Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Albums That Aren't

Here's a new verbal game (nothing's too Trivial, folks!) that some music fans out there in Wonderland might enjoy...

Titles of albums that never were. Whether one word or a few or a sentence, each should strive to be clever: a pun, a character quirk verbalized, a culture reference connected, something unexpected.

Some samples I've dreamed up to get you started:

The Beatles Scarab

Blind Faith It's a Miracle! (second album, years later)

The Byrds Brancusi or Hitch (as in Alfred Hitchcock)

Nat Cole Old King Cole (collection of early Nat tracks)

Cream Creme de la Cream (greatest hits repackage)

Bob Dylan Dylan Four Dollars or Thomas

Dr. John The Doctor Will See You Now or Medical History (for a career overview anthology)

Thelonious Monk The Onliest Monk or The Loneliest Monk

Gram Parsons Gram Cracker or Bye-Bye, Country Boy

The Rolling Stones No Moss or maybe better... No Mas

Sonny Rollins Roads Scholar or Be Striding the World (both play off his famous Saxophone Colossus LP)

Denny Zeitlin Practice, Practice, Practice (Jazz pianist who is also a psychiatrist)

I look forward to your ideas; submit them via Comments, and in a week or two I'll post the best ones. (Shouldn't be hard to improve on my samples!)

By the way, the game needs a name. "None Such" occurs to me. Or "Off the Record." Or one meant to be obscure and needing to be deciphered: "Noel Peace." (Which would be "No LPs," of course.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dr. John... Hancock?

Like other record fans, I got some albums autographed over the years, whenever the opportunity arose. For example, I interviewed Sonny and Cher when they m.c.'ed a rock event in Seattle (before their television variety show) and asked them both to sign their first LP. And they did, but the album vanished later; and all I really remember now is how stunningly gorgeous and shy-seeming Cher was at age 17 or 18.

And Graham Nash came into my store one day, so I got his name on a couple of CSN&Y LPs, and he later sent me a short cassette of him singing on stage with the Everly Brothers--a career highlight, he told me.

Nice moments, simple signatures. But occasionally a musician would get more elaborate--creative even. Unhappy Grunge star Kurt Cobain autographed a card for me in a way that was either playful and cheery, or mocking and defensive, identifying himself as "Curdt Kobane." And Mike McCready of Pearl Jam took my copy of Vitalogy and, in addition to his signature, decorated the gatefold-jacket centerspread with squares, sine/cosine waves, question marks, and a pair of stacked statements (or one statement split apart maybe)--"In the/ Search/ for/ Piece of/ Mind" leading to "Books & 45's/ Mystery Books/ of tales untold/ truth & Fiction/ infinite Regress." (Say whut?)

Ray Charles' great tenor saxist passed through the store too one day so I asked him to autograph my copy of The Genius of Ray Charles; he signed "Best Wishes/ David Newman/ Fathead/ 1-10-00," as though he wouldn't be identifiable without that nickname. And I caught another sax great, Bud Shank, in a Jazz club and asked him to sign a pair of albums by the Lighthouse All-Stars (Bud, Bob Cooper, Conte Candoli, Claude Williamson, Howard Rumsey, and others), with lookalike band-on-the-beach covers photographed by William Claxton, but separated by 34 years. On the 1955 original, he wrote, "HELLO ED/ BEST WISHES/ Bud Shank/ 10/22/00," but for the newer, 40th Anniversary Reunion jacket all he put was "Bud Shank" plus a busy termination squiggle like a stretched metal spring. (Was he dismissing the second LP? or just bugged by having to sign two?)

There must have been other interesting encounters... oh, right, the time Max Roach looked at my publicity photograph of himself with forever-lamented trumpeter Clifford Brown... and then signed both their names, but each in a slightly different handwriting, as though channelling Brownie! But I want to focus instead on one man and the two different occasions I sought his autograph--the great and eccentric Mac Rebennack, native son of New Orleans better known as Dr. John, with or without "the Nite Tripper" appended.

