popular music was some kind of inferior twaddle.

It took producing a great Brazilian pop singer to learn a very bitter lesson (a guy called Geraldo Vandré). His greatest hit (very famous in all of Latin America) uses only two chords - D minor and C major, let's say for some singers. And it is a great song (Caminhando ou Prá Não Dizer Que Não Falei das Flores, for those interested)

I set a task for myself back then to learn simplicity. It was a bitch too. A rip-roaring bitch. It was one of my hardest music lessons ever - I literally had to unlearn my entire college education to get there.

Being simple, original and convincing is one of the most difficult arts to master in any genre. Some have a natural talent for it. They don't count for what I am talking about here. For the rest of us, you can do it. But it ain't easy at all. For classical musicians, I dare any one to try.

But back to popular versus classical (ahem... "serious" music to be PC). What I have learned through all these different influences - with what I have learned in life - has prepared me a vast canvas to paint my own works on, when the time comes. (Stop that! It's coming! I already told you - soon!). When I wish to make a stab at greatness (and some things - as you know - are in the works), they will slant toward "serious" - but this time around with some well-needed simplicity thrown in.

One thing needs to be emphasized here. Great art - the highest type you are talking about - requires a good dose of technical sophistication as an essential element (not leaving out inspiration, of course) to achieve the most overwhelmingly exalted human expression possible and become a permanent part of mankind's greatest spiritual wealth. Tiddlywink - rock - improvisation - whatever - just don't belong there. And I do  not mean to disparage all that wonderful music.

You know exactly what I mean. And I know exactly where you are coming from.

I see you.

You wrote:

I am preparing for my first major United States exhibition in many years, coming up soon,...

Well go on and do it, Namesake. I will move hell and high water to be there. I have no doubts about you at all.

It will be magnificent.

(But damn you to hell anyway, you bastard!)

Michael

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 4/11, 3:10pm)




Post 28

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 3:36pmSanction this postReply
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James said: And I like Michael's work! I just don't think that Howard Roark would be in favor of formalism or classicism of any kind.

then Johnathan said: I think Michael's recent "$200 a day" paintings are excellent examples of this. To me, the simple content and quick-sketch style -- which requires lesser skill and doesn't get into narrative concepts -- is superior to that of his tightly-worked "major works."
 
and George Cordero responded: (Cordero didn't say anything. He read those two posts - got up from his chair - and rammed his head into the wall right below a painting called; "Postmodernism is Dead, Long Live Light")
 
Gentlemen, let me take my leave from this thread: please excuse me, but I have a splitting headache.

Sincerely, George
 
 

(Edited by George W. Cordero on 4/11, 3:38pm)




Post 29

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 4:04pmSanction this postReply
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Geohrge, I think the pain of your headache has distorted your ability to correctly identify the order of the conversation.

Jonathan



Post 30

Monday, April 11, 2005 - 8:56pmSanction this postReply
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Michael (Newberry),

I agree with everything you said in your last post. "Inside-out" is a perfect way of putting it. But the fact is, most people who get into any form of art aren't whores. Yes, some are, but they are easily identifiable and don't pretend to be any different.

So, I don't see the reason for the angry rigidity of your first post.

Alec 

Edited to add: I do not agree with your description of Christo as "popular." Convincing some businessmen into feeling like art patrons and then getting licenses to pollute American landmarks -- which hundreds of thousands therefore have no choice but to visit and consider a generally "significant event" in their lives -- hardly constitutes popularity...or art.

(Edited by Alec Mouhibian on 4/11, 9:38pm)




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Post 31

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 6:34amSanction this postReply
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Wow, Chris you sound like a Greek! I don’t know if you have ever been there but I swear Greeks will play devil’s advocate until they are blue in the face.

 

Michael K, man you have got balls. I think one of your greatest gifts is that you see...

 

 

…everything.

 

 

Marcus, your question doesn’t have enough clarity or substance to answer. For example, what “unfinished” works of da Vinci are you talking about? And what connection to you see between an unfinished work and Lanza…oh I get it…that Lanza ran out of time?!....well, we only have this life don’t we? The clock is tickling and there are no retakes, grab it while you can man.

 

Shayne, it was a pleasure you on the same page.

 

James, glad you like my work but I did not understand you point about Roark and “formalism”.

 

Alec, glad you agree with “everything” in a latter post but you need to read the earlier posts more carefully. In my first post and in the first sentence stated clearly that I was one of the people the Sciabarra was criticizing as a “snob”. I ended that post calling it unjust. In-between I gave my reasons.

