Thursday, March 20, 2008

All that jazz........

Life is so amazing. You can be minding your own business, and something jumps up and grabs you. Or maybe something jumps up and smacks you and says, "Hey!! Where the hell you been?" Well, SL is the same. And here is another example....

A few weeks ago, I went with Jenda to hear a friend of ours DJ some blues. Bill actually played "real" jazz. Now, I'm sure most of you have been to jazz clubs in SL and I have too. The music is nice and romantic and great to dance to. But, for the most part, it's not jazz. Frank Sinatra was a great singer, but really didn't do jazz. Billie Holiday sang jazz. Don't get me wrong, many of the clubs there are fun and very nice to go to, but Bill and I started talking and he wanted to open a club where he could play the real deal. I agreed. About this same time, someone contacted me about DJing some jazz at a club she managed. So I started DJing at JD's Jazz & Blues for the owners and for Parker. Talk about synchronicity or serendipity.....two different events occurring within days to lead me to where I need to go.

The thing is, I used to listen to jazz a lot, and I had quite a good collection on vinyl. After selling most of my albums during my addiction, I recovered most on CD, but still have a ways to go. I have not listened to jazz hardly at all in years though, only when it comes up randomly on my stream. So Bill decided to open this club and I'm involved in that with him, along with Jenda. And it has been amazing for me spiritually. There is not another form of music that I know of that is as rich creatively as jazz. It's one thing to write a great song, and go into a studio and perform and record it. There may be some improvisation during the solos or some vocal embellishment here and there. In jazz, you have a few guys (or gals) who may just have a general outline of what they're playing. And they just wing it....and I know that's oversimplifying, but it is so amazing to hear it done well. The thing about jazz is, they players aren't just playing what's in their heads, they are actively listening to each other, responding and playing off of each other. Listening is so important.

I really know so little about jazz. I know what I love. I cannot speak eloquently about it as I would like. I know that when I hear Horace Silver play Song For My Father, I get chills every time, particularly when I hear Joe Henderson's tenor sax solo. I know that EVERY time I hear Miles Davis and his sextet play So What, I'm utterly blown away....by every note...it's perfection. I know that when I hear Scott LaFaro and Bill Evans play together, I'm witnessing a psychic connection that I'm honored to be able to share in. I am humbled by these musicians, for what they achieved cannot be matched in any other genre of music, or possibly any art. And this is art...the height of creativity. There are so many aspects....Stanley Turrentine's tone, John Coltrane's epic virtuosity, Charlie Parker's...well, Bird did everything....lol. Listen to Miles Davis play anything. He doesn't fill your ears with notes, like Coltrane might, but he understood better than anyone, the spaces between the notes and that they were also part of the music. Listen to Billie Holiday's phrasing....I cannot explain what she does well. All I know is that I hear someone who has better pipes (think Christina Aguilera) and how they have no idea how to get to the soul....the heart of a song. Most pop stars today really need to listen to Billie and Miles, and stop with the lame embellishments. (Beyonce and Christina, this means you)

I'll close by saying, this is one more thing that SL has added to me life. Or rather, somthing that SL has reminded me of....brought me back to. I've played more jazz in the past weeks than I have in years. And my life is richer for it....my heart is fuller...my soul, happier. Thank you to Parker and Bill, and to Jenda for encouraging me.

I'm laughing inside because yesterday, I started out DJing blues at Not Too Hot, then played pop/rock at the Hive, and finished up last night with Jazz at The Savoy. I can't keep this up too long, as I'll get burned out, but damn it has been fun. I would like you all to join us sometime at the Savoy Club. This is Bill's baby, and I'm happy to be along for the ride. Please join us. If you love jazz, this is the place for you. If you want to learn about it, we can help...heehee. I should say, Bill can. He's extremely knowledgeable. Personally, I need to do my research better. I've caught myself announcing incorrect personnel on song....the horror. And jazz is about the players, so I need to make sure I get that right...lol.

3 comments:

Kimala said...

Wow C - what a great post! You underestimate yourself. You have great intuition when it comes to music and all the knowledge behind the genre or the artist. I think it is what makes your work in SL as a DJ so good. I tell you - an RL career choice in this area would be a good thing ;)

You and Jenda make a great team - it is exciting to see both of you stretching your SL wings and taking on new challenges. Between Moxie and Savoy, you guys are off on some great new adventures.

Congratulations! (Congratulations to Bill too on a great first few days of Savoy... and did I mention... man that landscaping is nice :) )

Joonie Jatho said...

hey Crighton....I loved that place! The Savoy ... great place, great dj, great build, great music, great dances ... hot owner..i mean...huh? ;)

oh and great landscaping as Kimala said.

nice furniture, too!

thanks for telling me about it. Your love a music will always make you the top in your dj'ing field.

Luv ya..JJ

Crighton Johin said...

You ladies are too kind. Thank you. Life without music would be.....it would be shit...lol. I feel lucky to be able to play the music I love, for the most part. I'm glad I have good friends to share with, too!! :-D