Saturday, February 21, 2009
Yesterday I called conductor and movie music biggie Frank Collura, another great musician from Buffalo, to talk to him about Leonard Pennario.
When I told my mom I talked with Mr. Collura she said, "What a beautiful name."
And it is! Collura and Pennario are both very beautiful Italian names. Speaking of which, remember my friend Joey Giambra from a few weeks ago? He is the one who set me up with Frank Collura. Listen to me! It is as if I live in Milan.
Here is what I got a kick out of about my chat with Frank Collura. He told me a tremendous story that I completely ate up about once in Santa Barbara when he and Pennario teamed up to perform the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3. And he was amazed by the sheer power of Pennario's playing. That is Santa Barbara in the picture above. That is where Collura and Pennario, two great artists from Buffalo's West Side, played the daylights out of the Prokofiev Third.
Now here is what killed me. Frank Collura wound up his story and then he said: "So that is all I have to tell you. That is the one story I wanted to share."
As if I was going to say goodbye and hang up!
Let me tell you, I actually enjoyed that moment.
If there is one thing I love it is when people think they can tell me one five-minute story about Leonard Pennario and after that I am going to go away. Ha, ha! Pennario himself tried that on me the first time I called him from Buffalo. And we all know what happened after that.
So I sat on the phone with Frank Collura, just smiling, knowing what was ahead. As Mayor Byron Brown ...
... would put it, in his methodical, do-not-argue-with-me tones: "This is not the end. This is just the beginning."
Mayor Brown said that once and Howard and I loved it and never forgot it.
With which, Frank Collura and I went on to discuss many aspects of Leonard Pennario. Frank is a brilliant man and had many fascinating thoughts not only on Pennario but on the music business and how it works. We bounced a lot of things around. Including, of course, Buffalo. He knows the priest from my church!
That is a picture of the priest from my church, Father Secondo Casarotto. Now I really do sound as if I am from Milan! That is where Father Secondo is from.
When I finally let Frank Collura go I told him that with his permission I was going to hang on to his phone number and maybe call him back sometime. There is no fighting that either. Sometimes I just get this craving to talk to someone about Leonard Pennario and then, who knows, I might give Frank Collura a call.
I have not been calling people much for the last couple of weeks because I have been putting the book together, trying to structure it and get it ready to shop around. But now I do fancy I will start to return to the phone.
It just felt too good yesterday to be back in the saddle.