Making music is a gift. Not everyone can do it… Believe me I know this, having gone through the trumpet, clarinet, guitar, harmonica (which I stuck with… although not the nearly impossible Chromatic) to the recent picking up of a ukulele.
Perfect pitch is one of those skills I am envious of. That, being a multi-instrumentalist and the ability to speak more than two languages… or even more than one… floors me…
The other night at the Stew and Heidi event at the Hammer Museum, I ran into Adrianne, who I had known At Northwestern… We got to talking about school, acting, how hard it is to play the Chromatic harmonica (see note above), amongst other things. She had mentioned that she also saw me at the Ben Folds show at the Wiltern, so we kind of figured we had similar musical tastes. With her was her boyfriend Jason, a singer-songwriter. Adrianne is also a musician by the way, and used to produce a series of jazz shows in the Valley.
Jason had some of his CDs with him, but ran out… Yet literally, while we were standing there, he e-mailed me the album… Yeah, SOMETIMES technology is good. The digital always makes the wife happy as she keeps telling me (read threatens me) about some new service that will physically keep and store all your CDs but they leave your immediate possession. You can go visit them, apparently, but they are not in the house.
Jason Luckett – The Second Half of the Bet (Hope Again)
The next day I put the music on… The opening track “One Step” had a nice reggae beat… I was digging this gift that I got. As the music continued to play I found myself intrigued by his ability to capture the smallest moments of life with such beauty and specificity… The album is honest and casts a beautiful light on things that other people might dismiss or not even notice.“Magic Trumps Reason” is one such song… Lovely.
A little Peter Himmelman, a little Willy Porter, a little Jack Johnson… Perhaps even a little Michael Franti… at least lyrically speaking. Jazz licks… Island licks… I like that I felt some Hawaiian vibes before I even realized that he was born there!!!
From his bio: “Born in Hawaii but raised in Los Angeles, singer/songwriter Jason Luckett used his bizarre experiences in the area (and unstable family life) to craft a career based around a concept he calls Groovy Acoustic Soul. A passionate, soulful slab of folk rock, this musical hybrid began building a buzz in the area when Luckett released his debut record, J Masala Griot, in 1993.”
This is the kind of record you can put on and just relax and mellow out with… or if you sit and really listen, you’ll get some truly smart and interesting lyrics… and take away a really positive message. Like Stew said, if things in life were great, there would be no music, no songs… I am always sorry for what people have to go through, but always thankful for the art or music it creates… You learn pretty quickly that we are all going through the same things, and that ultimately we’re all the same… and for those of us who cannot necessarily make music, we can listen and appreciate and enjoy.
Today at our temple we had Mitzvah Day, where we stuffed bags for kids who are taken away from their homes because of parental violence or drugs or just bad situations. They are scared, they are unsure of their futures, but a note and a blanket… a stuffed animal, some toiletries and a book and toys can make even the smallest difference. A flashlight or night-light can literally shed a little brightness. Offering comfort and a smile and a hand is the least we can do. Life is about sharing and being generous… Giving and healing… and yes, helping to heal the world. What is the point in being a human being if we are not being human.
Music is a wonderful gift, too. It’s power is remarkable. So thanks Adrianne and Jason for this… I will gladly share it.