Why I Love Jazz, And Why You Should Too
I recently bit the bullet, ended my torrent-ing ways and paid the 10 bucks a month to subscribe to Apple Music.
My experience thus far can only be described as magical.
The sleekness of the interface beats the hell out of Soundcloud. Its robotic intuition is ever-steering me in seemingly opposing, yet equally brilliant and gratifying directions, toward musical genres which I had only tapped the surface of.
I have discovered the generational talent that was Amy Winehouse, her first album Frank and the song-writing genius that she was and will forever be.
The Electronic and House genres which I had long been wanting to explore deeper, yet have always been overwhelmed with initially, was broken down expertly into playlists and artist essentials that led me right to the good stuff.
Like, really good stuff. Eargasm stuff.
But one genre which I have quickly fallen in deep, first-sight love with is Jazz. I was led to some of the greats through Winehouse’s collaborations and ballads that immediately teleport you to a blue-lit smoky Jazz clubs of New Orleans or London.
There are the legends, the classics.
Thelonius Monk. Dizzy Gillespie. Stan Getz. Wynton Marsalis.
Then there are some of the new school cats which caught my ear.
Carlos Henriquez. Jose James. Cassandra Wilson.
Though the years have passed and styles have evolved slightly, the Jazz is at its core essentially unchanged. The spontaneity, layering of instruments and sounds that keeps your mind racing and forces you to engage completely in the song. It’s absorbing and intoxicating when done right.
In my eyes, it’s a welcome change from Fetty Wap and Future, though I have my fair share of those two in my iTunes library.
Sure, I had downloaded The Best of John Coltrane and Miles Davis a few years ago, but I’d be lying if I said I could name even one of the songs on those albums. Sometimes it takes somebody who came before you, somebody who lived during the genre’s pinnacle, to play the role of tour guide in the Museum of Jazz.
Or the museum of (insert any genre here) for that matter.
The over-saturation of media in the internet age has caused us to flip through albums so rapidly that delving into the past does not even occur to us.
Lord forgive us, we are making such a mistake by not looking to the past for our music.
And I don’t mean the past where Kanye West was putting out culturally in-tune, mind-stimulating music. This notion alone illustrates just how rapidly musical history evolves.
Artists you love sell out. They turn pop. The modern industry dictates it. Sell out or quit selling. Go mainstream or fade into musical obscurity.
But Jazz calls for the opposite. It calls for slight tweaks, but necessarily sticks to the roots of what make jazz, well, jazz.
And there is something about throwback that seems so cool in the days of “Damn, Daniel” and The Whip and Nae Nae. Forget hipsters and their fedoras. Jazz is the anti-cool, which I would argue makes it the current cool.
Not to mention it is like Xanax for your ears.
So I implore you: load up your Apple Music or Spotify account, dim the lights, and put on some Jazz.
Maybe you prefer something funky and new-school, courtesy of Ms. Winehouse. Jazz with a modern twist. And those horns….(jizzes).
Deep in your feelings, maybe even the bottle? Miles and John Coltrane feel your pain. Their music is your pain.
Perhaps some light, Cuban jazz is more your taste.
And, maybe you could give a shit about jazz and would rather put Taylor Swift on repeat. Or some Fetty Wap. I can appreciate modern music. But so can most 2nd grade girls. That’s an issue, at least for me.
An issue I now remedy with my daily dose of Miles, Amy, Dizzy, or maybe some Franky Sinatra.
Before you dismiss the jazz as outdated or boring, just give it a try.
Pour a glass of red, light up a smoke if that is your thing, and consider what Jazz can do for you.
Let it take you away for 5 minutes, an hour, or as long as you need.
One thing I know for sure: ignoring the orgasmic sounds that compose the genre is your loss.
And seriously, I like Future too.