Sometimes a song reaches inside me taking hold of my emotional core—my heart, soul, deepest feelings. Other times a tempo insists I move to it and dance. It may be that a lyric is catchy or cool or profound, or a sequence of notes and chords excites. Whatever it is, I'm always feeling the music in some way and each post will offer a different musical experience. Check it out and see what you feel.
Anita Baker fans have mixed feelings about her recent
announcement that she is retiring from music. We are sad at the loss of new
recordings from her; yet, happy she is achieving what she says is one of her
“goals/dreams” in life—to retire. As she
stated, writing and recording music is in her DNA, “But, I’m on a different
road. #BeachBum.” Let’s hope that road
leads her to the many hours of joy she has given us with her exceptional voice
and music. In tribute and thanks the following encore is offered.
From the opening notes, Anita Baker’s voice draws me inside her songs. I hear the first few lyrics clearly, and then words are seductively swirled into the sound that is uniquely hers. The lyrics mix with the tones and shadings she skillfully blends to tell of love, and loss, desire and the fulfillment of that desire. She creates a vocal eddy that surrounds me, pulls me in, and I feel the song from the center moving out.
Is she inside the song as well? I have to think so; because, she plumbs the depths of each musical phrase. But, she never struggles in those depths; she maintains the beautiful balance between feeling and musicianship.
I am lifted up on her highs and dip down with her lows and am carried along in the natural flow of her singing. This experience listening to Anita Baker’s music is all about the feeling when I’m within her musical sound.
And, as her performance circles to a close I don’t want to be turned loose—let it keep turning and taking me wherever it may lead.
Let the music reach completely around you and allow yourself to become a part of what surrounds you as she sings “Soul Inspiration”
Smokey Robinson recorded a romantic adult album, Quiet
Storm, that began a subgenre of music that took its name from the
title and was rooted in R&B. Anita Baker added her special smoldering
sensuality and the likes of Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott-Heron, Bill Withers, Grover
Washington Jr. and many more gave voice and instrumentation to loving sexual
Leon Ware, musician, songwriter and record producer, helped define
the quiet storm sound. His decades-long career and collaborations influenced
the work of greats from Quincy Jones to Michael Jackson to Average White Band here: