Music is my sanctuary in life

Music is my sanctuary in life

Earth, Wind & Fire

Every so often, something nostalgic comes along, propelling us somewhere else, someplace unforgettable. Music is often the impetus.
Earth, Wind, & Fire will perform on Tuesday, June 2, at 8 p.m., at the Fillmore on the Beach. Yes – EWF on a Tuesday in summer.

There must be reasons, reasons, reasons why things rise and fall, but trust me, I cannot figure them out. Two nights later, New Kids on the Block with special guests TLC and Nelly will perform in Canada – I mean Sunrise. Then on Saturday June 13, the Gipsy Kings play the Hard Rock in Hollywood.

These are far from one hit wonders, especially in EWF’s case. Moreover, for me to construct a coherent column ordinarily is a chore, let alone when the subjects are so incongruent. But let me try to cover some music.

Lately, I’ve enjoyed dropping names, so indulge me once again. Uvaggio’s Le Chat Noir, LILT Lounge, Lagniappe, Sunset Tavern, Bardot, WDNA’s Jazz Gallery, Prohibition, Ball & Chain, Acervichao, Pinch Me and Soyka, where the motivation for this paragraph began after having enjoyed Hal Roland and his trio there twice recently and thoroughly loving his playlist. More on this later.

Music is my sanctuary in life

Hal Roland

One of my former colleagues told me once that he didn’t listen to music much and I felt, somehow, so deflated. The fact that he was a band director only made it more depressing and unfathomable. I can’t conceive of contentment not being coupled with WDNA’s Frank Consola or afternoons minus Michael Valentine, Saturdays without some reggae with Flagga, the Time Warp on Sundays with Mark Hayes or Melodious Mel. They make me wanna sit in traffic. Tracy Fields does her jazz thing on NPR/WLRN 91.3 most every evening as well. Blessed, blessed night.

Jazz isn’t the only genre here which soothes some suffering. For years an axis of regal has held sway at HOT 105, James T, Rick Party and the fabled Freddie Cruz, whose nightly Quiet Storm has seduced generations of listeners with slow-dragging dreamy tracks. If you dream of getting married like they do on reality TV, Freddie will play Lenny Williams I Love You, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s The Closer I Get to You, D’Angelo’s Untitled or Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon in the Sky, which Hal Roland so gorgeously killed at Soyka.

Latin radio is strange porque aquí la vida está muy complicada para nosotros. There are the kids stations like MEGA 94.9, EL Nuevo Zol 106.7 and MIX 98.3, pero like the high quality salsa and Latin, jazz action is nowhere to be found on the commercial airwaves. WDNA’s Latin Jazz Quarter and Fusion Latina feature a number of DJ’s playing their favorites both afternoon and night, including Bob Diaz, Orlando Suarez, Andy Harlow and, again, Hal Roland. Otherwise, it’s a steady diet of Romeo Santos, Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee.

Music is my sanctuary in lifeAs for me, enough is never enough music and on today’s playlist are Chicago II, Andy Montanez, Gil-Scott Heron, David Morin, Zoot Sims, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Andy Bey, Prince Buster, Eddie Kendricks, ESTA, Bobby Caldwell and Jarrod Lawson.

Carl Rachelson is a teacher at Palmer Trinity School and a regular contributor to the Pinecrest Tribune. He may be contacted by addressing email to

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