Dr. John has been a fixture on the New Orleans music scene for well over 50 years. He started as a Rock 'n' Roller, moved into R&B, and then around 1965 dreamed up the "Gris-Gris Man" idea, presenting himself as a hoo-dooing, festive-dressing, second-lining Mardi Gras master, wrapped in craziness and chanting strange musical incantations. Fortunately he also was and is a superior musician whose finger injury forced him to morph from ace guitarist into top Blues, Boogie, and Jazz pianist instead. These days he sings and plays and leads a band called the Lower 911, a Ninth Ward reference I believe, in remembrance of that devastated part of the Crescent City. But in decades past I often attended his solo or trio shows, and twice I took along items for him to sign.

In 1994 that meant a copy of his just-published autobiography, Under a Hoodoo Moon. When I asked, he cheerfully attacked the inside-cover page and wrote these words: "To Ed--Keep it on the one. This may pull somebody's coat-tail to how not to make $ in music. Keep on ((plus a treble clef, the crisscross symbol meaning number, and some curved lines)), Dr. John the Nite Tripper." The "R" of Dr. has a line through the right leg to create a prescription sign, and after his signature come a crescent moon and an asterisk-styled star, for those trippy nights!

Twenty years before that, I had reviewed his great New Orleans roots album called Gumbo for some Rock mag or other, hearing it via a review copy sent to me by famous Soul/R&B producer Jerry Wexler, whose accompanying note (on his Atlantic Records mini-stationery) read as follows:

Dear Ed:

Herewith is an advance test pressing of Dr. John's new album "GUMBO."

The liner notes may be a useful reference.

Making this album has been a joy.



Joy indeed. It's still my favorite Dr. John album, and I told the man that some years later when I took it along for his signature. I don't think I mentioned Wexler's note, but the good Doctor took his time writing a minor-key opus on the album jacket front--signing his name first, above the message he then wrote out, spelling the words in his own funky-fine fashion:

Dr. John the Nite Tripper

The chicken & the fitin rooster
Got up tite
The fitin rooster knocked
The chicken outta site
The chicken tole the fitin rooster
That's all rite
Meetcha in the gumbo
Tomorrow nite

(Song lyrics perhaps?) No matter; as a souvenir of my years chasing the music, and sometimes autographs too, this unique copy of Gumbo suits me to a T. If you need a prescription for parity in this mean old world, well, just call for the Doctor.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gone Missing

Leimbacher and his accomplice are rumored to be hiding out on one of the San Juan Islands.

But the forces of order are closing in, and recapture is imminent, their return to civilization a matter of days at most. Further developments, if any, will not be reported.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


It's here. It's grand... and it's irritating. It's strong... but it's wrong. It's beautiful and dutiful; and it's pitiful. It's the most elaborate presentation ever accorded a major film score, and it's driving movie soundtrack fans nuts.

I wrote a few weeks back about the then-forthcoming box set devoted to Spartacus, legendary 1960 epic film starring Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons, and Sir Lawrence Olivier, directed by Stanley Kubrick and with a powerful and revered score--more mythic than heard--by Alex North. (This 2010 issue commemorates 50 years since the film's release, 100 years since North's birth, and the 1000th album produced by Robert Townson for Varese Sarabande Records.) About then, all hell broke loose among the rabid and raving filmscore fanatics, who proceeded to wrangle and argue and praise and thank and vilify the producer and his entire endeavor as hubris, aggrandizement, and wretched excess; a failure of imagination and a cock in the snoot to movie devotees who've yearned for decades for a complete score package but who now can't afford the $110 price tag, which buys six CDs of music plus a tribute DVD of interviews with composers influenced by North.

So they raged: "Has Townson gone 'round the bend? Seven discs and a fancy book?" "Where are all the other Stereo cues we know must be squirreled away somewhere?" "Who cares if Jazz musicians and other composers love 'The Love Theme' and want to share in the glory?" "Forget this overkill thing--when will the perfectly adequate two-CD Mono version be released, because I can afford that one?"

Now, a month later, the angry and the eager, the attackers and the defenders, the miffed boycotters and the paying customers, have managed to fill scores of pages of unsound but furious blog comments and namecalling back and forth, on the handful of websites devoted to soundtracks and other things filmish; the Film Score Monthly message board alone has well over a hundred pages. (After the first thread reached 1000 argumentative comments, a calmer thread was launched; find it here.) But now that the box set has actually been released, what will the verdict become?

