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.