My father loved music. When he was young, he built an impressive record collection and would get a gleam in his eye every time he spoke of it. He was so proud—though he rarely played them. Dad passed away this past spring, and when we traveled to visit family in the summer, I began sifting through Dad's treasure trove of vinyl that he had tucked away in the basement. With each album cover, I could hear him humming the songs in my head.
My father and I disagreed on many things. I inherited his stubborn streak, which made for some heated debates from time to time. But luckily, I also inherited his impeccable taste in music. We always found common ground in our love of greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Lady Day, Dinah Washington and "Ol' Blue Eyes."
I recently brought many of dad's records home to add to my small collection. And every time I play one, I am reminded that great music—really great music—never goes out of style. In fact, I think it becomes more meaningful because it represents a person, place or time in our life.
Stevie Wonder once said, "Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories. And the longer a song has existed in our lives, the more memories we have of it."
Like Dad, I am so proud of my records—the ones from him and the ones I've collected. Unlike him, I play them all the time. I hope the songs will fill our home with happy memories, and that one day, many many years from now, my children will sift through them and hear me humming the songs in their heads.
Jazz always will be in style. These are some favorite classics.
1. Sinatra's Swingin' Session – Frank Sinatra
2. For Those in Love – Dinah Washington
3. The Piano Scene of Ahmad Jamal – Ahmad Jamal
4. Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book – Ella Fitzgerald
5. Solitude – Billie Holiday