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(A musing after spending 72 hours straight listening to live music, a classical soprano vocalist, an 11 year-old violinist prodigy and a jazz trio, the Pat Metheny Trio in the winter of 2003)
You cannot see her, but sometimes if you are lucky, you can hear the voice of the lady singing through the hands of those from whom she demands complete allegiance. She is elusive, and even the best cannot persuade her to alight very time she is called. But you would spend your life and break your heart to beg her to stay after hearing her just once. Through these masters, all of them, from the soprano to the young violinist soloist to this ecumenical triumvirate, she had us on her knees in her presence. There are times when she will let you listen to her sing and for a moment, one moment, you know the truth that connects heart to heart. So elusive, and the only thing that lasts.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.