A Happy Peach

Things that make my heart smile…


April is Jazz Appreciation Month…

As the post title reads April is Jazz Appreciation Month, so in this month it is our job as jazz lovers to promote jazz to others in the hopes that maybe we can inspire others to love it too. When I as a kid, say twelve, I heard it played at a school festival and thought man this is boring. Thinking back I wonder if it was their skill level, maybe a seventh grader band was not the best introduction to jazz. For me an appreciation of the music art form of jazz came later in life, it was not till high school (if you can call that later). I was more mature, wink wink nudge nudge, and I was listening to Miles, ‘Trane, Cannonball, you know, the good stuff.

I think if you give it a try and listen to some good jazz you may like it. If you want to listen on-line you can try KJZZ, it is one of the few remaining jazz stations in Southern California. It’s part of Cal State Long Beach, so there are no commercials, they may time you out after listening for a while, but you can listen again in fifteen minutes I believe. The DJ’s are also old school so they have a lot of background on jazz. These people love jazz, so they’re a great bunch to learn from.

I love Miles Davis, the composition of the piece is so well done, it’s subtle and sublime. I love listening to it on an easy day, when I have nothing planned but a cup of coffee and a treat. Perhaps a peak out my window to watch the leaves dance as the wind blows, you know those sort of days.

The DJ on KJZZ used to use Oscar Brown Jr.’s Mr. Kicks as an intro. Both the DJ and Oscar Brown have such great personalities. You can hear the fun and irreverence in this song. With jazz you can get to know what the artist is feeling, and I doubt that the songs recorded in the 50s and 60s were altered. There is a sincerity to it.

John Coltrane could play with such energy. It sounds like unbridled passion and verve.  I think if I needed to prepare for something which required mental acuity, this is what would come out of my iPod.

The thing with jazz is how amazing the collaborations were. I mean there are the Adderly brothers and then there’s Yusef Lateef. Then other pieces had ‘Trane and Miles working with Red Garland, Paul Changer, Philly Joe Jones. Groups of amazing talents just got together to do something beautiful and go on to do some other fantastic work. For me I find it all so astounding that these abundantly talented artist worked so freely. I’m just glad that there are some copies of their works so I can enjoy it today.

Many try to duplicate this song, but you can’t beat Nina Simone. Her voice was so amazing, it was like a song in itself.

I love jazz for so many reasons. The main reason is that I love the way it sounds. I hope you can listen to the songs (if not here then on youtube) and the radio station and implore you to give it a chance. You may find that you love the way it sounds too.

Let me know what you think 😀