It was 1977 when my father heard Al Jarreau’s “Take Five” album for the very first time. He says gratitude filled his soul after listening to it at a friend’s house. According to my dad, that moment can be compared to a spiritual awakening. It opened his heart to the groovy tunes of jazz. Although he listed to the likes of Herbie Hancock and Stanley Turrentine as a youngster, he says he never heard anyone who could express themselves vocally over a jazzy instrumental like Al Jarreau.
My mother had a musical awakening too. She grew up on a farm with her parents and siblings. Everyone listened to country music. It was an unwritten rule, she says. Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, and Johnny Cash were a few of the country stars known quite well to my mother. Country music was great, but my mom says she longed to hear music that she could relate to. For her, soul music filled that void. Hearing the O’Jay’s “Stairway to Heaven” marked the beginning of my mom having a loving relationship with soul music.
My parents love for jazz and soul music shaped my perception of good music. Road trips were the best, because we never ran out of dope songs to sing. Music heals me spiritually. Sharing good music is one of my favorite things to do!
Listed below are the top 15 albums I enjoyed listening to as a kid (in no particular order):
1. Yutaka, Brazasia (1990)
2. Spyro Gyra, The Best of Spyro Gyra: The First Ten Years (1998)
3. Carlos Santana, Supernatural (1999)
4. Maxwell, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite (1996)
5. Wyclef Jean, The Ecleftic (2000)
6. Me’shell Ndegeocello, Peace Beyond Passion (1996)
7. Carl Thomas, Emotional (2000)
8. Incognito, Positivity (1993)
9. George Duke, A Brazilian Love Affair (1980)
10. Bob Marley, Chant Down Babylon (1999)
11. Will Downing, Invitation Only (1997)
12. Rachelle Ferrell, Rachelle Ferrell (1992)
13. Grover Washington, Jr., Live at the Bijou (1977)
14. Sade, Lovers Rock (2000)
15. Erykah Badu, Baduizm (1997)
What albums gave you inner peace as a youngster? Please share in the comment section below!