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Bukowski: Born Into This Soundtrack | James Wesley Stemple
an emily blunt review

 

 

 

Writer Charles Bukowski was a difficult man. The documentary Bukowski: Born into This, gives an audience a rare peek at what makes a man mean and how a mean man can take that pain and turn it into some of the realist prose and heart retching writing the world has ever seen.

The film's music needed to be subtle and yet vibrant - after all the man himself was somewhat invisible by choice. He was a man who "poured whiskey on the bluebird in his heart to keep it from getting out", and could light up your imagination with his affecting, haunting, often humorously grim style of writing.

Composer and music producer James Wesley Stemple has taken his subject and correctly, and beautifully, created notes to accent a legend's life. Bukowski himself may have let his "bluebird" fly a bit with the Track 1, Main Title, in particular.

The cd is a musical montage of individual ranging pieces like little shots of top-shelf audio bourbons; short, sharp and full of kick. The ensemble of musicians, from Randy Kerber's piano, to The Miami Sax quartet, to some principal players from the Los Angeles Philharmonic lend a talented hand to Stemple's notes.

'Boozing Montage', Track 3, is an ode to the Wurlitzer. It's a swanky cocktail -n- bellbottom organ driven snapshot of the music that played in the background during alcohol rubbed mock mating rituals in bars across the US around say 1971.

Staying in the bar-beat, apropos as Bukowski was an infamous alcoholic that would have made uber-playwrite Eugene O'Neill shiver, there's a sexy 'Mean to Me' mix, Track 9, captured by vocalist Diane Schuur that you'll have a hard time not drifting into some bar-fly infested dive of Anytown, USA while it fills the sound system.

The cd is short at 29 minutes but within the 29 minutes of delightful musical bits, Stemple's got a little Bukowski - himself - reading himself, it's the shiny silver shaker that truly completes his audio cocktail soiree of sound. Enjoy.

To listen and purchase->


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