I was watching an old episode of Top Gear the other day and James May said this car doesn't give me the fizz. And that got me to thinking about music that did give me the fizz (whatever that means :)). Some of this relates to non-classical Piano!
I grew up in house full of music. My Dad (rip) was a big Jazz and blues fan. My Mum is a Jazz fan and sang to quite a high standard in local choir, performing at the Royal Festival Hall. She used to play the Piano quite well, when she was young. So growing up in the 60s and 70s Mum and Dad's parties were part of my music education as the music seeped through into my bedroom. The Atomic Mr Basie, Abbey Road, Bach's Toccata and Fugue in d minor, Simon and Garfunkel were all played at, ahem, great volume, normally to demonstrate Dads latest HiFi speakers!
So aside from that background what pieces of music really fizzed me?
Well one stands out particularly. Layla by Derek & the Dominos (Eric Clapton). I heard that on the radio in my Mums car; didn't know what it was but knew it I loved. Periodically I'd hear it every so often, and eventually I found out what it was and got a copy many years later. Something about the tone and quality of the lead guitar in the famous intro just fizzed me, and then to cap it all it had the great long Piano based outro.
The other more general fizz was given by boogie-woogie. I fell completely in love with it from the moment Dad first played something to me, even before I started playing the Piano. But once I started playing Piano that eventually became an obsession, until after many years Honky Tonk Train Blues became a party piece for me. That led onto Jerry Lee Lewis and then Elton John and then the whole damn universe of Piano. I'm not even discussing Jazz piano - just too much stuff!
Elvis Presley singing "If I could Dream" from the 1968 comeback special. Something about the quality of his voice, particularly at the climax of the track always gets me. I'm not one for lyrics to be honest, but that songs lyrical content adds to the magic.
The track Tipitina by Prof Longhair. I was completely obsessed with this track for a while. Especially a live version by Dr John.
Talking of which Dr John singing and playing Such a Night on the Last Waltz by the Band. Listened to that track hundreds of times.
I'll finish with The Band and the Last Waltz film. I've watched that film a ridiculous number of times. It led to my discovery of New Orleans Pianists, and Van Morrison et al. What a group The Band they were. There is a fantastic piece of footage of them performing King Harvest on YouTube here:-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaKD1Vdarnw
There is something magical about them. Listen carefully to Levon Helm (the drummer) a completely unique player and a great rock singer. I even heard Keith Jarrett say that both he and Jack DeJonette loved his playing.
Well that's enough from me.....