Jazz, the rhythm of life?

Sax - Painting by Jeremy Daynes

Painting by Jeremy Daynes

What’s that thing I have with jazz music…? I love listening to it, the different tones, the change in rhythm… What’s in it that really appeals to me? Has it maybe got something to do with the rhythm of life??? Once I had to perform on stage for my dancing group on the music of Toots Thielemans (a Belgian jazz musician). To the slow music of the jazz I was changing clothes on stage, from work clothing into night clothing… Exciting, teasing, but still very decent…

For a while I’ve been listening to a radio-channel that plays a lot of jazz-music and somehow it gets to me, every time again… That seemingly odd mixture of tones, sounds and rhythms, or actually lack of rhythms sometimes, because it seems to change all the time while they play…. What’s that with jazz that makes me dissolve into it?

Jazz has it’s foundation in New Orleans by a mixture of various music-styles: blues, folk, negrospiritual, classic, ragtime, soul. A sub-meaning of jazz is ‘very energetic dance’. In jazz there is a lot of improvisation, only a theme or small composition is being used as base and the musicians are ‘jazzing’ along from there. In this way jazz music is still present in a lot of other music streams: world, folk, funk, soul, but also even heavy metal. Jazz is also being called the music of the moment, because in every moment new musical decisions can be made, that can reach all the kinds of music and all the playing musicians at that time. In this way there is a personal and intensive music perception.

Hmmmm, so jazz is an improvisation, it’s energetic, a mixture, music of the moment, personal, intensive perception…. Don’t we also improvise in our own lives? Don’t we also need an energetic power to make certain decisions in life? Don’t we also always try to mix into new groups (in every possible way)? Shouldn’t we also be all living in this moment, in the now, right now? Just see how it goes and decide from there on? Isn’t everybody’s life a personal and intensive perception (since nobody else is living it the way you do)? Is jazz based on life? Or is life based on jazz?

When I listen to the sounds of jazz and enjoy, I think it is because it reminds me of life… Slow parts, going high and fast, slowing down and go low and then reach a new peak…. Go along with the flow of the sounds and rhythms and enjoy….. The jazz and your life!!!

Originally published in Dutch on Femmezine.nl.


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  1. Pingback: Why I love New Orleans... » The Curious Butterfly

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