Martini's Musings

Location: United States

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Remembering Palma Pascale

We remember on this day three years ago that we lost our wonderful friend, Palma.  Palm was an incredible talent that I have spoken about to you, the readers, lovingly and thoughtfully  throughout this blog, and will continue to do as time goes on.

Her catalogue of music can be found at her website: , along with two videos I made for Palma -one of which she actually watched with me - we were on the phone together....what fun that was.  There are also photos of Palma and friends, and even a link back to my blog.

As I typically always do while mowing my lawn, I listen to at least two of Palma's CD's, and today on this memorial day,  I chose I'll Leave You The Music and In & Out of Love.  Two fine works that I never, ever tire of listening to.  What a magic, beautiful voice she had - what an incredible, lovely person she was.

I miss her every single day - yet she did "leave us the music" and in that I find comfort.  We love you dear Palma.  And we remember you on this day!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Don't Have A Title For This Post!

Hello Everyone~

It's been a long time since I've been here, and though it's time I came back and started fulfilling my promises, I find I just can't do least, not just now.

There is much more to write about, true.  Palma had some incredible songs that over the years I have listened to many times.  As I listen to them, I find a new appreciation for the stories that she told.  Some of them actually hit home for me, and I know that others feel that way, as well.

There are many reasons I will continue to promote this genius's me, others should have the opportunity to hear her fabulous compositions - all of them.  The pop songs - wonderful tunes that should have been recorded by just takes the right person to hear them. That person was Karen Carpenter, I feel sure - and her life ended so quickly and so tragically - I know Karen and Richard had plans to record more - one of them I've never even heard, nor can I seem to find even a lead sheet to - it's called BOX OFFICE MOVIE KING.  Like many other items, Palm had planned to forward it to me, but...well, we all know what happened there.  And, almost three full years ago, now.  In so, so many ways, it seems like only yesterday.

Then there are the Christian songs - two fabulous albums of them, plus the Worship CD, where Palm sings with such raw emotion.  It's an amazing compilation.

And of course, there are the two musicals that, in and of themselves, are sheer magic.  To know that what I have is a CD that Palm, herself, did most all of the work, in....(I know one of the songs she hired another piano player so she could do the synth work at the same time).  Other than that, it's all her.  She knew the instruments - she knew when to put them in - she knew that "less is more" and followed that rule so that it suited her music perfectly.  She taught me arranging and how to "fill more with each pass" and to "let (it) fill up a corner that needs it" when adding a particular instrument.

I'm fortunate enough to have some other cd's that Palma recorded - her first Christian cd was to be named "Heal Me" and it was piano and vocal, only.  What a hauntingly beautiful cd that I have so enjoyed.

Not to mention the fun, fun, fun cd Palm did in collaboration with two other musicians, Fred Guarino and Joe Orlando.  This one is for those living in extended care, and is called HUG SOMEONE YOU LOVE.  I've only scratched the surface on this one in my musings - it's worth accolade after accolade, and should be heard round the world.  One day.

So you see, there is much more to be done in this blog - so many more fun things to write about - so many more reasons to push my promotions farther and wider for her, knowing that one day, Palma will be a household name - I promised her I'd never stop working at making that a reality, and I won't.  Behind the scenes, there have been letters and promo copies sent - agents and radio stations and others have now heard and play Palma's awesome music -  I am happy for the opportunity to do that, and will continue to do so - and one of them will be THE right person to launch a retrospective look at our late, dear friend's talent and the rest, as they say, will be history. for my writing here, I'm not clear about whether or not to continue, or if I do make the decision to, when it will begin again.  I miss you Palm.

I wish you all the very best.


A memorial brick in the meditation garden at USC, Springfield, MO

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Everything Old is New Again!

Hello readers of Martini's Musings.  Things have changed so much since 2006 when I began this blog....boy, how they have changed.  My regular readers know what I'm referring to, as it's all in these pages....the good, and the bad, over the past 5 years.
            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I have a whole new set of readers now, and some of them have requested that I repost a bit of the archived work I first did.  Though you can get to it if you know where to look, the requests are from those who aren't so computer-literate, as they say, and they wanted to be able to read my first set of reviews for sweet Palma, and the info about me, and how this blog got started in the first place.

So, here you go - The following is my very first blogging about the fabulous music of dear friend Palma Pascale.  She used to so enjoy reading these - she would tell me again and again they were like a mirror for her, reflecting back and reminding her of the reasons she penned the songs in the first place. She told me my words pointed out some of her favorite nuances, as well as just made her feel happy that someone "got it" so deeply.  Onward, then:
                                            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Hello Everyone

It is with pleasure that I now post the first set of Reviews for Palma Pascale's The Broken Cup. This particular CD has been a constant source, especially of late, of wonderful inspiration and healing. I present to you the reviews of Palma Pascale'sThe Broken Cup.

Reviews: THE BROKEN CUPBy: Timothy J. San Paolo


This is the first selection on The Broken Cup. The first six measures are the intro, and they immediately grab the attention of the listener because of the beautiful, gentle method in which the intro is played. This six-bar melody concludes with a luscious chord suspension in the final measure.

These six measures are, in and of themselves, a prayer. This intro gave me a visual of a glorious day at sunrise, and I picture the Lord clearly, standing in silhouette at the edge of a beautiful meadow and, as the sun rises, His arms become outstretched and lifted up towards that beautiful sun.

The music is so lovely that this visual was just automatic! It’s as if the song were written for the opening credits of a movie. The intro, alone, has that “chill factor” for me, and I immediately knew what a wonderful listen had to be in store.

I was NOT disappointed.

The lyrics tell such a true story and it is thoughtfully penned. Palma sings the beginning of this song softly ~ meditatively ~ as if she is quietly explaining the how and what of the story. Many times words are whispered to add exactly the correct emotion ~ to make it prayerful, and powerful.

The message itself is one we so often take for granted, and ofttimes need to be reminded of: He is THERE for us, ALWAYS ~ we only need ASK and when we do, our needs are met without question and without the need to do anything… except ask.

The orchestration chosen for this opening number is simply, outstanding. The melody is so incredibly moving, and when embellished by the graceful movement of the strings, becomes quite stirring.

I love hearing suspended chords…just moves me if they are used correctly…there is one in a particular spot within this song that just knocks me over each time I hear it. That spot is actually a replica of the intro, yet adding the lyrics…well…I find it a bit “haunting” for me because I relate to them so well. They are: “Jesus, I left you standing; I apologize to you…” The suspension and resolution occur on the word “you” where, dynamically, we hear a bit of a swell leading up to and including the word “you” ~ and as the chord resolves, so too does the swell – it’s truly breathtaking!!!

