Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This morning I realized the music I noted in the last post was only the names of some of the music makers I listened to since being able to do that sometime in the second month of recovery from the brain surgery (before that listening to music was too intense and overwhelming because my brain was hearing every note and instrument and sound as equal, something that actually was also happening when I went out somewhere, every sound was equal in my brain, a paper being balled up, footsteps, someone talking, a car going by etc., none of the kind of filtering our brains obviously usually do so that it was all too much and what I imagined many with brain problems experience, and then someone told me there's a word for it and many autistic people experience sound that way).

Anyway, yesterday it seemed too difficult to remember the individual tunes I had listened to that informed that part of the list I made, so today I deliberately tried to, using the alphabet format that became a staple with me over the years when I couldn't fall asleep at night or was trying to fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night which occurred often and I attributed to the heart medication I take, although I've been a light sleeper since I was young and attributed it to my sleeping back then in places where I had to be half awake in case something happened—i.e. on the street or in abandoned buildings etc.

So I wrote the alphabet down the side of a page of a yellow legal pad and then began thinking of individual songs I've heard from the iTunes on my computer lately and enjoyed, not skipping over them because they bothered my brain like I'm doing with some songs. This made me realize I was mostly digging music that's "happy"—or at least upbeat in tempo (interestingly many with the same beat as the "ticking" that sometimes occurs in my head as a result of the operation).

I filled in as many of the letters as I could, which wasn't many (before the operation I used to do these regularly, as many of you know, off the top of my head while laying in bed trying to fall asleep, but now I pretty much go right to sleep which has led me to believe maybe the growth they removed from my brain had been keeping me up before) and then I used my iTunes to look up ones I couldn't remember or wasn't sure I had right or just to jar my memory.

So this list is made up of only a few songs I remembered off the top of my head and the rest from using my iTunes library as a source. Using this method I came up with some pretty great recordings. Hopefully sometime in the future I'll be able to come up with lists like I used to just out of my head (I meant lists out of my head but it works with the other meaning as well doesn't it):

BIG YELLOW TAXI (Joni Mitchell's original acapella version with just her guitar—I know the lyrics aren't "happy" but the brilliance of her creation, from performance to composition, is so uplifting and inspiring and she does laugh at her attempt to sing bass at the end so it's a happy song for me despite the realities it addresses)
CAROLINA SHOUT (Fats Waller—early solo version is incredible you can't help tappin') (and just for extra kicks Sinatra's first recording of COME DANCE WITH ME)
DIGA DIGA DOO (Artie Shaw & Orchestra)
EPISTROPHY (Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall)
FALLING SLOWLY (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova from ONCE—a slower beat but still makes me feel happy to hear it)
GIRL FROM IMPANENA, THE (Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto et. al)
HALLELUJAH (Rufus Wainwright—thanks to my son Miles for turning me on to this version, not such a fast beat but ultimately upbeat even if just from the power of the performance)
IT DON'T MEAN A THING IF IT DON'T HAVE THAT SWING (Duke Ellington, the original recording)
JUKE BOX SATURDAY NIGHT (Glenn Miller Orchestra)
KO-KO (Charlie Parker)
LADY'S IN LOVE WITH YOU, THE (Glen Miller Orchestra—Tex Benecke doing his vocal swing thing)
MILESTONE (Miles Davis—I used to consider this my theme song when I was in my late teens, whistling and scatting it everywhere I went, and then decades later did the same for the role of the cartoon character "Sparks" in COOL WORLD but they had me redo it because they didn't want to be sued by the record company etc.)
NOW'S THE TIME (Lambert, Hendricks & Ross version of this Charlie Parker tune)
OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING (Gordan MacRae from the soundtrack of the movie version of OKLAHOMA)
PEACE PIECE (Bill Evans—slow but so lovely)
SALT PEANUTS (Dizzy Gillespie)
TOPSY (Count Basie)
UP ON CRIPPLE CREEK (The Band—couldn't think of or find anything more upbeat)
VIPER MAD (Sidney Bechet)
WALTZ FOR DEBBIE (Bill Evans) (and 'cause it's so mellowly upbeat Nat King Cole's WALKIN' MY BABY BACK HOME)
YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS (Eric Dolphy from LAST DATE—in my mind one of the greatest tour de force jazz improvisations ever recorded)
ZIP-A-DEE-DOO-DAH (Johnny Mercer)

1 comment:

JIm said...

Your list is an "Old Fart List". That must be why I like it.