Sunday, March 29, 2009

Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound

Another Beautiful Day In Bahrain.

Hello Jazz lovers,

I had planned to continue with :How I got over you!, But thanks to my friend Linda in Atlanta, the focus changed to gospel. I got so involved in the gospel I almost did not make it to the gym.
Linda sent me the attached link of Fantasia and her Mother (a remarkably beautiful woman) singing 'Done Enough", check it out it is posted on Tangle.

Needless to say, this brought back a lot of child hood memories. I started to thinking about a video I had seen in 1996 titled "Say Amen Somebody" and brother Thomas Dorsey who wrote "Precious Lord", my sisters favorite song. So I looked up the film documentary and it is a must see for all you jazz lovers out there. I had loaned out my copy never to be seen again, but that's OK, for it is now available on DVD, and I just reordered.Rykodisc has posted excerpts from the documentary on You Tube and it is worth a view.

It did not stop there, it lead me to You Tube,which in turn had me digging through my collection for Ms Mahalia Jackson's "In the Upper Room", to put in while I wrote, so it became gospel Sunday in here...Well on You Tube there is a clip of Mahalia Jackson sing "Amazing Grace"
so of course I could not stop there. I looked up Aretha's version , which is my favorite and this post was truly born..What amazes me is this song was written in or around 1773 and published or appeared in print in 1779 was written by a Slave Trader, John Newton.

Mahalia Jackson voice still has the ability to move me to tears, her voice brings up memories of mt grandmother. My grandmother could never remember Mahalia's name when in conversation about her and would turn to me (knowing I was listening) and say "baby what is her name baby you know the one who gets so ugly for her lord?"Watch any Mahalia Jackson video and you will understand what my grandmother was talking about,Mahalia's facial expressions when she is singing is amazingly beautiful to watch.

The beauty of the music formed me at an early age.In Moss Bluff I remember the the music that was in the stillness,the singing of birds,the rustle of a small animal in the bush,the far off sound of a dog barking,chickens, cows mooing. Just to experience the all the beautiful shades of green that appears naturally in nature,the brilliant burst of color of a red bird,or wild flowers in spring. The stillness of walking down unlit roads in the early night, under the most brilliant canopy of stars, and to feel amazing joy for just being.

That's what I hear in gospel, to hear Izola on piano, at Mount Calvary hitting a high note that ricochets around the room and back, seeming to just hang in the air,and felt in your soul,And Franks magic fingers on the organ making it impossible not to be moved oh my such amazing grace.

To be at Midway listening to Minnie Play her heart out, gospel, Aunt Mamie's smile,gospel,Grandma's hands, gospel the beat was moving. My favorite song at Midway was when service was letting out, the old folks would sing and "He never said a Mumbling word" (if anyone has the lyrics to that song please send it to me) and then to walk out into night and be enveloped into the night sky , with the melody still running through my head.Happiness is very simple.
After completing this post, I decided to watch a little TV,(a rare thing for me) and guess what was on? Life is Not A Fairy Tale: Fantasia's story, not to be missed Jazz Lovers.

I will leave you with Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, posted by ahlordgod on You Tube:

Recommendations:Handel's Messiah, A Soulful Celebration.
Sounds of Blackness , The Evolution of Gospel.
The Williams Brothers, Still Here.

Keep the Beat


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Listening to the beat,or "Dancing to the Drummer Again" and" I'm Felling Good"

Hello JazzLovers another beautiful day in Bahrain.
I know I said in the last post "To be continued" and I will, yet this is also part of the story. It is essential when looking into the past that it holds no power over your emotions today.
To be able to understand that it is just that the past, and only a stepping stone to who you are today.( It is still about the music).

I had a wonderful evening last night and it has continued today. After cleaning the kitchen yesterday, I decided to shower and visit my favorite watering hole,(it reminds me of the Juke Joints of old in Acres Home). it is an Arabic place, but everyone goes there. People are very friendly and young people still speak to you and shake your hand even if this is the first time they have seen you. That takes me back to Moss Bluff when respect was a given.

I was and am in a state of being, and in a very positive place in my head and heart. I was listening to the sound system and realized they were playing Angie Stone's 'Mahogany Soul"( I love the cut 20 Dollars) and that amazed me, for reasons I will attempt to explain. In most of the watering holes here you hear only the latest, and oldies of Country, Rap, Hip hop,and Beyonce! if you ask about jazz you get Kenny G, so Angie got my attention, and I asked the Keep where did she get the CD? The response was from a friend that worked in another watering hole, where in the afternoon I have often visited because the Keep likes Jazz and Blues, and I have given her a copy of "Mahogany Soul" gratefully they share so the beat is moving!

I was grooving to the music and "Feeling good"(Randy Crawford) some dear friends came in and we got into a very good conversation with lots of laughter and just enjoying the moment. When in about an hour I was still moving to the beat but it had changed they were playing Arabic music and I was into it big time! I was also carrying on a conversation in Arabic and I have no idea when it changed! That was an amazing moment in time, I was "Dancing to the Drummer Again" (Cassandra Wilson). I am finding out that the beat is universal, the tempo and song may change but the feelings are the same. The Blues in any language is still the Blues. Check out Om Kathoum, the Mother of Song in Egypt, she will keep you spellbound even if you do not understand the words..

This afternoon after leaving the gym I stopped in once more before coming home to more cleaning, I was quite pleased that they were playing Jill Scots "Who is Jill Scott?" Words and sounds Vol 1. And the beat goes on, I had given a copy of that CD to another friend a few months ago... and while walking home I had such a feeling of well being, it is such a beautiful day here ,I think I will close now and walk down to the Gulf for sunset. But I will be continuing the previous post when it feels right, although this is still a part of the story of "How music carried me through or how I got over you. "

A recommendation for you Southern music collectors : Try Southern Journeys. Earliest Times ," Georgia Sea Islands Songs" from the Alan Lomax Collection.
Recommendation for all Jazz lovers : Dinah Washington Sings the Blues a re release on the Cedar Label.