This song is relatively short in length, yet it is fraught with meaning and it sets the tone for this incredible compilation of praise!

Kudos Palma! Well done!!


As you begin to listen to this wonderful, minor-keyed melody, close your eyes and picture the Tuscan countryside. The voicings of the chords and the instruments chosen, lend themselves to a style that is reminiscent of a European influenced composition. The lone oboe certainly adds to this feeling.

One reason I was immediately drawn to this lovely song is because I so instantly related to its message. I thought to myself while listening to these powerful lyrics how many times I have ended-up having not only been in the same state of mind as described (i.e., lonely, empty, etc.), but also with the same questions (can I be heard? ~ Can I be loved? ~ and most importantly, CAN I BE HEALED???). I related INSTANTLY to this message of every day struggle. YET, we also know our questions are rhetorical and we ask them only out of desperation and to find affirmation as we already know and have the answers, all. “…You are my God ~ You are my healer ~ All earthly cares do I yield…”

The smooth, emotionally-charged rubato melody line and accompanying chords leading to the phrase “all earthly cares do I yield” provide that ultra “chill factor” that simply cannot be denied. This is quite a powerful transition point in the song.

Simply put, the song is strong; it’s enormously moving…. and the chosen orchestration is rich and lush, yet not overdone whatsoever. Palma’s voice is strong, sure and true. With her voice, she is capable of conveying the emotion of the lyric so clearly and strongly that the listener finds themselves COMPLETELY immersed in her story.

This song will truly lift your heart as you experience the exceptional musical composition and the story the lyrics so gently tell. What anawesome creation, this!!!

Oh God, I’ve made a mistake…” begins this 1950’s styled girl-band doo-wop influenced tune, set in what I call a 4/4 time, triplet-feel rock ballad. (For a comparison of the “feel” of the song, think “House of the Rising Sun”).

The song is a gutsy-sounding ballad that, musically, has a rhythmic drive of intensity. It’s somewhat “blue-sy” and coupled with the lyrics makes for a wonderful listen. The lyrics are compelling. Again, these lyrics speak to our every day struggles – that is, it basically says “Oops, I’ve messed-up again, God – how many more times do you think it’ll take until I get it right??

Quite cleverly written by Palma, these lyrics are basically a conversational-type prayer, one that captures the listener’s attention from the very first statement. This just adds another striking dimension to the song.

The song begins with a one-note string line softly working up to a nice level volume, setting the initial mood…and then the piano comes in with a riff that is repeated until the lyrics begin. Once they do, there is still an intimacy of just the piano, vocals and skillfully exiguous drums, which are played by Palma’s best friend from college – Robert “Sticks” Levy. (Robert provides the drums throughout the entire CD). Musically, the build is brilliant. Palma goes, then, from this grouping and gradually adds first that lone string line back, then bass and a fuller “trap” sound. The vocal harmonies parallel the build in the music! Keeping it on the simple side here, allows for dynamics to be more appreciated towards the end. I really love the way Palma purposely holds back on the notes while singing this tune – it’s a technique not easily done – one must have a great feel of just how long to hold-back these notes for effect – and she does it wonderfully, of course. By the time the chorus is sung, the fuller of both instruments and vocals are evident and the listener feels satisfied that they are now fully immersed in the song. Yet, surprise! We’re treated to the sound of a Hammond B3, Leslie, which increases the intensity level by one more prudent notch. As you can hear, the song completes this course, building nicely both vocally and instrumentally until the very end. But Palma isn’t finished building this masterpiece…not quite yet.

First, we have a key change and the modulation serves to add even more intensity yet, but wait…. wait…. wait…MOVE OVER TONY PELUSO – STAND ASIDE DAVID GILMORE! Make room for Palma’sEXCEPTIONAL recording engineer and album co-producer, Fred Guarino, who takes a turn at a bit of lead guitar solo work, here. The solo actually reminds this writer in a huge way of the history-making Peluso solo in Carpenters “Goodbye To Love.” Fred’s execution of this solo is very tasteful and it’s right-on the money. The feel he gives this solo embellishes the song and is the perfect bit of “icing on the cake” so to speak. (Fred Guarino is the President and Owner of Tiki Recording Studios in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York.) This solo is awesome, Fred. Incomparably well done.

The lesson we are reminded of in this song is one of hope and courage. One wonders if the song is simply a sad ballad at the beginning, but it ends-up being a “feel-good” song all the way. I guarantee that as the listener, you will be smiling by the end of the tune and thinking to yourself “how’d she NAIL my thoughts so well?”



Palma uses a violin with the piano to set the tone for this song…not a sophisticated string, rather the distinct sound more of a “fiddle.” Here, the intro is simple and understated – it almost has an “anxious” feel/sound, to it.

As the lyrics begin, we hear only vocal and piano. This time this conversational piece is between vocalist and listener, yet, give it a close listen because it’s quite introspective as well – the vocalist is asking herself the very questions she poses to us.

Lyrically, this awesome tune is thought provoking, but in a very down-to-earth, most understandable language. Palma does not attempt to be “flowery” or to use big words in her songs. She writes these lyrics with her heart, and that shows, because that’s the place they touch us as one is listening to them. “…Did you talk to Him today? Did you say what’s in your heart? Did you tell Him of the things that are tearing you apart? Did you think to ask His help? Well, you know you really could…He is waiting on the way – did you talk to Him today? Well, you know…you really should…”

The rubato first verse is so lovely and thought provoking – slowing at just the perfect moment in the message as to give the listener an extra bit to consider. It’s chilling, and effective.

As Palma works her way into the bridge of the song, we hear a beautiful, though oh so slight ritard along with a wonderful crescendo of cymbals. With voice doubled here, Palma’s two-part harmony is a lovely embellishment from the verses. As the chorus progresses, we hear an even more pronounced ritard and build of the music to include not only the crescendo of cymbals, but wonderful deep, powerful tympani, bass, strings and other instruments as the chords of the song take a new direction to enhance the remainder of the section even more. It’s another chill factor spot that can bring a tear to this writer’s eyes because the music is packed with emotion and that emotion is easy to recognize and to react to! Well done! Outstanding!

Verse three provides an arpeggio-type piano rhythm that is beautiful and gives the listener the “release”, if you will, needed from such a dynamic experience while listening to the bridge. Palma gets to a “whisper” stage on some of the words in this verse and the result is pure magic…. genius!

It sounds to this writer that a soft oboe is used to add to the drama of the closing few bars which turn out quite nicely. A fantastic song from start to finish!


