Today’s task is to write about three songs that are important to you for some reason. Not my case. I never was able to make a short list of anything I love. But I can tell about three songs randomly chosen from so many.
One of my favorite songs ever is Summertime played by Sidney Bechet. I like his version more than the original one and any other. I think it happens very often that you forget the root and stick to a particular performance for reasons you cannot explain. I stick to Sidney Bechet’s and I won’t even try to find the explanation. I just love it. I once heard a story about Bechet that impressed me. He was playing at the New Year’s Eve, and it was getting close to midnight, everyone was agitated and desperately counting seconds. He kept playing, it seemed like he didn’t notice anything at all, carried away into the world of his music, but he took the final note just before the clock started beating. Isn’t it a perfect guided dream?
Another song that comes to mind is Alina Orlova’s performance of Polish Tango. It has to be the version she sang in Paris. This one is full of something that I cannot explain, but I just want to stay with it, under it, forever, again and again, it is like depth of warm water that sucks you in and brings you somewhere where for a second you forget to breathe, you simply forget that you need to breathe, you don’t exist and you are happy while disappearing in the space of the improvisational melodic twist. I wonder what she feels while she performs it. I‘m sure I can hear only the echo of the singer’s feelings so where does she go? Interesting enough, the song itself never was one of my favorites, but this version is so beautiful, so alive, so full of raw emotions that it enslaves me. I think I want to hear it again.
I adore Blue Bossa. I am a big fan of bossa in general, but this tune was the first melody that turned me to jazz. When I heard the beginning cords, that was it. I was in love. I still am. How can I not be when I listen to the pure magic of the warm ocean breeze that goes through my veins? I don’t remember what was going on in my life at that time, except that it was summer, and I had a tape recorder (imagine how long ago it was!) and I had to come back to this tune performed by Joe Pass and J. J. Johnson over and over again.
None of my favorite songs is connected to some specific event; they are not like a soundtrack to my life; they are just gems I love to take out from my pocket and get lost in the light shining through them and leaving a rainbow trace in my heart.