Friday, March 23, 2012

Live Music

In my music library are many recordings I love and listen to, although I don't have as much time to listen as I want, whether to old favorites or new buys or CDs I discover in my mailbox. Late last year, Ted Gioia wrote, "I try to listen to new music every day, and have made this a part of my daily routine for many years...on some days I listen to four or more albums in their entirety, and a typical week will find me checking out 15-20 new releases." Jealous!

I probably try harder--I do try harder--to make time for live music. Nothing is better than live music. You don't just hear it, you feel it. The music surrounds you and fills you up. There's energy in the air, from the musicians playing their instruments or singing, from the audience listening (or not, as it happens). An emotional connection is formed between you and the artist. It starts out small, a wisp or a tendril, and if you respond and send back your own emotion along that thin and tentative connection, it can grow and become a river of fire. I've left concerts where all I've done is sit and listen and feel, yet I'm exhausted.

So when I received the most recent Mosaic Records newsletter by email and saw this note from Michael Cuscuna at the top, I had to share. (MC, I hope you don't mind.) Read, then please, get out there. The calendar at right is at your disposal.

Pharoah Sanders at Birdland
March 20, 2012

While we all treasure our favorite recordings, revisit them often and memorize them note for note, there is nothing that can replace the experience of live music. Last night I went to hear Pharoah Sanders at Birdland, one of New York's better and more comfortable jazz clubs. I hadn't heard Pharoah live in years and was immediately struck by the richness, power and authority of his sound and the command with which he moved from tonal melodies and improvisations to his trademark growls and screeches - things one can never see and feel from recorded music. It's always a great idea to check on your heroes from time to time and discover some new artists in the process. - MC

Live Music is the Lifeblood of Jazz.

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