Why I no longer write about jazz

August 29th, 2006 → 4:28 pm @ // No Comments

I love jazz. I love listening to jazz and I love seeing jazz live. For a while, I wrote about jazz. And then I stopped. Why? Because there was no way I was ever going to be knowledgable enough to write paragraphs like this one, from Nate Chinen’s New York Times article on a Sonny Rollins concert:

“What came next was even better: an unaccompanied cadenza that took Mr. Rollins through the emotional spectrum of his playing, and through seemingly dozens of musical quotations. In one stretch, modulating keys and elasticizing time, he flirted with the “Tennessee Waltz,” and then quoted, back-to-back, “I Thought About You” and “Look at Me Now.” In the hands of another player, this might have seemed cloying or overtly conceptual. Mr. Rollins made it a personal outpouring.”

My version would have been more along the lines of, “Man, is Sonny Rollins awesome.”

Post Categories: Jazz & Sonny Rollins

2 Comments → “Why I no longer write about jazz”

  1. deversm

    17 years ago

    Which is still better than my take:

    “At one point the band got so lost they stopped playing altogether while a confused (and possibly drunk) Sonny Rollins started blasting through random songs until finally getting the train back on the rails. Also, my constant calls for ‘Mustang Sally’ went unrewarded.”

    At least your take would have been funny; mine just would have been boring…

    — Seth


  2. lperdue

    17 years ago

    It’s a lot like wine writing and baseball writing … both of which require 137 adjectives for the same word.

    Both become inherently tedious as you try to make the next wine or next game sound somehow different from the last 758 …

    I started my journalism career as the Pioneer’s reporter for the Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette and after attending three games per week in person, keeping the official scorebook and hammering out six stories per week (including updating batting averages, ERAs etc. before the age of pocket calculators or computers … this was 1968 or something) I burned out faster on baseball than a condom at a Paris Hilton look-alike convention.

    I was stunned when I fell into wine writing and found it was no different … wine in the proper dosage, however, allows you to forget the last review


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