Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Transportation for the Soul

Recently I picked up a few soul jazz albums at a flea market in Berkeley. Listening to these albums has transported me to some imagined life, living and growing up in Oakland in the 60s and 70s and listening to these albums deep into the night. I know books and movies can transport you to a different time and place. I’m discovering with these albums, that music can do the same. Surface noise on a record usually bothers me, but with these records it only adds to the illusion of a different life. I’m not listening to this music on a fancy hi-fi in my suburban house; I’m listening to it on a humble turntable that’s tearing up the grooves with each play in some smoke-filled apartment in Oakland. I’ve grown particularly fond of Willis Jackson’s Please Mr. Jackson, which is the last piece of music I’ve listened to before going to bed each night since I got it. There’s one song on the album that sounds like a party that’s broken out in the middle of a church service. It’s not something I’ve ever experienced personally, but I connect with it somehow. It brings me comfort, like it was a part of my imagined past.

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