Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tiffany's Tuesday Tunes: J is for Jazz, Man.

Have you ever loved something and not been able to explain why?  You can not find the words to adequately describe the beauty of the thing, the emotions is brings up for you, the way it mentally transports you somewhere else.  This is how I feel about jazz music.


I know next to nothing about jazz music as a genre.  I could not tell you about the various types of jazz, the origins of jazz, the musical terms or even my favorite jazz song.  All I know is that I think jazz is lush, alive, passionate, heartbreaking, sexy, and evolutionary.  When I listen to jazz, either in vocal form or instrumental form, I am transported to another time and place, one that sometimes feels more comforting than my own.

I prefer instrumental arrangements, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, etc., for times that I need quiet solitude, times when I want to be pensive.  When I want to just close my eyes and listen to a story, I prefer vocals, particularly Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald.  Sometimes, the improvisation gets a little to raucous for me, but I suspect that over time, I will come to appreciate that more.

A lot of modern music fans find jazz old, trite, and pretentious.  Yet this music laid the groundwork for so many modern genres; I feel like if they would just look a little closer they would see that.  I got my first taste of jazz as a child, courtesy of the Cosby Show, of all places.  With that first taste, I was hooked.

I hope you enjoy a sampling of some of the more recognizable standards and best known vocals in the business.  And listen closely to see if you can hear a hint of modernity.