The O’Jays, a group of singers who knew a few things about how to work a groove, had a great hit called “I Love Music”. It’s here, for anybody who wants to hear it right away. It speaks so well for me, as it pumps through the computer speakers, that I have almost nothing to add here at the moment.
But it would not be like me to hold tongue or pen, especially now, trying to remain conscious not to speak ill of anyone, and having only good things to say.
Here at 2:27 goes that great guitar, sallying into the mix like a saxophone. I’m no expert, but when I hear a mix like this I know what moves me– and I’d spin this disk again just to hear that guitar break. Then at 4:19, presumably that same guitar player starts making with the jazzy riffs. Hot damn, the bongos and everything, that percussion section, the piano, bass– all kicking in to make that joyful noise. Here come some strings and the vocalists come back, everyone leaving room for the others.
I started off nodding along to a mix of a recent jam session very well recorded in a basement in San Francisco, wondering idly where this love of a groove comes from. Part of the answer is this track by the O’Jays, it seems to me. Also beloved to me, that space in between the instruments, where they put their parts down against the others, listening intently as they dream their own dreams. Best image I know of the best way to live your life.