Landing into coffee takes a different path for everyone.
Music was my gig well before coffee. I grew up with it, always on, always listening and trying to emulate what I heard on the drums and guitar, I started playing the drums at the age of 5 and continued to learn and play all through school and later at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
My listening initially was limited to playing things that caught my ear from my Dad’s collection. By limited, what I actually had at my fingertips was quite an impressive collection. Dad was a mad Jazz fan, he had a lot of the iconic albums from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, peppered with some great Funk and Soul albums. He skirted around Rock Music, that wasn’t his gig.
“…there are only 2 types of music. Good and not so good.”
It’s safe to say though as a youngster I gravitated more to the Funk and Soul. It was easier to understand for my young ears. Music is a language, and the language you understand is the music you enjoy the most. However, as you continue to deep-dive further your understanding of harmony, note choice, rhythm and complexity develops. Your listening journey rewards you with an appreciation and joy for more and more music. I used to like specific styles, or musicians. I had a narrow focus. Now I’d like to think there are only 2 types of music. Good and not so good. Style and genre etc influence my decision less and less, it’s about the enjoyment of the artistry, less about familiarity or stylistic preference. In fact. now I really enjoy hearing new music/songs that I’ve never heard before, it rekindles the child like joy of the unknown and surprise.
Music was a huge part of my adolescence. It was the thing that connected me to people, when ordinarily I would shy away from conversation. I trained hard by practising upwards of 7 hours a day. I sought skills from the best Drummers, traveling across the globe to find mentors and bands to gig with. I was fortunate to have played with some of the great Jazz artists and watch magic being performed by friends and idols. But don’t be fooled the life of a touring Musician wasn’t easy. The reward of hanging out with creative minds and the music that ensued well outweighed any pay check.
It feels like a really good time, whilst the world is upside down to revisit some of the positive memories music has given to me.
“….for me it’s a time capsule of great memories.”
So, here it is…. a list of my top 10 albums. Picking 10 was really hard (I’ve got a library of over 500 CD’s) and if you asked me for a list next week I’d probably give you a different collation (although some on this list will always remain). Some of these albums I listened to so many times I’ve lost count. These albums where my “teachers” as I studied. This music moved me and deeply influenced my vocabulary as a performing artist. They are in no particular order. Each of them are equally important to the previous or next.
It might not be your vibe. But for me it’s a time capsule of great memories. I hope you enjoy the listen. If not, that’s cool too. Find your own journey through music.
Some albums you will have to seek out on other channels from the links below.
Branford Marsalis – Crazy People Music
Wynton Marsalis – Live at Blues Alley
Pink Floyd – Delicate Sound of Thunder
Larry Graham Graham Central Station – Ain’t no Bout a Doubt It
Miles Davis – Four and More
Tower of Power – In The Slot
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Texas Flood
Wayne Krantz – 2 drink Minimum
Maceo Parker – Life on Planet Groove
Cross Fire – Live at Montreaux (worth listening here)
*Barney McAll – Widening Circles (worth finding here)
*Sting – Bring on the Night
*bonus albums, turns out I needed more than 10