All About the Jazz

So I walked into Just Music – a music store, duh– a few days ago and they were playing some old school jazz tracks. It was my epiphany moment. Something you’d see in I don’t know say Forbes Magazine. Anyway that’s when I decided that I was going to be more cultured and become one of those cool people who listen to jazz.

I rushed over to the jazz section and to my delight they had a sale: 3 CDs for R100… can you say bargain?

I called on one of the shop assistance to help me pick out some smooth tunes but he didn’t know anything about jazz and referred another guy.

Now this guy (I forgot his name) was on another level of being a jazz enthusiast. He knew everything and there I was saying my favourite kind of jazz was blues… He told me that I was too young for blues because it was deep and mature (implying that I wasn’t?).

We went on picking up CDs. He knowing who the artists were; me picking up anything that had a pretty cover.

Then came my moment of glory that redeemed me from any implication that I wasn’t serious about jazz. He asked me who my favourite jazz musicians were. Without hesitation I recalled the John Mayer song Comfortable and blurted out Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

The line goes “…but you could distinguish Miles from Coltrain.”

The shop assistant guy looked at me paused and smiled and said, “you have great taste in music”. Well at least that’s what I thought I heard him say.

Anyway between the two of us we gathered about 20 CDs some part of the sale and the others his personal recommendations.

Two hours and 15 minutes of jazz appreciation I left with three great albums: Nina – The Nina Simone collection, Ahmad Jamal – The legendary OHEH & epic Recordings & Miles Davis – Round About Midnight.

A few years ago at a jazz festival I remember something one of the speakers said that has stuck with me forever. “When you understand the music and what is being done you nod your head to acknowledge that certain rhythms and sequences will follow… it makes sense. But sometimes the music is remarkable that find yourself shaking your head in disbelief that such magic is achievable… almost like you’re saying ‘no, that’s impossible’”.

When it comes to jazz I have to shake my head and agree.


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