Johnny Mandel remembers his musical beginning
NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT...
MUSIC: Shadow of Your Smile (maybe something for Basie would be better)
NEA JAZZ MASTER JOHNNY MANDEL IS CONSIDERED ONE OF AMERICA'S FINEST COMPOSERS AND ARRANGERS IN JAZZ, POP, AND FILM MUSIC. HE LAUGHS TO THINK OF HOW LITTLE HE KNEW WHEN HE STARTED OUT...
Johnny Mandel: I guess somebody writes the music for the band to play and what sort of person is this? And I inquired around and I found out he was called an arranger, now... In 1940, nobody knew what an arranger was, really. People thought an arranger was somebody who moved [LAUGHING] chairs around or something.
MANDEL EVENTUALLY FOUND A TEACHER, NAMED VAN ALEXANDER.
Johnny Mandel: He goes over to the closet in his apartment, pulls out a big bunch of yellow paper and brings it over to me. I said, ?what's that?' He said, ?that's a score' and I said, ?well, what's a score?' and he said, ?this is a snapshot of what everybody in the band is doing for eight bars. You see what it looks like now, what you've got to do is hear what it sounds like.' And he takes out a record, like a brand new Bluebird record he'd just made of a song... it was an old Harry Warren song from a movie, it was called ?Hooray for Spinach."
MUSIC: Hooray for Spinach
He puts it on and the record's going on and he turns the pages as it's going, he says, ?we're here now,' and he does that, he says, you've heard what it sounds like and you see what it looks like and you gotta put those 2 things together. And that takes a long time.
MUSIC: up for punctuation, then fades under and out
THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH COMPOSER AND ARRANGER JOHNNY MANDEL WAS CREATED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. I'M CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE.