Sometimes the world just kicks you in the ass. A look at the newspapers can be hard to bear, as violent events and frightening human behaviour often read like something out of a horror movie as opposed to something genuine. Perhaps reality is the horror movie.
At times like these, I turn to the arts for direction and, more importantly, for healing. Film, literature, and music all have the philosophical ability to offer us what we seek. For a broken heart, a film can bring conclusion. For a disillusioned and discouraged soul, a great book can bring tenderness and comfort. And for a bleak and itinerant romantic, a beautiful song can bring it all.
When jazz vocalist Jamie Davis’ new CD, Vibe Over Perfection, came across my desk, I was in need of revival. Mentally, I was in the dumps. Yeah, I’m not ashamed to say it. On impulse, I slid the disc into the player, cranked the surround sound, and poured myself a cup of coffee.
You know how people say that they have moments where every cloud in the sky simply dissipates and reveals a soft, radiant, warm sun underneath? You know how when people say that, you just wanna punch ‘em in the nose and say “Shaddap!” and get back to your slouching and pouting? Well since listening to Vibe Over Protection, I’ve been ducking punches all day long!
Davis has performed with the likes of Tony Bennett, Milt Jackson, Patti Austin, and Rosemary Clooney, to name a few, and his stunning baritone is to die for. He wraps his words around the melody, sliding the lyrics underneath the song and becoming part of the music rather than overcoming it. Davis is so smooth, so vibrant, and so clever that I couldn’t help breaking out in a huge smile.