Here is where I must confess to you, dear readers (I think there might be two of you now. Whoop!) that I am not a kool kat who trolls the night in search of genius music. Jazz, in fact, completely eludes me. (I have long suspected this is because I am pigmentally challenged.)
I equate jazz with watching golf on T.V. Those who play golf enjoy it; those who don’t are bored out of their gourds. I don’t play the clarinet . . . or trumpet . . . or sax . . . or drums, ergo . . .
So it is with great trepidation and unease that I announce May 29 is International (not just national, mind you) Jazz Day.
After a bit of wurfing, I discovered there is a reason I don’t ‘understand’ jazz. It is the music world’s ocean, ebbing and flowing, ever changing. Translation: there are no rules and therefore it has no steadfast definition.
For a loose definition, jazz uses ‘blue notes’, is syncopated and improvisational.
But it can’t be pinned down beyond that. Why? Its genres are diverse: New Orleans Dixieland, big band swing, bebop, Latin fusion, free jazz, jazz fusion, acid jazz, and Nujazz.
But, documentarian Ken Burns provides the best introduction to jazz I have seen. It’s 8 minutes long, but perfect for the jazz-challenged. And after seeing it, I have a new respect for jazz musicians. And, I wish you all a jazzy day!