Monday 8 April 2013

Conversion Unlikely

    About 8 years ago, I got a call from an acquaintance, asking me if I would be interested in playing some music.  I have already mentioned the long musical drought that I went through, after I sort of burned out on just playing music by myself, so when I got the call, I was very excited at the possibility of playing again.
    I packed up my guitar, and headed over to the guy’s house full of eager expectations.  When I got there and he explained what we were going to be playing, the happiness inside me immediately died.
    “Another guy is coming over, and we will be playing jazz”, he told me. 
    “JAZZ?”,  What a disappointment.  I hate jazz.  I can’t play all of the weird chords, it bugs me that they always take a good song, strip it of its melody and those things that I liked about it, exchanging them for discordant sounds and irregular rhythms.  It is just way too chaotic for my simple mind.  Despite my feelings, I was so desperate to play, I continued to go to the jazz jam sessions as long as they continued, and I struggled to contribute, but my heart really wasn’t in it.
    Whenever I run into friends or acquaintances who really like jazz, they try to convert me.  When I was visiting with my mother in Indiana, one of Mom’s caregivers, who was a real jazz fan, tried her best to make a jazz convert of me, but fortunately, she didn’t have any music with her, so was spared listening to it.     
    Yesterday, I played guitar with a friend, who is solidly based in the jazz sphere.  We are so differently musically oriented, it was difficult to find common ground, but I think we both had fun trying.  When I left, he was confident that he would be able convert me.
    Maybe my genetic makeup is somehow deficient or lacking in something.  I know I don’t have the male sports gene, and maybe I am also missing the jazz gene.  Whatever the cause, jazz leaves me cold.
    I realize I am speaking in generalities.  The word jazz encompasses a wide range of music, and I like some of the jazz that came out in its  early evolution, and I also like some of the pop oriented songs that have a jazz feel to them (like some of Sting’s music), but that is about as close as I come.
     I would like to say now, to all those jazz proselytizers out there, that you are wasting your time, working on me.  Nothing makes me turn off a radio quicker, than a jazz tune.  
     To quote an old Bob Dylan song:  “It ain’t me, Babe.   It ain’t me your lookin’ for, Babe.”

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