Before I know it, I’m listening to Jazz


It crept up on me and dragged me into a hip northern coffee shop on a Friday night. It caught me off guard and plied me with Belgian beer. It dazzled me with complicated time signatures.

And before I know it, I’m listening to jazz.

I’m already saddled with interests that mark me out as pretentious, serious, and aloof. I’m a cyclist, with two blogs, and a penchant for artisanal food and drink. And I use words like ‘penchant’, and ‘artisanal’.

Jazz isn’t going to help.

It’s tried to seduce me before, and I bought a John Coltrane album. Three listens in, and “phew…unlistenable, unfathomable…not for me.”

And now I’m watching Shalosh, on a whim.

And the warmth, the energy, the changes in pace and direction, and the drums – especially the drums – mix with the drink. Israeli-New York jazz, in a northern town, with a Belgian beer.

Melting in a pot.

Last week I watched ‘Whiplash’, for the drums. When I play the drums I hold my sticks, and my time, like a rock drummer. I play thudding Led Zep drums. Where am I going to find the time to learn paradiddles and time signatures?

Talk of Charlie Parker sends me online for a listen.

And from there the algorithm passes me to Thelonius Monk, and Sonny Rollins, and Charles Mingus. If you like this then you’ll like that. And I kind of do. And I feel myself swirling down the rabbit hole.

Should I give Coltrane another chance?

And then I wonder what jazz culture is like, in 2017.

Do jazz people still take heroin?

Because I’m not going to like heroin.

 

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One comment

  1. My first jazz LP bought in the mid-70s is still my favourite jazz LP and I recommend it – youtube.com/watch?v=Ckjyir9zIdk – on vinyl.

    Like

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