What does Jazz have in common with the Internet

January 30, 2010

Most people would hardly be convinced about the power of music to change anything my dearest Dotty – that’s because, they know nothing of the preponderance it once played in shaping who we are today and I suspect who we will be tomorrow – I don’t think music can be devalued – for one it has a character that is unique to an age and time, like old seasoned leather, it resonates and has a character of its own.
Neither is music worthless either, hardly the stuff of primroses and parks – anyone who tells you that dedicating oneself to music rather than investing one’s being to acquire a copper gilded degree from an Ivy league college, simply doesn’t know the economics of value – all it takes to rubbish that crumbly notion is to highlight how United Airlines was once prepared to pay $300,000 for the right to use Gershwin’s rhapsody in blue in their advertisements and as back ground music to muffle the drone of jet engines – music has value and even power I suspect
Most people don’t notice how powerful music can be; they remain the stuff of fire hydrants; inconspicuous camera’s and ashtrays – but for some reason, I do, and at times, it’s embarrassing when I hum along even to elevator music – people always give me that, “what’s that’s guy’s problem?”
Like I said, most people don’t take music seriously enough to understand, it just didn’t walk over a knoll – like the internet, that was once conceived as a dooms day postman that suddenly found itself as a global network – the story of Jazz and it eventual passage to respectability bears some similarities; it’s hard to believe these days, that I’ve even widely written on why Jazz was the equivalent of the internet in an age when co-axials wires didn’t exist – that may have been one reason why Rhapsody in Blue will always have a special place somewhere in my brain – as a when it first came out, it was considered by many to be some form reductionism – that in part may have something to do with the formless and breadth of improvisation that the Gershwin deployed – in truth, he stole from Jazz and if you take the trouble to listen carefully note the 3+3+2 blue notes; glissandi, dah-dah-dah modulation and augmented sixth chords that are simply signature marks of Jazz – they are not only conspicuous in Rhapsody in Blue, but you could even say, like the internet these days – it was a poseur that once threatened the establishment very much like how our internet challenges different states of minds and schools of thoughts these days. Truth the spat between Google and the Chinese Govt aren’t so different from the days when Jazz clubs were shut down with trucheons – it embodiment of the conflict between what must be and what will be – in a nutshell, one guy sees it as a perdition; the other as salvation.
That’s one reason why when we talk about Jazz these days; it’s very much like the internet today – it’s a force for change – just as u can’t talk about the internet without mentioning its oppositional bent or its unwillingness to be tacked down on a pelt rack – the same holds true for Jazz, it was born during the period of prohibition – when dancing, drinking and sex was considered the height of moral turpitude – and if that wasn’t enough, it was born just around the time when the red scare and women’s suffrage first showed up in times square en masse.
The link between Jazz and the internet and its tenuous relationship between subversion, intoxication and criminality is startling when one considers how well they both mirror each other – but one thing is clear just as nothing could have killed Jazz; I don’t believe anything can ever kill the internet as what is holds out is not so different to what once guaranteed the survival of Jazz – the right to be whoever you choose to be and the rest can just take a hike – l have the power to say, “I don’t care.”

Darkness 2010

P.S: I want to share something with you Missy Dotty – when we play together – there is only a few things in my mind, well being, sweet repose and happy respites – like I said, my knee is busted up; so what do you say, if we just get together tonite and make some nice music? Cold shouldering is good, but the problem is silence is only of value when some expects you to say something…and I’ve never really been good with words. Enjoy and as I said, never pull, never push and there is no need to press, somethings just needs to allowed to happen. There are no rules and we can make it all up and take it from there – so what do you say, nine sounds nice. Besides, your violin is out of tone; I can tune it for you and even change the strings – I’ve just got new ones in ebay – it set me back a small fortune, but I think, once you hear me play it, even you will agree, all manner of things will simply melt like a sugar cube in a hot cup of tea – that’s the power of music….and the internet of course….it has the power to change…..I hope you will allow me to show you how to play the violin ( I am after all a poseur, I can’t help it).

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