A delightful complete change of pace here as we listen to an oboe along with a classical, unplugged guitar providing the intro and setting the mood to this, the title song. The delicate strumming of the classical guitar as performed by Mark Newman, provides a perfect backdrop for Palma’s voice on this song, either by itself, or with the addition of the oboe and strings, as each are introduced in turn to continue the build of the song. Though the melody is light and flowing, don’t be fooled and take this to mean the song is “fluff” or “filler.” Its message is very profound, and that cannot be denied.

Mark’s guitar, to me, gives the song the slightest flavor of a Spanish-styled number, though that mostly rings true during the solo part rather than throughout the entire piece. A very nice, way different feel, overall, with this beautiful ballad. Haunting melody and lyrics, each. KUDOS! Exceptional.


Palma duets here with good friend and world class bel canto tenor, Gary Jerome. This piece at first makes me think of a children’s story – a bible story, perhaps. If you will, both music and lyrics have a sweetness to them – a lightness to them. Palma opens with “…Long time ago on the ocean sand, a letter was found by a lonely man…” We then hear a beautiful flute that makes one think of birds flying over the water – yes, this scene is definitely set for those of us listening – set by the music, itself. As Gary begins to sing along with Palma, he comes in as the “voice of God”. What a perfect match for what I have imagined God would sound like when singing – Gary’s marvelous voice is, of course, very polished – very trained, very studied, quite beautiful and very, very strong.

The feeling changes as the duet begins and the song’s dynamics change, as well. Suddenly, in my mind’s eye, the “lights have gone down and the curtain of the play is opened” and this beautiful song sounding as though from a Broadway production, is being sung. I picture the roles played out in full costume to the story being told. Very dramatic, indeed.

Verse two reverts back to our children’s story sound – Palma’s use of instruments lends to this feeling – this portion is, simply, a more intimate reading…UNTIL the bridge where we are again transported musically and lyrically to the drama of the play. Orchestrally, the verse plays again, but the music does not revert back to the “simpler” sound – rather, the intensity continues to grow throughout this instrumental break and by the time the vocalists resume their singing, it has build dynamically to more of a fever-pitch! First, we have a ritard to build the fervor, then we hear Palma continue to sing the melody, while Gary has begun to do what sounds like an “improvisational” harmony, if you will – it sounds as though he is so wrapped-up in the intensity, ministry and emotion of the song that he has become inspired to sing a contra-melody that beautifully enhances the melody line Palma is singing. It’s quite intense. The song’s story has such a glorious point, too – no matter if there had been only one soul – just ONE, God would still have sent His only son to live and die for him/her. Chilling, don’t you agree? BRAVO!

Ever heard Shania Twain’s CD “Come On Over”? The way in which Palma sings this marvelous upbeat rock/gospel song made me think immediately of Shania and her song interpretation of that lead track,Come On Over.

This song is killer…it rocks in glory to the Lord. The words say it all – “I’m always amazed You’re the God who loves me – loves me like no other.”

Palma belts this one out for us, folks – her voice is so strong and clear and the pitch is, well…..perfect! We have more great guitar on this number, too. Guitarist Mark Newman displays a great deal of taste as he accompanies Palma’s vocals. In fact, it’s Mark’s guitar we hear in the intro – just outstanding, Mark. Completely tasteful and soulful. Thank you for your contribution here.

I have attempted to sing this one, myself. NOT an easy task, trust me when I say tell you that! Palma, however, delivers it beautifully and seemingly, effortlessly.

There are times I hear a country inflection within the song, yet it’s definitely a rock-influenced gem. I love the way
Palma plays 8th note chords on the piano for emphasis and to change things up on the bridge, and then reverts back to that laid-back rock feel, once again.

I enjoy the harmony voicings Palma uses in this song. They’re not three-part chords, rather just intervals that work perfectly – that make a real impact. She told me before, “simpler is more.” I suppose she proves that quite well with this tune.

Let’s not lose sight of the message, here. Though the music and this arrangement is unmistakably outstanding and will bring the listener back time and again just in order to experience the great feelings one gets while listening – the MESSAGE is so important!!! In a nutshell, it is this; “Lord, You have given me so much – everything I have comes from YOU – and I stand amazed that You’re the God who loves ME!” WONDERFUL song, indeed.

This gentle, melodic, rubato composition captures the listener from the get-go. We find ourselves once again the audience of a story being told about the “man” that Jesus was while on earth. The feeling, the emotion that Palma sings with is so “raw” here – it’s incredibly melodic and beautifully orchestrated. She sings softly, almost in a whisper in places, yet in others, an incredible yearning is evident. It is apparent the vocalist longs to “share” with her audience not only what this “man” has done, but what He continues to do for all of mankind. And in particular, for HER, our composer. It seemingly becomes quite a personal message and it is most touching and moving – on many different levels.

So far, this song is completely different in style and arrangement than any of the others have been. In fact, each song to this point has a totally different sound and feel (via the instrumentation chosen and the way the vocals have been sung, both the melody and the harmonies). All of the music is composed, arranged and played by Palma, herself – with the exception of the guitar that Mark Newman contributes, and the drums, played by Robert Levy. Otherwise, Palma uses various computer generated sound samples, played via keyboard. Fred Guarino, as her engineer, provides the various voicings for Palma to choose from (“Fred Tools”, as Palma affectionately refers to them) – Palma tells me she does not actually write out her vocal harmony parts but rather does what comes naturally to her and she “hears” them, then creates the vocal harmonies “as she goes.” What an INCREDIBLE talent this takes, ladies and gentlemen…what a creative, energetic, FOCUSED mind this takes to be able to record in this fashion. BRILLIANT – simply, Brilliant!!!


What a wonderful tune this is! This one is very different than any of the others on The Broken Cup.

We are first introduced to a wondrous pan flute type of voicing, described by Fred as a “World Ethnic Low Whistle. It’s very sort-of tribal sounding. And then the percussion is introduced – this was a pre-fab drum sample Fred and Palma found in the “deep-dark recesses.” Palma’s voice is doubled as she sings the opening chorus:

We are standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before us~
True believers in His glory – righteous armies, noble chorus

Mostly set in a minor key, as the first verse is introduced, we are treated to lovely strings, piano and mysterious sounding drums – not as heavy as on the chorus, but with various accents added in for a wonderfully surprising effect. And suddenly, a crescendo, like a blossoming flower into a beautiful major chord, accented with harmony as Palma sings the words “round the throne of Jesus Christ.” (Glorious, this). Here, that all-too-familiar “chill factor” comes into play. What a truly lovely change-up, here.

On the second chorus, Palm is joined in singing by a small group of Franciscan Brothers who, coincidentally, happened to already be in the studio on the evening that Palma recorded this song. Taught their parts there on-the-spot, Brother Paulus M.T. Antz, Brother Augustine M. Conner and Rocco Musmeci sang as though they had been singing this song all of their lives – with beauty and with grace. I’m reminded here of monks singing at a “Vespers” service – all together, and of one voice. Palma, meanwhile, adds a touch of harmony here and there, vocally, and the chorus makes quite an impact.

