Hey Improvisers!

Even though there’s more music available to us nowadays than ever before, I’ve noticed that we generally don’t tend to listen as deeply as we once did.

While it’s great to listen to music in the car, or while at work, it’s also vital to listen while doing nothing else, so we can immerse ourselves in the music.

Deep listening.

Immersion.

Letting the sounds wash over us.

Absorbing the music.

When I was a teenager, I only had a handful of albums. But one thing I did do was lie down on my bed almost every day at some point, close my eyes, and listen to music for about an hour at a time. And it paid off, too. When I hear one of those recordings now, there’s a deep resonance inside of me that I don’t feel in the same way with other music. Deep memories of sound patterns which come out in my piano playing without my being aware of it.

Billie Holiday’s Greatest Huts was one of those albums. Actually, I don’t recall the exact album title, but yes, it was a collection of her “greatest hits.”

I still remember putting on the album for the very first time, and hearing her sing one of her signature songs, “Lady Sings The Blues.” I was transported to another dimension of sound and emotion!

Although I enjoy listening to Billy Holiday from time to time, it’s been decades since I’ve listened to her sing that particular song. But when I opened the Real Book to the tune’s leadsheet and began to play an improvised piano intro, it all came flooding back to me. It was almost overwhelming, and it all came out in my performance of the tune, which you can watch here:

Lady Sings The Blues: Journey Through The Real Book #204

“Lady Sings The Blues” is one of the all-time great torch songs, and I hope you give it a try yourself, with some inspiration from this video and, of, course, Ms. Holiday herself.

Here’s the takeaway:

Immerse yourself deeply in the music of your favorite musician (then let it go).

Enjoy the journey and “let the music flow!”

Ron

PS – YouTube has informed me that my videos have now received over 1,000,000 views! A million of anything is beyond my comprehension and I’m humbled and very grateful to be able to share my music and piano teaching with so many of you.

Thanks, and good luck with your music!

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