Hard Work & Music

Ask me how my fall break was, my week off from work…  My answer – “nothing but sunshine and fresh air.”  Translation: I was up at dawn every morning replacing my roof, doing all the dirty work that most people contract out to professionals…cuz it ain’t no joke. For 9 days I was up and down that ladder removing, hauling, patching, cutting, hammering, replacing and all together installing a new roof.

Not complaining because now I have a beautiful new roof that I can be proud of.  Just want to give you an idea of the blood (man, my hands and arms had “more cuts and scratches than the ‘Shook Ones’ acapella”), sweat (it gets hella hot up on a Phoenix rooftop) and tears (figuratively, although my knees weren’t too happy with me by the end) that are involved in an undertaking like that.

My younger brother stepped up huge in helping me with this gargantuan project.  In order to enjoy a brief reprieve from our hard labor we ended several of the days by visiting record stores looking for something special to reward ourselves for our efforts.  I don’t know that I made out as well as he did but I did come up on some good stuff. The following is a sampling of those finds.

Up above you see the album cover for “The Other Side of Round Midnight,” the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies.  This fell into my lap for a measly couple of beans.  If you have never seen this movie and you like jazz…wait, no, everyone that likes jazz has seen this movie. If you haven’t seen Round Midnight, you should really start listening to more jazz.  To be clear, when I talk about record shopping and crate digging, I’m not talking about the hunt for the rare and hard-to-get (I save that for my friends that make a living off vinyl). What I’m looking for is good music that I’m going to want to play…a lot. This album is stacked with talent like the 2012 Lakers – Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Freddie Hubbard…yes, it’s going to get much spin around here. And I like how it still has the Blue Note seal of quality – “The Finest in Jazz Since 1939.”

The other 3 come-ups were the following:

1. Nobody and the Mystic Chords of Memory.

This album always brings on a flood of vivid memories whenever I hear it.  When my wife was pregnant with our first child we were listening to this and other similar sounding records at the time.  We even bought a little Sony CD player/alarm clock to take to the hospital (hadn’t gotten down with the home births yet) so we could specifically play this and other albums.  So to wifey and I, this record is very special. (Side note – the CD player that we purchased for our first son’s birth has now become his personal CD player.  Gonna hafta make him a copy of this album).

2. The Cure. “Head On The Door.” I don’t even need to say anymore about this album.  If you own one Cure album, make it this one. This family loves The Cure. The reason it was such a dope come-up is that I have found other copies for sale but never in such good condition. Score.

3. Vicious Beat Posse.  It’s a 12″ of “Give the People What They Want.” This is some old school San Diego Hip Hop.  OK, I honestly had never heard the music on this record but I remembered reading an article in a Waxpoetics issue where the author, Ronnie Reece, inherited a grip of records from his grandma and he found this in her collection. That made me buy this record.  And I’m glad I did.  Would like to get my hands on the full album.

It was a long week of hard work, but like the Dale Turner quote from Round Midnight above says, “My life is music. My love is music. And it’s 24 hours a day.” Even if it is an eclectic mix.

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