As the song progresses, there are various added touches with strings, piano, and Fred Guarino adds a wonderful bit of guitar to this number, rounding it out nicely, along with drum rhythms which are layered to enhance this beautiful number. It sums with the wonderful addition of occasional “chimes” throughout the last chorus as well as the most regal sounding, ultra-crisp strings.

This composition is unique in its structure, here. It stands alone in its reverent beauty. What an astonishing talent our composer has been gifted with….and she uses the gift, so well.


Ah….one of my very favorites. Simplicity at its finest – rich with texture. Palma makes this song sound simple, though it’s far from that…however, that IS the idea – she even takes the vibrato out of her voice to keep it pure and simple…the pattern of chord changes are so incredibly gorgeous. I’m not sure how, exactly, to describe it – but Palma takes us from this very soft, pure beginning and as she goes through the verse, the non-traditional chord progressions makes one breathe a bit faster – listen a little more closely – smile a little bigger. Then, it repeats….same thing over again – piano, voice and strings – it is to moving that the listener finds themselves wanting to know just what’s coming next… me it’s like watching an intense, colorful sunrise – rising – rising – until finally that sun (“son”) finds the perfect spot in the morning sky…and it’s glorious! Majestic! Palma includes “chimes” as we reach the pinnacle of the song, which just adds so much to that “moment.” Incredible.

Suddenly, as the ritard begins – the dynamics begin to soften, and one hears the words “you will not fall” and then we’re back to the simple, pure portion of the song, as it was in the beginning. Palma reduces the vocals to a mere whisper, to give the listener a true feeling of “sweetness”. Of course, the verse builds dynamically and there comes an even grander point in this verse – Palma sings it so clear and strong – the message is so vital…..and suddenly, yet again, we’re back to that stillness……that simplicity…….that pureness of a soft, lovely voice who so awesomely states the main theme of the song….”Don’t Be Afraid.”

Chilling. AwesomeInspiringPoignant!!!


All your sins are in the sea of Forgetfulness, where He washes them clean….All your sins are in the sea of Forgiveness, as if they never have been…” What a lovely sentiment, yes? This is a flowing song in 3 / 4 time. Palma has chosen an electric keyboard for this number, written in a minor key. Embellished initially by a soaring flute, strings and drums, the message comes across softly, sweetly, yet powerfully. Palma has a way of doing that in her songs. I’m especially partial to this song as she introduces an accordion sound – which to me gives it that European feel…as if one were sitting at an outside table on a Piazza in Florence, listening to the song being performed. What a “wow” lyric this beauty contains towards the end in referencing forgiveness. Palma gives this lyric that neat little spin – you know the one – it makes the listener “think” a bit as she sings – “…it’s there for the asking – and that’s all He asks of you….come to Him…” All I can say after listening to this one is “WOW.”’


This is the first composition from the Broken Cup that I chose to record. It just happened to be the first one that really just knocked-me-out when I heard it for the first time. I knew immediately that I wanted to do it at the church where I play, as I loved the bouncy style in which it is done.

This song to me says “old time gospel.” It has a country flare – beginning with the steel guitar sound in the intro, but a rock sound, as well!! Definitely a “gospel” feel to the piano work. Mark Newman’s awesome guitar, rather than emphasizing beats one and three, emphasize beats two and four – pure fun! Then, in the bridge, the bass line starts “walking” and the tune really swings. This walking bass gives this section a definite jazz feel, and that makes a HUGE difference in the overall composition. It’s so tastefully done – such a fun song!

Personally, I’m one who very much enjoys hearing suspended chords, when used correctly, and I’m a big fan of the major 7th chord, as well. Palma likes using the effective suspended chord and the major 7th in her arrangements. The suspensions definitely appear in this song – and they are placed so strategically, and they sound so COOL. I just love listening to this great composition.

Palma builds her verses vocally by adding first one, then two additional harmony parts. Remember, “simpler is better.” She uses this to her best advantage in this song. I love the backing vocals overlapping the main vocals on the phrase “God’s Hands will never let you fall.” Very, very cool!!!

The bridge is excellent …It’s just a couple of lines – but it gives the song perspective. It gives the entire tune a bit of pizzazz, so the song doesn’t just repeat and repeat. It has this wonderful “extra” in it. Plus this helps to build the song, because in the last verse, we have more – more instruments – more voices – more fun.

The reason I gravitated to this song first, however, was NOT because of the music, at least….not entirely. It was the MESSAGE. Such a positive, upbeat message. I just love it…it’s so cleverly penned, and it’s so absolutely true – passages like “How do we fit??…Can’t imagine……….How does He do it??..I can’t fathom….I suppose that He must have the greatest hands of all – God’s Hands will never let you fall…”

Isn’t that a neat way to write that sentiment?

BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO. This one is a kick, and I love it. BRILLIANT, this.


Another in 3 /4 time; and simply a wonderful song. I’ve sung this one as well, and will record it, soon. The message is so strong – and when I sang it, I got comments like “Hey Tim, if I were to call you during the week, would you sing me that song….as a reminder?” and “Thank you for singing that song, because I needed to hear that message today.”

So you can see that lyrically, it’s powerful. Very powerful. The message is one of those that I feel Palma is best at describing. She tells it like it is in most understandable terms – (paraphrased) “Lord, I’m looking ahead and I’m scared to death – I just don’t think I can do it – I look behind at where I’ve been and I regret so much….but then You so gently remind me I am Your child…therefore, please help me to remember I need just Enough Grace For today…”. Indeed.

Musically, the song is another wonderful piece. It has a beautiful melody line, and before you know it, you find yourself singing along… The “hook” is memorable, just as it should be. The harmony parts are so nice – not overdone whatsoever, but just that simple, lovely flow. The music is the same way – the instrumentation is gorgeous – and the modulation at the end really adds a great deal to the overall composition. I like this song very much, as I’m quite partial to the message, and need to remind myself not to ask for a lifetime of grace – as all I really need is “just Enough Grace for Today.”…Thank you to our composer extraordinaire for this wonderful song.


Well folks, here is another “girl band” rock song, though I’d call this one straight pop/rock rather than doo-wop. This one is so great. If I had to liken the “sound” of the song, I’d choose a 50’s song called “It’s My Party” by Leslie Gore. Leslie was a great singer, and I’m reminded of both her style, and the type of music she sang with this number.

