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And when they finally get to the supermarket to buy their groceries all they buy is smooth jazz...
Wonderful stuff. If only this article could reach the folks out here in Shanghai.
- from a JazzNoob set on debunking the inaccessibility of jazz.
God article. I still haven't experienced the sharkskin suit and Harvey Wallbanger, but hey, I live in hope...
I can't agree more with my fore-speakers. :) Finally somebody will tell me how to taste jazz- yet it's sometimes beyond my perception.
I recommend for people who really want to actually listen, buy the book "What to listen for in music" by Aaron Copland. its such a great book and after you read it you just enjoy much more hearing a tune.
Basie, in an interview with Charles Kurualt (I've forgotten how to spell Charlie's name) years and years ago responded to Charles question; "So Count; what is jazz?" Count responded, "Tap your foot." Initially I was disappointed. I thought Count should have given a much more "detailed" discussion of the music....until I thought about it awhile. And when it all comes down, musically that is, he was right. "Pat your foot." Zen! My youngest daughter (20) cannot hear a beat in jazz. So bombarded by rock beats her whole life, she cannot hear subtlety. Most "music" listeners today cannot hear a full pallet range of music...no ears. It has all devolved into a BLAST! of audio distortion. The jazz of the Harmon mute, the tasty brushed snare, the nuance of Oscar Pettiford cello-like base playing can't be appreciated by the near deaf. Until the day the electricity goes off, we may never hear the really "cool" again.
Nice commentary. Don't include me in your categorizations -- the Passat went with the ex, my hair breaks off before it gets to ponytail length, I live out in the provinces way far from a Whole Foods, and I hide my .edu email address. I do try to elaborate jazz from Bix to Brotzmann on my lame bi-weekly jazz show on the campus station. ... looking forward to your next essay ...
Very cute way of explaining jazz to a newcomer (or even an oldtimer like myself who's been listening to jazz in one form or another for over 30 years). Particularly liked the Raisinettes in the burrito analogy for the "weirder" stuff. Issue is, some of us who really LIKE the more "out there" stuff have friends and family (in this particular case my wife) who can't even do the plain burrito. Unfortunately she and her stomach don't handle spicy food well, and for the most part her musical taste is similarly bland. Love her to death, but in musical terms we are not in simpatico--that's for sure.
Oh well, guess we try salad? Maybe I could get her to try some French dressing instead of Ranch? Or, musically....maybe I could get her away from Nickelback and Evanescence and into Jeff Beck and Norah Jones??? (LOL!!!!) Well, it ain't Chick Corea, or Patricia Barber, but it would be a step in the right direction....:-D
Try Kenny G on her (I can't believe I'm recommending K G) or some Mel Torme' (the London Sessions) with Phil Woods backing. Or Mel and George Shearing....some of the jazz with strings stuff is an easy intro for those reluctant to swim with "possibilities" (aka improvisation). Some of the piano trio stuff is easy for non-jazz listeners to hear, Shearing of course, and Gene Harris. Some of Ellas "Song Books" have nice jazz backings that might get a foot in the door for a listener with little exposure to the good stuff. It's not too far from there to Miles "Porgy and Bess", then the MJQ, etc.
Responding to John L's post, hooray for "campus radio", I had a jazz show for years on AM and later on campus FM, in fact there are still some of these rare gifts alive and well, in the southwest at least, both in Alb (very limited) and in El Paso (broader and longer). My pony tail continues to grow, at the expense of my temples, but out here, far from both Whole Foods and T. Joe's, jazz blooms at home from 33 1/3s, cds and tapes....and on rare moments, utube. Keep on John L, just keep on!
Nicely done, even for a resident genius. Probably the hardest thing about writing is sizing up an audience without pandering to them. If you are writing for more than one at a time, of course, each additional group adds a level difficulty. You have done it brilliantly. A JazzNoob actually could read this and learn about jazz. A seasoned jazz fan could learn something as well, in addition to laughing his ass off. Keep it coming, Jeff.
I have been listening (really listening, not just background music) to jazz for some time now. My problem is that it all pretty much sounds the same. Is there any hope for me? I mean, there is some out there I really like, but for the most part I cannot tell one piece from another. Help!!!
Jane Ira Bloom
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