i'm slowly adopting classic rhythm and blues as a large part of my musical preferences. i've been near obsessed with my etta james pandora playlist over the last few weeks, and i'm putting forth maximum interlibrary effort to establish new artists in my own personal library.
over the thanksgiving weekend, karlie and i took a trip to the blue room at 18th and vine with jon and colleen*. talk about incredible. yeah, i realize the blue room has been transformed into a near tourist attraction as a part of the jazz museum, but that doesn't mean the music they throw down isn't just as good.
anyway, over the last few weeks i've taken it upon myself to research the roots of this music - not necessarily the historical roots, but more the old school kings and queens of this music so i can understand influences on the artists of today. i'm a rookie here, and all i really know are the big names - otis redding, sam cooke, gladys knight, etta james, ray charles, etc - but it's a great place to start i suppose. add these too the list of artists that are among my "favorites".
i was asked who my favorite musical group/artist is on wednesday in class. i panicked and said michael jackson - probably not the truth, but i needed to find an answer quickly that fell under the following criteria:
1. an artist everyone will have heard of so i dont have to field questions like "who are they?" or "what type of music is that?"
2. an artist that has an established career and could be received as someone who could do nothing to ruin their career at this point.**
3. an artist for which i would not receive any stereotyped judgements. i'm sure you can figure out for yourself what artists receive ill-conceived judgements in your mind. i'm not going to hurt anyone's feelings by listing my own personal thoughts. (i suppose one could argue that MJ = littleboylover and freakshow, but that's neither relevant or worth my time defending.)
anyway, i digress. the point of this explanation is this: i feel like all of the artists i've listed above fall under those three descriptions. i wish i hadn't panicked and answered MJ, but i also wish i could honestly answer that one of these is my favorite artist. i would be proud of myself if i could make such a statement. as i keep putting work into my current musical exploration, i hope a few artists can catapult themselves into my top list of artists.
wamptown suggests sonny rollins. i'll look into that next.
* - hey cous, if you read this, you need a blog.
** - sub-question: is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins, is it better to burn out or fade away? i submit that it is better to fade away.