It’s a classic pop/rock song that gives the listener a lot of bang for the buck, so to speak. Again in this song, Palma gives us a fine vocal that is so strong and clear and just wonderful. Fred Guarino plays guitar, as doesMark Newman, on this one. Lots more questions that Palma is seeking answers to in this song. I love the line “…I heard there was some good news ~ I could sure use some ~ Lately, everything’s bad news ~ think the end’s about to come….”

Now, isn’t that the truth these days? Just turn on any newscast – you’d think it was Armageddon!!! The war in Iraq – the pending war in Iran – the current battle in the Middle East – rapes – murders – missing children, suicide bombers. You name it; it’s happening – daily. It just never ends.

This song is sung with a confidence that takes the listener to a safer place – knowing everything is going to be okay because of the love of God.

Palma uses that 8th note piano riff again in the bridge of this tune – emphasizing what she’s singing – it underscores very important vocals, here…and the point is well made. Then, as the bridge ends, we hear a wonderful “echoing” of vocals.

There is just a bit of overlap in the same words, repeated, and it’s just such an energized, fun listen. I think this song is perfect as the final song of the CD. It’s upbeat – it’s kicking, and it rocks! To me, this one sums up all the parts and makes them whole. BRAVO! KUDOS! BRILLIANT! OUTSTANDING…..all !!!

Writers Notes: I am of the opinion that Fred Guarino is very, very talented, not only as a guitarist, but for the unbelievably great job he’s done as the engineer and co-producer of The Broken Cup. Fred is responsible for recording and putting together all of the pieces Palma composes, sings, plays, etc. I give Palma, the Producer, and Fred, the Co-Producer HIGH PRAISES for the result of this amazing compilation. Add the wonderful drums of Robert “Sticks” Levy, the overwhelmingly beautiful tenor ofGary Jerome and the exciting talent of guitarist Mark Newman, and wow – you’ve got quite a wonderful set of musicians on one CD.


Let Me Introduce You To...The writer of Martini's Musings:

Hi everyone. My name is Tim!   It was about one year ago that I became aware of the magnificent music of Palma Pascale. And, may I say, made a wonderful new friend in the process of discussing her music with her. Palma has kindly answered a multitude of probing questions for me in order to fill me in on "who did what" and "how she did this and that" for all of her songs. We have communicated a great deal over the past year, and I have found Palm not only to be a phenomenal artist; composer, arranger, pianist, vocalist, conductor - I have found her to be a delightful, warm, compassionate, understanding, encouraging and halarious friend. Oofah! as she says - if you want to hear a funny story, Palm can tell them well. Friendships just don't get any better than this, folks. Thank you, Palma, for taking the time to help me understand things from your perspective as a writer and arranger. Thank you for your candor, your humor, your compassion and your encouragement. THANK YOU, TOO FOR THE MUSIC, and, most importantly, thank you for the friendship we now share.

I have been a musician myself for the past 30+ years, and have enjoyed all sorts of music, ranging from Big Bands to Jazz (piano and vocal) to Pop, Rock, Country and Christian. I have a very soft spot in my heart for theCarpenters, and Billy Joel. Oddly, it was through the connection I have as Global Moderator of a wonderful website called Carpenters Online, that I became acquainted with Palma Pascale.

You see, Palma wrote the wonderful song "Love Me for What I Am", that was recorded by Karen and Richard Carpenter and released in 1975 on their incredible album HORIZON. It was due to an interview that Palma granted to the web master of Carpenters Online (COL), Rick Henry, that I was introduced to her "other" magnificent music.

During the course of this year, it has been an honor and pleasure for me to get to know Palm, and to learn about the music that she has written throughout her career. Palma has written at least two musicals, which will be discussed in this blog: WHAT THE HELL, NELL! and Bachelor Buttons. Further, Palma has compiled two CD's of her pop songs, of which there are many. (More on her catalogue of music in the reviews of "In & Out of Love.")

The pop collections are: "In & Out of Love" and "I'll Leave You The Music." Finally, there is the first CD I was introduced to, and the first one I have chosen to review. This is a collection of contemporary Christian music entitled "The Broken Cup"The Broken Cup is an amazing compilation, and one listen is all it takes to be "hooked" on the awesome talent that is Palma Pascale.

I hope to take you on a wonderful journey of Palma's tunes through "the mind of the ear and the heart" of one who has both enjoyed listening to the music, and who has also performed many of the selections Palma has written, so far.
NOTE: All music is copyrighted by Palma Pascale.
Certainly, there are many individuals who are responsible for the making of these outstanding works. First to be mentioned here is Fred Guarino. Read about Fred's background in the "Credits" thread. Fred is the owner and President of TIKI Recording Studios, Glen Cove, Long Island, NY. Fred is the engineer for Palma, and he is the co-producer of her albums. Fred is an amazing individual, and another whom I've had the pleasure and privledge to get to know over the past year. A truly knowledgeable, kind and considerate individual. Fred is also quite a gifted guitarist, and his lead guitar work can be heard on Palma's recordings. Fred takes great, great care in ensuring that these recordings are first-class, all the way. Much care is taken to all aspects of recording, mixing, editing, etc. It's obvious from the final result that these details are an important "piece" that makes up the "whole." Great job here, Fred. Just outstanding.

Please feel free to post your comments here in Martini's Musings. Why is this blog called Martini's Musings? Ah.....we'll save THAT for another time.....


Sunday, September 11, 2011


"...I will guide you from above, so tread lightly as a dove....and remember....all I ever taught you was to love..."
Palma holding a gift from Fred
A framed copy of her CD "THE BROKEN CUP" 

September 11, 2011 -

 I sang "All I Ever Taught You" this morning to a crowd of half smiling, half weeping listeners at my church.  Palma's story touched the hearts of those listeners this morning, just as it has mine since I first heard she and Frank sing it on their CD's.  Here's my version:

LIVE - All I Ever Taught You by Timothy JSP

September 8, 2011

It doesn't seem possible, really, that two years have already gone by since Palma's death.  In some respects the wound seems so fresh and new - as if only a few hours, certainly not years, has passed.  And in some ways it seems like so very long ago that we said our goodbyes to one another.

September 8, 2009, is a day that is permanently imprinted in my mind.  Yet now, so many other days "play" over again in my head....happier days of my memories of time spent one way or another with Palma.  Like the second time we talked on the phone and I heard that strong Lawng- Guiland accent so clearly.  I was SO surprised, and told her so.  She wondered why I was surprised....after all, she" LIVED all hur life, heah. "   We laughed and laughed.  (The first time we talked was the day she was diagnosed, so it was short, and tentative but I knew all about it via e-mails and instant message conversations).

