You know what Rock 'N' Roll is, right?
Rock 'N' Roll (later shortened just to Rock) is THIS.
[Fun Fact: I am one of the teenagers in the audience... somewhere. Seven or eight years of working on movie and TV sets and I only ever asked for two autographs: Chuck Berry's for me, and Joe Namath's for my Ma.]
Oddly enough, Rock is also THIS.
THIS is Rock?
Yep, that's Rock. And so is THIS (it don't get no punkier than Miller beer in a can!)
And Rock is THIS.
And THIS and THAT.
And THIS, THIS (Hot-damn! What I would have given to attend THAT concert!), and THIS.
And doggone if Rock isn't also THIS!
Now wait just a cotton-pickin' minute here! If that was Rock, then what the hell is THIS? ("You can't fool me! I recognized that music. It was 'Sing, Sing, Sing' by Benny Goodman's big band featuring Gene Krupa on drums!")
OK, so what is Rock "really" then?
Well, we all know that under the umbrella of "ROCK" there are a whole lotta
We rarely hear someone say, "I don't like Rock music", because that disqualifies an awful lot of musical styles from being liked.
And yet, it's not uncommon to hear people say, "I don't like Jazz". What makes that statement usually very silly is that a whole lotta
My suspicion is that when people say "I don't like Jazz", very often they probably have Be-Bop in mind, thinking that all Jazz is like Be-Bop.
Jazz is my very favorite form of music but to be honest, I'm not particularly fond of most Be-Bop either. Some, yes, but not a whole lot of it.
If you have dismissed Jazz because you thought all Jazz sounded like that Be-Bop you just heard, then you have lost out on appreciating an amazing amount of varied musical types that fall under the umbrella of "JAZZ".
What if I told you that Jazz was THIS?
And Jazz is THIS and THIS.
THIS is Jazz also, as is THIS. (And ME, too!)
Ahh, I can hear you now. You're thinking: "All Jazz is instrumental only - no singing".
Not so fast, Chucklehead!
Did you know that THIS is Jazz?
"Oh, OK, I got it now! Jazz is the theme song to a TV show, even if it includes singing by a high-pitched Black guy".
Not close and no cigar! THIS too is Jazz.
"Uhm... Alright... Jazz is music from a movie or TV show, regardless of whether it's all instrumental or has vocals by a high-pitched Black guy or a saucy White dog... or saucy White woman?"
Wrong again, Fishface!
Jazz can come from places other than movie or TV soundtracks, and Jazz on the rocks can rock as hard as Rock rocks. Like THIS.
Or Jazz can be super-cool like THIS.
"I couldn't listen to Jazz because I'd miss the electric guitar."
Uh-huh... Ri-iiiii-ght... GOTCHA!
[Fun Fact: I once worked on a TV / Print Ad commercial with Jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour. Lemme tell ya, the cat can play.]
Jazz can make you want to DANCE. (If you thought their dancing was bad, blame Gene Kelly - he taught 'em everything they know.)
And it can make you remember how you felt the first time you fell in LOVE (and I still say: "Listen to that with your eyes closed!")
Jazz should also make you think of the greatest, single most innovative American MUSICIAN who ever lived.
Now that you know what Jazz iz, I hope that when I post my next "Battle Of The Bands" blog bit on November 15th, nobody is going to type in the comment section, "I don't like Jazz".
If you're still not entirely sure what Jazz iz, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of the 2-CD set 'CLASSIC JAZZ: Jazz Legends (or Masters)'.
This 'Time/Life Music' compact disc is now officially out-of-print, but cheap new and ultra-cheap used copies can still be found at online music store sites.
The CD contains 30 Classic Jazz tracks of myriad styles, from 'Take The A Train' to 'Take Five'; from 'Mack The Knife' to 'Killer Joe'; from 'Misty' to 'Cry Me A River'. 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!', you couldn't possibly find a better introduction to the best of Jazz.
Please excuse me now, as I've got a Coal Train to catch.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
POSTSCRIPT: Can anyone tell me what kind of music THIS is?
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