Wednesday, May 09, 2007

There's such a lot of world to see....

Playing right now: The Best of Mancini, specifically "Moon River"

On Sunday afternoon, I played my son - who is five weeks old as of today - this album. It was my first attempt to, uh, educate this newborn on some of the music that impacted his old man at a young age. And I couldn't resist making him listen to "Baby Elephant Walk," truly one of the greatest songs there is.

Before you write me off, please don't take this story at complete face value. I know the kid didn't comprehend any of this. He won't remember any of it. He won't pick up on the nuances of the way Hank Mancini uses low brass and drums in "Hatari."

That's why it's funny. It wasn't about him. It was really about me. Me reliving a period of my life when the greatest thing in the world was when the 8-track tape of this album finally made it's way to that point in track 3 when the calliope started up and the trombones (muted bass trombones seem to be a Mancini trademark) kick it. (The family 8-track of the album eventually wore out and I bought the album.)

And there's something about "Moon River" that makes me rather wistful these days. Maybe it's due to that episode of "The Simpsons" where Nelson gets all choked up when Andy Williams sings that song. Or maybe it was that time, about 10 years ago when I heard it on WJAS and got REALLY EXCITED. Then I stopped and wondered what that was all about.

"Days of Wine And Roses"......that's so wistful too. There's a headstone in Homewood Cemetery with the entire lyrics carved into it. Wow. Those two loved each other. I love the movie of the same name with Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. It rips your heart out, but it's so well done. Jack Lemmon doing drama is intense.

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