Interview: Burt Bacharach (Part 3) - JazzWax

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November 30, 2011


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Ahmed Bousanjani

I was interested to note that your delightful blog was referred to as a source in the Wikipedia article on Milhaud.

Wikipedia! You have hit the big time!

Thank you again for continuing to present the best music blog available.

Bill Kirchner

I've heard Bacharach tell that story about Broadway substitute musicians before on NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. What he doesn't say--and in fairness, probably doesn't know--is that subbing in Broadway pit orchestras is extremely demanding. Any musician who aspires to do so has to come and "watch the book" multiple times and then take a copy of the music home and "shed" it meticulously before even getting a shot at subbing.

By the terms of the AFM Broadway contract, pit musicians are allowed (after previews are over and a show settles in) to take off up to 50 per cent of the time and still keep their gigs. The reason for this is that musicians play eight shows a week; without opportunities to take breaks and play other music, doing the same music night after night, often for years, becomes mind-numbing.

Dave Larsson

This Burt Bacharach series ... wow. What a great set of interviews. Thanks.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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