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I Am Starting to Love the @#$% Out of Bebop Jazz

Although I am by trade and nature a rock-n-roll guy, I have always liked classic bebop jazz, like Charles Mingus, Cannonball Adderley et al., Dizzy Gillespie, and Oscar Peterson. The latter is actually the inspiration for me learning jazz piano and Peterson’s music is what you are most likely to hear if I am your Uber or Lyft driver.

Lately, I have started to LOVE bebop jazz and look forward to the day when I can perform it with a group as either a bass player (my primary instrument that I am quite adept at) or optimally a pianist (I still suck, but I am getting a lot better thanks to 30 minutes of practice daily).

Right now, I am in my study listening to the Cannonball Adderley Quintet “Live in San Francisco” on a bootleg CD my sister sent me years ago. I am definitely going to add this recording to my Uber/Lyft repertoire.

Jazz is definitely an acquired taste for many. I used to think it was distracting and scatterbrained and egomaniacal, but with the intense exposure to it I have had over the past few years, including my year long stint as the house bassist for Tuesday jazz night at the Mason Lounge (Madison WI), I have really tuned into its phenomenal awesomeness.

There is still some jazz that I have no interest in, like the atonal stuff Pat Metheny puts out. I am pretty sure that guy just throws a bunch of good musicians in a recording studio, unrehearsed, says “GO!” and releases whatever turds result. But if you are a Pat Metheny fan, more power to you. I am not there yet. That is more in the fusion genre anyway, which doesn’t touch my soul the way the old school bebop stuff does. Bebop is pure, raw, and organic. Because it’s often acoustically recorded and minimally produced, you are really connecting with both the music and the musicians at a much more intimate level. And musical intimacy is not for everyone. That’s why there is punk rock (which I also love to death).

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