The power of music is a force unparalleled by any other. Music is both an external means of expression for those who create it, as well as an intimate and internal experience for those who hear it. A melody can speak to us more deeply and more vividly than mere words. For every emotion I feel, I can find a song that perfectly describes my current mood and circumstance. Below is a short playlist of some of my favorite blues/jazz songs and the feelings and emotions that they can inspire:
1. "Feeling Good" - Nina Simone
This is my favorite song to start off my days with. Nina Simone has one of the most unique voices I have ever heard. Like raw honey, Simone's voice is rich, creamy, and sometimes overwhelming. It is a warm, breathy, adenoidal instrument. "Feeling Good" is a song combining the poetic sentiments of its lyrics with a haunting melody inspiring within the listener a feeling of hope for a new day. If you haven't heard of Nina Simone, this song is the perfect introduction.
2. "The Baddest Blues" - Beth Hart
This song talks about the agony of love: "Love is the baddest blues." The singer, Beth Hart has a rich, trembling, powerful voice characteristic of the Blues/Rock genre. Yet in her voice there is a slight bitterness and the listener can feel her pain: The pain of being in love. For Blues lovers dabbling in the Rock genre, this is a wonderful song.
3. "Meant" - Elizaveta
It starts with a beating rhythm, like the sound of a heart: A steady thump, thump-thump while the piano plays the melody. Elizaveta's voice comes in with a deep, clear, steadiness..."If silence could heal, I know it can kill." Powerful words with which to start off a song, but the most powerful part of these lyrics is closer to the end with the words: "Thanks for what you have given me (Take it back), I will always remember you watching me walk away...I still think that we were meant to be..." The song talks about a broken love, which the singer still wishes can be mended. Elizaveta is a self-declared "opera pop" artist, and this can be heard throughout her song (especially at the end), which incorporates a rich orchestral sound to accompany her voice, moving the listener through a suspenseful experience.
4. "If I Tell You I Love You" - Melody Gardot
I never really considered myself a Jazz lover until this song converted me. Melody Gardot's voice is as soft as a cashmere blanket in which I long to be wrapped as I listen to this song by a dancing fire on a rainy Autumn night. If a voice can ever be described as "warm," her sultry tone is the perfect depiction.