Saturday, December 8, 2012

Farewell Dave Brubeck - Silver Linings Playbook / Poem: Beds I have Known

This Time mag cover story introduced Dave Brubeck (1920-2012) to America.

Just listened to an interview with Jill Pasternak of WRTI in which she asked him about his classical music influences.

"When I heard Petrushka," he said, "I jumped for joy."

I jumped for joy when I bought this album with its distinctive cover and listened to it over and over again.

Jill played one of Brubeck's original compositions, the jazzy "To Hope: A Celebration Mass" played in Moscow in 1997. Listen here.

Here's what I learned from Jill's interview and also Terry Gross's.

Brubeck loved classical music - Bach, Beethoven and the like. He was a band leader in WW2, where he met composer Darius Milhaud in Paris.

He asked Milhaud if he could study with him.

Come to Mills College in Oakland, CA, and you can be my student, said Milhaud.

In California, Milhaud asked Brubeck why he wanted to be a classical composer. Well, b/c he loved classical music.

Milhaud persuaded him to stick to jazz, as a unique art form. He also told him he would have permanent work and could support himself and his family. He wouldn't have to teach, as did Milhaud, creator of Music of the Spheres and Creation of the World.

Brubeck took his mentor's advice and had a long and successful career, dying at age 91.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet played several years ago at Temple Beth Shalom in nearby Elkins Park. 

For dave's sake, don't waste time! Enjoy yourself! Take a break! Take five. Go see live performances or even movies, as I did yesterday.

The movie theater experience is so very different from viewing the DVD at home.

Intense! Great sound emanating from all around.

If it's an absorbing movie, as was Silver Linings, your mind will not wander.

I saw the difficult-to-remember-its-name Silver Linings Playbook.

I met two friends there - Marion and Sandy. We went into theater no. 9. They sat together but I chose a higher-up seat, walking carefully up the stadium steps.

Don't fall Ruthie! 

The movie was good but a bit long.

After the film, I wanted to sit down and talk about the movie, but they were in a hurry to leave.

What good's a movie if you don't have anyone to discuss it with.

I called my friend movie buff Judy Diaz in Niwot, CO, who hasn't seen the film yet, but did like Lincoln, Spielberg's newest movie.

In fact, during the 25-minute long previews of Playbook, I went to one of the 22 theaters of the Regal Warrington and stood for 5 minutes watching Lincoln.

It was excellent and I'll definitely see it. Bobby Lee Jones played a political enemy of Lincoln. Lincoln had a strange high-pitched voice, played by the superb Daniel Day-Lewis, who knowledgeable Judy Diaz told me is married to the daughter of Arthur Miller.

Rebecca Miller is also a playwright.

See how much we learn when we blog? (Don't tell anyone but I instantly forget everything.)

Playbook takes place right here in Philadelphia. The Eagles football team plays a big role.

It's based on a true story by Matthew Quick.

BTW, I got a personal email appeal from Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia asking for a donation. What struck me most was his statement that you can donate what you would pay for a cuppa coffee.

I got up and got my credit card info and donated a whopping five dollars!

Now that I know how glorious it is to see movies on the big screen, I'm gonna watch the new film "Jack Reacher" starring an improbable Tom Cruise in the title role.

You know what? It's gonna be a great exciting action film. The author Lee Child loves it.

Rhapsody, guaranteed for 20 years


I am with him now
that blue-eyed husband of my youth
together on the bright-colored sheets
in sweltering Texas
each facing the other way

I have consented to sleep
at Iris and Rozzy’s
they don’t use a night-light
and the smells are so different
from home
so un-nice
I watch the black windows
for sunrise.

While Aretha sings
I pull out the Murphy Bed in San Francisco
- what a girl won’t do to escape from home -
shadows through the blinds
fall like starlight across the walls
when the telephone rings
a man says: I wanna get in your pants.

At the mattress store
I take my time
then decide on the Rhapsody
made in North Carolina
the Tarheel State, the Slave State,
The salesman is a tenor who cannot
find a job
As he sings the role of Ferrando in
Cosi Fan Tutte
I pliee around
the store and throw
roses at his feet.

Rhapsody mattress
are you the final resting place
of the woman of many beds?
I lament
the end of my adventures
no more men whose arms
will enfold me
monogamy holds me in its
brutal grasp
a legacy from
the Ten Commandments
how will I get back to California
and the Murphy Bed?
Must I admit
this is my final resting place?     

1 comment:

  1. I read this to my friend Judy who said this about the poem: You're always celebrating life and your role as an affectionate observer.