What is it about music that can change us so easily? Or is it just me? Music has always been a deep part of who I am. Like every teenage boy in the seventies, getting a big stereo was a major deal for me. The first thing I bought was a pair of JBL L26 Studio Monitors. They are a two way system from a company known for accurate sound reproduction. I don't remember what I paid for them but it was all I could do to get them. Amplifier and turntable came later. I went through a couple before settling in on a Kenwood amp and a Sony direct-drive turntable. It was a sweet system to which I added later with a Aiwa pro cassette deck. The fact that I can still remember all that should give you a hint that it still holds a place in my heart. Besides, I still have the speakers. I had the woofers rebuilt by JBL some years ago when they had become so old that they were disintegrating.

I have fairly eclectic taste and have gone through phases of liking this or that type of music. Some genres have always stayed with me. Classical music is one of them. I listen to our local classical station KAGU which Gonzaga University runs. I listen every morning on the way to work. I like most types of classical music, but I draw the line at opera. I'll take the score thank you very much. The singers can take a hike. (I know, I'm a Philistine).

The other type of music that I have always loved is jazz. Now I'm not talking about avante garde jazz that you can't tell what the heck is going on. Rather I prefer classic jazz, if that's a thing. Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, and on and on. Big Band music from Glenn Miller, Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman just to name a few.

This week I needed my musical soul refreshed and found some great music to listen to on YouTube. Do a search for "Larry Carlton and SWR" and you'll find a 59 minute studio session in Germany of some awesome music. My favorites from that are "Mellow Out", "Room 335", and "Friday Night Shuffle" which has some Glenn Miller like brass highlights with the sax, then trombone, then trumpet. Next, go look for "Bob Minster and the WDR Big Band" and you should see another hour long concert called "Reflections on Count Basie" - it's great.

But tonight, I ended my evening listening to the music of Cyrus Chestnut. A pianist in the mold of Oscar Peterson. He has a large selection of piano solos of what they used to call "sacred music". Songs like "All Creatures Of Our God and King", "This is My Story", "Oh How I Love Jesus", and "I Surrender All". Beautifully played, it just settles my mood down to one of calm and quiet. I could listen to him play all night.

Yes, I have lots of other types of music I like, but at the end of the day, when I want to really love what I'm hearing, to just "be" as they say, smooth music is what the doctor ordered.

Category: music