“By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with.” (Duke Ellington)
Not that I know what made Duke E came up with this very statement – I don’t know jack about jazz.
Well. I was looking through my photo archives and came across some photos from the Montreux Jazz Festival, some from a local jazz bar in Ho Chi Minh city in 2008 and some of a street band in Paris back in 2007.
As far as jazz tunes are concerned, I have quite a moderate collection in my i-library, to name a few – Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Ray Noble and some of Duke E’s.
When it comes to a live jazz, I jazzed-up every time I could, everywhere I was – Bangkok, Barcelona, Brussels, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, London, Paris, San Francisco etc. My serious trips to jazz were a trip to the Montreux Jazz Festival last year and to Broadway to see Chicago the musical in 2002 (well, not so much jazz as such). I made extra effort to see Chicago while I was in New York on a business trip because I had an unavoidable jazz dance awaited – Chicago it was. I was asked to take Velma Kelly part in the final All that Jazz dance – no kidding. Surely, I knew no jack about jazz dance either (thanks to a distraction provided by the sleek black short bob with bangs wig, buckle shoes and that sparking & glittering Velma looked-alike dress).
Looking at the instrumental aspect, apart from the relevant fact that I play drums (better in the best sound-proof room available) and guitar, I visited a house of the inventor of saxophone, Mr. Adolphe Sax who was born in Dinant in 1814 (a city locates on Meuse river, province of Namur 96 mins from Brussels gare du midi).
Anyway. Considering all kinds of very casual relationship between me and Mr. jazz, I thought, even though I know almost nothing about the guy, still I wanted to write a bit about jazz.
According to Wikipedia, jazz can be very difficult to define because jazz spans music from ‘ragtime’ (an original musical genre which enjoyed its peak popularity between 1897 and 1918) to the present day (over 100 years)*.
But here is what interesting, Wikipedia goes on saying: jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in black communities in the southern United States. In jazz the skilled performer will interpret a tune in very individual ways, never playing the same composition exactly the same way twice. Depending upon the performer’s mood and personal experience, interactions with other musicians, or even members of the audience, a jazz musician/performer may alter melodies, harmonies or time signature at will**.
OK. Now I think I started to get our Duke E why nobody should allow their daughters to associate with a jazz-kind-of man.
Well..may be it’s OK to put your buckle shoes on and jazz-up every now and then.