Well, North's reputation will survive the brouhaha. After studying in Russia and then with Aaron Copland, scoring a dozen War years documentaries, and working with Silvestre Revueltas and a dance company in Mexico, in the late Forties North re-established himself in New York as a (sort of) serious composer for hire, which culminated in his startling music for the original staging of Death of a Salesman, directed by Elia Kazan. And then in 1951 he went from New York to Hollywood on the strength of Kazan's enthusiasm--where his music for A Streetcar Named Desire immediately proved potent, sensual, shocking and new. Film scoring had gotten by for 30 years on Germanic/symphonic grandeur, but North threw down the gauntlet, challenging studio bosses and excited viewers with elements of Jazz and Modernist dissonance. (Elmer Bernstein soon ran wild with the first, while every other young composer, from Jerry Goldsmith to John Williams, followed in North's wider wake.) By the time of Spartacus, he had a dozen major films in his resume and Cleopatra looming ahead.

The box set's four CDs devoted to the actual film score break down thus: the first has all locatible Stereo elements, 72 minutes worth. But as CDs two and three show in Monaural sound, the score actually runs to 140 minutes plus, so missing nearly 70 minutes of Stereo is a disappointment. On the other hand, the Mono soundtrack delivers most excellently in its own range-compressed way, and is complete. (The fourth CD offers 40 minutes of Mono alternate takes and timing cue preliminaries.)

North's powerful, variations-driven music lives up to the half-century of hype. Hearing all the instruments in crisp Stereo, including spectacular brass and many odd percussion add-ons, is certainly exciting--yet too many themes and developments and inner connecting pieces are missing, whereas the Mono CDs flow onward inexorably, with every tiny cue, changing theme, battle fanfare, exotic instrument, and tender passage in its proper place. Yes, I was swept along too, by what Star Wars/Superman composer John Williams (in a non-Spartacus context) once defined as North's amazing meld of Prokofiev and Jazz, of sweeping orchestral music, dissonant brass, Afro-American "blue" notes and a spirited Jazz attitude, reaching from Moscow to New Orleans.

There's no Jazz in Spartacus of course, and yet... One key melodic piece, long favored but lately berated, and usually called "The Love Theme from Spartacus," became a major sore point among the box set's naysayers. Townson made the calculated decision to include, originally one and then two, discs offering Jazz and semi-Classical arrangements of that exceptionally lovely theme--perhaps to suggest how influential North's music has been over the 50 years. (His "Unchained Melody" is another regularly recorded favorite.) For example, the main three-note motif must have been lurking in Johnny Mandel's mind when he composed "Emily." But I could be imagining things since I'm also hearing echoes of a pre-1960 "summer's day" song, "Lazy Afternoon" or "Green Leaves of Summer" maybe, which would imply North unconsciously echoing Jerome Moross or Dimitri Tiomkin...

Any possible similarities become more pronounced when one listens straight through all 22 theme-and-variations tracks included here--an astonishingly varied array ranging from a dozen flutes (all overdubbed by composer-player Alexandre Desplat); to cello and voice (Nathan Barr and Lisbeth Scott going for multiple layers, mournful and haunted); to terrific Jazz versions familiar from the past 30 years. Initially it was the latter that interested me most: Bill Evans' famous "self-conversation" playing three overlapping piano lines, and Gabor Szabo's unexpected, subdued-by-strings, ballad-to-bust-loose version of the tune, and the fiddle-the-soul thang John Clayton devised for Regina Carter's violin (with Marcus Belgrave on flugelhorn). Other performances, as by Yusef Lateef (exotic) and the Ramsey Lewis Trio (funky), seem tame in comparison, while new solo piano versions find the casual keyboarding of Jazzer Dave Grusin outgunned by the inventiveness of composer Patrick Doyle; and full orchestra ones reveal the London Symphony's sentimental love lament finale (conducted by Eric Stern) laid low by Lalo Schifrin's lively arrangement (shades of his Dizzy days), supporting the keening soprano sax of David Sanchez.

Among the remaining tracks are several that are closer to the sound of, well, soundtrack music--pleasing, perfectly suitable, less essential to a Jazz fan. But I was surprised and transported far by a quintessential quintet of takes: Carlos Santana challenged by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Harvey Mason--heavy hitters in a heavenly Latin groove--and his cosmos guitar rising, no, soaring, up and over the stars. Newcomer Diego Navarro recording in the Canary Islands and delivering a gorgeous piano/bass/violin/bandoneon makeover, a tango that sings passionately, evoking the apache dives of Paris and the dancehalls of Piazzolla's Paris of the South.

