Thursday, April 09, 2009
jazz and being
More than most types and flavours of art, I find music, in the form of Jazz, to be the form that holds me tight to the present moment... accompanying me on my everyday journey to and from and from back to to. It would seem that rock n' roll, my very bloodsource, tends to fill me with raw energy and an undefinable ambition to just go out and DO! Do what? I dunno, go crazy I guess, drive fast, overturn newspaper boxes, drink hard, punch people in the face, etc. It's a great energy if you can harness it. Though, it doesn't throw me a newspaper and pour me a cup of hot coffee like Jazz does. Though I have used classical music to relax to...study to... and even allowed Opera to tease and pull my heart strings, it still remains the musical form of Jazz that really seems to me to be the soundtrack of daily motion in, especially city, life. Country, folk and grass roots blues are the songs of the working man, the dusty boots, greasy jeans and the songs of the family, homemade jam and cotton sheets blowing in a summer wind. But it's different than Jazz. Jazz, everything ranging from Count Basie big band to the beat poet messiness of bass/drum/guitar trios right across to a lonely trumpeter squeezing out a muted trill on the top of a high rise rooftop in the hot August eve, is for me a more direct connection to the immediacy of being. The flow of being. The gentle wildness of Lionel Hampton's xylophone, the rainy afternoon piano of Bill Evans or the angry genius of Buddy Rich's drumming thump, Jazz is the poetry of sound. My current muses are the Dave Holland Sextet's new opus "Pass it On" and of course, the rable rousing Chet Baker's Verve collection. I switch often between a classic LP "Everybody Loves Bill Evans" and his Excellency Oscar Peterson's "Night Train." Oscar Peterson's trio once moved me to tears with a rendition of "requiem" during an NAC performance on his Night in Vienna tour. Fucking beautiful.
Jazz is the traffic, the rain, the sirens of panic and a little baby laughing. Jazz is the old men playing chess in the park on a Saturday afternoon. Jazz is a howling busker, Jazz is a cold beer. Jazz is a bicycle ride and a picnic in the valley. Jazz is a nap. Jazz is a bus ride. Jazz is a painting, Jazz is math. Jazz is a bubble bath. Jazz is building, Jazz is tearing down. Jazz is simultaneously loose and tight. Jazz is the long, lonely, weed smoked, beer drunk night.