Remember A Thing Of Beauty is a Joy Forever...

Until then Jazz Lovers Keep The Beat..

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dinah continued,Cassandra Wilson and Randy Crawford got me through!

Good Morning Jazz Lovers, another beautiful day in Bahrain.
Thank you to all my friends for your feed back and loving comments, you all are important to me and my life. You are all my music individually and collective you are my beat, my tempo, and my favorite song.

Yesterday continued with Dinah Washington her name just kept coming up in conversation,Kalid and I listened to her while working in his Studio Kalid, (Check him out on Face Book Kalid Swaid Designer) we made it Dinah day. It was just wonderful to allow her to create her mood, what a wonderful voice, she died so young. But lives on. We listened to the "Mad About the Boy" and "Low Down Blues" Cd, check it out if you don't already have them. I need to find away to add cuts to this blog, (remember I am a novice to the net) in order to play some of my favorite artist.

Later in the evening I had a conversation with my sister in Texas and once more Dinah Washington's name came up she was listening to "This Bitter Earth" and commenting on how it brought memories of our childhood. So we had a great discussion on music in our lives(thanks Mom) and the laughter of singing off key. We have all done that! Come on smile it is OK. There will be more on Dinah as I find my voice and where I am going with this meandering down music’s lane.

Now for how Cassandra Wilson and Randy Crawford with Joe Sample got me over you, or Music knows how I feel. It is not about the new transit new hit, for actually that has no meaning except to take you out of yourself. Music if allowed will take you inside yourself to experience true feeling not just pushing down emotions and adding more baggage to the emotional luggage we are already carrying around . And Jazz Lovers I have carried my share of baggage and added other peoples baggage on top of that! What a weight. This is still about music though.

I will attempt to explain, by telling you a story ,(There will be lots of stories here) a personal story. I recently broke up from a very torrid and wonderful love affair (my choice). In the past when this happened I chose music that helped me feel my pain, ( you know what I am talking about) to help me push it down ,wallow in it, to go as low as I could go! Imagine giving someone that much power over your life, as Prince says on the CD “ Come” to go “So low that the curb looks like a skyscraper”! Been there got the t-shirt!

This time was different, I was different, my music was different. To Quote John Lee Hooker “ Blues is the Healer” I had Cassandra Wilson and Randy Crawford with Joe Sample…Cassandra Wilson” I Will Dance to The Drummer Again” and Randy Crawford “ Feeling Good” ……To be continued…

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jazz and Blues Lovers

To Jazz and Blues Lovers
Hello Jazz and Blues Lovers,Now that I am reaching the age of reason(another term for maturity), I am realizing in everyday conversations and interactions just how important jazz and blues has been in my life. While having a conversation with a long time ago school mate ( MADAM OF 'BLOG' & 'BLAB' ), the discussion turned to music. I give full credit to Minnie for suggesting this blog, because of my love for music,and my love for story telling. Thank you dear friend and I am so happy that you are back in my life.

Over the years I remember working in Juke Joints in the afternoons after school,(on my odd year living in Houston) cleaning the place so that I would have access to the Juke BoX for music you did not hear on the radio. Then late at night (after 8Pm) if you positioned your radio just right you could get Randy's Record Shop, Nashville Tenn, for the best Jazz, Blues, and Gospel music in the world. Of course this is before Wolf Man Jack, Del Rio Mexico (another story, another time).

The creation of this blog is to journey through that time and discuss the Greats and their impact on our lives. I welcome you input and corrections where my memory fails or is colored by my emotions of life at the time. There will be no set period or time for the discussions, like music this blog will find it's own tempo, beat, and lyrics.

A good example of this concept and why good music can stand the test of time, I was riding with my friend(Kalid of Studio Kalid) the other day and he connected his Ipod to the car radio and said I just love this song! The song was Dinah Washington " Mad about the Boy", he did know who she was but not her history, but he liked it! and was overjoyed to know that I had all of her music! So today and another day this week will be set aside for him to hear nothing but Dinah! I am listening to Dinah now, and with the greatest pleasure...

Some of my favorite artist in no pertictular order is: Casandra Wilson, Big Maybelle, Joe Sample, Randy Crawford, (Joe Sample and Randy Crawford together is WOW) Ted Taylor, Della Reese, Big Mama Thornton,Esther Phillips,Diane Reeves, Dee Dee Warwick("She kept on talking", Dee Dee Bridgewater,Nina Simone,Etta James, and the list goes on each artist have their own place in my life. I would also like to discuss your favorites. There is also a lot of out of print music I would live to find!!

The first time I heard Cassandra Wilson, I sitting in the Sultan Pub in Istanbul, daydreaming and looking at the Blue Mosk, a beautiful structure, when this wonderful song came on the sound system and I was captivated and every time I hear Cassandra Wilson singing "Blue Light Till Dawn" I am transported back to that moment. As Soon as I got back to Amsterdam I made a bee line to Concerto to buy the CD and has since then bought her Cd's as soon as they come out and she just gets better!

Now for a music trivia question,Here it is, in Cassandra Wilson's Music there is a constant that sets it apart "Hint: It is in the sound"can you tell me what it is?

Well Jazz Lovers that is my introduction and welcome to my world! remember I am from the South ( Louisiana) so I might fall into Southern English sometimes Jazz Lovers.