JazzLine News wrote an article on March 9th, 2015 entitled “Jazz Has Become The Least-Popular Genre In The U.S.” I totally disagree because you cannot quantify culture or art or anything that involves bringing beauty and joy to our lives! It is like trying to grab a hold of air. Besides I know a lot of jazz cats and chicks living and dead who would beg to differ with Mr. La Rosa and would challenge him by asking whether he truly loves jazz and how his love can convey the hope and promise that Jazz has maintained from its inception. Jazz has been scrutinized, vilified and has downright taken a beating with respect to criticism and evaluating its worth in American Life. So, I defer to Gerald Early’s take on Jazz which reflects a lotta folks when he wrote “I think there are only three things America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization the Constitution, jazz music, and baseball.”
Jazz dropped into the scene as an American form of musical expression at the beginning of the 20th Century. Jazz gave life dimension to become expansive, universal, and prolific by capturing color, timbre and reflected the shades of life experiences through sound. Jazz provided the most influential approach to music for all time. It is and has always been open to folks from all walks of life. Jazz applies improvisational self expressions and the hot rhythms of life infused with harmonic manipulations through solo and group performances. It is a breath of freedom that is giving birth to contemporary life and is constantly recreating exciting new soulful sounds that examines and redefines the old and familiar music. Jazz spans the spectrum — from soothing background music to an art form where sounds challenge and require unwavering attention. It is a beautiful thing to hear deep emotion as conveyed in John Coltrane’s Alabama or Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday. Louis Armstrong’s Stardust was sheer momentousness. Fresh Sounds Records rated Erroll Garner’s Concert by the Sea as “One of the biggest selling jazz albums of all time. This release -released here with its instantly recognizable original cover includes the complete classic album that was recorded in a former church on the coastline at Carmel, California.” Give a listen and check out the video snap of Mr. Garner doing his thing.
Finding jazz in everyday life is what gives me the fuzzies and comforts me like meditation and prayer. I would rather look for the beauty in life and what brings grace to my life then try and quantify my life. When it comes time for me to die, I want to be like all the men and women Jazz Legends when standing at the Pearly Gates of Heaven to be welcomed because they made a contribution to life not by the number of albums they sold but because they did what God asks all of us to do, spread the Word! Where were you and what comes to mind when you listen, was it at home, in school, or watching a Woody Allen movie or even Birdman? Peace & Love Out! 8-) & <3
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