 

You wrote: “But the fact is, most people who get into any form of art aren't whores.”

 

When I was 18, I had a great art teacher/mentor, Edgar Ewing. He was about 65 at the time, beautiful, bright blue/gray eyes—that were loaded with wit, joy, quickness, and warmth. The first thing he told us was that “Art is like making love.” I hadn’t, yet, been in love but I knew about “love” for art. He went on to tell us to work at anything not art related to pay the bills and then paint just what we wanted to. It is advice I have followed…extremely difficult to maintain but worth it especially when a “click” of paint sends my soul through the rafters. That “click” feels, inside the chemistry of my brain, identical to having an orgasm with someone I love.

 

Hold that thought.

 

Once at a party I met an ex-architect. She had a great education but was no longer practicing architecture and I asked her “why”. She said: “I don’t have the pretense to show people how to live.” She understood that there was something about the nature of architecture that went way beyond offering clients a structure to inhabit…I have two really good friends that are artist architects and they explicitly deal with the soul…and that is a daunting task.

 

Add to this, I have met under varying circumstances over a 100 real artist souls who couldn’t pursue their art for financial reasons and opted, not like my mentor suggested, to sell there skills as artists for commercial work. Imagine having strangers come up to you and tell you all the reasons why they are not creating there art, to see their pain…and to see their guilt.

 

My mentor was right.

 

Most commercial artists that enjoy using their craft to solve  a director's problem or love collaborating on ads and stuff…these are not people who are dying inside to express their souls.

 

About the Christo stuff, your not picking up on my wickedness. The greatest compliment I can give to Christo, is that he is one of the greatest PM artists and brilliantly realizes Kant’ Concepts of the Sublime; that is to say he is a spectacular nihilist.

 

Another wicked point but very truthful, is that  I respect several PM artists for their artistic integrity. I would take Duchamp and John Cage anytime over Rozsa and Lanza. I hope you don’t short circuit on that.

 

George, when Chris opens a “can of worms” run as fast as you can and “duck for cover!”

 

Michael

(Edited by Newberry on 4/12, 6:47am)

(Edited by Newberry on 4/12, 6:57am)




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Post 32

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 11:53amSanction this postReply
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Well, Michael, I am half-Greek.  :)  And I'm more than willing to give you your Duchamp and John Cage in place of my Rozsa and Lanza. 

But your posts leave me with too many questions that aren't being resolved here, and perhaps it is time to move on.  

Still.

You've provided some provocative comments on Lanza and artistic integrity that have been met with equally provocative replies, but you've still not provided a single reason (just assertion) to indict Rozsa.  Indeed, it seems to me that you indict the whole art of film scoring... suggesting implicitly that all film score composers are whores as such (which makes Rozsa just one species of the larger genus).  And you've also not addressed any of the points I've made about other forms of music, including jazz, which leaves me to think that you reject the talents or tastes of anyone who doesn't embrace opera.  To this extent, it seems to me that you might be denigrating not merely the artists you view as in violation of artistic integrity, but the people who respond to the works of these artists as well.  If I'm guilty of using the word "snob" to criticize those who reject "crossover" artists like Rozsa and Lanza, you're implicitly accusing those of us who respond to such artists as aesthetic and/or moral philistines.

All virtues are contextual, including integrity.  I am well aware that in a work of fiction, Howard Roark chose to work in a quarry rather than to work on compromised architecture.  But some musicians in the real world can't work in the quarry and, for a variety of personal reasons, they choose different paths, and not every one of these paths necessarily entails a compromise of integrity.  Let's not forget that integrity is not just an aesthetic concept; it's a moral one.  So I wonder if your comments here entail a necessary moral repudiation of any starving musician who has ever played a wedding or a Bar Mitzvah in order to put food on the table for himself or his family, regardless of that musician's personal context or the very specific conditions or concerns that such a musician might face in his own life.  Perhaps that musician can't survive playing his own compositions, but he'd still prefer to play a wedding than to work behind the counter at McDonald's making minimum wage.  Perhaps that musician prefers to be surrounded by something musical, while spending "down time" working on his art to prepare for a club or concert date as these might become available (or not). The truth is:  I don't know enough to make blanket generalizations like this... and neither do you---and I say that with all due respect for whatever choices you have had to make in pursuing your own art.

So, I suppose, in the end, this discussion has simply left me with many more questions than answers.  At the very least, if I'm mischaracterizing your position on any of the above issues, I welcome the opportunity to be corrected.




