Monday, April 27, 2009
The First Post
For decades I have been very serious about my love for jazz. Now I'm not talking about the watered-down smooth variety or the embalmed big band creations that cater mainly to non-adventurous audiences. The jazz I'm referring to is a living music that is still being created anew, even in this age of corporate pop and rap, by performers who want to express themselves without just copying what has been done before. Their influences encompass more than the expected varieties such as swing, bebop or fusion and include world music and rhythms, instrumental classical and opera, or even folk music and bluegrass. They dare to go at times beyond the Great American Songbook and reinterpret, through the filter of jazz improvisation, music by nontraditional sources like The Beatles, Van Morrison, Blondie, Nirvana and Coldplay. They write their own original compositions and create unique charts that redefine what jazz standards should sound like. And through some miraculous force that has blessed my life, I have had the privilege of experiencing the live music of such iconoclasts in venues as small as wine bars and as large as concert halls. In many cases, these artists have even become my friends and acquaintances.
Through future posts, I'll attempt to introduce you to many of these talented instrumentalists and vocalists. Some of them are young enough to be my children. Others have been around for many years but may not have gotten the attention they deserve. However, there is one thing they all have in common: each one is unique, and they truly love the music they have dedicated their lives to. I hope their stories will make you anxious to listen and learn more.