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Author Topic: magical musical moments  (Read 4353 times)

slidemansailor

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magical musical moments
« on: February 21, 2008, 07:31:19 pm »

This was too good. I have to share it. Have you ever had a moment of unadulterated pure joy thanks to music?

Yesterday I got to enjoy the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. I first heard Wycliffe Gordon yesterday afternoon in a combo with trumpet player Ed Polcer, who complimented Wycliffe’s sweet and colorful style. They were presenting a class/performance on New Orleans Jazz & the Fine Art of Collective Improvisation. It was WONDERFUL. Hoo-Boy can Wycliffe make that trombone dance.

The opener for the Wednesday evening concert made me nervous as the young Russians (elect-guitar, elect-bass, drums, alto sax) were apparently getting paid for the number of notes they played with higher ones somehow paying better than medium and low. But the concert went to GREAT immediately thereafter.

The All-Star Rhythm Section played behind and with soloists, duets and combinations including Wycliffe Gordon’s magical trombone, Ed Polcer’s gorgeous trumpet, Aaron Weinstein whose jazz violin reminded me of the best I’ve heard and Houston Person’s sweet and wonderful tenor sax.

Unsurprisingly, I hadn’t had enough when the brassmen left the stage, but all good things do come to an end.

I was surprised to find that Dr. John’s sound has not perceptibly changed in the long time since I last heard a recording of his and that the sound was a heck of a lot more exciting than I remembered. Another surprise was that I enjoyed the drummers more than I usually do.

They gave us a special treat and brought the drummers, Dr. John and several other musicians back to the stage for a special New Orleans closer. All three drummers played together, off each other and around the New Orlean’s classic the stage band was running through. Dr. John on the grand piano was a complete joy, while the drummers were over the top.

I can’t describe the excitement and pleasure I was getting from that music - I was darn-near ecstasy, on my feet with the whole rest of the stadium.

Then, strolling towards the stage from the floor behind me, two trumpets, two trombones and two saxophones joined in (including, of course Wycliffe Gordon, Ed Polcer and Houston Person). The pleasure almost turned me inside out - it was radiating outward and inward, colliding and flowing through me in every direction. All I could do is stand there and cherish the moment while they took a lap around the floor on their way to the stage to finish out the tune.

That was one long climax that left me glowing for an hour … or do I count it through now, 16 hours later?
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slidemansailor

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2008, 09:50:40 pm »

I don’t know when I last had a turntable but suspect it has been a decade since I was able to hear my modest collection of vinyl albums. While my taste has moved rather strongly towards jazz and big band music, the ONE album I have been wanting to hear is Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor.

I have some other truly wonderful stuff, like Papa John Creach, Bolero, Chariots of Fire by Earnie Watts and the original by Vangelis, Scherazade, Moody Blues, Chuck Mangione, Jefferson Airplane and Starship, Songs In The Key of Life and more.  But the ONE that really had me hankering for a turntable was the 1970 cello performance by Jacqueline Dupre’.

In the back of my mind was the idea that an audiophile with great (misplaced) confidence in the economy would upgrade, enabling me to get an older premium sound system for pennies on the dollar. I’ve long lusted after a system that could truly reproduce sound at any volume, but never found them within reach. Well glory be, IT HAPPENED!  I can hardly believe I waited this long. Harder still to imagine, I spent two weeks wrestling with the decision to buy it (during which time, their price dropped a bunch).

Thanks to Al Gore’s Internet and Craig’s List, I brought home a 400-watt Pioneer system, in a Pioneer cabinet for $90... tuner, amplifier, cd, dual-cassette, 4 mongo speakers, and of course the all important turntable with a stylus that probably cost $90 by itself.

As evidence my day was going well, the Fed-Ex-driver daughter and I were able to load it into the pickup without a hitch, I got through 17 miles of cross-town driving without damaging it and managed to outsmart the unloading challenge by myself, thanks to the Newfoundland ramp I made for loading and unloading our dog.

I bravely rearranged Missy’s furniture layout and set up the new stereo with optimal spread between the two speakers. I almost turned the “radio” on to test it, but realized this moment was special and should be treated with reverence.  It was only 4:00, I had several things I wanted to do with the remaining daylight, but I gave the instance its full import.

Pour a glass of Merlot, put Dvorak Cello Concerto in B Minor on the turntable, set the volume at concert pitch and put my feet up in Dad’s leather recliner centered opposite the speakers.

Savor the moment.

