Music Makes Me Cry and I Don’t Think I Can Stop

Full disclosure, I don’t want to stop crying when I listen to music. Also full disclosure, I have the full range of emotions when it comes to music so the crying is but one way that I emote. To wit, this 1991 performance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival of the Bernard Ighner classic “Everything Must Change”. This song was a big part of the success of Quincy Jones’ 1974 album Body Heat. This performance right here? Right here?[Katt Williams Vox] features some of my favorite performers period. You have:

Quincy Jones at the Conductor’s Podium
Greg Phillinganes on the Boards
Nathan East on Bass
George Benson on Vocals
Rachelle Ferrell on Vocals
Toots Thielemans on Harmonica

Cold. Actually, Ice Cold.

It’s usually a slow build for me to get to the cry. Now I have to point out that I’m not always crying at music because I’m sad. Quite the contrary. Music most often makes me cry when it’s great and the story in the song connects on a deeper level. In this musical composition the late Bernard Ighner lays out the stages of life that we all will have to face. As many of us on the #Grown side of the game know, getting older can really suck. I’m not talking about the usual physical and mental ailments that we often discuss, no I’m talking about the circle of care and comfort that gets smaller and smaller and smaller. Grandma, Grandpa, Mama, Daddy, Aunties and Uncles, Favorite Cousins Play and For Real, Brothers and Sisters, Close Friends and Acquaintances, Husbands and Wives, Partners and Significant Others transition (whether it’s out of the physical plane or just out of your life). We must face this and as we’ve seen over these last few months sometimes we have to face these losses at warp speed. Everything Must Change.

Nothing stays the same and I know it’s a difficult fact to face especially when it comes to music this good. This is the type of song and sound you just want to go on and on. The reason you don’t want this music to stop playing is because of the players involved and the song and the arrangement. This is music and a performance that is made out of a mutual admiration society of master musicians who respect the music plain and simple. Too many people these days when it comes to music respect the money but don’t respect the muse. You hear it. I hear it. Sometimes I cry because I miss the circle of care that music like this was and is… rain falls from the sky.

All I had to do is to look at the names involved on this clip and I instantly murmured to myself “Don’t play with me.” Benson, a young Rachelle Ferrell, Toots, Nathan East, Greg Phillinganes and Quincy. Again, don’t play with me because I know these folks came to play. You can see it in their interaction with one another, the smiles, the nods, the acknowledgement of the mastery of music. It is a marriage. You have to have both a great song and a great performance. That’s the only way it works. You can’t get to a great song without a great respect for the muse and you can’t get to a great performance without mastering your instrument which sometimes is literally a mastering of one’s self. These are life long pursuits. For me, I made a decision a long time ago to always respect the muse. When I’m given even just the smallest glimpse of her fully actualized self and the concomitant beauty that emanates, it is in that moment that I realize why Music Makes Me Cry.