I’ve said earlier in this blog that my interest in music grew from the childhood. My parents were the inspirations, they were all ears to different types of music and they believed, music speaks of emotions and passion regardless of the language. So, from my very childhood, my ears were trained to listen to different genres starting from Hindustani classical to Latino pop. Music wafted in the ambience of our house.
My love for jazz originated much later, though. My cousin was a music aficionado and was five years older to me. He had a huge collection and I spent many evenings at my uncle’s house listening to different voices while savouring ‘poha’ made my Shweta aunty. My cousin, Vivek, was a die-hard fan of vocal jazz. When I first listened to Frank Sinatra, honestly, I didn’t like him much. But, after watching Anchors Aweigh, I just fell in love with him and his voice! Songs like “fly me to the moon’ or “I’ve got you under my skin” can transport anyone to a different level. The lyrics, the emotion and the mesmerizing voice- together the impact is irresistible.
Nat “King” Cole and Lena Horne, come next to my list of favorites. For the latter, her expressive singing voice earned her musical roles in white movies in the 1940s, when it was still illegal for some theaters to screen films with black actors. She was not only a singer but also a rebel and a fighter.
Basically, jazz music is characterized by a strong but rhythmic understructure flexible in nature. Improvisation, that is, creating and rebuilding at the spur of the moment, according to me, is the essence of jazz. It is partly planned and partly spontaneous. It is said, jazz is considered as the best example of what democracy should be- individual freedom with responsibility to the group. The inspiration of Jazz must be created in the mind first with passion and spontaneity. Jazz is accompanied by instruments like saxophone, trumpet, piano, double bass, and drums most of the times.
It might sound hilarious but we did make a jazz group in our locality, my cousin, and his three friends and I being the members. I used to be the lyricist and, my cousin was on drums. We even performed in local functions a couple of times. Of course, the enthusiasm subsided with passing days and as the members got engaged in studies and jobs, our jazz story came to an end.
The music genre which once stormed America during their emergence in the 1920s is still regarded as one of the best ways to speak out the ways. To speak out the ways with the language of music. To make it clearer, if classical music is like a good book, jazz is like a good conversation, it changes and comes out differently even if you discuss the same thing. There lies the spontaneity or improvisation of which I talked above.
Jazz is a bit complex and often you need to listen to a song more than once to grasp the beauty of it. But, trust me, if you get it somehow, you are bound to fall in love with jazz.