Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"The Greatest Ears In Town"

So it's late, and I really should be in bed but I HAVE to tell you about this amazing film/ documentary that I saw today called "The Greatest Ears In Town: The Arif Mardin Story".
It's about the life and career of 12-time Grammy Award winning producer, arranger and composer, Arif Mardin. He seemed to be such an incredible man, not just a genius in music, but also a charming personality and what a sense of humor! Some people are just born with that "je ne sais quoi" and he certainly had it.
He worked with countless people (Chaka Khan, Jewel, Norah Jones, Aretha Franklin, Phil Collins, Quincy Jones, Bette Midler, Randy Brecker; and that's just to name a handful...the list goes on and on and on) but the common thread was his heart... his ability to make everyone feel special. (I'm sure it didn't hurt that he made a mean martini as well :)
I loved his relationship with his wife, and how she understood that he couldn't help but to make music... or the intense passion he had for music, so much so that he did it literally until he passed away.
It's a great film and I highly recommend! I don't wanna give it all away, you just HAVE to see it.
After the screening there was a panel discussion with other Grammy Award winning producers and engineers who worked with the legend.

From left to right: Joe Mardin (Arif's son, whom I had the pleasure of meeting. He is absolutely pleasant and he also co-produced the film), Phil Ramone, Frank Filipetti, Russ Titelman, Michael O'Reilly, Doug Biro (film's co-producer) and Jimmy Douglass.

Joe Mardin and Phil Ramone during the panel discussion

Phil was teary-eyed after watching the film (you could hear sniffles throughout the auditorium; there couldn't have been a dry eye in the house) and he said he missed his "best friend".

Doug Biro spoke about Arif's incredible love for music and how he truly felt that "the music kept him alive" because Arif was in his 70's with failing health yet he was STILL working on music.

Russ Titelman regaling us with one of his Arif stories.

Jimmy Douglass who spoke about Arif's integrity and what an honor it was working with him.

After hearing so many people talk about what a wonderful man he was, it makes one wonder "who are YOU when all is said and done?"

Ok about to fall asleep to "All My Friends Are Here" (Composed & Arranged by Arif Mardin)...get your copy of the cd now (available on itunes...ithink...and a portion of the profits will be donated to The Jazz Foundation of America (which I firmly support), The Lustgarten Foundation & MusiCares).

Special thanks to The Recording Academy for coordinating this event and to Candace Jones for being such a joy at the front desk... it helps to see a friendly face after you've been dealing with NYC traffic. 

Nite nite! 

No comments: