Jazz anecdotes

Note that the picture shows a failed fashion attempt  – everything below my waist is wrong. Shorts have to be tight around the knees, or else the silhouette does not look trendy… On a good side, the upper body was a success, I noticed at least one intense stare. Win. Anyways, this is a jazz festival which attracts mainly seniors and parents with kids who picnic on the nearby lawn. Not the strictest fashion censors.

Speaking of parents, I am interested in a stereotype of an “inappropriate parent”. Someone who would say “It is so nice to watch their relationship develop” in front of the kid and his/her friends. Someone who would say “We are having so much fun together!” when everybody else in the room are clearly bored. You probably remember a more colorful examples from your favorite teenage TV show. There are always two sides to the conflict: from a teenager’s point of view, it is so easy to be understanding and appropriate! Yet the parent doesn’t seem to put any effort into doing so. From an older person’s point of view, parents are wiser and know not to worry about such trifles in the first place.

As a teenager, I took a radical stance on this controversy. I’ve terrorized my parents, especially my mother, to not do anything at all in my presence in public. It resulted in a special form of paranoya on her side, when she is afraid to like my status on facebook because it may make me look bad. In fact, my parents are afraid of doing something wrong on any kind of social media.

From a more grown up point of view, I am still very surprized every time I meet people who are completely unaware of other’s comfort zones. I’ve met one on that Jazz festival. They remind me of people who took the following motivational advice too seriously: “When you need to go to the restroom, you are very focused on your goal. You don’t hear people failing to go to the restroom because they thought they’re not good enough etc. So next time you need to focus on your goal, think of it as the restroom”

From each Jazz festival I bring at least one jazz joke. The previous one was about a composer who bought a long stick with a cigarette holder on its end. His friend asked “Why?” “My doctor told me to stay away from smoking.”

This time, it is a story of a cat. In the house of one of the orchestra directors, there lives a cat named Jazzman. This cat is 23 years old, missing both eyes and lives in a garage. It prefers garage to the house. So the house owner and his friends composed a piece “Garaje gato” (Garage cat in spanish) dedicated to this cat. I think I have found my role model here. They say Jazzman even had fights with coyotes and survived!


classification vs. ranking

It’s funny how a theoretician like me would want to think what sorts of things are out there, whereas my friend experimentalist would rather name his top 10 favorite of them.

In case of music, a pop music fan has a blog where he would post top-100 songs of his choice every year. For me, however, it’s more interesting to list the kinds of music I get to hear in my life. It’s gonna be a very practical classification, one that asks the question “what is this music useful for?” instead of commonly asked “what’s this music style?” So here I go:

  • To enter a front yard of an estate in a chariot and step on the red carpet in a shining victorian jacket
  • To ride a chariot to battle
  • For a surgeon to concentrate before a surgery
  • For a supervillain to play on organ in his den in times of idle planning to conquer the world (Ode to joy will top the list here)
  • For just me, to be humming unconsciously in the middle of the day
  • For a small Jewish boy to show off his skill with an instrument
  • Something that can be a soundtrack for Lord of the Rings
  • Something that can be a soundtrack for a computer game
  • Dance music! one-two-three, one-two-three
  • After a nuclear war, an old radio is playing a song in a deserted capital
  • To beg for money
  • To reach religious trance

And here are a bunch of good sounds that are practically useless:

  • sentimental mood of an educated gentleman
  • educated gentleman suffering of love
  • Chinese symphonic orchestra with a bunch of old instruments and a title like “bird’s song over a mountain river in moonlight”
  • All that jazz