Magic Moments

The kind of thing I’m thinking about is where you’re blabbing on to someone, ‘you know, that BIT in xxx, where yyy does zzz, it’s AHMAZHING’.

One of those moments for me is on Marvin Gaye’s ‘Keep Gettin’ It On‘. It was brought to my attention some years back by splendid chap Andrew Morel.

At 1:54, Gaye sings: ‘Get on. Get it on. Get it on.’

If you want to know what it means to deliver the perfect phrase with devastating timing and total brain-melting, gut-clenching brilliance – this is what does that for me. Just before he delivers this phrase, he says, ‘Ge’, and then stops like he changes his mind, maybe. I think maybe he saw the whole thing in that flash because there’s no doubt it could be anything else; it’s so perfectly masterful. Yet every every every time I hear it I get the same feeling. It’s just total and utter perfection in music. Maybe you have to listen to it a couple of hundred times to fully get it. But, come one now, let’s have a bit of dedication on your part please. Give it a good old listen. There’s no way there’s a better moment in the history of music. There’s a challenge…

One interesting thing for me is that most of the things that I like so much have been shared by someone else to me. It’s infectious when someone shares a thing they like. It rubs off.

So why don’t you share a moment. A bit. A specific thing. Not, ‘Isn’t Dave McDaveness ace on sax’, or, ‘have you heard the new skronkfestun album?’. I want specifics. Timed to the dot…

Come on, look lively and get to it.


Thinking about tennis again just before I hit the ‘post’ button. There are similar magic moments in sports. Bits that just blow your mind. Probably blew the minds of the practitioners as they were playing. But there they are, just for us to marvel at, share, talk about. Maybe it raises the idea of how to open up yourself, your music, the musicians, to allow things like this to happen; to make potential for magic. Maybe you can’t prepare for it.

Oh, sorry, this has all gone awry. Well, make of it what you will, and feel free to chime in with anything that takes your fancy…

Here’s a playlist you can add tracks to and check out the other suggestions.

Comments on Magic Moments

  1. steve says:

    heres the link i forgot to post :) its not bass at 3.45 i think he hits an his D string but the echo makes it ring out well funky :)

  2. Mike Outram says:

    Awesome!! I found this after watching that vid:

  3. Alex S says:

    This is my favourite SRV performance, especially where he explodes into the solo at 1:19

  4. Mike Outram says:

    Woooooooooooooooo Yeah :)

  5. tom says:

    the change at 720ish get’s me every time, but to be fair the whole thing is gold!

  6. steve says:

    key change and the power of one note, tune is unidentified(flying being) by steve hillage off the green album at 2:48 guitar solo starts with key change and he sets up the solo with a single f# note followed by a little phrase that just makes me want to pick up my guitar and rock out, the whole solo is fantastic phrasing and note choice, great bass playing too and at 3:43 bass player answers the guitars wail, great stuff by a undersung in my opinion amazing musician and artist

  7. Cameron says:

    So many moments that I could talk about, but one of the best ones has to be off of Donald Fagen’s album ‘The Nightfly’ on the track ‘Ruby Baby’. I mean to be fair on each track alone you have all of the very best session musicians absolutely bringing it, but on that track during the outro when all the party noises are beginning to come in, someone ‘whoops’ on the ‘and’ of beat three (4:57-5:00!), which is swiftly followed by Larry Carlton playing a filthy blues phrase in a manner which only he can do!

    Another one that comes to mind is Tom Harrell’s opening phrase off of the Steve Swallow record ‘Real Book’ on the tune ‘Ponytail’ (1:42-1:50) – so melodic! Also on Wayne Shorter’s ‘Speak No Evil’ on the track “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum” (1:28-1:40), Freddie Hubbard lays right back on it and plays THE most chilled out bluesy line which is accompanied by the dirtiest low-down bassline played by Ron Carter! Gotta love those moments….

  8. Matt McG says:

    Sonny Rollins, on ‘Decision’:

    1min 35 or so, he plays the repeating notes and then goes back into more flowing improv.

    Or Van Halen, ‘You Really Got Me’, there are so many amazing fills, but the bit that always grabs me is the groove of the palm muting between the pitched notes of the intro [and that first lead fill].

  9. neil says:

    58 seconds into John S on Sonny Rollins’ The Bridge. Rollins plays a relentless steam hammer of a riff and the tension is really built up. Then at 0:58 Jim Hall comes in. The mood relaxes ever so slightly and the guitar adds some color before all of it sudden it’s gone again.

  10. Andrew says:

    Great post Mike. Loving that slice of Marvin.
    One of mine: Walter Becker’s solo on Bad Sneakers 1:54 – 2:27
    Trying to pick out the absolute best bit, but it starts good and keeps getting better and better!
    It’s great when you get those instant goosebump/shiver moments, and that makes you listen again, and again, and again… I do worry though that the effect slowly wears out if you overdo it – a bit like an addict that keeps chasing that high. Will it ever be as good as the first time? ha ha ….

Comments are Closed