My Kind of Music (1)

7/2/2020 REVISED 4/21/21

My Kind of Music (1)

(or how Jazz Rock colored my life – am I the only crazy person playing the same track for days?)

I grew up in a rather music loving family.

Having a father who once played in a band together with his brothers and friends, music has played a great part while growing up. As far as playing any instrument myself, the only one I tried in elementary school, was a flute. Although I kind of liked learning to play it (and driving my family crazy while doing so), I only managed to keep it up for about 2 years. So nothing really interesting here. Which left me with singing, nothing big, but definitely enjoyable, especially after Gospel (and believe me there is funky Gospel too) entered our scene.

Our love for music was evident in the amount of vinyl records and music cassettes – evolving to CD’s – we owned and listened to. There was always something playing in the background. When I mentioned I grew up with slightly different customs, our taste in music was surely a part of that. Now, I am not saying I was totally aware at first what kind of music was ‘the norm’ around me- I mean, me and ‘norm’ just don’t seem to go in one sentence – but it  became perfectly clear, that ours was deviating from that. No, I grew up with what is still known as Jazz Rock, Jazz Funk or Jazz Fusion. Or in short Fusion. Let me google this for you;

David Sanborn – As We Speak just one of the artists I grew up listening to, always loved the cover art.

Jazz fusion (also known as fusion) is a music genre that developed in the late 1960s when musicians combined jazz harmony and improvisation with rock music, funk, and rhythm and blues. Electric guitars, amplifiers, and keyboards that were popular in rock and roll started to be used by jazz musicians, particularly those who had grown up listening to rock and roll. Source: Wikipedia

Alternative Titles: cross over, fusion. Jazz-rock, also called fusion, popular musical form in which modern jazz improvisation is accompanied by the bass lines, drumming styles, and instrumentation of rock music, with a strong emphasis on electronic instruments and dance rhythms. Source: Britannica

In my own words this would translate to; very funky, happy, dance-able music. Carried by heavy bass lines, strong keyboards and drums. Our music wasn’t even always accompanied by vocals, a large part of it was instrumental. I guess if classical music is your thing, this does not sound weird at all…, but I did not know any classical music lovers either – ** remember “small-town” **

How it looked like, where I grew up

From the age of 11, I was able to work in the flower (-bulb) sector during school holidays. You see I literally grew up between the famous Dutch flower fields and yes, I had to work if I wanted anything ‘extra’. Can you even imagine what one of my first purchases was? Yasss, a freaking boombox.

I am not even sure if they called it that at that time, but after the ‘revival’ – I think somewhere in the nineties? – the name boombox stuck. Now I could listen to the radio, record my favorite songs on cassette tapes (yeah…) and listen to them some more. Creating my own mix tapes – what a blast hahah. I could not imagine going through my day without music. I still can’t by the way. My love for music carried me through the lovely school years, when Pop and Disco became rather popular. Because these were mostly happy and dance-able too, they were easily added to my favorites.

Lyrics

At this point lyrics became more important to me. Lyrics appeal directly to our soul and spirit. Of course we all know thousands of songs, but we do not like all of them. The difference could be well made by the lyrics that accompanies the song. Knowing a song by heart and singing along can give me a personal boost and feels like I am actually sharing the joy with the artist. Singing is another way to express myself, it’s freeing in its own way. And I dare say, when a voice is really blessed, it can go a long way to a persons heart and soul. The song below is happy and funky, but is still carrying a serious message. Awesome combination!

Funk LeBlanc, Ft. Madeleine Wood – The Fix (Champion Edition hyper Fighting Mix)

A voice like an angel? Ah. No. I don’t think that would apply to me. It was not until after we had kids, I got some singing lessons while living in Spain. However I must say through the years I have found that prayer actually empowers my voice and my range increases. And yeah, practicing helps too 😉

Growing up within an Indonesian infused culture, meant that when there was a party – and there were many – music was always provided by family members. Uncles, aunts, cousins, we had musicians and singers at hand and ready to play. And I can in all honesty say, certainly when I compare it to what goes around nowadays, we were pretty good!

And man… we had to be, or no one would hit that dance floor and shake their booty. This was always a source for great fun; of course through the years our (rather large) family was a mix of Indonesian and Dutch – and many other mixed origin – members. As soon as the music started people would dance – because that’s what we do – the differences became visible on the dance floor. Have you any idea how hard it is to actually dance off beat?? Believe me, I tried….

Within the family, we all were familiar with the same repertoire. This also included some real classics: like for instance The Eagles ( I actually sang ‘Lying eyes’), The Doobie Brothers (Of course we had to perform ‘listen to the music’) these were kind of mandatory. ‘Each and Every One’ by Everything but the girl, was one of my favorites to sing also. The last wedding we joined forces with nieces and nephews, we played ‘Mas Que Nada’. I can tell you it was great fun singing in Portuguese!

Rehearsing Mas Que Nada

Even going through high school, I could not find one person, who was familiar with the same music. ** remember “small-town” ** Of course the more contemporary pop and disco, were easy to share. Not so much Jazz Rock.

In case you are now wondering whatever artists I listened to while growing up, let me throw you a couple of names;

Marcus Miller – Lee Ritenour (see below **Just for fun!) – Spyro GyraDavid Sanborn The ReddingsThe Rippingtons… I could go on, but if just one of these names is meaning anything to you, we are destined to be besties! Luckily, we also had loads of Michael Jackson ( I mean, come on….) who was at least the most known of all times – King of Pop.

