When you are from the place where there is undisputable talent in music and sport, you kinda feel on top of the world wherever you go. Well, I do. And every chance I get I make people know I am Jamaican. I am never ashamed. Even with some of the drama we get into… I use the situations in anecdotes where appropriate and I LAUGH. It is what we are, and because I would not have it any other way. I live with it; I also do the best I can to improve those around me.
Anyway, this post is really about music and what it does to keep my soul in shape.
As a child, I collected records, yes, those circular things that plays on a turntable. I still do, by the way, and I still have a turntable. Those were fun days. My allowance in those years in the 70s and 80s were largely spent on records and books, yes books, I had to read.
I collected the best from Bob, Third World , Vic Taylor, Dennis, Gregory, Marcia, Alton, Beres, Boris, Phyllis Dillion, Pam and Woody, I could go on. For the foreign acts, it was Michael (The Jacksons), Commodores (more Lionel); Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin (all-time favorite), Percy Sledge, Ben E King (the Drfiters), Stylistics, Chilites and Teddy P, to name a few. This Magic Moment
On Sundays, we had a play list of Perry Como, Jim Reeves, Skeeter Davis, Louis Lamour, Dean Martin and then we watched the Matinee. Won’t say much more here, as I am sure you get my drift.
In the 75 – 79 years, I chose dance as a hobby. And we had the most amazing time at the Ewarton Primary School. Donna Summer was on top of the list with some Caribbean calypso and music for maypole. Yes man, I was right in there. Selene, Georgette, Michelle topped the list of artful movers!
As I started going to public events (live shows), I got to appreciate some more artistes and here comes the DJs – Josey Wales, Admiral Bailey, Super Cat; the singers Barrington Levy, Freddie, Dennis, Leroy and the list goes on. Marcia Griffiths was always top-notch.
So far, after you have read this, you must be wondering, where she got time to study and all those things, well, I am here, and I don’t think I did too badly. Anyway…
Live Shows were a must now in the 90s – every drum knock I was there – yard and foreign. And then the LOVE for Jazz kicked in really good. It was no longer just Sunday music. Jazz became the “savior of my soul” – it became my go to music when I needed comfort, joy and some peace.
So, I did research on some, who have become my favorites – John Coltrane John Coltrane , Miles Davis, Chris Botti, Rod Stewart (he has a wicked selection. When you have time, listen to the Great American Songbook – Volumes I to III. I would go far to listen to jazz. I did New Orleans. I have most of what Grover Washington Jr has ever done. I even met his daughter.
Got a little into Ella and Frank too. In the mid to late 90s and early 2000s I invested some time into jazz groups – Four Play, Spyro Gyra (they came to Jazz Festival in Jamaica) I was overjoyed. Now, thanks to YouTube, you can create your own playlist of any kind of music. My Jazz list comes from Motown and the Breakfast songs.
Could not end this blog without talking about the R&B, Soulful folks. Listening to Lalah Hathaway, Donny Hathaway, Randy Crawford, Anthony Hamilton & Kem gives me life. When I am in a troublesome mood, I go for Jill Scott, Angie Stone Brian McKnight.
The point is, I am not sure what I would do if I did not have music. It has really lined my soul with joy, peace and comfort.
Lots of others to mention. But, one day, I will take you down the dancehall path I trod. The excitement and drive the rhythms that dancehall takes you are like no other. Music is a thrill to the soul of man (in this case woman). I keep adding to my list.
Try listening to Daniel Caesar Best Part , he is groovy and exciting.
Until next time…