I love Jazz music. I like almost all forms of music from opera, to main stream pop, to rock and roll, but I love jazz.
Jazz is such a diverse genre that it is really difficult to describe it; it can make you dance the jive, the Charleston, or the waltz; it can make you laugh; it can make you cry but above all you feel jazz. Some say it’s a smooth music but think of Louis Armstrong, his voice could hardly be described as smooth, yet its feels smooth inside. Jazz is less a genre and more a feeling. Even Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme, two of the greatest jazz singers of all time with Ella holding the title of Queen of jazz, had to use music to describe jazz. They performed one of the most amazing pieces of scat music of all time that showed jazz is a feeling. Here is the link to it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX4-4rLJsnQ
There is so much great Jazz out there for almost any occasion or emotion. We have the classic jazz legends like: Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Louis Prima, Duke Ellington, and the one and only Frank Sinatra. There are also all of the fantastic modern day jazz singers; Michael Buble, Nikki Yanofsky, Lady Gaga, all of the postmodern jukebox crew, especially Robyn Adelle Anderson, and let’s not forget Robbie Williams’ valiant, and I have to say actually enjoyable, efforts.
Jazz has survived as what makes jazz jazz is not so much the message, or the tempo, but the feeling. Compare Robyn Adelle Anderson’s cover of “Paper Planes” with Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World”; on the face of it they seem to have very little in common in pace or melody, but they both give that feeling. Jazz.
Another reason I love jazz music is that there seems to be an instinctive love for it in me. As I’ve mentioned in a previous article I believe in a combination of social conditioning and genetics building up who we are, and that this can be used to explain why we are who we are, but using this logic I can’t explain jazz. When I grew up none of my family listened to or particularly liked jazz music, but from quite a young age I’ve loved it. This has led me to the conclusion that this love of jazz is a fundamental part of my nature; just as happiness and sadness are built in parts of our nature jazz is a part of mine.
Louis Armstrong famously said if you need someone to explain what jazz is you will never understand it. I completely agree; you feel jazz. Jazz just is. If it is a fundamental part of you it won’t need explained. That’s not to say people won’t enjoy it when they hear it if they need told its jazz, but they won’t love it, and understand it the way those who feel jazz do.
To me jazz will always be something more than just another genre of music. In the words of Ella:
“It don’t mean a think if it aint got that swing”