To me, jazz is much more than the sound that vibrates your eardrums. It’s a complex style of music, it’s a culture. To me, there’s music, and then there’s jazz. When some people find out that I mainly listen to jazz, they think that it’s odd. I’ve even been told that I listen to “old people music.” I’m not offended by what people think because had they actually been exposed to jazz they would probably understand it the way you and I do.
I believe that the number one thing going through the original jazzers minds was fun. Take for example the great video above featuring Louis Armstrong & Dizzy Gillespie. When I watch that video, I can’t help but smile and I almost wish that I had lived in that day. These guys didn’t worry about whether hip-hop is jazz. These guys didn’t worry about whether jazz is dead either (at least not yet). They were having a lot of fun!
Aside from having fun, jazz is also a very emotional genre of music. If you watch Ella Fitzgerald singing “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” you can almost feel what the song is conveying. The lyrics are masterful as is Ella’s delivery. To me, jazz is far more efficient at conveying emotion than any other genre.
The theory behind jazz is complex yet concrete. You have your standard progressions, throw your chord voicings on top with a sweet melody and you’ve got a jazz tune. Now that might sound simple, but as a musician I can say that I’ve failed many times trying to learn some of this theory. It’s tough. Not to mention that many of the times, the music is improvised. I’m always amazed at the technical proficiency of the musicians.
So, share with me please… what do you most like about this wonderful style of music?