10/20/09

Wait! Is That...JAZZ??

I got a TON of work done today. Lesson learned: no matter how awesome Write or Die can be, it's better just to stay away from the internet completely until my words are done. In this case, I spent three hours at the library with my Alphasmart and wrote 4800. Niiiiice. Then I got home and made appointments, answered letters, did social networking stuff, updated Unusual Historicals, and other such odds and ends while eating lunch. A good day.

I've been listening to a lot of jazz lately, and by jazz I mean pre-1945 tunes: big band, blues, etc. Part of the bad rap jazz has received (oh, because I'm such an expert) is because, as an outsider, jazz aficionados seem fairly hoity-toity and exclusive. Jazz is guys in turtlenecks making deals with top-hatted devils, among other stereotypes. The conceit is that you have to know a lot about music before you can appreciate the subtleties. Fine.

But before the genre got to that point, it was dominated big bad voodoo awesome or slow, sultry angst. What could be better? OK, maybe wailing guitars and a killer beat, but the right brass section can do wonders. Two of my favorite tunes at the moment are "Time After Time" and "Come By Me" by Harry Connick, Jr., mostly because I can't stand the anticipation! Wait for the orchestra! It's coming! And then the slap bass!

No, not really--that was just for Keven.

(Speaking of Harry, I got his Christmas albums out of the library and uploaded them to my computer. Can't wait till Thanksgiving! Doesn't he look sweaterific and cozy? All this WWII stuff has made me super keen to watch White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life again, but I'll wait. And I think I'll find a copy of Battle of the Bulge and finally watch it with my dad. I'll grumble against Patton on behalf of the Airborne.)

Pardon my holiday-themed digression.

People used to have fun to jazz--true, honest, sweating, hoppin' fun. That what's I'm getting into. I grin like a dork and dance terribly when I'm listening to these songs on my iPod, trying to walk home. There's a reason "Jump, Jive and Wail" and other revival Big Band stuff hit in the late 90s: the fun!

(The revival might've stuck around longer if people could still jitterbug. Alas, no. That link for "Come By Me" shows what's wrong with people who listen to jazz today. They can only do the White Folk Bop and clap vaguely in time. Like I should talk; the best I can manage is the Molly Ringwald step-kick a la 1984.)

And now, because I love my husband and he already despairs enough for my atrocious taste in music, I present The Might Boosh. Howard: "The cerebral musicality of jazz mixed with the visceral groove of funk." Vince: "Funk? Jazz's deformed cousin?"

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