The brilliant back-to-back performances--sort of high-powered ambient music--by pianist-composer John Debney (with Tina Guo improvising on cello) followed by many-instruments-man Brian Tyler (his piece like the clear changing rush of a mountain stream) provide a quietly glorious climax midway through Disc 2, a one-two punch that makes the last four versions seem diminished and anti-climactic. But even Debney and Tyler are topped, back early on Disc 1, when Mark Isham calmly shows off his chops, blowing great Miles-ish trumpet in a fusion-drive arrangement backed by his eclectric trio called Houston Street; of that little-known band, Tom Brechtlein splashes his drumlines everywhere, and multi-tasking keyboardist Jeff Babko keeps mightily busy. Easily the longest version at 11-minutes-plus, flowing major to minor and back again, Isham's magical remake best shows how far Jazz musicians can get starting from just three notes.

Of the other items in the box set, I'm not inclined to say much. The DVD of interviews with film composers Desplat, Isham, Navarro, David Newman, Schifrin, Tyler, Williams, Christopher Young, and producer Townson himself is packed with many epiphanic moments, but Townson's decision not to cross-edit, or cutaway to pictures, or offer musical examples--no livening allowed!--but instead simply to show each commentator speaking straight through his contribution to each discussion chapter, one then another then another, again and again and again... does get a mite sleep-inducing. But watch it a few chapters at a time, and all's well. The 100-page book he wrote, in contrast, is packed with wonderful photos, carefully detailed musical analysis, great anecdotes, a thorough bio and filmography of North, and more--Townson's prose clear and eminently readable. I now believe I'd buy the set just for his book and the Love Theme CDs.

So getting the complete Spartacus score as well, two-and-a-quarter hours of perfect music, a complex and many-layered composition the equivalent in length of two symphonies, that took North over a year to create and in the half century since has proved to be hugely influential as one of the top two or three masterworks by one of the top five film composers of all time... well, let's just say the Spartacus box set is really all cake and no need for frosting.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Flogging Some Dead Rockers

I note in passing that the Elvis Industry proceeds apace. Consider these elements... Continuing Big Apple performances of the stage musical recreation of The Million-Dollar Quartet. New 75th Anniversary tribute DVD boxes of touring performances (Scorcese involved in the editing) and of his familiar Hollywood films. (That latter set holds 17 DVDs offering 14 movies and the three original tour documentaries, plus commentary, special featurettes and, mustn't overlook, an on-stage photos book and copies of memorabilia for anyone needing Elvis's letters or signed checks.) Also new CD sets devoted to expanded versions of How Great Thou Art, previously unreleased live shows from '74 and '76, and best of all, his Tupelo, Mississippi homecoming concerts back in 1956. I'm sure there must be some new books out too.

Certain dead artists are resuscitated regularly. Besides Elvis, this year one can already point to previously unreleased music CDs and/or DVDs authorized by the fractious Jimi Hendrix estate; discoveries demonstrating that Jim Morrison and the Doors played live and erratically, hither and yon; and new looks at the same old sad stuff about Janis Joplin. England's fragile folksinger Nick Drake is another whose unhappy suicide haunts fans and Rock mags alike. And then there's Gram Parsons, "Crazy Eyes" victim of his own excesses and universally credited originator of country rock--except that he wanted to call it "Cosmic American Music," a blend of C&W, Blues, Gospel/Soul, and a Rock'n'Roll beat. Alt.country performers nowadays revere the sultry, selfish, finally tragic kid too.

I knew Gram briefly and have written about him a few times, which makes me one of the "vultures" picking at his sparse body of work too--another venal journalist or record company shill using him to gain personal attention or actual cash. I absolve the true Parsons fans who flock to Gramfests, love his heartfelt and heartsick Southern Soul music, and work to keep his name... alive, shall we say? One of those is the Seattle woman who sells beautiful t-shirts commemorating various stages of his career, separate shirts for the International Submarine Band, Sweetheart of the Rodeo album (the Byrds), Flying Burrito Bros, eventual solo career cut short by his death, and one or two others. (The shirts are top quality and I own several; go here if you want your own.)