Palm in the vocal isolation booth at Tiki
Anyway, she asked me why I was so surprised, and I told her that having listened to the spoken introduction of WHAT THE HELL, NELL! I had never heard ANY accent in her voice.  NONE!!!  So, in her best Yiddish Mother's voice she tells me "OF COURSE that's all spoken without an accent!!!  I worked HAUD to say all of that quite distinctly and properly.  But when I'm not workin' and I'm talkin' to my friends like we aah just now, I don't wanna have to wurk at it!  Oy Vey! "

"Talking with my friends"....that was SO nice to hear.  Palm and I were kindred in that way, because it was easy for either of us to talk about how we felt about things - her music, my music, her compositions, my writing.  We could say what we felt to each other, and we DID!

Straightening THE BROKEN CUP on
The Wall of Fame - Tiki Recording Studios
Let's see......there was the Sunday 
afternoon Palma phoned me in sheer panic thinking that somehow she'd managed (she thought) to have allowed all of her copyrights to expire!  It's a memory I smile about now only because I was pleased that she called ME to ask for my assistance.  Of course I checked immediately on all of her copyrights, only to discover that they were all quite safe, and for many years yet to come.  I phoned her back with this news, telling her she had nothing to worry about.  That had been such a relief for her.  She told me she could now rest easy; now that she knew her copyrights were safe and all in-tact.

Or how about the time she packed-up a bag full of information in order to "schlepp" into NY City by herself, to check on and determine a legal musical matter or two, and the phone call I got just after she'd boarded the LIRR on her way home.  She was completely outdone (and unfortunately, the trip had completely worn her out).  Frustrated at the non-results of this huge effort, she was just beside herself at first.  She hadn't gotten the answers she had hoped for....but by the time she had to transfer trains for the last leg home, she was feeling much better because we'd begun discussing Bachelor Buttons and the Sondheimesquesness of those compositions.  I felt so good about being able to get her mind off of the distressing situation and onto one that perked her right up!  Her music!  :-)

Fred, Tim and Palm in the kitchen at Tiki
One of my fondest memories, of course, was the day Palm & Fred (Guarino) took a day to show my wife and I the studio where the "magic" happened.  Palm asked me during our time at Tiki if I'd record one of her BROKEN CUP selections.  (Tiki Recording Studios, ,Glen Cove, NY,  is owned by Fred Guarino).  Well, THAT was something I'd never anticipated - to record one of her songs - but I guarantee you nothing could have made me happier than to record my favorite composition from THE BROKEN CUP, "Get Up One More Time."  Palm didn't have to even ask me - she already knew the track I'd choose and would want to record the most.  I felt SO honored that she would ask me to record one of her tunes, using her own performance track.
Tim & Palm in the vocal isolation booth
Tiki Recording Studios
Can you imagine just how nerve-racking that was for me in a way?  I mean....this was my first time at Tiki - the very first time I'd actually come face-to-face with either Fred or Palma - and for as much as I admired Palma's talent as a singer/songwriter, and Fred's amazing talent as a master engineer - here I was, in the vocal isolation booth, earphones on and mic in place (the very mic Palm used when recording at Tiki), getting ready to sing in front of them.....and one of her compositions.....recorded by Fred!  

Oofah!!!  And, THAT's an understatement!!  :-)


But, here's the deal - both Palm and Fred were SO encouraging to me on that day that my fears of perhaps being inadequate there in the studio with these two quickly faded as they were good, the both of them, at making me feel encouraged and good about what I was doing there.  I have since worked more with Fred in the studio there at Tiki, and found him to again be highly encouraging, and helpful.  I would have LOVED to have had the opportunity to work again with Palma.  :-(

It was truly a magical day that day.  I also recorded a part on Frank Rendo's brand new Christmas CD, REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS, and I knew it must have been Palm and Fred's idea for me to join in with others on that song, as Frank and I had never spoken before he e-mailed me and asked me to add my voice!  

Ah yes, it was another very happy moment spent with Palm as Remembering Christmas  is one of her own compositions from her musical, WHAT THE HELL, NELL! about when Palm told me how she typically reacted at a healing mass.....then having the opportunity to attend one of them with her, and observing it for myself.  (Palma was quite in tune with the Spirit).  And, of course, she reacted just as she'd told me in conversation time and again.  She was one of a kind, this kind-hearted, loving friend of mine.
Tim & Palm at the piano - Tiki
So, so many of these memories flood back, even as I'm writing tonight.  There were so many smiles given me by Palma - what I mean is, she made me smile often, not just in conversation, but every single time I heard any of her work.  I would find myself singing merrily along, and smiling from ear to ear.  That still happens to this day.  So many times when I listen to the body of Palma's work that I possess, I find myself smiling.  It remains a thrill on every listen to hear a nuance I hadn't caught before, and again, that happens often.  Or, perhaps, because the story she's telling her listeners is so completely "spot-on" as, like I've said many times before, Palma was so tuned-in to human nature...she could write about the human condition in such a way that you, as her listener, just knew that there was true knowledge of the subject matter, and probably because "in part the stories are true and based upon personal experiences" as she told the fans at "Carpenters Online."

No matter what the tunes were based on, they were so "man, she must be talking about me" good!  They were so perfectly told that I would undoubtedly find myself smiling during the song at some point, realizing the truths behind the words.

Frank and Palma at Tiki
One fond memory was when Palma discussed Frank Rendo and his talent with me for the first time.  I remember it so well, as she was working in the studio with this "Italian guy" she'd told me, and it was during her "I look pregnant I'm so swollen" period.  Palm didn't really ever  what you would call "gush" over anyone when we discussed some of the talented performers she'd recorded with.  She did have some extra fine words for her great friend, the late Pete Stora; she told me Arkawdy was a "wild man who could blow a sax with abandon" and Gary Jerome had a voice like no other.

But when it came to Frank, Palma had a lot to say!  She told me during this particular conversation that Frank had an "amazing" voice (as she called it), and when she told me she "hoped she could do a good job for this young Italian man" I could tell he had impressed her, big time!   Palma, like me, wanted to do whatever she could do, to heighten and push forward Frank's career.  She and I would talk about our plans to do just that for hours at a time.  She had plans for him, and was pleased to know how "on-board" I was with her plans. 
Tim & Palm laughing at the grand piano
Tiki Recording Studios
I could go on for paragraphs reminiscing about this & that, but you get the idea.  There have, this second year, been many fond memories of Palm that have flooded back to me, and it feels much better to be enjoying these memories rather than only thinking about the heartbreaking truth that she is separated from us in such a "final" way.

But I wanted to also mention here that Palma's projects continue, even now.  Projects, you ask?  Yes, that's right.   A new website is receiving final touches before publication at  This was something Palm had really looked forward to in many ways.  It just didn't happen in her time with us.

