Yesterday I forgot to explain my category so here it is. “Returning to Self” is meant to guide you back to who you were before all the world got a hold of you and taught you to fear. Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. And use your imagination. So whenever I blog under this category, that’s what my intent will be.
All of the categories are meant to force you to dig inside yourself and explore why you are who you are and then discard all the excess.
Today’s topic is Entertainment. One of my favorite subjects to talk and write about. I recently purchased some new music so my new treasures are on my mind.
“Jazz is an intensified feeling of nonchalance.” — Françoise Sagan
Did I tell you I love Jazz music? Well I do. Growing up I hated it. When I listen to it now, I have fond memories of hearing it playing on my Grandpa Charlie’s radio. Sometimes when I hear jazz I even remember the smell of my grandparent’s 100 year old, mint green house in the Salt Lake City Avenues.
(Click on “Pop-Out Player” to listen while you read.)
My dad was somewhat a jazz music fan, but I only remember hearing a few, like Linda Ronstadt’s jazzy album. Then when I was a in high school, my older sister Katie became a fan. That’s when I decided I was NOT a fan. Leave it to a naive teenager.
Then I moved to Topeka, Kansas, the close neighbor of Kansas City–home of the boom of Jazz. Topeka’s library had a patron who dumped umpteen dollars into it. It was THE coolest library I could imagine or have ever seen. But even cooler was that I was able to indulge my gluttony for music. You could check out as many items as you wanted and keep them for a month.
The TSCPL had a music consultant who ordered a huge variety of genres and albums. I would take a bag and fill it. After the first few times I decided to expand my horizons. I allowed myself to only take one or two CDs of albums/artists I was familiar with and the rest had to be albums I’ve never heard of. And I forced myself to listen to the whole album–most of the time. Some of them were only worth skipping to each song just so I could say I “heard” the whole album.
That was the beginning of my appreciation for Jazz. I listened to Chet Baker, Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Dizzie Galespie, Miles Davis, and many more.
When I found a friend who shared my passion for music, we went to Kansas City together quite often, shopping at The Plaza. And THEN we found The Blue Room. That was the name of an original jazz club on the famous 18 & Vine Street back in the hay day of Jazz. Still on 18th & Vine, it’s now a modern, non-smoking attachment of the American Jazz Museum.
It was there that I heard LIVE jazz for the first time. As it shows in the above photo, it was a very intimate setting. You could see every finger pluck of the musicians. I WAS HOOKED.
Since then I have gathered a small collection of jazz music. Here are just a few in my library.
It’s surprising to me how few jazz music fans there are, but then not so much because it was an acquired taste for me. I keep playing it at home to give my family some exposure and not so secretly hope someday they will enjoy it as much as I do. When I find another Jazz music fan, I bug them like crazy talking about it, even when I visited The Netherlands. That’s where I found my first fellow Katie Melua fan. My old boss in Las Vegas was my favorite connoisseur of Jazz and lent me several of his albums to gain more exposure.
It’s such a freeing feeling to discover that you like something you thought you couldn’t even tolerate. I need to look for more opportunities to do that. Be open to the expanse.