Jamiroquai

My music collection is quite varied, but there are a few artists who I like so much that I own practically their whole catalogue. This is unusual for me – in my opinion, only a few artists make music so good that I want to buy everything they have ever made.

Jamiroquai are an amazing group (and they are a group, it kind of annoys me when others refer to Jay Kay as Jamiroquai) – Jay Kay of course is an incredible singer, but the other members of the band have bags of talent and are fundamental to the sound that is produced by this unique group.

Most of the songs make me want to dance. They transport me back to my late teenage years and my early twenties because they have elements of so many old songs that I love – a little bit funky, a little bit jazzy, a little bit disco, but very soulful too, and somehow the songs are modern – what an incredible talent to pull all of these components together and make something that sounds fresh and like nothing else being produced by any other artists.

The lyrics are beautiful and clever, covering many subjects including environmental awareness, love, the joy of dancing, racism, drugs, and technology.

One of the measures of a good song for me is whether or not I choose to ‘skip’ it when it is on my playlist. I hardly ever skip a Jamiroquai track because they bring such joy to my ears.

So what are your favourite Jamiroquai tracks ?

Mine are (at the moment):

Corner of the Earth

When you Gonna Learn

Travelling without Moving

These all score 10 for me.

Oh and just in case you ever wondered who the other band members are, they are currently:

Jim Corry on sax, Paul Turner on bass, Rob Harris on guitar, Sola Akingbola on percussion,  Matt Johnson on keyboards, Derrick McKenzie on drums, James Russell on sax and flute, and Malcolm Strachan on trumpet. In the earlier years it was Wallis Buchanan who did such a great job on the didgeridoo (have you ever tried to play one…blimey it’s not easy).

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My new music blog

jay kay

I have been blogging about food for a while, but thought that it was maybe time to blog about another great passion in my life – music.

Music is a very personal thing, so I don’t expect anybody to like all of the same music that I like. Some people choose music because it is technically good, maybe the singer has a brilliant voice, or the drummer is technically excellent. Some people choose music because it makes them want to dance. Some people choose music because it reminds them of a really good time in their life and evokes memories. Some people choose music because they like a particular genre. Some people choose music which they think will be widely popular because they have a commercial interest in playing it to the masses and making money There are lots of reasons.

I generally choose music because of how it makes me feel, although sometimes there may be a little part of the track that I particularly like – just a few bars or a percussion noise, but more often than not it is about feelings for me and memories evoked.

I am not really a genre-specific person, I like all genres, but there are some that I choose more often such as soul, reggae, jazz funk, house, UK garage, drum and bass, metal.

I also get musical epiphanies where I have heard a song before and thought it was okay…then I suddenly realise it is an amazing tune and I can’t stop playing it.

So in my blog I am going to discuss the music that I am playing on my phone, in my earphones, on my car disco, on the home stereo, and what it is that I like about it.

Oh and another thing – I call everywhere that music is played a ‘disco’ – this includes the car, the home, the work desk and in clubs. I distinctly remember my friend Karen telling me in the 80’s that “you can’t call it a disco any more, it’s a club”. Well, actually, I can call it what I like – so I know that the word ‘disco’ conjures up John Travolta and the Bee Gees to most people, but to me it’s just any musical environment.

I encourage feedback – if you don’t like something though, please don’t be rude – respect the artist – just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean that it has no merit – we’re all as different as the clothes we wear. I also would encourage everybody to pay for their music and don’t be tempted by the free download sites. Firstly the artist has put a lot of work into the song – if you can’t be arsed to pay 99p or whatever the going rate is for the song, then you don’t deserve to have it. It will give you hours of pleasure, so pay for it ! Secondly the free download sites are full of malware, and they are starting to be policed now, so don’t be surprised if one day somebody comes knocking at your door asking for their cash. Some artists do give their music away for free – if you enjoy their music then please spread the word on social media, it’s the least you can do. Most musicians can’t afford to make music full time, so they have a regular job and then in their own free time they perform at gigs and have a makeshift studio at home – let’s give them the respect they deserve.

I give each track a score out of 10, 1 means I wouldn’t be too worried if I didn’t hear it again and 10 means that I must buy this track immediately and play it all day long.

So you get the idea…it’s just my thoughts with some feedback from you and some reminiscing along the way.

As an aside, I have been wondering for a while what it is that makes somebody like a piece of music, and I thought that it would be really cool to do some research. Researchers have already broken tracks down into elements – major keys, minor keys, hook, vocal type, bassline etc and analysed the Billboard top 100 to try to work out what makes a song popular. I would like to take that a step further to try and work out a song’s DNA i.e. the basic make up the elements in some kind of logical format, and then take a person’s music collection to try to work out their personal music DNA i.e. the elements of a song that they tend to like the most. Then try to predict from this if a particular person will like a particular track. Maybe this is crazy talk, or maybe somebody is already doing it ?

Anyway – welcome to my music blog – enjoy.