June 17, 2011

All That Jazz

My eldest boy was very blessed this summer as the Julliard came to town and was having a Jazz Camp at Bones' school. Ringo asked to be signed up and since he hardly communicates, I took this as a positive sign.

I think the only real downside was that it was from 9-5 and he was so crazy hungry by 5, he was a real crabby patty.

The other downside was he kept leaving his lunch stuff there, like the first day his lunch box. The second day the tupperware I sent with him. By day three he was getting a 12 year old frozen enfamil bag wrapped in a Publix plastic bag to keep his sandwich cold.

When I said to him in great frustration at the end of day 2, when he'd left it all... AGAIN, "Did you go ask Mr. M?"

He said, 'Mom, I don't even know who Mr. M is. I don't know WHO is running this..."

Exasperated I said, "Mr. M is the Band director here. Ringo. You can't frickin' miss him. He's this HUGE black man..."

To which he said, "Great. And which one would THAT be, because ALL Of them are huge black men..."

Point taken when we were at the final performance and the Julliard instructors got up and performed, some of the finest Jazz musicians in the world... it was amazing... and they were all big black men. Now I know why he couldn't find Mr. M and I nearly busted out laughing when they all walked out on stage.

It would have been so much easier if Mr. M had been a short Italian white guy.

Anyway, so this is the conclusion I came to.

This may not be popular.


I hate Jazz. Sitting through nearly two hours of it being performed made me remember and fully embrace, I hate Jazz. I really do.

And it wasn't the students. They were very good. It is the music and how it appears to have no... path. And it doesn't touch my soul.

It just feels like an excuse for everyone to have a solo and make crap up. That's why I decided by the 70th minute, that JAZZ stands for this:

zah crappa
z- uppa

I know. It's an American sacrilege to hate Jazz. but dang, please, I'd rather take the pot head rock my husband listened to as a teenager in the 70s than sit through Jazz.

I do love Swing. I love Big Band. The rest of it? Not so much.

But it was fun and I will say, listening to the guys from Julliard was a real treat. I fully enjoyed their music and realized what a pleasure and a rarity to hear such Jazz greats.

My son did end up enjoying it and he wants to do it again next year. To improve as a musician, I think you need to be able to appreciate what everyone brings to the table. He appreciates it... and he may even like it.

I sure hope so... 9-5 for five days listening to something you hate... would be torturous.

Posted by Boudicca at June 17, 2011 10:06 PM

I'm with you 100% on this one. AND, I realized that I really, REALLY don't like the saxophone. But the way you describe "no path" hits the nail on the head...(Did you hear me holler out, "That's IT!!!?).
Glad your son like it. Does the heart good to know that something can ignite the passion!!

Posted by: Peggy K at June 18, 2011 05:17 AM

I'm with you on Jazz. BUT, I do like what they call smooth Jazz. Let me know and I'll give you a cd to listen to of it.

Posted by: vwbug at June 18, 2011 06:13 AM

Peggy- I like that muted trumpet. That's about it. It just all seems so random, like modern paintings. Blech.

VW- I think smooth Jazz is elevator music, right? ;-)

Posted by: Bou at June 18, 2011 06:24 AM

I agree with you and Peggy- ugh.

Posted by: Sean at June 18, 2011 12:58 PM

I also am not a fan of Jazz, but I love Blues. You are right, Jazz seems to have no direction, it like wandereing aimlessly through the desert w/ a Bass. But Blues is stricltly defined, and I find that I really enjoy it (watching live).

Posted by: Web at June 19, 2011 01:04 PM

I hate Jazz too. Used to make to barf when I was in college but that could have been the beer too. ;)

Posted by: Shanna at June 20, 2011 08:17 AM

I played the sax in high school band. But I can't stand listening to jazz either. Not a big fan of reggae either; it all sounds the same after awhile.

Posted by: Jerry in Texas at June 22, 2011 01:18 PM

I have played a lot of different music over the years. A good enough portion of that is music I don't care to listen to. I really enjoy making music of just about any kind rather than listening to it.

Part of it, for me, is that in making the music, you can get into the structure, subtleties and complexities of what the composer has created. The familiarity of repeated exposure helps with understanding.

Honestly, being hit with two hours of Thelonius Monk, Don Ellis and the like can get weary.

One of the best ways to become a better musician is to play with people who are better than you. It can be intimidating, but also rewarding.

Posted by: Versatek6 at June 23, 2011 10:54 AM