Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Jazz


Love the recordings that make their way to the final release, where there’s dialogue between the artist(s) and the recording engineer or just dialogue you know they didn’t intend (initially) to release to the public. It’s truly the human side of this creative process. And this creativity is certainly me. As I was to turning to look at the two things I’m working on, contemplating shapes, colors, movement, I hear the end of a recording by Oscar Peterson (Moten Swing (alternate take)) and it sounds like ‘they’ are talking about ways to edit or where to place the song. I played the end another time to determine what they’re talking about, but I didn’t get it. It really didn’t matter, I had gotten what I needed: humanity.
This follows pretty well behind Seth Godin’s blog today: “Rehearsing is for Cowards.” Funny; I do a great deal of looking back – at history, my past, etc. I think about the origins of Jazz music, one of the earliest forms of “American (North America, specifically the United States of America) Music.” I think about the disdain for it, the declaring it to be “devil music,” and despising anyone who listened to it on a regular basis. Then I laugh when I think today we have “Christian Jazz,” which to someone born before 1900, would seem like a true sign of the apocalypse. But we have it and we love it in nearly all its forms. And the funnier thing is now the majority of our society won’t consciously listen to jazz.
In it’s true form while it can be practiced, the best parts of it are the innovations musicians come up with on a continuous basis. That’s true of all art forms, especially visual art. Thinking back, I hated paint-by-number kits before it became popular to do so. Yes, I wanted a picture perfect painting, but I wanted to do it myself without someone directing which paint went where. Nowadays, I can render as I like; I don’t have a number, a teacher or anyone else for that matter, dictating what colors and shapes to use. As a matter of fact, some of my best work is that I do when I’m sitting with pencil, pastel or brush in hand, following a pattern that doesn’t seem to exist. I simply go and go and sit back, amazed at the mixture of shapes and colors. It’s Jazz!