Sunday, August 9, 2009

Carmen McRae

"I was vain and blind then
Prone to be unkind then
Wish they’d turn back time somehow
Then I was audacious
I ignored what was precious
How I wish you’d ask me now"

How I wish By Thelonious Monk

I have a history with jazz that goes back a long way. When I was little my dad would sing me the standards. On our long drives together we would listen to jazz and he would play out the rhythm on the car wheel while I sang.
When he figured out I could actually keep in tune he began introducing me to the great singers.
Ella Fitzgerald was our favourite! I memorized all the lines and we would spend hours singing in my parents bedroom.
I went to boarding school a few years later and every time he came he would bring me recorded cassettes of other jazz divas. I still have my first Porgy and Bess tape, its been cello taped so much I'm sure most of the album is missing.

Boarding school also changed my taste in music. I started listening to the doors, dire straits and the Beatles. My dad of course was extremely disappointed with me. We had long silent feuds because i refused to listen to his records any more.

He tried so many times, bought me CD, took me to gigs and all the while I kept pushing him away.

Only recently the two of us went to The Lincoln center jazz club in new york to listen to a gig. When I saw the happiness on his face, the devotion with which he took his photographs I realized that the only reason I have even gotten to creating this blog is because of him. What hurts even more is I don't think he has ever given up on me and never will.

I've been going through our jazz collection and found all these beautiful Cd's of almost every successful jazz diva. Carmen sings monk is one of my new favourites. I remember my father went through a phase where he listened to the instrumental version of 'It's over now' all the time. I found this song on the Cd and think it's a fantastic version. This is dedicated to my father and his incredibly strong obsession with the kind of music I am now starting to love.

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