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Post 33

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 1:46pmSanction this postReply
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Chris said, "But some musicians in the real world can't work in the quarry ... "

Hahahahahah! I don't know if that were intended as drollery, but it sure as hell tickled my funny bone!

I've cogitated a little more over the meaning of Michael's primary post, so well categorised by Alec as rigidly angry. It just came out of nowhere, with the appropriate heads-up, Duck for Cover! What prompted it? Context is always helpful, especially when the post is confusing. I initially said it suggested a platonic view of art, then realised *my* meaning could be misconstrued since Plato despised the arts, & then wasn't what I meant. What I *did* mean was that it smacks of intrinsicism: there is an a priori, innate imperative that says an artist *must* develop in a certain way. To take Michael's specific example, if you're Mario Lanza, you're predestined to sing on the opera stage, you *must* end up on the opera stage ... and anything else is a travesty to which working in a quarry is preferable (so long as you don't sing while you work). If Michael didn't mean that, then I'm willing to stand corrected.

Either way, it's a proposition I don't buy. As Dr. D. Dialectical reminds us, integrity, including artistic integrity, is contextual. Mario Lanza had, it is true, the greatest operatic voice a male was ever born with. He also had a way with "lighter" repertoire, in an era (context) when the likes of Romberg, Porter, Kern, Rodgers et al were icons (and what a magnificent era that must have been - oh to be alive when *their* glorious medlodies topped the charts, not some despicable headbanging mother-fucking caterwauler's raspings). Why on earth should he not have pursued that path as well? And given that he was good-looking & charismatic & a passable actor, why shouldn't he have gone into movies also (thereby, incidentally, bringing opera to audiences who otherwise wouldn't have given it the time of day)?

Yes, it would have been fabulous to have had him on the opera stage & recording *complete* operas (and had he lived even one more year we *would* have had that) and it *is* a tragedy that it didn't happen. But to say a lack of artistic integrity on Lanza's part was to blame is a stretch. The story is a tad more complicated than that. And I thank Galt every day of my life for his recordings of Che Gelida, E Lucevan & the Chenier Improvisso (just for starters), for these already show what heights a human being could attain, as do his performances of such "lesser" vehicles as Because, For You Alone, etc..

Michael no doubt prefers Pavarotti, who *did* conquer the opera stage (& was a disastrous flop when they put him in a movie). To Lanza's robust red wine, Pavarotti is weasel's piss. Give me the dazzling brilliance of a short-lived comet
over a cold, lifeless but perennial planet any day. Is my enjoyment of Pav enhanced by my knowing he sang on opera stages for years? Nope. Is my enjoyment of Lanza diminished by my knowing that *he* didn't? Nope. There's only so much point to lamenting what might have been; the main thing is to be thankful for what was.

Linz




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Post 34

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 2:38pmSanction this postReply
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Chris,

 

Undoubtedly you are very complex and like to weave connections together something like an oriental rug—there are some that have very fine threads, thousands of threads and when they come together they project a multi-colored image with a lovely texture.

 

I work in another way, I am into form and light.

 

I don’t want to follow the thousands of threads of equal weight. I am keeping my aim on the brightest light, which serves as a hierarchical standard, and maintaining the form’s integrity over great space.

 

Michael




Post 35

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 2:41pmSanction this postReply
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Then why spend your time doing scenes which, while nice, are hardly masterpieces - indeed, are mere studies which you are passing off as works on their own?

And no - tho seemingly disrespectful here, is not - but a query which has troubled me for many many months, if not years.....

(Edited by robert malcom on 4/12, 2:43pm)




Post 36

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 2:43pmSanction this postReply
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Marcus, your question doesn’t have enough clarity or substance to answer. For example, what “unfinished” works of da Vinci are you talking about?
Michael,

It is a well known fact that given the long life of da Vinci he produced very few finished works. Most were abandoned before being finished, many are just sketches.

Even supposedly complete works like the famous "Mona Lisa" he considered not yet finished.

The reason I brought it up is that it seems that you are arguing that because Lanza never made it to perform Opera, he didn't really make it.

And yet you have called da Vinci, a master artist. He was, but don't you see the contradiction you make by criticising Lanza?




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Post 37

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 3:31pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Robert,

 

Your question is good but your “seemingly disrespectful” is indeed palatable, no matter.

 

It’s my belief that any truthful observation of reality has value. It has always charmed me that Aristotle noted, in the context as to why children should learn music, that children like to make noise anyway, why not directed that to pleasurable sounds. Perception of reality does in fact connect one to the real world, hence my amusement with Lindsay’s comment about platonicism. Rembrandt did oil sketches. I love Monet and Picasso. Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach wrote major large masses and operas to very small intimate pieces for one, two, and three instruments. Shakespeare wrote sonnets. All these artists created a range of work from quick and intimate to major.

