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.



One comment

  1. My first jazz LP bought in the mid-70s is still my favourite jazz LP and I recommend it – – on vinyl.


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