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Isaiah Stewart

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2018-07-08

I love jazz because the art form is exciting, expressive, captivating and authentic. I also find the music to be cinematic in that I often visualize images of a dramatic, profound and vivid nature--be it scenes of nature, weather, space exploration, a romantic scene in Paris, an energetic urban cityscape, etc.--during a jazz song as jazz can tell interesting and dramatic stories utilizing rhythm, chords, melody and improvisation as its medium. I was first exposed to jazz when I heard Deodato's jazz-funk rendition of "2001" on the radio as a child. This one Top 40 hit also exposed me to iconic jazz musicians Billy Cobham, Ron Carter and John Tropea. I have met many jazz musicians through the decades and am blessed to call many of them my personal friends. The first jazz record I bought was Ronnie Laws "Pressure Sensitive" featuring the jazz-funk classic "Always There" and it blew my mind! That same year I always purchased the first Brecker Bros album and it took me to another dimension, introducing me to Randy and Michael Brecker. My advice to new jazz listeners is give the music time. Jazz, like classical, is a rich and complex music. If current pop music were chicken nuggets at the local McDonalds, Jazz music would be French cuisine at a 3-star Michelin restaurant--it requires that your palate be more sophisticated to appreciate it. This can often require time.