Did You Talk To Him Today?
Also, on 10-10-10, her huge vision of a production to be presented to the people of Long Island, with profits going to a ministry that was near and dear to her, "Jesus Alive," took place just as she had planned for it to at the Patchogue Theatre to nearly a full house. For some reason,  I have a stumbling block about writing a full story about this fine event, but one day, I will do so.  Palm was present in many ways during this long-awaited event.  Her original tracks were used for the soloists' to sing to, and her backing vocals were, of course, on those tracks.  
Orlando Pena

  I spent literally months listening to tracks Fred had made especially for me that had the backing vocal volumes way up with as much separation as he could manage, because Gary Wilson's Jesus Alive Choir would be singing these backing parts on many of the songs used.  I did the best I could do to make choral charts for the choir, but had to do it all just from listening, then charting, then listening some more.  

Orlando Pena was in charge of the Artistic Direction, Choreography and co-production of the program, while Frank Rendo was the production supervisor.  Jackie Carey, another of the dearest people who was a close friend to Palma, and took such great care of her as Palm would tell me often, led the Jesus Alive Dancers.

I took one of Palma's THIS MUST BE HEAVEN tracks, (The Golden Rope of Jesus), and orchestrated an arrangement for the 10-10-10 production.  Fred had left it as a gorgeous piano/vocal selection on the CD, but Frank wanted an orchestrated version, so I did one, keeping in mind all of the tips Palm had given me about arranging.  As I did for the album arrangements, I sent Fred Guarino each separate track, and he mastered and mixed the arrangement along with Palma's original piano track.  I didn't know he was going to do that...but that's the sort of generous fellow Fred is.  I'm very pleased with the final result, and I think Palma would be okay with it too!

There was well over a years worth of serious work done by many to get this musical program up and running, and in between the grieving process.  That part was, indeed, difficult.  As my regular readers know, I wish I'd been able to have attended the 10-10-10 show, or even the replay of it on 7-11-11, when it was brought to Bay Shore Assembly in Bay Shore, New York. That wasn't meant to be, but Orlando sent me this message that I will forever hold on to, regarding this show.  He said:

                    "You were, are and always will be, in my eyes, a part of that production. (The show) was of Miss Palma's last wishes and we were part of it. We were her instruments, soldiers, missionaries, elves and saints in getting the Lord's message through, and Mr. Tim, you were blowing that horn and heard by many hearts!

    His words here made all the difference for me in not being able to attend.  Thanks, OP!
I'm  continuing to add to this blog....I'm writing for the website.....and I'm staying in touch with musicians and artists, friends and family alike who help me fill-in-the-blanks of things I didn't get answers to before September 8, 2009.

   Palma's work continues as others record her compositions, and I will continue to tell you stories new and old, and I have some great stuff to talk about in the blogs regarding the two musicals.

   I would like to leave you with some words from Palma, herself.  I am excited to share this with you - I came across these videos because the man who shot them happened to read something somewhere that I'd written about her.  Thanks Bill, for these wonderful video clips.  I'm honored to have them.

Let me set up these clips for you in order for you to really be able to understand why I found them to be such a treasure.

Recall I've mentioned before about Palma's "visit from Jesus" and some of the songs that came from her walk with Him!!  The first clip, then, finds Palma walking into a room filled with cancer survivors, where she's supposed to talk and share with them as well as sing to them.  The time frame, this occurred for reference, was as Palma was writing the songs from THIS MUST BE the time, cancer-free!  Some songs were already completed, others would be, soon.

Take particular note about Palma's description of heaven - she tells us she was "too lost to call" and she "didn't remember Him, but He remembered ME."  She says she sees a light ("over there shines an orange sun") that was, actually too brilliant and too beautiful for her to look at long because as a "human" just visiting, it shone so incredibly, it was beyond her comprehension. 

If you know the songs from THIS MUST BE HEAVEN, you will recognize some of them came from this visit with Jesus, and she talks about what she saw in this video clip.  I call it her "testimony about heaven."  It's a wonderful piece of footage.  I'm so pleased to have it.  Now you can also enjoy it.

(NOTE:  I am sorry but I have attempted FOR HOURS to add all three video pieces here - the first one simply will not load......  So, below, just before the other links, I will "transcribe" what Palm says.  She continues on video 2, and 3.  Bill sent it to me as one video, but somehow after a time, I could no longer get sound on it.  As it is, the FINAL VIDEO does not track correctly - can't seem to get it fixed and it's sorta weird to watch that Palm's visual doesn't match up to the audio, but I still watch it, anyway.    I'm sure happy Bill put it on YouTube.  These links are not accessable except through here - it's a restricted video.   Thanks again, Bill)!!!  Even though you have to see it in three parts, I KNOW you'll be able to enjoy it.


"...Last year, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you know, that's a sneaky, tricky one and it's a little hard to get over that one.  But through the prayers of, I don't know how many people but some of you who are in this room were praying for me, all the doctors and the chemo and everything else - it went smooth as could be, and I stand before you today............. cancer free.

The most miraculous thing about my experience was, on the 5th day after my operation I lost it.  I was perfectly okay up till then, but on that 5th day, I lost all my courage.  I also lost my good name!   I was saying to somebody yesterday - when you get a sickness like this, your good name starts to appear on lots of bad reports.  CAT scans that have YOUR NAME, and under it it says something terrible - and other reports that have YOUR NAME, and under it it says something terrible.

And on the 5th day when they sent me home from the hospital, instead of being relieved, I was horrified.  I WAS HORRIFIED.  And, I didn't have any personality left - when you get a sickness like that, it's like everything you ever was is gone!  You are, now...CANCER!!!  That's all you are, okay?

I lost my courage, and I went back to my house and I was out of my mind.  I think it's like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it happens after you've been so brave - you know, you were up on the rooftop waiting for the helicopters to save you, and they take you to a safe place, and fall apart!  

And when I fell apart, I laid on the bed and I figured well, this is it!  I'm about as miserable as I can be - and, I'm NOT done....  You know, you're not done after surgery with cancer...they got other plans.  You're gonna have chemo, you're gonna lose your hair, and bla, bla, bla.    They talk about it like it's nothing.  

And, with that - laying on the bed, I suddenly felt SO GOOD!!!  It's as if something came and like took me down the elevator shaft, down to the bottom floor, and I felt so GOOD all of a sudden - I remember thinking - woah!  What just happened?  I felt mentally well - I felt physically well...and, all of a sudden, to the left side of me, Jesus Christ, Himself, actually appeared.  I had my eyes closed, but I wasn't asleep.   

