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"Typical Letter To A Musician"
(Forwarded to us by Will Campbell)
"Dear Music Person:
We look forward to your performance at our daughter's wedding.
If you don't mind, we would like to request a few of our favorite songs.
Please play these during the reception:
A Keith Jarrett composition from his solo series.
Please arrange it for full ensemble in the key of B,
but nothing in 4/4 please.
Mahavishnu Orchestra, "Dance of the Maya",
and please play the guitar to John McLaughlin's solo
from the live performance Nov. 16, 1972 at Chrysler Arena.
My wife and I were at that show and we liked his use of polyrhythms.
One of John Coltrane's duets with Pharaoh Sanders.
Our guests love high register tenor saxes.
We thought a little Stravinsky right after the toast would be nice,
so please play "The Rite of Spring."
We like a tempo of about 1/4 note = 93
and transpose it down 3 half-steps.
It will be so much more appropriate for this occasion
in the slightly lower register.
Then for the candle lighting ceremony,
please play Frank Zappa's "The Grand Wazoo."
The original key of B flat would be fine,
but my cousin Jeannie would like to sing the baritone sax solo in the key of D
- she has kind of a high voice.
When my new son-in-law takes off the garter,
please just a little of Varese's "Ionization."
It's such a funny piece, we think it would go over real well.
Much better than "The Stripper."
And for the bride and groom's first dance,
please slow things down a bit by doing Barber's "Adagio for Strings."
It's so much better than "We've Only Just Begun" or the "Anniversary Waltz."
When my wife and I join in the first dance,
could you segue to Thelonius Monk's "Ruby, My Dear”?
It’s in honor of my wife's grandmother whose name was Ruby.
It would mean so much to the family.
Thanks for all your help.
Depending on the outcome
we'll certainly be happy to recommend you to our friends.
We'll have your check for the fee of $25
(minus our expenses in contacting you of $12.50)
by the end of next month.
We're a little short as the young lady doing the balloon arch
wanted her $1,850 in advance,
and the DJ had to be paid up front his $2,500 as normal.
Our daughter assured us that your love of music
was greater than your need for money,
and that you would welcome the exposure
you would get from playing this wedding.
Before you leave,
please feel free to ask the caterer for a snack sandwich and a soda.
The bottles are returnable or you can pay the deposit to the butler.
Please use the back entrance to avoid disturbing the guests."
Edited by Jack Blanchard.
Copyright © Feb. 22, 2003. All rights reserved.