NOW LISTEN HEAR: Music Is Food


copyright Tim Spelioscopyright Tim Spelios

Thanksgiving is past, but I’ll serve up a gut busting helping of YouTubes in this post. Of course music is food! Someone cooks it up for you, you eat it, you like how it tastes and want more (or not). Music is good for you and makes you a stronger, healthier person (or not).

If you are a musician you are a cook, and steal from other recipes to make food you hope others will enjoy eating. Sometimes you use an existing recipe and just tweak it a little bit…

If you’re a more adventurous cook, you could tweak a recipe until it’s hard to recognize. At one time, this was the “Chariots of Fire” theme…

fdtriHere is my music consumption pyramid. I really need to balance this better. I’m missing a lot of good music that reflects today, as well as the past. It’s fine to have favorite foods but wrong to deny yourself tastes of new things. I don’t see any reason to make my world smaller and to live in a world that doesn’t exist anymore. Shame on me for listening like I live in the 1900’s.

Here’s the nutrition label for Bruno Mars’/Mark Ronson’s huge hit, “Uptown Funk”…
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 4:31 Minutes
Total Fat 4:17                 % Daily Value 683%
Protein  :14
Vitamin M(elody) 1% Vitamin H(armony) 5%
Vitamin R(hythm) 15% Vitamin P(assion) 2%
INGREDIENTS: MALE VOCALS, ELECTRIC GUITAR, BASS GUITAR, DRUMS, LINN DRUMS, KEYBOARDS, TRUMPETS, TENOR SAXOPHONE, TROMBONE, BARITONE SAXOPHONE, ARTIFICIAL ’80’S FLAVOR.

Scientific proof that music is brain food…

Okay, music is not really food. Nobody needs to floss themselves of random music particles at the end of the day (although that’s a pretty good idea). You won’t have a hypoglycemia attack if you don’t listen to music before 4PM today, and you probably won’t die if you don’t hear music for the next month.

Here is some music that, even after fifty years of eating it,
has hidden ingredients that show themselves for the first time

It took me a long time to develop a taste for Thelonious Monk. My aunt gave me some records when I was about 12, including Oscar Peterson’s “We Get Requests” and Monk’s “Live at Town Hall.” I could understand the Oscar record- it was basic food topped with virtuosity. The Monk album was frustrating- I could recognize the ingredients, but it seemed like he used twigs, stones, and shards of glass for spices. Appetizing! I didn’t listen to that record for another five years, but ate enough dissonance and displaced rhythms in the meantime that the next time I did listen, I loved the flavor even if I still didn’t fully understand the ingredients. A piano player I respect greatly and who knows Monk’s music well says “(his) tunes are full of vitamins and minerals, but, like many nutritious things, they’re also kind of chewy.”

Here is a dish I used to eat once a year because it was good for me. It might appear low on ingredients, but it’s chock full of them. It’s still a lot to digest…

When you compose, arrange, or play music, everything you have previously digested comes out the other end. Sometimes it smells like a rose, sometimes not.

There is no freshness date on music. However, you can easily tell when some things were made. Whether they’re still edible or not is up to you.

Foreign food is fun. Most of my favorites come from Africa, directly or indirectly, and make my butt move.

European foods are good too, but often a lot less butt movement.

This music I love, but feel kind of bloated if I listen to too much of it…

And then I need coffee.

Curt Bley found his ultimate purpose in life when he saw the BeatCurt Bley jpegles’ second appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. He has been playing bass since age 10 and professionally since age 14, because things were different in the era of Three Television Stations. His playing has been heard with a wide range of artists from The Fifth Dimension to Dweezil Zappa. A mostly self-taught musician, Mr. Bley is glad that his educated colleagues agree with his musical theories 95 percent of the time. He has been a mainstay on the Chicago music scene for 35 years and swears he is not done yet.

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