He was here, about (shows) "this high" and, I heard Him.  He said to me "You couldn't hear Me."  And I said to Him, you're right, you're right - I couldn't hear ANYTHING.  All I heard was ME - I just heard ME!!   And He said, "I was here all along."  

And then He went like this with both His hands (shows the people-arms out in front, palms up) and then He said "rest in Me."  And I took that to mean just jump in His arms and don't do anything.  And I remember thinking, ah......THIS is perfect cause I can't do anything!  I can't even move a spoon.  I...I...I....I'm LOST!

Then (tentatively) I wanted to ask Him if I was gonna be okay, but Iike I didn't wanna ask Him cause like I didn't in my mind I was going ... Oh I really wanna ask Him - it's JESUS - I could ask Him.....then would think no, you'd better not ask Him, maybe you're not gonna be alright.  

And with that He said, in a very low voice, He said "Don't worry, you're going to be fine."  But I kinda doubted - I thought Oh, I made Jesus say that - He felt sorry for me - you know?  Really - you know, you'd think I'd be STUNNED that Jesus was standing there, but it was really very normal."  

That's the end of the first tape and I've checked the links below - you can get to the other two videos.  Enjoy them.

Palma in concert
Palm would want me - us - to begin to heal and to remember her fondly - that sense of humor she possessed was so keen - she made me laugh over and again!  Just as I feel she would want, then, I've used my time today to lovingly recall some of my stories and wanted to share them with you all.  Please, if you have stories to share, pictures to share, music to share (thank you, Irv for the MP3's you sent my way - I shared them with others, too) then send them to me, please.  I'd love to incorporate your memories into my writings. 

Thanks to my faithful readers.  Thanks to Bill for sharing his video, to Fred, Frank and Orlando, too, for their loving care of Palma's music and vision - time and time, again.
  For now, just remember:  "...I'll be watching from above, so tread lightly, like a dove....and remember, all I ever taught you was to love..."  


Photo Credits and special thanks:  Frank Rendo, Fred Guarino, Orlando Pena and photos from my own collection.  Thanks to Dominick Avento III for his graphic artwork on REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS and DID YOU TALK TO HIM TODAY?.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Palma Pascale  at St. Paul's in Bethpage

Hello fans, friends and family of Palma.

I'm publishing just a short blog today because it was on this day two long years ago, that we lost this beautiful soul, and I wanted to ensure the day was marked in some fashion, here.  I have thought about her a lot, today, as I have every day over the past two years.  Regular readers of Martini's Musings know that it was THE BROKEN CUP, Palm's first contemporary Christian CD that captured my heart, and was the catalyst for our strong bond.

I am in the middle of two things I have promised.  I am in the middle of writing a new blog for this page that will have some very special elements to it, I hope.  We can do new things with Blogger, now, and if it works as I hope it will, you'll be in for a bittersweet treat, believe me.  AND, I am putting the finishing touches on a new website for Palma.  I will keep you posted on my progress with it!

We miss our dear sister and friend, Palma, yet we know that she stands with the army of those who came before us, along side the son of God in the Heaven she sang so sweetly about, and that her influences continue to encourage the lives and hearts of many right here on earth.  Godspeed always, my dear friend.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You Know How It Ends by Timothy JSP

I've loaded the song that tells the story for you, just so you could get an idea of how fun this musical is.  This song gives you the plot and storyline.  Remember, Palma does ALL the parts in this, her conductor's CD.

Enjoy this, and read more, below!


Sunday, August 07, 2011

So, so much to write about!
~(and that's a good thing)~

Hi Readers,

So I kept asking myself over this past week - "which one of these musicals do I write about?"  I have written a bit about WHAT THE HELL NELL at various points within this blog, and I've written a bit about Did You Talk To Him Today? as well....There's a third magnificent musical Palm wrote called "Bachelor Buttons" and I will certainly write much about that, too as it is also filled with special, fabulous, "what should I do?" I wondered.....
Palma Pascale

It has been a significant amount of time since I wrote anything about WHAT THE HELL, NELL! and though I had indicated in previous blog posts that I was going to be writing about "Did You Talk To Him Today?" first - I just don't think I'm ready as yet to do that.

I will share with you, however,  that I have now seen the production of "Did You Talk To Him Today?" in its entirety.  The DVD I have does not want to play past "Oh That I Could," (one of the beautiful musical numbers), on its I tried it in many DVD players, until I found the one it would (mostly) play in all the way to the end.  I still missed a few things, but I got the gist, I think.

Poster for 10-10-10 production of
Did You Talk To Him Today
And so,  I have now seen the ending too; it was nice.  I have plenty of questions before I blog about it that I need to ask either the show's Production Supervisor, or the Creative Director/Choreographer.   Alas, everyone's time seems much more limited these days.

Though I'd thought once I'd seen the entire program I would write more about it immediately...after some thought, however,  I think I will keep it on the back burner for a time.  I'm still not sure how the play took on a life of its own or how the order of the songs came to be, and believe me when I say this; I have so many more questions that, as of this writing, I just don't have answers to.  I wouldn't be able to write about the show intelligently with insight, as has been the case from the start.  I feel like I'm on the outside, looking in.

For now, then, I have decided to continue to write about something I DO know a lot about, having discussed it with Palma herself, time and again.  See, Palm was really proud of this musical, too -  and by all rights, she certainly should have been.  I would love, someday, to see the actual score, and the "play" that this clever group of 23 songs was built around (Palma having rewritten the play from the original musical called "Gold In The Hills)."  Yes, not only did she compose the music, she re-worked the entire spoken play as well. And, as I said, she liked the outcome.
Palma Pascale's Conductor's Version

When she sent this one to me, only months after we'd first met, its creativity and genius kept our conversations alive time and again.  We had a lot of fun and many, many laughs discussing it.  And it still grabs me today, just like it did back in 2006.   Diving into her work as I have done...well, there's so much to study.

I was listening to this fun, energetic, truly incredible collection of songs again today, and it occurred to me how much more I have to say about it.  I believe I stopped writing about NELL in Feburary of '08.  That floors me, frankly - that it was so long ago.  I'd done one introductory blog, then the February '08 blog about NELL.  Seems I got all the way to the third song!!!!  :-)   See what I mean?  There's just so much here that I want to comment on and write about.  Palma's musical capabilities, and her storytelling is one of those things I will never be able to fully understand...I mean to say, I know I couldn't do it like this, and for it to come to her as easily as it did still just astounds me.  What a creative mind........what a true's just......BRILLIANT!!!!

Having said all of this, be aware that I have begun more musing about this magnificent piece of work.  It won't be long before I'm back to writing about it in as much detail for you as I can.  Stick with me on this fun ride....I believe you'll be glad you did.

All my best,