I love music. And there's just something about jazz music that I really love.
I think my swing (no pun intended...ok maybe it was intended) toward really listening to and loving the musical style took place in the heart of New Orleans. A few years ago, I spent some time in the city assisting with cleanup after hurricane Katrina. It was an emotionally challenging time and before leaving I found myself sitting with friends at a cafe in the french quarter. The sun was shining down, I was eating something delicious and there was a man playing the saxophone. I could hear other music coming from the surrounding streets, but I was mesmerized by the sound coming from this one instrument. In the midst of so much pain and desruction that had fallen upon that place, that moment made everything seem just fine and I wanted it to last forever.
Since that glorious morning, I have entertained my jazzy groove. I love that the music lacks a defined structure, yet has so much heart. Beats are backwards, diverse sounds are aplenty and you never know what is coming next, yet somehow, it all comes together. It's simply fantastic.
I was fortunate enough to attend some jazzy shows while living in Chicago last year and I remember walking back to my apartment one night in the cold air singing. Tonight, I just wanted to dance. And it hit me as I drove down the valley that jazz (as much music does) lures me to respond. I allow myself to jump in to the unknown only knowing that if I don't want to miss a beat, I have to do something.
There's just no way I could conclude this post without of my favorite quotes by Donald Miller, from his book Blue Like Jazz...
"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music."
Are you feeling jazzy today?