Funk LeBlanc – PYT Remix

It was not until I met my hubby Steve, that I found a kindred music spirit, by that time I was 19 years young and what a revelation! There were actually other people out there with the same taste in music! Even better, my husband to be, had been playing the bass professionally for years. Later on I discovered he also played the guitar and drums…. Yeah, my flute was long gone by that time…. It was a joy he had the opportunity to play at our wedding.

Steve (husband) on bass, Marcus Miller was and will always be, his idol on bass

A couple of months after we got married, we were invited to join The Continental Singers for their French tour – yes for our group, every song was in French.

Well, to be honest, Steve was invited to play bass and because we were newlyweds, the tour would last 6 weeks and this was a chance of a life time, he asked if there was room for me too. Hilariously, all the singing positions were filled, but “the light and media technician (!! 😂) role was still open”, if I wanted to? Just my luck that after only a couple of nights performing, our media projector was stolen…so far the media part…believe me, taking care of the lighting was challenge enough.

We had a great time, touring through France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland. Performing in another city every night and being hosted by strangers who were all equally wonderful. My French was heavily tested – Awkward!! We ended the tour with a grand finale together with several other groups, in Rotterdam.

The power of music was always clear to me. I mean, everybody knows that  music can lift your spirits and comfort you when your down. When it’s raining all day, some sunny tune will get a smile back on your face. Or maybe at some point, some sad, theatrical music might get you through some depressing times, by being depressed along with you. Sometimes we just have to wallow in (self-) pity right?

As far as choices go, my preferred one would always be the more up-tempo kind. This will never fail to make me want to move my feet and dance whatever negativity is trying to defeat me, straight out the door.

THIS

In no way am I a professional dancer – though I would love to take hip-hop dance lessons when I grow up – but it’s just another way to express what is inside me. I am not performing for anybody, I am doing it purely for the joy of it, getting rid of any stress along the way is a big bonus.

Music is also helping me through my (daily) workouts. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t matter how hard my body is telling me I need some exercise, my mind might just not agree. To be honest, in this case I am not even totally sure which part is more opposing, because at the same time, it’s my body that will complain as soon as I start said exercise. Music is making it way more fun at least. While I am writing music is playing, Thank you Funk LeBlanc! I am very happy I discovered that the soul of disco is not dead, although I believe it has been upgraded pretty good! Its funkier than ever and feels like a pretty good mashup of my childhood music.

Fun fact; we kind of dumped the same music on our kids. Of course they developed their own taste, we tried to keep up and it is so much fun sharing new tracks back and forth. I loved seeing Bruno Mars with our son and Ariana Grande with our daughter.

The power of music should not be underestimated. As much as it can encourage and lift us up, it can also bring us down. Now I could get into the whole Illuminati / music thingy (which is quite disconcerting really) and if you would want me to, let me know, but that’s not what I am aiming at here.

We consist / are created, of three parts, some would say; me, myself and I, but no;

Body – Soul – Spirit

Body = (obviously) skeleton, flesh and blood

Soul =  feeling, mind and will

Spirit = intuition, conscience and faith

= God created us after His Image, also consisting of Three – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is our spirit that is able to connect / communicate with His Spirit =

And isn’t it great how music relates to all three of them?

My body wants to dance as soon as I hear some groovy beat – bye bye stress and hellooo workout.

My (soul-) feelings can either calm down or get enthusiastically encouraged with the right lyrics – my mind stops fussing and worrying and my will looses its importance and gets into perspective -‘I can let go’ – this will result in;

My (spirit-) intuition takes over, my conscience stops judging and analyzing and all in all I will connect to the vibes that will make me feel better, maybe even great.

Source: Common English Bible

Later in life, the above got even more interesting, when I found what Gospel music could do for my soul and spirit. I firmly believe, that a blessed voice and inspired instrumentalists can bring forth magic or rather, miracles. We had the opportunity and pleasure to sing and play for a couple of years in church and I have clearly seen what inspired music can achieve in peoples life’s.

There is healing in music. That’s My Kind of Music.

If it is on a superficial (shake- that- booty), or even more profound spiritual level, that’s up to us to allow. Either way I believe music is one of the greatest assets in my life. It most definitely still brightens and colors my every day!

Wishing y’all a very Your Kind of Music week!

See also: My Kind of Music (2)

Special thanks to Funk LeBlanc (bff – best funky friend 😉)

Funk LeBlanc is a Funk / Nu Disco / House DJ and Producer from San Francisco, CA. Funk LeBlanc likes to “Keep it Real”, which means a lot of analog equipment and real instruments are used in the creation of these tracks. This creates a more authentic sound, opposed to building songs strictly “out of the box”. Funk LeBlanc is initially known for a remix Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” which currently has over 420,000 listens and peaked at 4th place on Hype Machine’s most popular tracks list. Funk LeBlanc’s cover of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” was featured in Ryan Seacrest’s “Best Drake Cover Contest”. (source: Youtube)

**Just for fun and to reassure myself my childhood music was not that weird at all

Funk LeBlanc – Need Beijo 100% (Funk LeBlanc Mashup) (EWF & Marcus Miller Mashup)

Lee Ritenour – Is It You (Funk LeBlanc Rework)
Funk LeBlanc – Waves (La Felix Remix) LOVE THAT BASS!

Follow Funk LeBlanc on SpotifyYouTubeSoundcloudBandcampInstagramFacebookTwitterWebsite

See also Spotlight on Funk Le Blanc

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