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Cass Elliots Perfect Pitch

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:40 pm
by terry anderson
Most everyone is well aware of Cass Elliot's incomparable voice and perfect pitch. Even Mel Torme ( a tremendous talent known for having perfect pitch also) said in an interview that Cass Elliot had the most perfect pitch of any female singer that he had ever heard. That being said,I'll get to my question. For instance, as Cass is holding the final note The Night Before,(which is riveting!) the flute player moves around that last note and finally comes into perfect sync with her still holding the final note. Perfectly! So what's to stop her from having a little fun with the orchestra at rehearsal and holding whatever note for whatever instrument to tune it properly? Could she have? Would she have? Did she? Maybe one of you technical music wizards could enlighten me. You know, just a little behind the scenes stuff!

Re: Cass Elliots Perfect Pitch

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:27 am
by CassFanForLife
Hi Terry...that's a good question, I'd be interested in a reply to this from someone who's good in the techies of music-vocal aspects.

Re: Cass Elliots Perfect Pitch

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:17 am
by Rbcsoup
Great post. I asked Chet Dowling (who is the source of the Mel Torme quote and was one of Cass' comedy writers) and here is his wonderful reponse. The Chinese Restaurant story is simply classic and a testament to what a great sense of humor Cass had. Enjoy----

Hi Richard... Yes, I might have told you that during a lunch with Mel Torme at the Sportsmens' Lodge in Studio City, he mentioned how much he admired Cass; and that she indeed had 'perfect pitch'.
As for her joking around with a band, even in rehearsals, that would never happen. She knew every musician on her session was hand picked, and top notch. I believe the special arrangement of "The Night Before" was done by the composer, Al Kasha. She really loved that number because it told a story that hit home with so many people. Her favorite line was: What did you say your name was? You, with your hand on the door"... In real life she had a great sense of humor. I recall haviing Dinner with her and Alan Carr at her favorite Chinese Restaurant in Chicago. We let Cass do the ordering. The owner came to the table, and Cass pointed to some items on the menu. "Write this down...Number 9...14...27...and 42.... Okay...that's what we DON'T want....Bring us everything else. And he replied..."Yes, I bring your regular order".
I hope all is well with you and the family....as ever, Chet

Richard

Re: Cass Elliots Perfect Pitch

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:58 pm
by jcg
Thanks for that Richard. That is genuinely very funny!

jcg

Re: Cass Elliots Perfect Pitch

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:33 am
by CassFanForLife
LOL..Richard...that was a riot to read, thanks for sharing that...anymore ?! Please ?!?

I can visualize your story in my mind and , oh my...She would have had me rolling on the floor ....

Re: Cass Elliots Perfect Pitch

PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:43 am
by KimL
Hi All,

Fabulous story, Richard! Thanks so much for sharing... too funny! LOL!

As for the perfect pitch question, as a professionally trained musician who happenes to have perfect pitch, I can share that yes, it is possible to tune instruments pretty accurately utilizing this gift. Hahaha. I've done it a few times for friends. It's pretty cool, actually. Needless to say, when I found out my most beloved singer of all time had perfect pitch, I was totally thrilled.

Warmest Wishes to All,
Kim :)

Re: Cass Elliots Perfect Pitch

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:18 am
by kimleonard
Perfect pitch, to hear musicians who don't have it describe it, is a little like being able to make your ears wiggle--a cute stunt, but without much practical value. Others, however, say that having it is like going to color TV from black-and-white.