In the intervening years I have heard recordings of widely acclaimed Yo Yo Ma performing this piece to perfection. But it didn’t live up to my memory of the recording I owned. How much of that was an idealized memory?

Almost a fairy tale, gifted musicians Daniel Barenboim wed Jacqueline Du Pre’ and made beautiful music as conductor and soloist in performances around the world. In this recording he weds Jacqueline’s passionate cello to an inspired Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Of course the cello is the best part. One of Chicago Symphony cellists proclaimed, “That girl plays like you dream about but never quite pull off”.  Flawless, for sure, but so much more feeling than the notes could have had without her interpretation.

 What more can I say?  It was perfect. The old record even had a few “pops” on it to add a nostalgic touch in this digital age. Powerful. Strong. Sweet. Romantic. Stirring.

I had goose bumps, chills, tears, grins.  Yeah, the album is every bit as priceless as I remember.  The stereo paid for itself with THAT MOMENT.

As the sun set over the neighbor’s freshly plowed 75 acres outside our picture window, I was still savoring the moment, the stereo and my rekindled love of classical music reproduced the way it should be.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 09:52:54 pm by slidemansailor »
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Bill St. Clair

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2008, 02:53:11 am »

My most magical musical moment in recent memory happened last August when I heard Pinchas Zukerman play a violin concerto with the Boston Symphony. Oh, the tone that man emotes from his "Dushkin" Guarnerius del Gesù violin of 1742! Full description, written when my memory was fresh, at http://billstclair.com/blog/pinchas_zukerman.html
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ShortyDawkins

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2008, 07:37:54 am »

My magical music moment was being at the Tanglewwod Music Festival to hear the Boston Pops do the 1812 Overture, complete with canons and fireworks. Positively magnificent.

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Claire

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2008, 09:01:17 am »

Wow, slidemansailor! I do believe those are the two most beautiful pieces you ever wrote here at TMM. Not being big on music, especially not big on jazz, I had entirely missed the first post. Glad you bumped this thread with the second. Bravo!

Magical moment of music: A lover and I were at Fort Worden state park. This is the Victorian-era waterfront military base in Washington's Olympic Peninsula where the movie An Officer and a Gentleman was filmed. Very beautiful place despite its origins.

The evening was growing dark as we walked along the beach. Suddenly, from nowhere and everwhere, enchanting music swelled around us. The music was flutelike but unlike any flute I had ever heard. It echoed out of the very ground, filling the air with wonder. Everywhere we turned, there was music -- but no source.

Finally, we made our way toward a place that seemed more musical than the rest. It was an entrance to one of the WWII-era concrete bunkers buried in the earth along the shore. We stepped down. Deep in the bunker, in shadow, stood a flute player.

When he paused, we spoke with him. He was there for the same reason we were; because of the enchantment the ugly, mundane bunkers lent to the instrument's sound. We never saw his face, never knew who he was. We just walked back up the steps to the grassy hill beside the shore and watched the last rays of the sun glow on the water as the fairy tones rose from the ground like musical mist.

Claire

P.S. I had a few other magical musical moments in the 60s. They involved Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and Country Joe and the Fish. They also involved "enhancement" -- chemical, not physical -- so I'll save them for another time.
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Klapton Isgod

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 09:09:55 pm »

I just had a magical moment...  Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald:  Take the A Train

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhK-zYfFsIY
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Mr. Dare

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 09:35:07 pm »

Ahhhh Duke and Ella, that was truly a match made in heaven. Midnight Sun, I Got It Bad (and that ain't good), Two of my all time jazz favorites... :mellow:
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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 09:44:48 pm »

Led Zeppelin, '77 Spring Tour, Greensboro, NC "Achilles Last Stand"  musical nirvana...
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Clip Johnson

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009, 10:08:19 pm »

I was blessed to have worked as an assistant engineer at Kiva Recording Studio, Memphis TN when we recorded Stevie Ray Vaughn's last album "In Step". It truly was magical watching those guys nail everything on the first take as we laid down basic tracks.
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synchro

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 07:01:34 am »

It was a Dead thing.
We've been Grateful for years.
The experiment continues.
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slidemansailor

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Re: magical musical moments
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 08:37:01 pm »

In a minor victory over software, I am finally able to share a most impressive rendition of The Star Spangled Banner... 5 minute audio-only clip (Gooch, I think that means gentle on the dial-up).

The Star Spangled Banner - with 2nd verse
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