So it ain't a pretty picture these days. But somehow, while most musicians grumble and many scratch for the rent, they manage to keep going with a dedication that can seem like lunacy to the rest of the world. They make sounds we depend on for distraction and comfort, manufacturing aural anti-depressants we can pop whenever the world bears down upon us. We owe them nothing less than our full respect, which we can express in directly useful ways, including buying CDs rather than copying them, supporting live music and jazz radio, and contributing to organizations like the Jazz Foundation, which supplies economic and medical assistance to musicians in need (early calendar alert: their Apollo Theater fundraiser will be held on October 16.) We can't take this music for granted and expect it to survive, or disrespect the people who often sacrifice so much to produce it.
Well, I warned you I was cranky. And now I'll get down from my soapbox, and turn up the air conditioner. And the jazz.