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How cute is this…

[from NPR's A Blog Supreme]

Seriously, cialis sale discount how cute is that?!?

Coincidentally, cialis Amanda and I just talked about Jazz today. She argued that, try as a genre, “Jazz” is too broad to have any precise meaning and that, as a result, the term itself inherits and accrues an enigmatic and perhaps even impenetrable quality for the general mass (or at least that’s how I chose to interpret her statement that “Jazz doesn’t mean anything”). (She then proceeded to rail against Frank Sinatra, but I’ll ignore that for now – mostly because I am genuinely dumbfounded whenever anyone doesn’t love the music I love as much as I do and am utterly convinced that it’s due to ignorance and not taste, and therefore she just needs to be properly informed…right? Yes, yes, I fully realize how insanely patronizing that is, but you know, I’m working on it…)

As much as I discount the inclusion of Smooth/Fusion Jazz in “real” Jazz, I recognize that Jazz (much like any major music genre) appears in many forms. But then the question is, Does that dilute the meaning of genre classifications? When genres become overrun (and maybe overshadowed) by dozens of sub-genres, do they have any actual meaning? A genre, like any mental cue, is designed to quickly and decisively describe and evoke the most basic defining characteristics of a particular subset; it acts as a shortcut that inherently invites and promotes flexibility in its own manifestation (of course, shortcuts come with its own set of pitfalls). So while Amanda fails to see the utility of using Jazz as a genre given the wide variety of styles that proclaim their lineage (and therefore their “legitimacy”) to Jazz, I think it actually speaks to the enduring power of Jazz as a form of music to be so inclusive without losing its core identity. Jazz can manifest itself in big band, dixie, bop, avant garde, fusion, or lounge precisely because that identity allows room for variations in instruments, instrumentations, time signatures, modalities, or phrasings without ever losing that…feel, that…swing – that’s Jazz. I’m not entirely sure when Jazz began to actually mean something to me, and till this day I’m not so certain that I even know what Jazz actually is, but I do know it when I hear it.

Like countless other Jazz fans, my introduction was Miles Davis and John Coltrane, but I don’t think it meant anything to me (beyond it being a form of music) until I started listening to Chet Baker. Chet Baker was, of course, a wonderful trumpet/flugelhorn player who died tragically, but until I heard him sing, I equated Jazz vocals only with the obvious figures (such as Ella Fitzgerald), who set the bar extremely high. So imagine my surprise to hear Baker’s rather unique voice and style, a voice and style slightly off-kilter, somewhat unnerving, and precariously dancing on the edge of being off-key yet sound so musical, effortless and…brave; there’s a vulnerability, a weariness in his voice that just kills me every time. Is it crazy to think that his singing engenders a broader appreciation for the technically imperfect, for the possibility of beauty hidden beneath the rough surface, and for the beauty embedded within melancholy?

I love Jazz.

Easy Living, Chet Baker.

Posted in Desert Island Mix, Music and Life.