Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The gift.

"Just one more," she says, and I smile in anticipation.

Suddenly, the sweet voice of Amel Larrieux fills my headphones with its melodic nectar.

We talk about music often, feeding each other tidbits of song as if they were chocolates in a box. Some are deep, rich and smooth; others are crunchy.

But they are all part of the world of music, and I devour them eagerly. So, clearly, does she.

There is something of a generation gap in our deep-seated favorites. She gives me Lizz Wright; I give her Alberta Hunter.

But that's not simply a matter of age. I carry -- gratefully -- the memories of a father who was a versatile musician but chose another profession for reasons I never learned. I carry the memories of a friend who, like other professional musicians of his day, regularly explored the dives of "the dark side of the Moon" in L.A. to listen to jazz greats (Art Tatum, the Duke, Fletcher Henderson, and more) work their magic in the only places they were then allowed to play.

My life has been enriched by music in ways even I don't fully comprehend. Had I not been able to -- for example -- shake Louis Armstrong's hand as a child, to listen to him up close, to talk to him and learn, for myself, that the great man on stage was an even greater man offstage, I would have been far less than I am.

And nowhere near as happy.

So now she comes along to feed me with even more music. I could tell her I was a Stan Getz fan before she was born, but I won't. The pleasure of hearing him on a CD she made for me is in no way lessened because I've heard him many times before. If anything, it is intensified by shared appreciation.

She says "just one more," and I smile.

Music is food and oxygen to me.


Anonymous said...

Lyrical entry.

Anonymous said...

I heard Louis in person too and was saddened later on to read that he was stoned on marijuana a great deal of the time when he was performing.

Justlfy said...

Who is "she"?
Music can change my mood.

emd said...

Beautifully put, Scribbs.

KIT said...

Music is food for the soul. I miss it. The only music I've heard lately was while waiting in the pharmacy. Which is better than it sounds, they usually play stuff I like. (I'm not picky, just don't try to make me listen the heavy metal or rap.)