Getting in the Groove

As some of you know, I haven’t posted regularly in quite a while. To get back into that, I want, no I need, to post about one of my favorite subjects — MUSIC.

Sometime ago I started a category on this site called “MusicILove.” It is always a pleasure to make posts that fall into this category, and since I want this experience of posting regularly again to be a joy, I’m coming with a music post near the beginning of my reboot, if you will.

For new readers who don’t know, I am a player. No, not that kind of player. I’m too old for that. I mean player in the best possible way. I love to play piano or keyboards (almost any kind). I do play classical music, but I also play just about everything else. Jazz is my favorite. I can get drunk playing that stuff. When I was in college, and was only minoring in music, I was way down on the priority list for using the practice rooms at school, which had wonderful grand pianos. Those rooms were sometimes impossible to get into. But when I did get in, I would stay for hours and literally be dizzy when I left. No weed for me. Just give me a nine foot concert grand in a room with fantastic acoustics. One of the best highs ever.

Playing became such an obsession that at one point in my life I managed to get paid for playing jazz. I have very fond memories of that, and some of it is going to work its way into a published story I hope.

And the reason I’m going down memory lane today is due to a Facebook memory popping up from eight years ago. It’s a YouTube video of a jazz player. I mostly listen to this guy in iTunes on my iPhone, because I downloaded his videos years ago and converted them to MP3 files. So I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even know until this morning that he still had a YouTube channel. But I’m glad he does as his playing never gets old. He’s Nicholas Tam, programmer, gamer, jazz player with the aptly named YouTube channel, Play it again, Tam.

A few of his goodies:

By the way, I have never heard Richard Armitage mention any jazz music he likes. I certainly could have missed it if he did. If so, please school me. I would love to know what, if any, he likes. Thanks!

Cooling Down

Something to take the edge off after that hefty bout of fangirling Wednesday.

Possibly my favorite jazz pianist:

In this one below, I love how Bill Evans closed his eyes while he was playing. Classic Bill Evans. Check out the bass player Red Mitchell too. It’s the best way to play. Notes are something to be felt, and sometimes embracing the instrument really is almost like falling onto it, yet it cradles you.

Another one:

This is the stuff of my childhood. My dad was a bass player (both bass violin and bass guitar). 40+ years of playing gigs, and it wasn’t uncommon for my mother and me to go with him. I literally spent my youth in places like Village Vanguard. It took growing up to realize most kids are not hanging at jazz joints when they’re ten. These are just some of the things I finally got freed up enough to write about.

Oh heck, one more and with Bill explaining a little of the trio the first couple of minutes or so:

I’m not sure if this post should get the Richard Armitage tag. My CWS must be on the wane, ’cause I don’t have a good sense if this is his thing or not. :D Okay, yeah, he’s cool enough to like it. ;-)