How to Win Friends and Influence People to Jazz
A similar impression of jazz is that it is indecipherable noise. This idea comes mainly from the fact that the instruments within a jazz ensemble don't always behave in the expected manner. The drums don't always maintain a comforting boom chick boom chick to mark the time in precise, even measures. The bass isn't content to confine itself to the first and fifth of the scale. The piano sometimes plays jangling, discordant clusters of notes rather than soothing streams of agreeable tones. Soloists aren't bound to the immediate notes of the melody, or even the corporate notes of the underlying chords. The comforting sameness of popular music is nowhere to be found, and the tinselly blandishments that decorate endless rows of indistinguishable pop stars are equally absent.
To win this sort of person over to jazz, it is necessary to take them inside the music. They must understand the absolute freedom of jazz, the dedication to individual expression even within a group dynamic that makes jazz completely unique among types of music. Introduce them to the personalities involved, how individual contributions came together to create a new entity. Illustrate the differences between the wonderfully unique people who created jazz and the faceless flavors-of-the-month that populate the landscape of top forty music.
In summary, the way to overcome the impression that jazz is just random noise is to explain the people who created, prospered, and perpetuate it. And on a side note, $50 says that Diana Krall could take Britney Spears in a fair fight.
For the absolute newbiethat is, someone who has no opinion of jazz whatsoever'it is only necessary to share your favorite music, and your enthusiasm, with them. How often have all of us been exposed to something we might not have liked otherwise and convinced of its merits by someone whose opinion we trust and respect? Be careful, however, not to come on too strong. The lure of seduction is the best path to disarm the sure resistance to the unfamiliar. How do you think I got into the überblonde's apartment in the first place?
My point exactly.
In summary, the quickest way to get jazz to the heart of a newbie is to send it from yours.
So there you have it, a few handy tips for overcoming preconceived notions of jazz and for bringing it to fresh ears. And in the bargain, a neat lesson in how to coast through a perfectly passable monthly column without an ounce of inspiration or a single original thought in your head. This is why I am a Genius.
Till next month, kids, exit to your right and enjoy the rest of AAJ.