Life Like Jazz – The Gratitude Life

“It is jazz music that called me to be a musician and I have always sang the songs that moved me the most.” – Harry Connick, Jr.

The month of April was Jazz Appreciation Month in honor of jazz as an original American art form and I have been spending time basking in some fine jazz music. Not that I need an excuse to appreciate or sing jazz, I love it. Give me a jazz song with a sultry sax, a funky bass or marvelous piano solo and I’m transported along with the artists!

I relish the unexpected twists and turns in jazz. It’s free and adventurous. I remember discovering Al Jarreau and his music many years ago and thinking, “he can do that with his voice, awesome.” His vocal acrobatics fascinated me but Al also has tremendous pop crossover appeal.

Ella Fitzgerald has a stamina for riffing that is incredible. Her recording of “How High the Moon” from the highly acclaimed “Ella in Berlin” album is considered one of the best jazz scat solos ever. Her “One Note Samba” live scat is pure genius!

Dianne Reeves is another favorite jazz singer of mine, amazingly talented, her vocal artistry shades and colors her songs beautifully.

“In memory everything seems to happen to music.” ~ Tennessee Williams

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David Sanborn

Music recreates the feelings that marked significant moments in my life. The album, “A Change of Heart” from 1987 brings back bitter sweet memories and emotions. I loved that David Sanborn album. Besides David’s smokin’ hot sax and the R&B jazz fusion, “Chicago Song” was my favorite cut off the album. Another reason this album stands out in my mind is because it was playing a lot during a difficult time for me and it helped lift my spirits.

After the disappointment and pain of having two miscarriages, one of them being a life threatening ectopic pregnancy, I turned in a different direction and put together and performed my first solo show at the “Gardenia” in Hollywood. The show was very well received, a dream come true, but as fate would have it God chose that time for me to finally become pregnant with my beautiful daughter, Lindsay. I abandoned my musical dreams for a while for a new vision of raising a family, a very joyful prospect.

Improvising Life

That particular season of life taught me to be flexible, improvise and go with the flow. It also taught me to be alert and ready. Life, like jazz is unpredictable but when I seek God, He provides the grace and strength for all life’s ups and downs.

As a child, when I got stuck or out of tune, my parents would say, “change the channel.” In other words, we create our own internal ‘radio station’ by the music we make in our heart. What music is playing in the soundtrack of your life?

“Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.” – Chick Corea

The bible says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks.” Life is a continual prayer and my life is a prayer of thanksgiving set to music. I’m a Christian so there’s a lot of praise music playing in my heart for the gift of Jesus and his amazing grace but there’s jazz too, and friends and family, whose wisdom guides me and keeps me grounded.

“It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.” – Dizzy Gillespie

Gratitude for the New Generation of Jazz

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Esperanza Spalding

“Jazz is reborn” with the stellar Esperanza Spalding. I don’t know  of any young ladies that can play a stand up bass the way she does. Love her raw, earthy vocals. She is positively energizing! Her uniqueness is a treasure.

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Dirty Loops

Dirty Loops is a favorite young jazz fusion band of mine. They created a cool new sound but you can hear their roots to the jazz greats that came before them. They do an amazing job reinventing, “Rolling in the Deep.”

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Jane Monheit

With a voice is as smooth as silk, Jane Monheit with Les Paul Trio does a fantastic job with this standard, “East of the Sun (West of the Moon).” I had the good fortune to hear her perform live recently in Hollywood, a very sweet and talented lady.

A play list with links to the music of the artists I mentioned will be at the end of the blog. There are some outrageous improvisational grooves on it! Be sure to check it out!

“I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That’s all I know.” – Billie Holliday

This Moment in Music

In addition to being a wife, mom, a fitness instructor… today, I am glad to be singing with the LA Winds Jazz Band along with my sister Maria Lauren. Our group consists of men and woman of all ages from their twenties into their sixties. We’re a diverse group of musicians with a mutual passion for jazz, big band swing and a desire to support music education.

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Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg & Maria Lauren

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Marianna Riccio

Maria’s daughter, singer-songwriter, Marianna Riccio also lends her dynamic vocals to the group from time to time.

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A friend of ours helped put together this short Youtube. It’s a fun collection of video clips from some of our performances starting with a Dean Martin Show TV Special, taped in the late 1970’s (a parody of the ‘Roaring Twenties’), to our recent performance at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza with the Pierce Jazz Band under the direction of John Mitchell.

Life is like jazz with interesting and unpredictable changes. Some chords are dissonant and some ring true. Whether we’re taking chances or playing it safe, it’s all music to God ears when gratitude for His infinite and wonderful love prevails.

Stay jazzy with a song in your heart to God. ~ Linda Eichberg

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Link to a play list of the jazz greats noted in this blog. (Click on the playlist tab to see the separate artists & titles.) Enjoy!

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My prayer for you:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1Thessalonians 5: 16-18

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.” Psalm 147: 7

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal advice. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits. 

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Earth Day – Blessing the Earth

Earth Day is April 22; I am reminded to think about how I can make a positive impact on the earth. Last year, to celebrate Earth Day, I bought reusable stainless steel water bottles to use in place of the plastic disposable one’s I had been using. My family also made a monthly commitment to Greenpeace USA. In years past, I have bought the ladies in my bible study fashionable reusable grocery bags and made a pledge to recycle Styrofoam packing peanuts at my local mailing center.

Our Beautiful Earth

Last week I returned from a family visit to Pennsylvania, during cherry blossom season. The trees were exquisite! Driving by the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia was a spectacular site!

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My love for trees inspired me to support the Canopy Project this year. Sponsored by Earth Day, one tree will be planted for every dollar donated. Jaden Smith speaks passionately about this project. Learn more about The Canopy Project.

 

Remembering Earth Day With Gratitude to God

I enjoy taking ‘gratitude hikes’ to the beach. I like to take groups of friends, mothers and daughters. We have fun! It’s a great way to relieve stress and keep fit. Being together on the beach brings out our inner child and grows our appreciation for nature and each other. It draws us closer to God’s magnificence and supports our beautiful State Parks.

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Sitting on top of Point Dume, Zuma Beach with Marianna Riccio, Maria Lauren, Susan Buckner and Linda Eichberg

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Balancing side plank, a joyful expression of health!

I appreciate how the earth sustains and nourishes me and my family with the food it provides. When I eat, I will consider how the food is grown and the people who sacrificed to get it to my table. I am supporting organic and non-GMO food growers.

Since ancient times it has been recorded in The Holy Scriptures that God rules over the earth and we “are like grasshoppers” living on it. Our Father in the heaven, gave us the earth as our dwelling place. It is a perishable gift that we must handle with care. Grasshoppers can be destructive and ravenous. The earth is not ours to abuse. It is fragile like we are. I prayerfully ask God for wisdom for this generation and the next, to save and heal our world.

How does your family protect the earth or reduce their carbon footprint? It can be something simple like not running the water when brushing their teeth or washing the dishes. I’d like to hear your ideas.

Happy Earth Day with blessings, Linda

Reference: The Holy Bible

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. ‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One.” – Isaiah 40: 21-24 (NIV)

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.