Friday, March 26, 2010

Do you know what it means to be in New Orleans?

The beauty of jazz lies in contrasts.

The beauty of jazz lies in its almost ridiculous simplicity, even though under the bonnet its construction is head-alteringly complicated. Even though it may appear to be the background track to Tom and Jerry, it is not frivolous. It is classic and elegant in an artistic-Chivas Regal-sophisticated-middle aged-relaxed-whiskey bar-restrained energy sort of way. Even though the bop is all peaky and angular, the rhythm to which it fits has the curviness of western classical. Even its sober rhythms have in them the raggedness of the psychedelic rock genre that followed it. In their day, their melodies were unconventional and bold. In a post-depression society, they somehow dared to be jaunty! An optimism born out of depression perhaps, I can only speculate.

The beauty of jazz lies in contrasts.

Re-recordings, no matter how sophisticated, can never match the quality and depth of the sound produced by big-band musical ensembles. It must have sounded a hundred times more soulful in the dark silent whiskey bars of the west coast of USA in the mid 1930s, those beautiful jazz years.

Jazz music, along with the general theory of relatively is one of the greatest human intellectual achievements.