Do you have a secret life? I do. I don’t mean I creep around at night with loose women or anything. It’s just that there are things I like, that those beautiful people I call family are not that keen on. The reverse is true too of course. But I can’t live without my secret life. I’ve tried. It just makes me sad and then I begin to get weird and to really crave the elements. The Music of Jelly Roll Morton is one of my guilty secrets. But I have others. Tom Waits is another. I have a list of about twenty singer songwriters that are also hiding in my cupboard. Then there’s the works of super guitarist Pat Metheny.
But there’s more. I also have a great love of sports movies. I have given up trying to talk anyone at home into watching them with me, they just roll their eyes and change the channel. I like to read biographies, which is all part of my secret life, at least I can do that without offending anyone. But the music and movies is another thing entirely.
When the coast is clear, I do a quick check of the front door, just to make sure no-one sneaks back in and catches me, and I let this music rip. I love songs that tell stories. In the same vein, I like short stories. The skill involved in painting a picture in twenty pages is something pretty special, equally telling a story in three minutes takes some doing. One of the best examples of this is the song “The man in the bright red car” by Kristina Olsen, it’s a cracker. I always liked the song on face value, but when I saw her live and she provided the back story, I got completely hooked on it. The song contains one of the all time great lines in any song, “Love is more a verb than a noun.”
The music of Jelly Roll Morton is significant for a range of reasons. Firstly because in Jazz, it is without peer. Secondly, to get a grasp of the extraordinary accomplishment his jazz compositions are, you have to understand the time in America’s history. The man was incredible, the music rolls with an ease seldom replicated and particularly in such complex signatures, keys and chord progressions. The man was amazing.
Tom Waits is one of my all time guilty secrets. My bride would have our house declared a “Tom Waits free zone” given half a chance, but I love the music. There have been hundreds of artists make attempts at covering his songs and they rarely work. In fact I can think of only person and one song of Toms, that has been covered successfully, where the new version successfully adds something to the original.
There you go, my secret is out, I hope you wont think less of me.