Music and Memories

Good Shepherd Baptist Church
Good Shepherd Baptist Church

I was on my way to a meeting at LARA the other day and saw the steeple of this church a few blocks away. After the meeting I drove over and took this picture because I like the contrast of the brick red and the sky blue.


I decided to watch one of my favorite jazz concerts on DVD this morning. It’s the Milt Jackson & Ray Brown concert at Montreux in 1977. Once you get past the fact that most of the band is dressed like John Travolta in his vanilla ice-cream colored suit in Saturday Night Fever, you can listen to and appreciate the music. Ray Brown and Milt Jackson lead a group that included Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Clark Terry, Monte Alexander, and Jimmy Smith (the drummer, not the organist).

The music is great. Aside from the leaders, who are great, I think Monte Alexander does a spectacular job on piano. To me, he seems to be the driving force in the group; but perhaps I’m overlooking the subtlety of Ray Brown’s bass.

While watching today, during the playing of Mean To Me, there was something in Alexander’s solo that made me feel like I used to feel when listening to the James Moody album Hey! It’s James Moody (so cleverly titled). I owned that album when I was in college, but no longer have it…more on that shortly. I can’t say exactly what the feeling was that resonated, but it was almost like loneliness…but not quite. I wish I had the words for it. It wasn’t quite despair, either. Try to imagine a feeling of hollowness, if you can, that’s what the music evoked.

The reason I no longer own the album is that at the end of the second semester of my Junior year at IU I realized that I didn’t have enough money to buy gas for my car to get home, and to also buy cigarettes. So, I decided to sell part of my collection of music albums to finance my trip home. A student from Saudi Arabia was interested in my jazz albums and bought the Moody album as well as a Jimmy Smith (the organist, not the drummer) album and a couple of Stan Getz albums. Over the years I’ve replaced all of the albums except the James Moody album. I searched record bins (remember those) for years and never saw it again. Recently I saw an MP3 version available on Amazon, and have decided to download the album. I guess it’s true that all good things come to those who wait.