Another is a tall, older guy, a graying Baby Boomer who works at the supermarket I frequent; and every time he sees me has a question to ask or new Gram story to tell. Having seen me wearing those t-shirts, he knows I must be a serious Gram fan too. (Okay, guilty, sort of.) The shirts have persuaded other strangers and working musicians to accost me too, everyone wanting to talk Parsons. Could be a whole new trivia game maybe, called Tell-a-Gram!

Since his death in the early Seventies, every year or two a new compilation recycling old tracks, or a disc issuing unreleased material, or a bootlegged live show, or some bigger combination of the same has appeared. And the number of biographies and analyses and wildly speculative axe-jobs is up to a half-dozen at least, with more in the pipeline. The t-shirt seller friend keeps me apprised of the latest and worst. Among the latter was Grand Theft Parsons, a pathetic movie a few years back about his death and the subsequent stealing and burning of his coffin and corpse. (The oddest new wrinkle for me personally was when I went to New Orleans Jazz Fest a decade ago and by total coincidence wound up staying in the home of Gram's stepmother, last older survivor of his strange Southern Gothic family story.)

But now: coming soon to a stage near you, Grievous Angel: The Legend of Gram Parsons, a new musical based on later solo tracks and a supposedly all-inclusive interview--which lasted only 30 minutes, folks! (Hell, I hung out with Gram four times for several hours, and I don't pretend to have any answers. The long, long interview part of those encounters was posted starting here.) That source half-hour chat was conducted almost four decades ago by the same guy now trying to make a musical and some bucks from it. Parsons was creative and petty both, lived like ol' Hank and sang like an angel, mixed so much sin and salvation into his 26 years that folks have been trying to sort him out ever since. Emmylou Harris still can't get over her year with him. Chris Hillman, bassman for the Byrds and the Burritos with his pal Gram, and a steady-working musician for almost 50 years now, has a chip on his shoulder and a bellyful of too many questions about Gram, Gram, and Gram. Why, he wonders, does the world love Parsons so yet care so little about what his songwriting partner--surviving bandmember Chris, that is--has done in the four decades since? (Supplying an answer, Hillman recently helped write a rather bitter book about those crazy days called Hot Burritos.)

Also scheduled to appear sometime soon is another fancy box set of unknown Gram recordings. I hear it will be very early tracks including folksongs taped during his few months at Harvard, and the package tarted up with a poster, memorabilia, maybe even yet another Parsons t-shirt. Will anyone care? (Advance subscription sales have been meagre.) The last essential Parsons release was 2007's 2CD set (in a deluxe booklet) of the Flying Burrito Bros in live recordings from the Avalon Ballroom 1969; the band was hot and Gram was sober enough. Compared to that one, the next box sounds like more wretched excess--digging, as Tom Rush's song puts it, at the "Wrong End of the Rainbow."

But Gram's fans will keep looking for the gold.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No More Stalling

Mention the Golden Age of Warner Bros. cartoons, and people will shout "Bugs Bunny!" "Road Runner!" "Daffy Duck!" Or maybe remember specific favorites: "The Singing Frog!" "Duck Dodgers!" "Duck Amuck was better." "The Wagner one... you know, What's Opera, Doc?" Someone will name Chuck Jones, of course. And someone else Bob Clampett. And then: "Wasn't Tex Avery involved there briefly?" "Oh, and what about Mel Blanc, all those voices he did..." And every one of those call-outs will have been appropriate, and important to the history of the Warner Studio animation unit--where busy, eagerly active animators (that's a joke, son) toiled for a pittance of wages (soppy strings now) in a building known as "Termite Terrace" (chomping effects) in honor of some critters they shared the space with (ba-da boom).

Less commonly mentioned, though not quite unsung--let's say "faintly sung" instead--is the man whose credit appeared on over 600 cartoons, Carl Stalling, composer and conductor of the wacky and wonderful music that graced, or improved, or saved outright, 'toon after 'toon after 'toon. So it's rather unjust that he should be so little known, considering that he labored for Warner Bros. for over 20 years--and ironic given the genre title of all those cartoons: "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies"!