 

To be exact they are not studies as they don’t serve any other purpose than coming into being. I do love making them…there is a great feeling of being out in nature with the wind, heat or coldness, and the atmosphere of the time and place…and it feels…feels like all of the energy around me is absorbed by my body and transferred by electricity through my hand. Its awesome.

 

The newer ones are becoming very colorful, partly due to the change of weather, and I love figuring out how I am going to organize the colors, combining my color theory with what I see.

 

Michael




Post 38

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 4:40pmSanction this postReply
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Are you saying you are, in effect, more like Vermeer - interested primarily in color, and how it affects the surroundings?




Post 39

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 5:47pmSanction this postReply
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He also had a way with "lighter" repertoire, in an era (context) when the likes of Romberg, Porter, Kern, Rodgers et al were icons (and what a magnificent era that must have been - oh to be alive when *their* glorious medlodies topped the charts, not some despicable headbanging mother-fucking caterwauler's raspings).

Funny you should mention that Linz, in the UK it just might happen. Apparently, the "crooner" is making a revival in the pop charts :-)

...................................................................................................................................................................................      

The Times    

April 09, 2005

 

The crooner returns to seduce the pop charts

By Adam Sherwin, Media Reporter

 

 

HIS tools are a heart-tugging ballad, the crushed velvet tuxedo and a smooth bedside manner. The crooner is making a comeback after Tony Christie sold a million songs for lovers.

 

Last year Christie, 61, was just another British expat enjoying golf in Spain. He tops the album, single and download charts today after the revival of (Is this the Way to) Amarillo? Christie has sold a million UK singles and albums over the past six weeks. But the Yorkshire-born singer is not strolling down this street alone.

 

The cool, finger-clicking classic crooner is attracting a new generation of fans.

 

Frank Sinatra is more popular today than he was when he was alive. Ol’ Blue Eyes, who died aged 82 in 1998, still sells 10,000 records a week. His daughter, Tina, who runs the singer’s estate, said: “He is selling more now than in the 60s and 70s. Dad always said he would sell as long as one generation was playing him and the next generation was listening.”

 

Sinatra would be at home in the current UK charts. Not only is Christie keeping Elvis Presley off the No 1 slot, a Matt Monro compilation is one of the fastest-selling albums of the year. Engelbert Humperdinck, like Christie granted television rehabilitation courtesy of the comic Peter Kay, continues to “spread the love” on a world tour. Andy Williams presents Music to Watch Girls By and the definitive Moon River at the Albert Hall in June. Tony Bennett, a cool icon to successive generations, takes to the famous Kensington stage next week.

 

Crooning originated in the 1920s as a softer singing style appropriate for the lush orchestral arrangments of the popular songs transmitted across early commercial radio. Bing Crosby placed his stamp on the sound in the 1930s before jazz singers adopted the urbane style during the swing era. Sinatra, Bennett, Nat King Cole and Pat Boone were prime exponents in the pre-rock era.

 

Today rock music is middle-aged and a legion of nouveau crooners are supplying the gifts in millions of homes on Mother’s Day. Michael Bublé, the saccharine Canadian singer, is the Parkinson-endorsed leader of the pack. Jamie Cullum mixes I Get a Kick Out of You with Radiohead for a hipper crowd.

 

Robert Meadmore is a West End stalwart repositioned for the classical crossover market by Mike Batt, the man behind the Wombles and Katie Melua.

 

Meadmore hit the charts with Patrizio Buanne, the tuxedoed Italian singer whose debut album echoes 50s’ standards. Will Young, the Radio 2 favourite, swiftly moved to the lucrative crooners’ market after winning Pop Idol. Simon Cowell has repeated the trick with the pseudo-classical quartet Il Divo and the television-created vocal band G4, who topped the chart on Mother’s Day.

 

The greatest beneficiary of the crooning revival could be Britain’s supermarkets, where CDs are becoming a regular feature of the weekly shop.

 

Adam Cox, the music buyer at Asda, said: “We have had significant success with the crooners’ market. The best example is Tony Christie. One in four Christie CDs bought in the UK are now sold at Asda.”

 

He added: “The main sales success this year was the build-up to Mother’s Day. The likes of Michael Bublé, Il Divo and G4 resulted in our highest-ever market share on albums. This is indicative of the strength of supermarkets during these key event periods.”






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