Sometime in the late nineties, I bought the Kenny Burrell album “Midnight Blue” on CD. I didnt have a lot of CDs at that time – they were very expensive and there was always the problem of trying to figure out which one to buy. Laying down twenty odd dollars for an album just because it was by an artist you’d heard off was risky. The Penguin guide to jazz was useful but idiosyncratic. There was a whole lot of ECM records that I could never get into.
Anyway, I hadn’t really listened to Midnight Blue for a long time until through the magic of Spotify, the title track came on via a Afro Cuban Lounge playlist in which it clearly did not belong. The track took me right back to my late twenties in the front room in a shared house on Faraday Street in Carlton and my emotional landscape at that time: excitement, confusion, fear, sadness. I was alone in a way I hadn’t really understood could be possible.
Looking over my backyard at the forest reserve beyond, I realised how often I felt like that in my twenties and thirties and how long it has been since I’ve been in that state. And I was glad of it and grateful.