Stalling wasn't the cartoon unit's first music director, but when he joined in 1936, immediately the music for every cartoon took on new life. Six or seven minutes of perfectly timed zingers; instant fragments, precisely placed and right on cue, that popped up, then vanished in the on-rushing flow. Brief interpolations from some Classical piece by Mendelssohn or Strauss; or a favorite theme written by Raymond Scott; or some newer tune owned by Warner in its ever-expanding filmscore library. But above all, an astonishing, improbably unified field of orchestral music that was somehow 80 or 90 percent Stalling's own: a zigzagging, lollygagging, speed-bagging, piano-ragging, subconscious-nagging composition that might be all of a piece and startling in its apt beauty; or be just brilliant bits strung together, seven seconds of madly sawing strings, bathos and bassoonery, followed by three seconds of solo-flute euphoria, then a four-note fanfare leading to a comic passage mixing oboe, timpani, and chicken squawks, a sudden Satchmo burst of hot trumpet fading into a brief clip from the LT&MM theme itself, and then onward... One could not anticipate what to expect next or at any instant but, however momentarily unsubtle, each score would play so perfectly, reinforcing the great color visuals, that most of it wouldn't even be noticed by the audience; responded to but not really heard.

Stalling worked with the producers and directors and sound effects men at the beginning of each project to plan out all scenes and timings, and then took a week to compose and/or arrange those merry moments of melody. The assembled new piece was then orchestrated by arranger cohort Milt Franklyn and finally conducted by Carl himself at the recording session, typically using an orchestra of 50 musicians; and by the time the animation was complete, so was Stalling's latest looney tune, precisely ready to synch up to picture. And this went on week after week, month after month, for 22 years.

By the mid-Fifties, however, Stalling and the surviving animators could see the writing on the wall. Movies weren't as financially successful, mostly thanks to that upstart called television. Short subjects weren't wanted any more, as theaters sought to squeeze in more screenings of the feature only. It was clear the Warner unit would be shutting down. Carl retired in 1958, and top animators like Chuck Jones were soon out on their own too, establishing their own production companies, still creating where possible. Presumably Carl could have composed for his old pals, but as far as I know, no such reunion of talents occurred. He stayed retired and mostly withdrawn until his death in 1972.

By then, of course, the old Warner Bros. cartoons had become hot items again, popular as comic nostalgia and classic animation both. Collections of the best cartoons appeared, on video at first and then revived for DVD sales. The creators and front office honchos got their credits once more, belatedly writ larger; and even Stalling's scores were accorded some critical attention. Among serious fans a push began to save and promote Carl's music. It took some years, but in 1990 a splendid CD appeared, The Carl Stalling Project: Music from Warner Bros. Cartoons 1936-1958 (Warner Bros. Records W2 26027), thanks to the steady advocacy and then production assistance of various influential people: music producer Hal Willner, animation expert Greg Ford, avant garde Jazz guitarist John Zorn, Jazz and Vocals and animation critic Will Friedwald, and several others. Still available today, the Stalling CD offers a mixture of inspired bits, extended passages assembled in medleys, and some entire cartoon scores; he and orchestrator Franklyn and some musicians are also heard discussing interpretation of details during recording.

One might assume that Stalling's scores without the classic animation they were composed to accompany would be uninteresting curiosities, but not so. Instead, his mile-a-minute changes and far-ranging quotations and appropriate musical compositions meld into a Symphony of 20th Century Popular Music (the first half, anyway)--wildly inventive, effortlessly bouyant, unstintingly comic, unexpectedly tender; a font of fun in the ear of the behearer.

The first CD proved so popular, in fact, that a second was issued in 1995, The Carl Stalling Project Volume 2: More Music from Warner Bros. Cartoons 1939-1957 (Warner Bros. Records 9 45430-2). For the second selection, more whole scores and through-composed passages are present, and fewer disconnected fragments. Between the two CDs, a listener hears part or all of such famous cartoons, among many more, as Hillbilly Hare, Rabbit Fire, Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 Century, Zoom and Bored, Gorilla My Dreams, Putty Tat Trouble, Ghost Wanted, Curtain Razor, Speedy Gonzales, Barbary Coast Bunny, Scent-imental Romeo, Mouse Mazurka, Scrambled Aches, Porky in Wackyland, and To Itch His Own (with the last music he composed for Warner).

Rather than serve up more historical (or hysterical) hype, I'm just going to suggest that any fan of Jazz, Classical, or Pop Music, comedy, animation, the ins-and-outs of pop culture, or laugh-out-loud surprises owes it to his/her good health and joy to own and listen occasionally to at least one of Carl's cartoon CDs. It wouldn't hurt to watch some 'toons either.

There's no more Stalling.