I eagerly listen to just about anything that I can get my hands on. Always have. I grew up listening to Nitty Griity Dirt Band; Patti Lupone's performance in Evita; La Boheme when it aired on the local PBS station. When I started playing flute at age 9 and more seriously orchestra music at 14, I just expanded what I listened to. Music was not an "either this or that" situation for me; it's always been more of a "both this and that."
Thanks to the curiosity of one of my students, there's been a lot of jazz in my ears lately. Recently, while I was scrounging YouTube for some Mingus, the "Up Next" feature recommended Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing."
I love jazz clarinet, and in particular I love Goodman. His sparkling tone cuts through the band as a soloist but can respectfully take its place in accompanying lines as well: a rare balance! He uses the clarinet in a driving, rhythmic way that completely changed my perspective on the instrument the first time I heard it.
This particular time, the brass lick in “Sing, Sing, Sing” prodded something in my recent listening memory. That melody, combined with the prominent drum line, reminded me of Imdela May’s 2011 release, “Inside Out.”
Decades apart, these two pieces strike a dialogue. Love it when music connects like that.