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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mellow And Chill, That's The Key...

"I can let my life pass me by, or I can get down and try.  Work it all out this lifetime - work it all out this time."  Lifetime - Maxwell

As I sit here mellowed out by Miles Davis' "I Fall In Love Too Easily", I reminisce of my early exposure to music and how it changed my life.  Not to be dramatic, but we should realize that music holds the key to a lot of meaning in life.  It was not a joke now and wasn't a joke then when Stevie Wonder named his album just that.  Music is scientifically shown to heal and teach in many ways.  Commercials are sold to you by jingles = music.  Music is also used in different types of therapy = music.  There is an actual American Music Therapy Association, really there is.  It's the feeling that music has on your brain, your body and your soul, it's inexplicable.  You try explaining to someone how you felt when you first heard your favorite song.  Or how your wedding song makes you feel when you hear it in passing.  Uh huh...that's what I thought.

I have digressed a bit from my train of thought!  As I was saying, my early exposure to music was from my Dad (god rest his soul).  I would awake on a Sunday morning by the sounds of Otis Redding, Booker T. and the MG's and of course, his woman Aretha Franklin (I did mention previously I have a sibling named Aretha).  You better believe it was every Sunday like clockwork.  And his favorite line to me would be - "Kid, you don't know good music like this!" That statement alone was a challenge for me (I love a challenge!) to learn about the good music I didn't know.  My Father's collection is full of goodies - every Aretha album under the sun, Carla Thomas, Donnie Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and others that I never even heard of.  And it was not just soul music alone.  There was soul, rock, calypso, soca, reggae.  Name it, it was in the house.  As soon as the music bug hit me, I had my second teacher, my older cousin, teach me about the best in the late 70's into the 80's.  A bit of Debarge, Prince, The Jacksons, Millie Jackson, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendegrass, SOS Band, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and then some.  Being inundated with such talents really brought my love of music to new heights.  Like many aficionados out there, I meticulously collected  8-tracks, vinyl, cassettes and CD's.  Making sure to try and not buy anything to tarnish my collection.

I then became a student of piano and later vibraphone.  Of course feeling like I was the only person in the world who played a vibraphone, I was quite content to learn that the great Roy Ayers was a master at his instrument of choice.  So I figured, why not me?  Looking back, music runs right through my family.  I have an aunt who is a Calypsonian, a younger brother who plays a mean alto and tenor sax (and is studying Music at the moment), a cousin who writes, sings and composes music and an older brother who was a DJ.

The whole point of my tirade is that music for some of us out there is life.  We live, breathe, and feel music.  Our love comes in many forms - as a music writer, producer, promoter, publisher, label owner etc and most of all FAN.  Remember in I'm Gonna Git Ya Sucka, Jack Spade was told that every hero's gotta have some theme music?  Well I think that goes for everyone.  Music is the soundtrack to our lives.  And when I reach the end of my journey, I want my soundtrack to be vibrant, expressive and a reflection of the person that I have evolved into because of my Dad's Sunday morning teachings.

Here is the video flashback of the day - this one is for my Dad.  I miss and love you.

That's all for today y'all, see you on the horizon.

Tha Connoisseur 

1 comment:

P@MTL said...

ok...I just wrote someone saying music soundtracks our lives...I know this to be true, for I can always come up with a song that would describe a moment, a feeling or situation exactly...whether it be good, bad or ugly...sometimes, the music gets it right...more than we ever could...