Today,I played a piece on the Piano that transported me right back to my early twenties ,and to the time in my life where I lived,breathed,slept,and was totally immersed in music.
This tune,so gentle in its melodic,so innocent,from another time,from another life zone almost sort of injected me wth that feel good factor.Its intro,actually a recorder with an electric bass supporting the melody captured that dreamy Sunday afternoon feeling as I liked to call it,that bit in between two Sunday services at church.As the main melody was played on a Electric Piano by Bob James,I wondered how the Piano Player for Sarah Vaughan could pen such accessible Jazz,but he did,giving so many people their first taste of a different genre at that time.This “Theme form Taxi” as we all came to know it as,just got into your conscienceless but without discords,or flowery solos,in fact,Bob James,who is still playing with his quartet Fourplay just touched so many people that he became what we once dared to call,a crossover artist.
As I have sat down to create an arrangement,little would my pupil know of my memories of having first heard this tune..His memory is of an RAF mess lounge in Northolt ,a fare cry from the China clay town of StAustell in East Cornwall.,I love to hear people’s musical memories,and I love to share musical memories too.When he heard my arrangement of one of his favourite tunes,I was so very touched by his gratitude,and you don’t often get a beaming smile from my battle hardened pupil,and the time I spent doing the piece was oh so much sweeter for his thanks.
When music ,the same music,brings backs a completely different memory,I want to celebrate the power that it has.Truly,it’s a wonderful thing to experience different things from the same emotional trigger,it is,to me,inspiring.As I recount this event from this afternoon,it wells up within me to think that music can,and does do this for so many people,and we who have the privilege to be involved in music education must continue to pinch ourselves at the great luck that we enjoy to teach in the expressive arts.
Yes,memories can,and have been painful for me and dare I say you at times,but they can be life affirming too.They can transport us to the good times,to the happy moments in our lives when we have shared truly memorable musical moments.One such sonic time traveller has stopped by today to record this memory.
To quote Andy Kauffmann,the star of Taxi,and Saturday night live,and the inspiration for the Jim Carey film:The man in the moon “Thank you very much”!